Einstein - Swimming = Genius
Being at the right place at the right time, a young boy saved the life of one of the most famous men of the 20th century
It was the summer of 1941 on a beautiful day around mid-afternoon. Ten-year-old Don Duso was coming back from his friend Alex Dreyfoos' cabin across the lake to the marina his family owned. He was in his little one and a half horse power motor boat coming down a narrow strip of Lower Saranac Lake into Lonesome Bay. He was watching 62-year-old Albert Einstein sail in his sail boat as he did often in the lake.
As Don was making his way down the lake, he saw Einstein's boat tip over. "I couldn't go very fast," Don recalls. "It took me awhile to get over to him." Growing up around the water, Don knew that when he saw a person's boat tip over it was common sense to go over to see if they were alright.
Once he got there, he saw that Einstein was submerged under water and his foot was caught in the rigging of the sailboat. He had a life jacket on, but the boat had pulled him down under the water's surface. Another fact – Albert Einstein could not swim.
"I couldn't go very fast. It took me awhile to get over to him."
"He was down for the count," Don remembers. "If I had not been nearby, he probably would have drowned."
Once Don got his boat over to Einstein, he reached down and grabbed the famous white locks. He held his head above the water until a larger boat owned by Jimmy Halloway spotted him and came over. The people in the twenty-six foot boat helped get Einstein untangled and lifted him into their boat. They waved to Don and took Einstein back to the Knollwood Club where he stayed during the summer.
"He was down for the count. If I had not been nearby, he probably would have drown."
A day or two later, a phone call was made to the Duso house. It was to ask if the young Don would come to Knollwood for a picture with Einstein, at Albert's request. They did not really get to chat when Don was holding his head above the water and he wanted to thank him.
Einstein stayed in Cabin 6 at the Knollwood Camp on Lower Saranac Lake. The cabin was two or three stories tall but it was only a summer house. He spent a good part of the summer there on the lake. He would come to the Adirondacks to relax and get away from the spotlight that he was in back in the city.
Einstein was not a social snob. He would often sail close or even stop by the Crescent Bay Marina owned by Don Duso's family. "He would always wave when he came near our dock," recalls Don.
"I think saving Albert Einstein's life made me the person I am today," Don states. "Ever since that event, I have helped people when I did not have to. I became a firefighter and joined the fight in Korea, once I got older." Don has also been the Saranac Fire Chief for thirty years.
Makes a person wonder – If Einstein had known how to swim, would Don Duso be the person he is today? That is another story that we will probably never know.
Famous Einstein Quotes
"I want to know God's thoughts... the rest are details."
"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."
"Things should be as simple as possible, but not simpler."
"Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater."
"Gravitation can not be held responsible for people falling in love."
"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."
"Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves."
"Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized."
"If A is success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut."
"You ask me if I keep a notebook to record my great ideas. I've only ever had one."
"Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value."
"The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don't do anything about it"
"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving"
|Copyright © 2001-2008 All Points North. All Rights Reserved. Opening slideshow music written and performed by Ivan Wohner.|