— CARL JUNCTION, Mo.. — Lowell Mason, 75, knows his time as the oldest living dwarf, according to Guinness World Records, may be short – and not because of any pressing health issues. An Indian woman claiming to be 113 may one day claim the record.
Mason knows about her, but it's one of the ones he doesn't know about that may take his record.
"I knew when they gave me that title, I thought for sure that there had to be someone older," Mason said. "I've had the title for a year, but I'm OK with it if someone takes it away. I can still say 'former Guinness World Records holder.'"
The title is still his: A search for his name on Guinness' website pulls up the record he has owned since Feb. 16, 2012.
But before that, Lowell's wife, Judy, and her family made an interesting discovery: They found out they are descendants of legendary Native American Pocahontas.
"I found out through my aunts," Judy said. "They had researched it and found that she is related to us from 11 generations ago."
A desire to see her gravestone as well as the Guinness offices gave the couple a reason to go to Great Britain, making for a 50th anniversary vacation that neither one could have ever foreseen.
Lowell has familial achondroplasia, otherwise known as congenital dwarfism. Standing less than 4 feet tall, at 75 years old he is in good physical health, except for worn out cartilage in his bones. He uses a walker to get around.
He hasn't known life any other way, he said.
"It's hard for me to think in any other way," he said. "I grew up with the same kids. We started kindergarten together, but I just never thought of myself as different. I mean, I knew I wasn't as tall, but for me it made no difference."