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“He wanted everybody to know about the health benefits…[of] a trampoline.”

April 14, 2010

George Nissen, the inventor of the trampoline, has died. Nissen was 96, but it sounds like he was active till very near the end. I learned about Mr. Nissen from his obituary in the New York Times.

The obituary brings a few things to mind. First, how underappreciated obits are, when well written they can be the most informative and entertaining pieces in the paper; 2, they are frequently poorly written, and that is a shame; and C, how many objects and ideas we pass by in our lives without giving a second thought to. The trampoline is certainly one; the trampoline was invented, in 1930, in Iowa, who knew? All I knew about them was that they’re kind of absurd, people break all sorts of bones on them (when you don’t land on the bouncy part and hit the metal frame all sorts of nasty things happen), and I’d really like to give one a shot.

One of my favorite obituaries was for a Mr. J. Blan van Urk, which appeared in the Times just about 12 years ago. The second sentence reads: He was 95 and a widely recognized authority on fox hunting and lunch. How great is that, to be an acknowledged authority on lunch.

Rest in Peace Mr. Nissen

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Fat Al permalink*
    April 14, 2010 8:49 am

    Don’t be so modest. Those of us who see behind your anonymity know full well that you too are an acknowledged authority on lunch.

  2. JCo permalink
    April 14, 2010 4:47 pm

    O! how I yearn for the Lunch Chronicles.

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