Cecil George Rivers was born on December 13, 1910 at Watersville, Vermont, and died on January 14, 2000 in Portland, Maine following a single car accident. His obituary notes he carried the name of “Mr. Bones,” and he was playing rhythm bones and performing right up to the end of his life.
What makes him of interest to rhythm bones players is his claim to be the fastest player in the world, playing 18.9 clicks per second or 1134 per minute. There was mention that this was a Guinness World Record, but no official record has been found.
Cecil lived in Vermont and Massachusetts with his first wife and had two children. Later after marrying his second wife he lived in Moultonboro, New Hampshire and later close-by in Tamworth. There were many step children and step grandchildren, and one of the latter, Beth Barker, was very helpful supplying newspaper articles and calling family members for other stories.
According to his long time next door neighbor, he had an interesting life. When he was a young adult, probably sometime in the late twenties or thirties, he played semi-pro baseball for a team out of Vermont. After that, he spent some time in Alaska and other parts of the country doing construction work.
He was a ‘See Bee’ in the Navy during WWII serving in Guadalcanal and the Philippines and was a sharpshooter. He qualified for the 1936 Olympic Shooting team though since Hitler would not let foreigners have a gun in Germany the competition was held in Norway. He had a collection of something like 60 long guns. He was a photographer for a while for a well know historian. He was a registered backcountry and hunting guide.