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On Campus Yesterday


In Thanksgiving garb, c. 1948

"Rated one of the finest baton twirlers in the country" and identified as "pep personified" in the 1947 and '48 Cincinnatian yearbooks, Don Poynter, BusAd '49, was UC's drum major for three years. In 1948, at the Thanksgiving game against Miami University, he dove into a tepee during the halftime show and emerged dressed in Indian attire. Unfortunately, muddy turf pulled off his moccasins, leaving him in a dangerous position to be swinging a sharp knife under his feet. The next yearbook contained this photo and called him a "versatile jack of all trades." He upheld the reputation with an interesting list of activities and accomplishments:

  • Supported himself at UC by performing ventriloquist and magic shows, a sideline career he began in the Army

  • Toured with the Harlem Globetrotters for three years after graduation, twirling on a unicycle at halftime, serving as assistant tour director and shooting newsreels for television

  • Met Eva Perón and partied with Prince Rainier of Monaco

  • Produced and did puppet work for "Big John and Sparky's No School Today" television show, which aired in 280 cities for 13 weeks

  • Produced a stage show starring Basil Rathbone on the West Coast

  • Appeared on the television show "What's My Line?" and won $25 by stumping the panel as the creator of whiskey-flavored toothpaste

Links: See story in this issue on the moccasin escapade and Poynter's career inventing novelties

On Campus Yesterday archive