O'Fallon, MO: An O'Fallon man is being recognized today for setting a new world record for holding his breath underwater. It is thought that Richards Parks, 56, who lived in a trailer park just outside of St. Louis, bested the old record by nearly 14 minutes.
Parks' childhood friend and neighbor, Larry Winters, remembers the event. He says he was skeptical at first, but was willing to do whatever it took to ensure his friend was able to pull off the remarkable feat.
"We drank a lot of hooch that day, so some of these details may have run together a bit," said Winters, "Ol' Tommy had this hankering, he said, 'Larry, I ain't never done nothing with my life. I just want to do something people remember me by.' That's when he came up with this idea. I was like, 'Yeah man. I'll help. Just let me know what I have to do.
"We came up with this plan real quick like. Then he got all psyched up, like he was going to do some big race or something. Could have just been all the meth kicking in I guess. before I knew it he just ran off and jumped in my little girl's new Paw Patrol kiddie pool. We just all jumped on top of him to help him out. Of course its impossible to be sure but I think that stubborn son of a bitch actually did it. He finally stopped kicking right at about the 36 minute mark. We held him down there for another 5 or 10 minutes just to be sure."
Services will be held Friday, May 19th at the Baue Furneal, 311 Wood Street, O'Fallon, MO 63366.