Think & Grow Rich Lessons
Ken Klemm Spring Hill, FL, USA

Posted: 2017-03-02

In 1917 in Elkhart Kansas there lived a little 
eight-year-old boy who loved to walk. His favorite 
daily activity was walking with his older brother 

Floyd, age thirteen, was a mentor to his little 
brother. He walked with him to and from school every 
day. He walked with him to the ball field and taught 
him how to throw and catch. He walked with him to the 
pond and taught him how to fish, and ice skate in the 

The little boy looked up to Floyd and loved walking and 
playing with him. Floyd was his hero.

One winter morning the two boys walked to school 
together, but one of them would never again return 

At school, some careless person accidently filled a 
kerosene container with gasoline. The resulting 
explosion destroyed much of the school in fire. Floyd 
died in the blaze, and his little brother was trapped 
by debris and his legs were badly burned.

At the hospital, the doctors told his grieving parents 
they recommended amputating the little boy’s legs. This 
news distressed the boy, already devastated by Floyd’s 
death, who could not bear the thought of losing his 

The boy’s father protested, “No! My son loves to walk 
more than anything else. He needs his legs!”

The doctors replied, “But sir, you don’t understand. 
He’s lost all the flesh on his knees and shins, and all 
the toes on his left foot. Also, his transverse arch 
was practically destroyed. He will never walk normally 

To which the father replied, “No, YOU don’t understand. 
I lost a son today. I will not have you destroy my 
other son’s spirit. If amputation were not an option, 
what treatments would you prescribe?”

So, his parents changed the little boy’s bandages 
several times daily, and applied salves and ointments 
for many months. The boy endured hours upon hours of a 
new type of therapy daily.

With a determination, deeply rooted in a positive 
mental attitude and strong religious faith, he dreamed 
of walking again.

Roughly two years after the tragic accident the little 
boy, then age ten, attempted to stand. He swung his 
legs off the side of the bed and placed his feet on the 

When he applied a little weight and pressure to his 
feet, two fiery bolts of pain shot up through his legs 
and body and out the top of his head.

The pain was tremendous!

Determined, he kept at it daily until he was finally 
able to place all his weight upon his feet. Aided by 
his parents, he took his first shuffling steps, placing 
weight on one foot then the other - all the while in 
excruciating pain.

The little boy’s parents set up supporting hand rails 
around his room, so he could practice, strengthen and 
learn to endure the pain daily.

Whenever he neared his window, he would gaze out at the 
road where he shared so many wonderful walks with his 
hero, Floyd - thinking to himself, “I will walk on that 
road again!”

Finally, under his parents’ watchful eyes, he ventured 
outside and walked to the road, turned around and 
returned to the house completely drained and exhausted.

The next day he returned to the road, walked a few 
steps up the road, and came back.

In what became his daily ritual, he added a few more 
steps to his walk on the road - more and more each day. 
He reached a tenth of a mile and back, a fifth, a 
quarter, a third, a half mile.

Never relenting, he grew stronger and walked further 
and further...and faster.

Then he began to run...and he ran further and faster, 
faster and further...and faster and faster 
- like the wind he ran!



...And that little boy, whose legs the doctors wanted 
to amputate, grew up and became Glenn Cunningham - the 
“Kansas Flyer”, the “Elkhart Express”, the “Iron Horse 
of Kansas”.

In the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin, Glenn 
Cunningham took the silver medal in the 1500 meter 

In 1934, he set the world record for the outdoor mile 
run at 4:06.8 - a record which stood for three years.

In 1936, he set the world record for the 800 meter run.

In 1938, he set the world record for the indoor mile at 

Cunningham’s story was a major inspiration for Roger 
Bannister, who was the first to break the four-minute 
mile in 1954.

Your Friend and Servant,

Ken Klemm

P.S. “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their 
strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, 
they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and 
not faint.” 
 ~ Isaiah 40:31, Glenn Cunningham’s favorite verse.