The “Gimp Pad”
Stan Pocock Way Enough, p. 109
I still chuckle when I think of an incident that occurred soon after we left Seattle for our trip East [IRA’s] that year. John Halberg, one of the Frosh, had a problem. He had forgotten his “gimp pad.” John, whose nickname was “Gimp,” had one leg shorter than the other. This caused him discomfort, and his rowing suffered. …
To remedy the situation, I made a thick wooden insole for him. With that in his shoe, his pelvis was squared up and he found the relief he sorely needed. The squad dubbed the insert the “gimp pad” and John carried it with him as he was moved from boat to boat.
…After their final outing I made a point of reminding him, “Now John, don’t forget your gimp pad.”
Of course, John forgot it and sheepishly had to tell the coach on the train ride to Poughkeepsie. Stan calmly replied “Gee, Gimp, that’s too bad” pretending to be absorbed in the paper he was reading.
As soon as they were out of earshot, I turned to the railroad man [who would be on the return trip to Seattle] I asked him to call Don at the shop the next morning, give him the dope on finding the pad and have him airmail it to John…
I still had my fingers crossed when we arrived in Syracuse. One can imagine my feelings on seeing John’s happy face when next I saw him. ..This was long before the day of FedEx ..and it was a miracle of sorts.
The Huskies finished a close second to Cornell, who nipped them at the finish.
John “Gimp” Halberg went on to be Frosh coach at U Cal Berkley (he coached our own Ed Berger at Cal!) John later co-founded OPRA (Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association) in Port Angeles.
It was he who recruited Rodrigo Rodriguez who built the club’s junior program and sent Sequim’s Elise Beuke to the Worlds. He was a friend to many in our club. Sadly he passed away last year.