June 18, 2013
Big Lou Can Cast Over The Astrodome
By Joe Cermele
So it seems that the Beaumont Enterprise, one of the newspapers in the Beaumont, TX, area, runs profiles of notable locals on occasion. Last week they wrote about Lou McEachern, better known as "Big Lou." Big Lou is apparently the only person to ever attempt casting a weight over the Astrodome, and he actually pulled it off. This all happened in 1991 (I was in second grade), so it's news to me. According to the story. Big Lou was so confident that he'd clear the building, he warned the guy on the other side wearing a hard hat not to stand too close to the proposed landing zone.
I'm not too well versed in power casting, but I know the mechanics are different from a standard cast, and much like perfecting a golf swing, getting it right takes lots of practice. McEachern used a 13-foot, 8-inch conventional rod custom built in England, and before making the cast, he noted that when he swung the big stick, the 150-gram lead weight would be moving at close to 200mph before the release.
Any Houston-area natives remember hearing this story when it happened? If you check out the full article, there are some great shots of Big Lou casting from atop the elevator shaft on the side of the Dome.