Navy Pier Ferris wheel site of new record: Clinton Shepherd, take a bow

Navy Pier Ferris wheel site of new record: Clinton Shepherd, take a bow
A view of the Ferris wheel on Navy Pier in Chicago. (Chicago Tribune photo)

Clinton Shepherd, the operations manager at Navy Pier, set a new world record this weekend by hanging out on the Navy Pier Ferris wheel for more than 48 hours without sleeping. That, in my book, is a tale of gusto.


According to the CBS2 Chicago story on the Shepherd, he said he wanted the birthplace of the Ferris wheel to have the record:

“I thought Chicago should have that title,” he said Sunday, after spending a record-shattering 48 hours, 8 minutes and 25 seconds awake riding Navy Pier’s iconic attraction.

Well, Chicago certainly has the title now. And Shepherd has a story to tell future generations who – let's be honest – will yawn and go back to playing their video games.

But – for one weekend – Shepherd got to do something out of the norm, something special to him. For one weekend, he got to be kind of a big deal.

Now, some might not think sitting in a Ferris wheel for 48 hours is that big of a deal, especially since bathroom breaks and a big-screen TV were involved. Eric Zorn certainly thought it was ridiculous in his April 28 Chicago Tribune column on the upcoming record-breaking attempt.

After detailing how it basically was a staying-awake contest, Zorn had this to say.

If all of this sounds more than a bit silly to you, you're not alone.

The silliness isn't the point here, though. Of course it's silly. It's ridiculously silly. It's a man hanging out in a Ferris wheel for 48 hours without sleeping. But that doesn't mean it's not worth something. Shepherd wanted to do something and he did it.

I applaud him for that.

• Going for Gusto is a blog by Joe Grace that looks for the awesome in life. Please support Going for Gusto by liking the Facebook page at

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