I helped pack for Gus that day. In fact, he used a couple of mine. It wasn't long before we started chain linking the lines and stuffing the canopy in the container. No problems other than my purple 7TU's canopy got a few line burns.
Oct 11, 2012, 6:50 AM
Post #78 of 91
Re: [patworks] Gus and Dr. Ed Fitch etc---Re: [puddy] Galveston Skydivers
[In reply to]
Ed's wife told me that George carried Ed out on his shoulder, took him to the airport, loaded him into Ed's stunt plane after wraping weights around his waist, flew out into the Gulf, flipped the plane and let Ed fall out.
I made a number of jumps with Gus and then visited Sams. Carlos was killed by a restaurant owner after he tried to rob the restaurant. Fitch died of hepititus. His burial was rather unique. George Sage picked up Ed's body, put it in Ed's aerobatic plane after weighting it down with lead, then dumped the body in Galveston Bay. Ed's wife approved.
I made a lot of jumps with Carlos. We made a record when we were the first to make a baton pass when the jumpers were in different aircraft. He also got cut up on one jump when I opened below him and he came through my canopy. I had waved him away because I was going to pull at 2,000. Carlos preferred to pull between 500 and 1,000.
I've got a couple of pix I found. One is one I took of Carlos exiting over the Houston Parachute Club's DZ. That DZ now lies under what is the Bush International Airport north of Houston. Our strip can be seen to the right and below Carlos' left arm.
The second pix is one of me with a couple of other HPC jumpers. I'm in the center. Don't recall the names of the other two.
I just found this forum by accident. Started readind about my old friend, Doc. I got to Texas from NY on new years day 1979, so I didn't jump with Doc in the "early days" as many talked about, here. Galveston Skydivers was a nice little comfortable DZ, with minimal rules. Only jumped out of Doc's 180, at first, then he came over to me one day and asked why I didn't fly his airplane. The simple reply was, you didn't ask me. He knew I was a jump pilot, an I knew he had had a lot of trouble with people wrecking his planes, so I just waited. He trusted me and I never broke his plane. When I was flying in the hot summer, I would take a beer with me for refreshment, but the jumpers were not allowed to drink in the plane. Doc was the greatest guy I ever knew, and the only real war hero I'd met. His attitude of never quitting, always set well with me. He drank that nasty old Ouzo liquor, but I never held it against him. It was obvious why he made it through WW2, with his ATTITUDE, and being a tough guy. Always the Greek, but never made it to Greece. It makes me sad he missed it. It even took cancer three times to get him. I'll always remember him. Pecker
I can't believe you called Ouzo nasty. Doc A was my mentor. A very good Chiropractor, wonderful man, good jumper, and a great pilot (when it came to flying jumpers). He had a little problem with cross country flying.
Pat, I sent the following message to Economy. My version differs from yours; I was repeating what Len Potts told me years ago. Different actors, same show. Norm Heaton
----- Original Message ----- From: Norman Heaton To: DrEco@aol.com Sent: Monday, February 19, 2007 9:05 AM Subject: Re: What happen to D-89 - Dr. Edward D. Fitch
Richard: Dr. Fitch died in 1973 from hepatitis that he contacted from a patient. He was a thorastic (?) surgeon, one of the best known in the Southwest. He was also a director on three Houston area hospitals. Before his death, while in the hospital, he called in his good friend George Sage and asked him as to how formal burials were made at sea (George was a Master Seaman in the Merchant Marine). George described how, in the old days, they wrapped the body in sail canvas, etc. and dumped the body in the sea. Another close friend, Len Potts, flew down from his home in NJ, collaborated with Sage and with the cooperation of a doctor, "stole" Dr. Fitch's body from the hospital, took it to Fitch's airport, wrapped the body in canvas, placed it in Fitch's 206 and flew out over the Gulf. WIth George flying, Lenny opened a fifth of Jack Daniels, they toasted Fitch and eased the body out of the plane for his last freefall. Upon returning to the airport I understand the FAA quizzed Lenny and George about the flight as radar had detected something being dropped from an airplane (probably thinking it was a drug operation). Nothing further came of the incident to my knowledge. Though not an eye witness to the events described, this is Len Potts' rendition of what happened and I trust him without question. In fact, Len related this story to the USPA Board of Directors in 1973 in California just a few months after Fitch's passing. Norman Heaton, D-565
------------- Hello Dr Eco,
We've not met but I've heard of you. In answer to your query, I'm sorry to tell you that Ed is dead and was buried at sea a long time ago. I'm certain folks at USPA know the exact date, I don't remember it. Here is what I do remember today. Doc Fitch had a long illness so it took awhile for him to pass. I think it was liver-hepatitis. Whatever, he knew it was going to be fatal. Doc Anacortes and G. Sage were Ed's very close jumper friends and visited with him in the hospital before the end to settle the details. Ed wanted to be buried at sea and signed his own body-release papers prior to the end to facilitate their plan. Upon his death, Gus and Geo. arrived at the hospital in Georges? station wagon and using that paperwork, checked Dr. Fitch's body out and carted him off. They put him in a U.S. Mail sack with some weights and drove the package to the airport that night. For a burial ship, they used Doc Anagostis' jump-Cessna. After loading Ed up, all three flew out over the Gulf with a bottle of bourbon. They split the bottle 3-ways. In a series of toasts, Gus and George drank their share and poured the rest on Ed and then rolled him out the door. It might have been Scotch. I forget.
Today, we know where Ed and Gus are. However I don't know what happened to George Sage. (I suspect he's gone, too. That was a long time ago). Anybody remember more/different details? Skippy Manino is still around. I don't know what happened to Gus' wife Stevie or their son, Tiger. Amazing people all.
We share the high privilege to having been their friends and jump mates.
Hoping that you are hale and healthy, land soft.
----- Original Message -----
Crazy Works, It was bourbon. Jack Daniels I believe. I also believe I remember that Ed's wife was in a chase plane to witness the "service".
Is Doc Anagnostis dead? He ought to be I guess but I had not heard. Glad to hear Skippy is still with us. How about Rufus "the round weed roller" Ramsey, Riley Ticer, Richard Lee Borne, Gerald Hammer? Rascals all.
Was in Houston last week and found Hawkeye Hinkle. firstname.lastname@example.org. He is retired from airline piloting since 1999. Seems to be doing OK.
What was the name of the apartment complex off the Southwest Freeway at Renwick or Rampart where there was always a party and who had the apartment there? If there wasn't a skydiver party going on someone else would be having a party there and you just joined it. Also, there was a singles upscale apartment complex way, way out on Fondren just north of Westheimer that had a big pool and the first hot tubs I ever saw. We did underwater RW in the pool one night. I'm sure no alcohol or other substances were involved but we might have scared a few of the tight assed residents off. It was great fun. I think a skydiver lived there too.