We originally had a two-paragraph history of trampoline on our website. A fellow coach commented to me that there were some things missing. My domestic history had included the ATTA, but had left out the USTA (which still exists). So I went looking for more. There are lots of websites that had short history pages for trampoline, but nothing telling me how we got to having two national governing bodies. As I dug, I found that a lot of the important events happened through the 1960s and 1970s.
The work here is a result of that search for origins. It involves interviews with the people involved, or who were witnesses. The people involved in the very late 1960s and early 70s are still around, but it is very hard to find folks who were involved in the early 60s. Many have died, and the others have retired and left that part of their lives behind. I did find a few, but for the early 60s, I really needed to do archival search, and the archives are patchy. We are not dealing with a large established bureaucracy that keeps copies of everything. Many of the organizations involved were tiny and were run on a shoestring, so it is not surprising that stuff has disappeared. Those rare items can be found in the collections of coaches donated to college libraries, the Library of Congress, and in odd collections in various public library systems around the country. I am glad we have the internet, and live in the age of the World Card Catalog.
Bil Copp (from a conversation in 1993)