Wednesday, October 22, 2014

CUC History: The Tumbling Tumbleweeds

Douglas Pappajohn introduced tumbling as part of the PE program 59 years ago. Following him, Michael Luchak continued the program with much enthusiasm. Although the teams had no official name, Bernie Leavitt says her team called themselves the Tumbling Tumbleweeds and what fun they had!

Saturday night entertainments often included a tumbling act. One evening Russ Spangler, Gordon Guild, Louis Johnson, Don Williams and brothers Dick and Werner Seidel demonstrated the “kick” that CUC’s water has. They lined up, each taking a sip of water, and then all fell backwards as one.

Even the faculty displayed their tumbling skills for Faculty Talent Night. The team was made up of Vic Fitch, Colin Campbell, Curtis Wolfe, Orval Lorenson, George Schafer and Allen Robertson under the direction of Luchak. They were assisted by two unknown female clowns.

The greatest highlight of 1961 was the arrival of the school’s first trampoline in November. It was introduced by Michael Luchak at a Benefit Program presented to raise money for the $650 piece of equipment. Admission to the program was: 50ȼ for adults; 25ȼ for students; and 15ȼ for children.

Members from the audience were called up to show their trampoline skills. All earned considerable applause with the youngest being 2-year-old Gary Tetz (President Johnson’s grandson) who found it had more bounce than his parents’ bed. But a thunderous applause erupted when President H.T. Johnson removed his glasses, kicked off his shoes, mounted the trampoline and experienced uncertain thrills for the first time on the unpredictable surface.

by Edith Fitch

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