EyeWitness

Giant pogo stick came before the helicopter

DEL MAR — A couple dozen helicopters flying information en route to Miramar Air Station recently caused hundreds of folks to look up to the sky and observe the exciting spectacle. It was explained by the brass that they were on a training mission.
In 1959, Skeets Coleman, a Surfside City creative design engineer who was manager of the Del Mar Airport, had the idea of coming up with a giant pogo stick that would go straight up into the sky without the need for a runway.
He did just that with a one-person pogo stick equipped with a heavy duty spring. He pointed out that it could land on a roof top. That’s routine for helicopters today.
About that time the airport was closed and Coleman’s invention went with it. The airport had been taken over by the county when the military found it was no longer needed as a World War II blimp base. The billets were turned into motel accommodations for pilots who flew in charter flights. Tony’s Jacal operated a restaurant there but returned to La Colina when the operation became less than successful.
A toy company manufactured kid size pogo sticks and for a while they were very popular. Youngsters were bouncing all over the place. Like the hula hoop and Frisbie, they eventually lost their appeal. Maybe there is one gathering dust and rust in your garage.

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