One afternoon in the late fall, following the close of the football season, a series of casual visitors to The Cedars, home of Mr. and Mrs. John Bigelow, were treated to a rare, not to say amazing, sight. There on the lawn of the gymnasium, just opposite The Cedars’ gate, was a great crowd of boys ringed around a schoolmate who alternately soared above their heads and sank from sight into their midst. Then, before our friends could recover from their first shock of amazement and trepidation, another “victim” had taken the place of the first.
Perhaps our guests were reassured first by the towering bulk of General Smith standing amongst the boys and, one saw on closer inspection, obviously in control of the situation. If a succession of boys was being initiated to the ancient rite of the blanket toss, at least one level-headed person was present who would try to prevent heads from being broken! Could the General’s voice—could any single voice, for that matter—make itself heard over the chorus of shrieks, squeals, and guffaws of that seemingly bloodthirsty mob? If the Headmaster was at home, as the presence of his station wagon at the gate seemed to indicate, how could he remain indoors oblivious to this cruel and unequal sport?
We don't know whether Mr. and Mrs. John's visitors had all those thoughts or not (They well might have!), but, if they did, they were soon rid of them. For, on drawing closer to the crowd on the gymnasium lawn, they discovered that the supposed victim in the middle was not being tossed but, rather, was jumping on a large trampoline and that those surrounding the canvas were clamoring for him to stop in order that their turns might come sooner. Quickly our visitors’ dismay changed to delight and they lingered to watch the fun.
It was on the morning of the day when all this happened that the trampoline, the gift of Mr. Irving Slosberg, father of Jimmy and Charlie, arrived at the school. Since then it has seen much use and has been particularly in demand on rainy afternoons. Though it is so large when opened for use that it would only just fit into one of the common rooms in the Father Bigelow Memorial Building, it can be folded into three sections, tilted on edge and then, by means of detachable wheels, be rolled on and off the gymnasium floor. No gift has ever been received by the boys of Rectory with greater enthusiasm.
This story appeared in The Rectory News, Vol. XXIX, No. 2, February 25, 1954.
Image: Rectory Archives, unknown