It was fifty years ago today..... We were living at Westover AFB in western Massachusetts. A few weeks earlier I had turned 16 and dad asked what I wanted for my birthday. I didn't have anything in mind so he asked if I'd like to jump out of an airplane. Skydiving was a relatively new sport and Orange, MA was one of the few places to try the sport. my instructor and jumpmaster that day was none other than Lew Sanborn. Lew's signature had faded from the First Jump Certificate so I contacted Lew a couple of years ago and he graciously encouraged me to send it to him to sign it again. See attached image. Lew is a class act! December 2, 1962 was the introduction to a sport that pretty much took over my life for the next fourteen years. 2000+ jumps later I hung it up with no regrets. I never made the US Team but was the Florida Parachute Council Overall champ for three straight years. Ironically yesterday I drove from skiing at Okemo Mountain in Vermont to a party in Sterling, MA and drove right by the Orange Airport. In late October, I had the good fortune to meet World Freefall record holder Felix Baumgartner in NYC. Turns out we both took up jumping at 16. In my case that was seven years before he was born!
(This post was edited by patmoore on Dec 2, 2012, 12:49 PM)