(SAINT JOSEPH, Mo.) The Musser name is a common one around St. Joseph. But, at one time, you may have come across John Musser's name in the Guinness Book of World Records.
"He was very humble about it. The only time you'd hear him speak about it is if family asked him about it," grandson and Central head basketball coach Cy Musser said. "We ran across a lot of articles and facts."
"When I was a child, he always had a boat. He loved to ski and take his grandkids out to go waterskiing," Musser's grandson, Grover, said. "That was his thing."
"Before you even got in the water, we'd have lessons on our kitchen floor," Cy said. "He'd get down and he'd get in his stance and tell us to bring our knees to our chest and keep our arms out."
"A fellow down in the Ozarks had set a record and gotten some publicity on it," longtime friend and skiing partner, Bill Sullivan, said. "John said: 'I think I can do that.' We went from there, getting sponsors for the boat and the motor. We knew how determined he was and that he was physically capable."
The very next year, he broke his own record and set an endurance mark with 727 miles in 26 hours, 19 minutes.
"It doesn't really hit you until you ski yourself," Grover said. "You stay up for 15 or 20 minutes and think: 'Someone did this for a whole day?'"
"I'll go ski for 10 minutes and I'm sore for a week," Cy said. "It's hard to think it's possible. But, if anyone could do it, I know it would be him."
"He did it all naturally without the help of any sort of chains, ropes, pulleys, or chairs that they allow them to use these days," Grover said. "I think an asterisk would be appropriate."
"I don't know if he's ever met a project that he hasn't been able to pull off," Cy said. "He was a handyman and a jack-of-all-trades. That was just him, always going all the time."
"He spent his retirement fixing basements and anything that was broken," Grover said. "He had a big family to take care of and his life was about helping all of us."