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Jacksonville yo-yo was a no go

JACKSONVILLE -- What goes up must come down. And when it comes to trying to break the record for the world’s largest operating yo-yo, it should go back up again.

But Ohio resident Beth Johnson’s attempt to break the record with her 15-foot-wide, 7,300-pound yo-yo failed Friday at Jacksonville Crane and Machinery.

The huge yo-yo unrolled from about 120 feet in the air, then spun until its 11/2-inch-thick nylon cable melted and it smashed to the ground.

“It didn’t do what I thought it would do. It just spun on its dowel,” Johnson said. “I am glad no one got hurt.”

Johnson began building an epic yo-yo a year and a half ago in La Rue, Ohio, then enlarged it when she learned Bay de Noc Community College in Escanaba, Mich., had broken the record July 6 with an 11-foot, 6-inch yo-yo.

Her result -- a blue Goliath’s toy with an 11/2-inch- thick yacht mooring cable as “string.” With no place to store it in wintry Ohio, she hauled it to Jacksonville where a brother and sister live.

The crane company charged $500 to help, and she submitted a record claim, confirmed by Guinness World Records.

Once dropped, it had to go down and up three times to make the record, Johnson said. Hooked to a crane Monday, a rope release mechanism didn’t work.

Friday, the huge toy dropped, spun in place and crashed, smashing on one end.

Johnson said there will be no more yo-yos for now. But she said she has this idea for the world’s largest skateboard.

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