Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mayor-Elect Also Rounds Up to Nearest Inch

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mayor-Elect Also Rounds Up to Nearest Inch

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Woods, Times-Union columnist

If you asked me to name my favorite characteristic about Jacksonville's next mayor, I would answer without hesitation: "His height."

I don't want to say John Peyton is shorter than most politicians, but for his swearing-in ceremony Tuesday, he will need a dozen books. One Bible to put his hand on. Eleven phone books to stand on.

I joke, because I can.

You see, I too am . . . vertically challenged.

The beauty of a column is that nobody knows how tall you are. For instance, by looking at my picture, you'd never know I'm only 6 feet 2.

OK, more like 5-11. All right, 5-8. That's what it says on my driver's license and . . . fine, a legit 5-7 and change.

When I was growing up -- or not growing up -- my grandmother used to tell stories of someone in our family who experienced a growth spurt in high school. The growth spurt became something akin to the Holy Grail. I envisioned leaving school in June, growing like a stalk of corn all summer, and returning in the fall, my head pressing against the roof of our '68 Rambler.

"Just you wait," Grams said.

I'm still waiting. I'm hoping this is the year. Even if it's not, there is this consolation: After years of literally looking up to athletes during interviews, I will be able to relax my neck.

So, you ask, just how tall is our next mayor?

His driver's license says 5-7. He says: "It's really more 5-6 1/2. You round up. That's what we do."

Yes, we do. So although I think our mayor-elect may be rounding WAY up, I'll point out that Men's Health once compared claimed heights to actual heights and found that Arnold Schwarzenegger is 5-10, not 6-2; Burt Reynolds is 5-8, not 5-11; Charles Bronson is 5-7, not 5-11.

"I always say I'm right between Michael J. Fox and Robert Redford," Peyton said with a laugh. …

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