Stories from Gagetown in the 60s

1. Ron Carlton and Frank Martin playing squash or handball in the squash court. Ron wins a point, runs up to the front wall, places his foot on the wall and does a back somersault. Next point, Frank wins, copies Ron but in the execution, breaks his ankle. Six weeks light duty.

2. Frank Martin, Ron Carlton and Brian Harrison practicing high bar. They want to do a giant circle. Franks turn. He gets on top of the bar, kicks up and away he goes for his try. Unfortunately, his thumbs were the wrong way and at the bottom of the circle where Ron and I whipped him, he peels off and goes sliding feet first across the gym floor. Numerous skid burns

3. Frank Martin, Ralph Grant and Brian Harrison in Edmonston NB for a gymnastic clinic. We were on TV for a live interview. Ralph and I were sitting talking to the reporter while Frank was practicing on the high bar. All of a sudden, Frank comes sliding by on camera. His thumbs wrong way again. Humiliation only!!

4. High box practice. We were practicing the last man over knock off. Mel McGraw was last man and Gerry Clarke was on top of the 6 ft horse waiting for Mel's Knock off. Gerry started his fall early causing Mel to have a rouge landing. Needless to say, Mel had words with Gerry and told him not to fall until he pushed his shoulders. Next try, Gerry being somewhat afraid after Mel's bawling out hung on and waited. Mel placed his hands on his shoulders and pushed him. Unfortunately, instead of a back roll off of the horse, Gerry was pushed straight down to the mat breaking his shoulder. Last display for Gerry!

5. High box display at Fredericton race track. We did our bit with a finale of a handstand pyramid on the horse followed by great dismounts. Mel McGraw did a jump down and back roll extension. Unfortunately. He extended too far and fell off of the grandstand 5 ft below onto the track. To the oohs and ahhs of the public, Ken McDonald calmly said "Dig that crazy finale".

6. Ron Carlton fooling around on two trampolines tight end to end. After numerous successful acts he tried a three quarter gainer from one trampoline to the other to land on his stomach. FAIL!! He landed on the frame between the two trampolines. No major injuries

7. Frank Martin on the trampoline. He dons a towel around his neck like superman. Climbs up a maintenance ladder about 20 ft above the trampoline. Dives of for a crash dive. Did not consider the force of impact on the bungee cords!! He hit the floor when he landed. Sore back for two weeks.

8. Roy Whiteside was the Commodore at the Oromocto Yacht club. Mel Mc McGraw and I went water skiing with him. We all took turns and Roy was last. He did well and signaled to Mel he wanted to do the ski jump. Mel increased speed, headed for the ramp and Roy bent his knees for the approach. As Roy hit the bottom of the ramp, Mel cut the motor causing slack in the tow rope. Needless to say, when he hit launch, he had no tension on the rope. What a landing!! Well done Mel.

9. While in Germany in the mid 60s, I was selected to go to SHAPE HQ in Brussels to referee the basketball tournament. At the opening of the final game, US vs. Italy, I proudly walked to centre court for the jump ball. I wished both centres good luck, I stepped in to toss the ball and the US centre said, "Hey ref, your fly is open" I tossed the ball to start the game, stepped back a little concerned and embarrassed, reached down to confirm his statement. Zipped up tight!! He was kidding.