L-R, Jack Benjamin, Fred Wardecker, Jeff Benjamin
L-R, Jack Benjamin, Tom Benjey, Jeff Benjamin
This is the 4th piece in a series on Jim Thorpe, the 1912 Olympic decathlon and pentathlon champion, who lost his titles due to amateur sport rules at the time.
“BRIGHT PATH STRONG -The Resiliency Of Jim Thorpe” The Third In A Series Of Pieces On Jim Thorpe, whose life and legacy will soon be presented in an upcoming Hollywood film! Fourth In A Series – Traveling To The Grassroots Carlisle PA Jim Thorpe Legacy Center -Wardecker’s – A Photo Essay!
Wardeckers, photo by Jeff Benjamin
By Jeff Benjamin
It was truly like going “Back To The Future!”
If one wishes to learn about the legendary Jim Thorpe as well as the Immortal early 20th century Carlisle Football Team in the said-small town USA hometown, one MUST embark on a pilgrimage-like visit to the North Hanover Street “Mecca” of
“Wardecker’s Menswear Store”.
Wardecker’s (Which was originally known as “Blumenthals”) has been the magnet for anyone who wishes to learn about Thorpe, Carlisle Football, as well as Thorpe’s astronomical performances in the Pentathlon and Decathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games. As a matter of fact that magnet drew in the Carlisle team, where uniforms and other clothing were purchased (Including by Thorpe!) during their era as America’s top football squad.
Jim Thorpe photos, photo by Jeff Benjamin
Throughout the years, that magnetism has also drawn in noted Thorpe Biographer Bob Wheeler, as well as people involved in the upcoming Biopic on Thorpe including Producer Abraham Taylor and Martin Sensmeier, who will be portraying the World’s Greatest Athlete.
Jim Thorpe photos, photo 2 by Jeff Benjamin
All three of them, among many others, have been helped, assisted and regaled with the legendary stories by owner Fred Wardecker, whose father James went about preserving the legacy of Carlisle Football and Thorpe which is now continuing indefinetly by his son.
Jim Thorpe photos, photo 3 by Jeff Benjamin
Add in a visit by local Carlisle Football historian Tom Benjey and one can imagine the era over 100 years ago, as visitors can absorb and follow in the footsteps by going through the store of these sports legends, including the greatest of all-time, who all once made their mark there as well.
Jeff Benjamin has written for 30 years for American Track and Field along with RunBlogRun. The Former President of the Staten Island AC & Chair of the Staten Island Running Association was the 5th man scorer for his Susan Wagner High School NYC XC City Championship team. Also a member of the College of Staten Island Sports Hall of Fame for XC, Jeff currently serves as the LDR Chairman for USATF NY. A passionate (or fanatical) follower of the Sport, some of Jeff's subjects have included Sebastian Coe, Emma Coburn, Eamonn Coghlan, Matt Centrowitz, Jim Spivey, Galen Rupp, Joe Newton, Tom Fleming, Ajee’ Wilson, Bill Rodgers, Allan Webb, Abel Kiviat, Jordan Hassay, Marty Liquori, Caster Semenya, Rod Dixon, Carl Lewis and Jim Ryun as well as Book Reviews and articles covering meets and races in the Northeast U.S.
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