Friday, August 1, 2014

1965 (April 1) The Peace Corps Bounces on Nissen Trampolines

This month's newsletter begins with a few April Fool's Day jokes shared among the Nissen employees, but the real front page news is about the Nissen trampoline being used in
Venezuela by the Peace Corps volunteers!

The Peace Corps, established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, is a volunteer program run by the U.S. government with the intent to promote world peace and friendship - - - and in the country of Venezuela, trampolines from America certainly added an element of fun!

Below, you'll read about Steve Knaebel, a Stanford University gymnast who while serving in the Peace Corps, put his trampoline skills to good use. A Nissen trampoline was on hand at the local YMCA facility so Steve jumped up and gave a few lessons. Steve and his Peace Corps partner Rodney Napier taught physical education to Venezuelan children in Barinas at O'Leary High School and in Moron.

In a photo on the page below, we catch three top trampoline champions clowning around 
in the Nissen gym: Ed Cole, John Hamilton and Gary Erwin.

All three bounced for the University of Michigan - - and coaching icon: Newt Loken. To refresh memories, here's a quick run down of their achievements:
  • Ed Cole (on the left), was Big 10 Trampoline Champion in 1957, 1958 and 1959 plus, the 1959 NCAA Trampoline Champion.
  • John Hamilton (in the middle) tied with Gary Erwin for the 1964 Big 10 trampoline title.
  • As for Gary Erwin (far right), he won the recent 1965 Second World Trampoline Championships in London . Adding that spectacular win to his current titles of Big 10 & NCAA Trampoline Champion in both 1964 (tie) and 1965.
With mention of the 1965 Big 10 Championships held a month ago (March) in Campaign, Illinois, apparently there was quite a squabble over "who" actually won the team title. Both the Iowa Hawkeyes and Michigan Wolverines claimed they won but according to officials of the Western Conference "no one did." For a fun read, check out the interview HERE with Coach Newt Loken.

"Nissen's - - It's a Great Place to Work!"

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