I am just another bozo on the bus. But once in my life, for four glorious years, I was a member of the University of Maryland Gymkana Troupe. As I sit here counting on my fingers and toes, and then my wife’s, it has been almost as many pounds ago as years ago. Jimmy Carter was campaigning for president in a new wave of hope after Vietnam and Nixon’s departure.

I didn’t appreciate at the time what a unique opportunity Gymkana was for a guy like me – a commuter student in a sea of faces in a university factory overwhelmed with its commitment to at least offer an education to every graduating Maryland high school senior.

I discovered Gymkana the very first day of college, quite by accident – for those young enough to believe still in coincidence. I followed the sounds of laughter and pounding flesh down a dark hall in Cole Field House, and entered the double wooden doors to a room of magic. 

For me, it was the trampolines. I eventually worked up the courage to take a vault too, and the rest was the best part of college for me. Aaron and Bobby and Seth and Bunny and Rodney and Gina and Nancy and Mary and Hugh and Freddy and Rick and Gary and Frank and … and so many names that are on the tip of my tongue – right there.

I didn’t know what to expect last night, watching America’s Got Talent: YouTube addition. It had to be ladders or vaulting, right? But ladders is sooooo slow until everyone’s up. And vaulting doesn’t get interesting until you start piling bodies on the box, right?

What I saw blew me away. The hand that covered my eyes fell from my face and I watched, rapt. And they were right. It is unbelievable that these kids are not, like, from Cirque de Soleil. The first time I ever stepped on a trampoline, I was 17 years old, a frustrated, nearsighted diver, and it opened up a world to me that proved the difference between college-as-the-place-I-spent-four-years, to a land where I could soar, high above the bus. Just for that brief time.

In my secret heart of hearts, I don’t really believe that everyone gets 15 minutes of fame.  The closest I’ll ever come was probably last night, watching a technicolor version of my fading memories, and swelling with pride. I wondered, giddy, if they were the same ladders we packed into the truck that I occasionally got to drive to local shows. I hope so. I believe they were whittled by George Kramer and Joe Murray out of an old ship’s keel.

If they weren’t, don’t tell me.



11/27/2015 10:33am

For a several and maybe as a groom Start with a easy knowledge show. As a non-showing car owner I got interested in shows of all types and often got tossed into the show in the would-be grooms classification.

04/19/2016 1:28am

I all the time used to read article in news papers but now as I am a user of web therefore from now I am using net for articles or reviews, thanks to web.

06/17/2016 4:08am

The details you offer extremely interesting as well as very latest from various other websites, we are waiting for additional details which could be much more intriguing, see additionally right here we provide details about wellness

06/17/2016 4:08am

The info you give quite fascinating and very latest from other websites, we are waiting for more information which may be much more intriguing, see likewise below we supply details about health and wellness

07/12/2016 3:02am

Yeah, you are right. Good post.

07/17/2016 10:23pm

I don’t really believe that everyone gets 15 minutes of fame too!

07/21/2016 2:31pm

I know this web page gives quality depending articles and other information, is there any other web page which offers these kinds of stuff in quality?

10/03/2016 11:18am

A rec center teacher might need to survey your wellness level when you join a rec center, so he or she can tailor a workout regimen to develop you gradually and not have you bite the dust of a heart assault. ;- )


Get the right service, Enjoy the services, Russian Call Girls Escorts in Delhi.

04/04/2017 3:23am

Goa Escort Service & Massage - reviews of Independent Goa Escorts.

06/09/2017 3:51pm

Great tips and very easy to understand. This will definitely be very useful for me when I get a chance to start my blog.

06/22/2017 8:45am

It's really nice and meanful. it's really cool blog. Linking is very useful thing.you have really helped lots of people who visit blog and provide them usefull information.

07/25/2017 3:13pm

Truly, this article is really one of the very best in the history of articles. I am a antique ’Article’ collector and I sometimes read some new articles if I find them interesting. And I found this one pretty fascinating and it should go into my collection. Very good work!

07/26/2017 10:45am

What a really awesome post this is. Truly, one of the best posts I've ever witnessed to see in my whole life. Wow, just keep it up.

08/01/2017 3:55am

Great post and personally I would like this blog I appreciated to author thanks for sharing this blog.

09/25/2017 11:10am

Thanks your post it really so helpful......


Leave a Reply


    Jack Downs is a mystery writer, teacher, and the author of two novels and several short stories. Jack lives in Carroll County, Maryland with his wife and three children..


    October 2011
    August 2011
    September 2010