By Bruce Brooks
In 1970 in Advanced Two Studio Jerry Hirshberg brought a Milton Bradley action game called “Paddle Pool” into the studio. It was his intention for anyone who wanted to play the game on their lunch hour they could. It required four players to participate at a time. It was about 22 to 24 inches square and had four pockets at the corners with a paddle on a shaft that could spin and move from side to side to protect the pocket. The object was to hit a soft plastic ball with your paddle into the pocket of one of the other players. The photo of the games box has an illustration that shows the structure and layout of it while being used.
To begin there was a problem when the game was first played. With a forceful spin of the paddle on a number of tries the ball was launched out of the playing surface area. This problem was solved by having a clear Plexiglas cover made in the shop. It was fastened flush to the top sides of the game with notched out areas to clear for access to the pocket to retrieve the ball and for the spin of the paddle side to side. A hole was drilled in the center of the Plexiglas big enough to drop a ping pong ball through. When the ball would drop onto the playing surface it would roll toward one of the corner pockets to begin play. It was decided that using a ping pong ball would add to the speed and skill required to play the game. The ball that came with the game was too soft and slow for challenging play.
As time went on the game became very competitive with those that played and even drew some people from other studios to try playing. With the passing of a few years and the transfer of studio personnel the game lost interest and its use faded away to be forgotten.
Vertical Jump Contest
By Bruce Brooks
In 1968 five new Advanced Studios were under construction in the north-west end of the first floor of the design building where the old shops were once located. The shops were all relocated in a whole new building area south of the design studio wing. While this was happening Adv. Buick and Adv. Oldsmobile Studios shared a large temporary studio area at the south-east end of the second floor. The area was divided in half with about a nine foot high plywood wall separating the two studios.
Prior to the broad jump contest in Adv. Buick Studio in 1968, Jerry Hirshberg had organized a vertical jump contest during our lunch hour. The object was to jump as high as you could reaching up with your arm extended overhead and leave a mark on the plywood wall. A small dab of soft modeling clay was placed on a fingertip to leave a mark on the wall at the height of the jump. As the contest proceeded Bill Kocher, who was the chief modeler in Adv. Olds, came over to see what was going on. With that he departed saying he could probably do much better than us.
On lunch hour one day the next week Bill announced from his side of the wall that he was going to try the jump in his studio. We could hear his foot steeps on a run up and a thump on the wall. Then as we looked toward the wall, much to our surprise, here came what appeared to be the body of a clay modeler flying over the wall and landing in our studio. As we walked over to the body we could see that Bill and his modeling team had taken a modelers smock and pants and stuffed them full of cheesecloth and used masking tape to hold it all together. All studios had very large boxes of cheesecloth in their back rooms to use for cleaning clay residue off the rails. Bill Kocher was such a joker that day.
Thanks, Bruce. More great studio stories by Bruce Brooks to come.