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"What is that?" I wondered as I was driving home after work. I looked out across a large field full of chest high weeds and saw 10 or so kid’s heads appearing and disappearing every second or so. I pulled over at the next road and drove toward the spot where I had seen the children.
To my surprise, it was the Putt Putt Golf Course. Next to the golf area, there was a large fenced off section, which had 12 trampolines, all level with the ground and there were hundreds of children all lined up waiting for their turn to jump. I was fascinated by the looks on the children's faces as they jumped on the trampolines. The sounds of joy, happiness and being carefree all seemed wonderful to me.
Over the next two weeks, I came to the trampoline center almost every evening just to watch and hear the children play. Within a month, I had met the owner and learned that he wanted to sell the center for $10,000. Otherwise, he was going to close it because of the high insurance costs.
I was very excited and ran home to tell my wife. Of course, she thought I was crazy, as we had never seen $1,000 at any one time, much less $10.000. But I did not care. I had to buy that trampoline center for the kids, and I had to be able to see their faces and hear those wonderful sounds.
Within a week, we had sold almost everything in the house that was not nailed down. Even then, I had only raised about $2,000. I could not get a loan as we owed too much on the house and my credit? Well, we will not go there…
On Monday evening I was at the trampoline center when the owner arrived. I told him that I would give him $2,000, if he would sell me the center on payments and I would operate it every day in addition to working my regular job. I offered to give him all the income, until the other $8,000 was paid in full. To my surprise, he agreed and told me he would draw up a contract immediately.
Everything went fine until October, when the golf course closed for the winter season. For the next month, I worked every day at my regular job and then sat at the empty trampoline center from 6 p.m. till 11:45 p.m. every day, seven days a week.
One evening, several people came to the center that was quite large in size. They asked me how much it was to jump on the mats. I told them it was 75 cents for 10 minutes and $1 for 15 minutes. They paid me for 15 minutes each and began to jump. Boy! What a sight it was to see 250 pounds going in every direction and all at the same time.
When their jump time was over, they told me they were going to get some more money and would return, because this was the most fun exercise they had ever encountered. When they returned about an hour later, they brought about 30 of their overweight friends with them, mostly adults. Overweight persons continued to come and jump every evening, all winter long. Sometimes, I stayed open until 2 a.m. or 3 a.m.
By the time winter ended I had enough money to pay off the trampoline center in full. When the little kids returned for summer vacation, I always set aside four of the 12 trampolines at no charge, for anyone who was overweight.
All the overweight people who came to jump at my center gave me the name "Trampolineone." The name "Trampolineone" has always been very special to me, because I never learned what my real name was, as I have no idea who my father is.
Yes, the name "Trampolineone" is very special to me and I wear it with much pride.