Great Delaware River Raft Race

My long-time buddy, Dave Drummer, got me and some cycling friends involved in the Great Delaware River Raft Race for 13 years starting in 1974. The race went downstream over a 20+ mile stretch of the River from Smithfield Beach to Martin's Creek, which includes the class IV rapid, Foul Rift. Race rules required each raft to be human powered (ours were all pedal powered), have a crew of between 4 and 8 people, and have a hull made from 55-gallon drums. We built 13 versions of our raft, which we called Mischtwagen (Pennsylvania Dutch for "manure spreader", or literally, "shit wagon"). Dave came up with the name after cannibalizing an old manure spreader he found in Pennsylvania Dutch country. In the first 8 years Mischtwagen sank or broke up 5 times, but perseverance paid off - we won in 1984 in Mischtwagen 11. Our winning time was just under three hours - nearly twice as fast as Mischtwagen 1.

High Jump

I was on track and field teams from grades 7-12 and then for five years at Ursinus College and Georgia Tech. In 1975, '76, '77, I competed in the NCAA Division III championships for Ursinus jumping 6'5", 6'6", 6'7", placing 7th, 7th, and 11th. I was a "walk-on" (no scholarship) high jumper on Georgia Tech's track team in 1978 (red-shirt) and 1979. My best jump ever was 6'9", which was not nearly enough to qualify for the NCAA Division I championships (7'2" was the qualifying height). At my peak, Vladimir Yashchenko held the world record at 7'8.25". In 2007, I was inducted into the Ursinus College Athletic Hall of Fame.

In April 2007, I competed in an open meet at Union College jumping a mere 5'6", which amazingly was enough to beat RPI's highjumper who will remain unnamed. One of the parents took shots of my best jump that day.

Today Javier Sotomayor (Cuba) is the world record holder with a jump of 2.45 metres (8'0.46"). This record has stood since 1993 and is the longest-standing men's high jump record in history. Stefka Kostadinova (Bulgaria) has held the women's world record longer than any other woman. She set the record in 1987 at 2.09 metres (6'10.28"). Franklin Jacobs (Patterson NJ) holds the world record for height jumped over one's head. He is 5'8" tall and has a best jump of 7'7.25" at the Millrose Games in 1978.


In 1976 and '77, I won the Ursinus College straight pool tournament. In 1979 I placed second in Georgia Tech's student tournament. Straight pool is also known as 14-1 continuous. In this game, you pocket object balls in any order until one object ball remains. At that point play halts while the pocketed 14 balls are reracked with the head ball missing. You get one point for each object ball pocketed. The first person to a target number (usually 100 or more in competition) wins. My maximum run is 37 balls (Willie Mosconi holds the world record - 526). In 1977 and 1979, I competed for Ursinus and Georgia Tech in the NCAA regional straight pool tournament.

The Liberty Bell's Transcontinental Trip in 1915

In 1915, the Liberty Bell traveled across the US from Philadelphia to San Francisco and back again. One of the organizers of this trip was my great grand father, Wilmer Worthington Trinkle M.D. My grand father, Wilmer Samuel Trinkle, age 18, went along as the official photo-journalist (see the photo-documentary). My brother, Stephen Hopkins Trinkle, found some of the original photos on glass plates in a pile of old photographic "junk" in our family's barn in 2000. He donated them to to verify the photo-journalist role of Wilmer Samuel Trinkle.

June 17, 2009