Love Knows No Height

A Ragpicker’s World
By Jyoti Nanda:

Love blossomed and both the characters of this story here eloped.

They eloped to a fair.The fair was thickly crowded. Not that they both believed in the philosophy of loneliness that one by becoming the part of any crowd can realize with utmost anonymity. Lonely crowd never was their cup of drinking–chocolate. In the fair first they both have their favorite hot drinking chocolate and discussed about respective footwears. They did not have any spare of it with them at that time. The She-Character was well armed with pocketful of a particular brand of Love-Lozenge which she believed to be of a special magical power to cement any loving bond. She was in the habit of constantly chewing the. The He-Character did not approve the flavor of it and the chewings involved. So instead of allowing the silence to form    a chewing-girlfriend, he prompted her most of the time to be a talking-girlfriend.

In elopement the lovebirds mostly chatter the things which can be compared to that of  any beautiful and melodious song of their avian counterparts of the universe but that largely always remain meaningless. And they were no fool like all others in love to possess a dictionary containing the the ultimate defeat, the word impossible.

Nevertheless without a proper sequence of elopement no love story reads like a real and worthwhile one. In all love stories the obstacles are the authentic indicators of the intensity of love. If the criminal happens to be dull headed then the crime story draws a forcible shutdown of interest and an issue-dispatch-assistant engaged in any Government Office can perform successfully the role of a Sherlock Holmes to solve the crime at ease, like the finesse he normally displays in sorting letters and allocating them to respective sections of the office without delay. Without a brainy trickster as the leading criminal in a crime story we became sleepy customers. Similarly presence of  strong weird obstacles boost the energy of a love story.

A maxim goes like this. A writer who starts giving advice on writing is presumed to be at the fag end of his creativity. Risking my reputation, if any, I furnish herewith an unsolicited tip for others on how to write a love story. First think of the obstacles, design it and then the characters in love will take care of themselves. If you catch one wonderful obstacle then all thumbs up. The people in love are blessed creatures. They are destined to overcome all impediments. Sometimes they in disguise escape to the other world to overcome all barriers. These disguised lovers remain as all time greats in the pages of history.

This love story is pretty poor. Only obstacle that the characters in love faced is pretty ordinary. Can any reader perceive an employer, without having any personal ties with the characters; pose some serious threats to the matters like love? The said employer was reluctant to their matrimony as it would affect his business. Even few days of privacy to the couple was not acceptable to the employer. On the other hand there were plenty of offers coming to these two. Sticking to that employer was never a mandatory for them. But they had chosen to elope from this ordinary threat in the shape of an employer and got married. The employer was the owner of a circus and by that time there was a huge demand for the employability of marvels in that world of show business.

The two characters of this ordinary love story are human marvels.

He Aurelio Tomaini (Al) and she Bernice Evelyn Smith (Jeanie).

They eloped during a fair in Cleveland, Ohio on September 8th of 1936.The couple were wed by a justice of peace that same day. The pair honeymooned in the picturesque Niagara Falls.

If we tend to be keen to explore some more adversaries then there might be some childhood problems for Jeanie. Her biological mother used to organize shows with her right from her age three. And later she had been under the abusive care of an adoptive mother. The pretty but resilient 19 year old Jeanie endured the psychological abuses with little hope of escape.

On the other hand Al was one of the seven children and like Jeanie he also started earning very early. With the growth of age he found none to share his intimate feelings.

Both wanted to escape their loneliness. And that became the determinant factor for a romance to blossom and finally reached to a wonderful matrimonial conclusion.

Al Tomaini was a human giant who was eight-feet four inches tall, weighing 356 pounds and wore the shoes of size 27.All tall man tends to be lonely an Al was the tallest of the world, hence the loneliest. And on the other hand Jeanie was born with twisted arms and without legs. She stood just over two feet in height, but in personality, Jeanie was a giant in her own right.

So both the giants became complimentary to each other. From the circus, their working place they choose to perform jointly in the circus of life. For many decades they were considered as “World’s Strangest Married Couple” and continued touring together many places.

Retired from circus both moved to Gibsonton, Florida. Gibsonton was known for its population of unusual people. Many circus folk retired or wintered there. There Al and Jeanie had established a lodge and a fishing camp known as “The Giant’s Camp”. They raised two adopted daughters.

Till death the pair on the while was inseparable and deeply in love.Al was often spotted with his pretty half-girl wife Jeanie propped on his shoulder or carried at his side.

Well fortified by love this pituitary giant Al lived longer than others of his type. He endured much pain and eventually died at the age of 50 in 1962.Jeanie continued to live without her giant husband till her own passing in 1999.She was buried on the anniversary of Al’s passing.

The descendants of this “World’s Strangest Married Couple “still resides in Gibsonton. Their great -grandson carries on the circus sideshow legacy  and is an avid sword-sallower and sleeps on a bed of nails.

To conclude Al was emotional, shy and poor in taking decisions and Jeanie was the opposite. But the important decision to elope was that of the shy giant Al and the first cab fare of this momentous journey  was paid by Jeanie as Al did not like to carry a wallet always.


The God is always in the habit of writing extraordinary love stories in his own fingers that is skillful mostly in carving fairy tales but our questioning minds deem it ordinary.


About the Author

Odisha Story Bureau
A team of young journalists headed by Subhransu Panda, founder-editor of Odisha's leading news portal and magazine Odisha Story. Mail: