1952 - 1953

Director: David A. Field

Officer Body

  • President: Nick Bringas
  • Vice President: Joe Rostkowski
  • Secretary: Marion Copping
  • Treasurer: Ted Walton

Award Recipients

  • Best Act: "The Terrapins" (Mixed Triples Balancing) - Paul Simmers, Carolyn Cheek & George Kramer
  • Best Female Trouper: Carolyn Cheek
  • Best Male Trouper: Joe Rostkowski

Going International

"Join Gymkana and See the World." 

A slogan adopted by the 1952-53 Gymkana Troupe

New acts added this year included Balance Beam (Bernie McKeldin) and Foot Juggling (Dick Heintz assisted by Chester Spittle).  

The Troupe began its show season in mid-October and went on a five day Thanksgiving trip sponsored by the Armed Forces Professional Entertainment Branch to Camp Pickett, Fort Lee, Fort Eustis, and Fort Belvoir in Virginia and Patuxent Naval Air Station in Maryland.

At the end of the tour, the military requested that the Troupe give performances over Christmas break.  Originally the Troupe was scheduled to go to military bases in Iceland; however, in a change that must have been really hard to accept (hint of sarcasm), the destination was changed at the last minute to military bases in Bermuda.  While there, and in between putting on six shows, the troupers went sightseeing, swam briefly in the Atlantic (it was still pretty cold), and learned a custom or two about life outside the U.S.

"Jim Houck, Trampolinist, learned about the Bermudian custom of driving on the left hand side of the street the hard way.  He was almost hit by an oncoming car and was complaining about a 'crazy woman driver' when he discovered that the woman in question was not driving even though she was sitting on the left hand side of her car." 
Barbara Dodd, Diamondback   2/13/53

During Easter Break, the Troupe once again went on an out-of-country trip sponsored by the Air Force, this time to Iceland. 

After a record 40 appearances off campus, and within a week of returning from Iceland, the Troupe held its 7th Annual Home Show, "The Greatest Show on Campus", on April 15 and 16.

With Byron Milligan serving as Ring Master, the show played up the circus atmosphere with everything from its backdrop to a circus parade with the entire Troupe.  The first act featured George Kramer in a "leap for life" on a trapeze hung from the rafters of the Coliseum.  Charles Spittle was "Strongest Man on Campus" with Carolyn Cheek and Joan Essex.

Summing up the year in a April 17, 1953 Diamondback article, Dr. David A. Field stated,

"This has been our most active year since Gymkana was formed in 1946."