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Swinging Abby Part 12: The Aftermath

Dahnt-dah-dah -DAH!!
It was over.
I was done.
Now it was up to Guinness.

But in the meantime, other things transpired, not the least of which was sleep, something I think I did for a good fourteen hours if memory serves. The next day, my sophomore year of school began, and the during the opening day assembly the principal called me up onto the stage for public acknowledgement. There was no hiding. Everywhere I went, people recognized me, and its effect on school life was…well, that's a whole nother story.
Of course, newspaper articles were written about my completion of the marathon. As mentioned before, no reporters were there for the end of my endeavor because I stubbornly refused to give a precise quitting time. In retrospect, I would do that differently now. Not for the bravado of having cameras clicking as I removed my derrière from The Contraption for the last time, but to at least have legitimate photos of the momentous occasion. (Note - below I transscribed the article because the scan was too hard to read.)

The "trophy jump".

The Evening Times, September 4th, 1979.
By Gary Vangorder

                "She can't talk right now, she's asleep."
                And Abby Geiger, the 15-year-old tower of strength who stayed on a swing for 14 days, deserves all the sleep she can get.
                "She almost fell asleep in the car on the way home," said 11-year-old sister Melynda. "But she was pretty happy when she got off the swing, she was running around and even went down the slide at the park."
                Abby's attempt to gain entry to the Guinness Book of World Records began two weeks ago in the Athens Borough Park. Taking five minute rest breaks every two hours and sleeping for only four hours each night, the Sayre High School sophomore logged over 230 hours on the swing.
                Abby swung past the previous record of 182 hours (set in 1977 by two Californians) Friday afternoon, but decided to stay on the swing through the Labor Day weekend to ensure the legitimacy of her feat.
                But there is some uncertainty as to whether the Guinness people in London will recognize the effort worthy of a niche in their world famous publication.
                "We are so flooded with notification of new records that it is impossible for our staff, much as we'd like to, to go out and check on some of these things ourselves," said Guinness Correspondence Editor Colin Smith in a telephone interview today. "We must depend on written resumes, other outside information, or legitimate log books for verification."
                "Of course, much depends on the quality and the difficulty of the task, but in general we require a good deal of verification before recognizing a feat," Smith said.
                Smith added that when the Geigers contact his office (as they have indicated they will) research will be done as to the validity of their claim and the circumstances surrounding the Californian record.
                "It's quite a simple process really," Smith said. "We need sufficient information that can be verified concerning the feat. Newspaper accounts and photos help also."
                There has been no shortage of coverage since Abby began her record breaking attempt, and her sister says that the extensive coverage may prove helpful. "We're going to send them the signatures (over 2,830) too," she said.
                Throughout the entire ordeal Abby remained confident and, amazingly, cheerful. She was aided by the constant companionship of her parents, the installation of a telephone near the swing, the establishment of a tarpaulin over her head, and a trailer to rest in.
                "It's been fun," Abby said earlier in the week. "And I won't hate swinging after I'm through. People have been really nice. Really helpful."
                "If the record qualifies, it will still be a bit late for the 1980 American edition of the book (the 18th U.S. edition will be available next month)" Smith said. "Some of the calls we get don't turn out, but most are indeed legitimate. I trust this one is too, but proper verification will attest to that," he added.
                Will Melynda Geiger carry on with a feat similar to her sister's?
                "Oh, maybe. But I won't know until I try. That's what Abby said too."

The article is great, but the photo is devoid of reality, having been taken nearly an hour after I had finished (notice the crowd has dissipated). However, there's one thing I like about it: it's the only photo I have of MY view of the park (the slide!), because it was taken with me jumping off the wrong side of the swing in order to have the fading sunlight illuminate us. We were all, to be honest, less than thrilled with the schmaltzy make-believe, but I guess when you're a celebrity, no matter how major or minor, sometimes you just have to oblige and smile for the fans...and the folks who sell newspapers. So I did. (And there's other articles, but they all pretty much say the same thing, so I won't bore you with repetition.)
Now the congratulations began rolling in! Within a week I received a letter from Congressman Joseph M. McDade. Wow, that's something one doesn't get in the mail every day.

Letter from Congressman McDade.

I also received one from Athens Mayor Laurence E. Canavan.

Letter from Mayor Canavan.

The Athens Chamber of Commerce also presented me with a plaque, necessitating a visit the park for a photo op.

Athens Chamber of Commerce presentation.
Look everyone, no braids!

Nice! But...check out that photo again. Something's awry. This was taken where it all happened, and there should be two swings behind us. Mine and the one that hung to my right, which was often wrapped around the pole. Hmmmm. Swing to the right is there, but behind me....where is my swing? My Contraption? My swaying tuchas-throne for two weeks??...

Mystery of the missing swing.
Uh-oh, somebody call the Hardy boys!

Did the police ever file a report? Was the swing ever found? And just what was the response from Guinness to all of this? And did you really think part 11 was the end of the story?? Surprise!