First, remember to read old posts as I update some of those with new material as it comes in.
Second, the photos may appear small to your old eyes, if you want to see them larger you can double click on the photo you want to see. It will bring it up much bigger and you won't have to strain to see - in fact, with the help of reading glasses you may even be able to read the articles that way. (a tip from Pat's favorite youngest daughter)
Third, I don't know if it was "Guido's" strong arm tactics - see below - or not but you will all be happy to know Ron Baretta will attend our banquet. His response to "Guido" was "i'm not sure how to comment on guido's comment but... is so full of sh***. i will do my best to make it friday. count me as coming. ron
Also you will find below Rich Jaouen's bio (pictures to follow) but be warned Cliff Gauthier may be libeled in it. To Cliff, you had better get a bio in before Jaouen does!
(note of explanation: Rich wrote back to apologize about the typo's - I just assumed it had something to do with all the beer he talked about. - ed)
Pat here is my bio as well as I can remember. It was a long time ago and I've had a few beers since then.
I was in gymnastics mostly by accident. I grew up in south Denver. My neighbor 4 houses away had a trampoline. The neighbor kid and I became best friends and I jumped on a trampoline every summer day for 16 years. One would think that I would have gotten pretty good, but I've always been able to resist success. The kid that owned the trampoline did pretty well though. He excelled at diving, floor exercise, trampoline and tumbling and he became, I believe, the most successful college gymnastics couch in the nation. 30 some years ago Cliff Gauthier went to William and Mary to get some couching experience and build his C.V. He certainly did build a C.V. Somewhere I have his bio. I’ll try to find it.
I moved to Littleton in grade school and fell in with a bunch of guys who had trampolines, very little judgment and a zest for life. This group of “gym worms” included Mickey Snapp and Mike and Steve Arnold. Littleton wasn't known as a Gymnastics power house. Our couch, Dick Qualls, was the worlds nicest guy but knew nothing about gymnastics. We had a team and we had a great time. Qualls would send us over to Lincoln every Wednesday night for open work outs. We learned everything there. That was the real beginning of all of these friendships. I don’t remember any hostility or animosity at those work outs. I remember the couch from East(forgot name), who seemed ancient, could do eagles! It was a little like practice for the circus.
Of our Littleton gymnasts, Mickey Snapp went to CSU and was very good on trampoline, tumbling and diving. Mike Arnold was a diver at FSU and Steve Arnold was a power drinker at Western State. I of course fell just short of all world status at CU. Mickey Snapp had a congenital heart defect and died in his prime. He was able to get more in to those few years than most do in 90. I bounced on his trampoline for 10 years of my life.
My memories at CU are too many to recount. One year we flew to Kansas to compete with KU and KSU. I think that was my first time on an airplane and I think it was Ben Bleas first time too. As we pulled out onto the tarmac Ben causally asked if the wing was supposed to be burning. Well it turns out it wasn’t, so we were ushered off of that plane and onto another that had a proper wing. When we got to Kansas we had to rent cars to get to Manhattan and Laurence. Jack Ryan was the only guy, other than Art White, old enough to rent a car. Ben(Blea), Eric(Singer), Gary(Pomeranz) and I rode with Jack. Ben had the radio blaring music by a group he called the Bee-at-lees. I don’t remember Jack being really crazy about the Bee-at-lees, but I may have forgotten.
The summer between my sophomore and junior years, Cliff Gauthier drug me across a beach on water skis and gave me a fracture dislocation of my right shoulder. Looking back, I can now tell that even back then Gauthier had an eye for talent. He new I was a set up for greatness and he had to stop me any way he could. That injury coupled with Bob Fisher’s torn Achilles really set CU gymnastics back. Unlike that wimp Fisher, I competed with my injury with very little loss of skill.
One year Pat Ament joined our team. I don’t remember him being much of a gymnast but he had really strong fingers. He was a world class climber and did the first winter ascent of the diamond with Layton Core. I was on support. My major job was to keep my share of the beer cold. Some of these memories are foggy. Speaking of Long’s peak, I also remember couch White having climbed it every day of the year over a span of several years. Being a couch was a tough job.
After college I went to medical school in Mexico and eventually became a plastic surgeon. I went on to become almost world famous. I just missed the Nobel prize in medicine and turned down an offer to be Surgeon General because of turf toe.
I married a lovely girl that I met at the deaf and blind school and have two grown boys (like me they are grown in stature, not maturity). One son is working for a software firm after his career as a professional student at CU Engineering school. I had to get Gauthier to get my other son into William and Mary. He is now a leisure industry stock analyst. You can imagine how that’s going in this time of famine.
After 30 years of practice in Greeley, Colorado, Connie and I moved to Casper, Wyoming. Once I got all of the tar and feathers cleaned off, I started a hospital based reconstructive practice. We have cats and most of our teeth so we don’t fit in too well. The nice thing about Wyoming is that the women don’t have to look like Paris Hilton. They just have to look better than the sheep.
My goal now is to retire before I die. I can’t do a handstand anymore. I can’t do a full twisting one and a half off the diving board. I’m not even sure I can do a dip. My best memories are of jumping on trampolines and doing back flips in parking lots with my friends. The thing that held us all together? We knew what it was like to fly.
I'll find some pictures and try to find Cliff's bio