The Skinny on a Skinny Yodeler

Some families are simply known for being long-winded.

According to family tradition printed in a privately published 1950-era family history, John Michael Trautvetter went from Illinois to California during the great Gold Rush. Fortune did not smile on John Michael in California. He found no gold and became frustrated. He decided that panning for gold simply was not worth it. After all, the majority of the time goldseekers came up emptyhanded.

Frustrated with his lack of success in California, John Michael decided to return to Illinois by ship. This required that he sail around the tip of South America. He was headed to New Orleans so that he could continue north on the Mississippi until he reached Hancock County, Illinois.

The ship ran out of water and was forced to land. John Michael and several other young men were sent ashore in search of water and were subsequently captured by cannibals. All hope seemed lost and the former goldseekers thought they would meet their end on the tip of South America, thousands of miles from home. It was not to be. John Michael was a musician and his yodeling scared the natives and they decided he was too skinny to eat anyway.

They were freed and returned to the boat.

Skinny yodelers simply are not appetizing.

 

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