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Monday, September 26, 2016


The cast of characters in this story are a 38-year-old truck driver named George Di Peso, his 30-year-old wife Ruth, their three children: 12-year-old Susanne, 10-year-old Jean, and 7-year-old George, and, most importantly, one ordinary 1/2-inch (1 cm) diameter, 50-foot (~15 m) garden hose that was about to bring them international fame. No idea on the age of the hose.  I’ll just say that it had a lot of energy, so it must have been very young...

Thursday, June 30th of 1955 started out like any other day at the family’s four-year-old Downey, California home.  Should you want to take a peek at the scene of the crime, although I doubt that current owners would appreciate your visit, their home was located at 7739 Alderdale Street.

So here’s what happened.  Mom Ruth asked her daughter Susanne to go out and water the ivy that afternoon.  She came back into the house and told her mom that the hose was stuck in the ground. 

Huh?  What?

The two went back outside and sure enough the hose had somehow buried itself into the ground.  They tried pulling with all their might, but the hose would not budge.  Neighbors came by, but their efforts were futile.

So, they waited for dad to get home from work.  George Di Peso pulled with all the strength of his 170-pound (77-kilograms) frame, but he also had absolutely no success. 

He needed something much stronger.  A lightbulb went off in his head.  The car!   He hitched the hose to the bumper and popped it into low-gear.  No luck, the hose snapped close to its free end.

And here’s where it gets bizarre.  The hose appeared to be burying itself deeper and deeper into the ground.  It’s Alive!

Could it really be alive?  They decided to place a cloth marker on the hose to see how fast it was descending.  They measured that it had moved 18-inches (46 centimeters) in five-hours.

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