Rosey Grier is Full of Awesome


Aargh! Can you believe a scarf I started knitting a year ago (this picture is old, it’s much bigger now) is still unfinished!? My knitting mojo is completely derailed at the moment (of course, being midway through one novel and in revision with the other could possibly have something to do with it. Maybe.), so I’ve been looking around. I think I might have found something to get it back on track.

It all started when I was looking at some dusty old photographs of the Walter Reed Hospital from the early 1900’s. Those recovering from The Great War were brushing up on their knitting and making massive macrame blankets and socks to help keep the rest of the patients warm. It was a really useful occupational therapy, let me tell you, and the knitting machine in the picture looks complicated and amazing. Anyway. Someone suggested that this was “women’s work” — good grief, there’s always one, isn’t there? — and another commenter suggested that we all Google Rosey Grier. And so I did.

Nice try, huh?

Actually… it’s the right guy. Roosevelt Grier was a NY Giants defensive lineman in the fifties, and retired from the Rams in 1967. He became a bodyguard for the wife of Robert Kennedy afterward, and disarmed the man who assassinated the politician, grabbing his gun and breaking his arm. He was an actor (isn’t every sports star?) for some really bad horror movies. (Does his life not sound like a made-for-TV movie? I mean, seriously.) Now, you know we do baking and knitting here, and the occasional foray into photography and tech rants, so I have to come to the point: aside from being six-foot-six and three hundred pounds, Rosey Grier was really into his needlework. So much so that he wrote a book: Rosey Grier’s Needlepoint for Men.

Yes. He did.

Now, okay: The seventies have a lot for which to answer, mainly, nineteen million examples of tacky, horrible taste, generally having to do with frightening colors, chaotic patterns, bad hair, and stupid names. Once you check out the slide show, you’ll realize that Rosey was a product of his times. But still — I can’t help but think he is the coolest needlepoint-ing guy ever. Obviously this book is WAY out of print, but don’t you love that director’s chair pattern? Too cute.

This gentleman is now seventy-six, and I hope he’s somewhere still stitching.

Which just goes to prove: if this dude could do it, so can I.

5 Replies to “Rosey Grier is Full of Awesome”

  1. i remember when rosey grier was on a talk show with his needlepoint. this guy is BIG and it was so great to see him with these small needles, contentedly doing his needlework. his being so public about his needlework impressed me quite a bit and i was wondering what ever became of him. nice to know others think of him also! hope you are well!

  2. Wow the director’s chair is very nice. I have to admit I’m shocked whenever I hear/see of a man knitting or doing anything in that area, but with a hubby like mine… My husband phoned me last night to tell me he re-heated his lasagna (that I had previously cooked) in a pot on the stove at the motel without burning it… doesn’t sound like a big deal but he said it with such enthusiasm in his voice that you would have sworn he cooked an 8 course meal! He’s a dinosaur alright; no cooking, no washing dishes, heaven forbid no knitting/crafting, ever.

  3. I had no idea Rosey was a bodyguard of Mrs. Kennedy.Wow. That’s a pretty cool thing about him on top of knitting. My mom taught knitting to our 4-H group in the 70’s and used to use him as an encouragement tool for the boys to sign up and to get us girls through it.

    Kansas A–laughed out loud and totally relate! A couple of months ago I got a page at work from the hubby (who NEVER pages me) just to tell me that he fried his own chicken (I work nights so he has to fend for himself for dinner if I’m short on time) and that it “was even good!” Some of these boys just take a little longer than others.

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