CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — Lowell Mason has a lot to be proud of with a ministry that has spanned nearly seven decades but there is one other area of pride that has earned him world recognition.
The Carl Junction man held the title as the oldest living dwarf, according to Guinness World Records, for over a year.
Even though a woman from the United Kingdom, Jean Willingham, took over the title last year, Mason said he is still OK with that because he can still call himself a former Guinness World Records holder. Willingham, by the way, is 84. Mason is 76.
Mason, longtime performer at Precious Moments near Carthage, said he would never have known about checking with Guinness if it had not been for his grandson.
“I was celebrating my 74th birthday when one of my grandsons called and said ‘I have just been in the Guinness Book of World Records and the oldest living dwarf in the world is 71, so we better get in touch with Guinness,’” Mason said. “I did and to my amazement they got right back with me.”
Guinness presented Mason with a huge list of records, far beyond a birth certificate, that they required in order for him to prove his age.
He even had to get business people to write letters telling that they knew him and had known him long enough that he could be the age he was claiming.
“ I had to get a whole bunch of stuff to verify that I was a dwarf and even a doctor’s report to say I was alive,” he said. “It took me close to six months to get everything together.”
After submitting his application, Mason said he waited weeks and finally received a call from Guinness. A woman asked for a new picture they could use in the 2013 record book, which was released on Sept. 13, 2012.
“I knew I was in then,” he said.
Mason has familial achondroplasia, which is otherwise known as congenital dwarfism. Even though he is less than 4 feet tall he is still in good health at 76 with the exception of worn out cartilage in his bones, requiring the use of a walker.
Throughout his ministry he has been known as “The Mighty Midget,” “Little Lowell” and “The World’s Smallest Gospel Singer.”
If it had not been for his grandson, he said he would never have thought to make that last nickname official via the Guinness Book.
Mason said he has heard all the names associated with people of his stature, like midget, dwarf, little person and even runt. And, although he knows of others his size who have taken offense over those labels, he is not phased.
Page 2 of 2 - The reference in Guinness is dwarf, which is actually a medical term.
“No matter what the name, I have no problem with anything like that,” he said.