Wobbling Wally Watts

Wally Watts unicycle May 26th, 1973 — In the very old days newsrooms of newspapers were open to anyone who wanted to walk in with a story. Junior reporters had their desks closest to the door and had to deal with these people whose stories were usually tenuous at best. At the Edmonton Journal one of the regulars was Wobbling Wally Watts who was attempting to ride across Canada on a unicycle. Normally he rode his latest bike into the newsroom to attract attention. I say latest because the first versions of his unicycles, if I remember right, didn’t get much farther than Vegreville before breaking down. Wally’s arrival in the newsroom was also announced by junior reporters running from their desks to the bathroom to avoid doing another story on him. So imagine my surprise, being safely away from Wally in Vancouver, there he was in The Province newsroom, about to begin again another cross country attempt. Since I had experience photographing Wally and was at that time the junior photographer I got the assignment. I can’t remember if Wally made it to Halifax that year but between 1976 and 1978 he was credited with riding around the world, a journey of 12,000 miles.

Updated: April 18, 2014 — 8:41 pm