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Condolences for Chris Martin (GroundZero)

 

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HiettEarp

Nov 5, 2004, 9:54 PM
Post #101 of 135 (4522 views)
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Re: [chaoskitty] Condolences for Chris Martin (GroundZero) [In reply to] Can't Post

I've met Chris a few times long ago, altho I didn't know him that well, from what I hear is that he was a great guy.
My condolences to his family and friends.


chaoskitty  (B 26574)

Nov 5, 2004, 10:12 PM
Post #102 of 135 (4516 views)
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Re: [Deuce] Condolences for Chris Martin (GroundZero) [In reply to] Can't Post

Those are great pictures from you and Chuck, and the ones in Russia. He was so stoked about that trip and he had a great time.

holy shit you guys.. FrownFrown


beezyshaw  (A 3393)

Nov 6, 2004, 8:04 PM
Post #103 of 135 (4459 views)
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Hi, everybody on dz.com. The last week has been very difficult for me. Needless to say, losing your best friend in the world is not something easy to cope with. We had a wonderful memorial service for Chris today at Tennessee Skydiving Center. Both biological and skydiving families were there and we honored him in a way that I know he would have approved of. I was asked to speak at the service and also to participate in the ash dive which followed. My wife Tracie and I would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and concern that you all have shown to Chris and his family. As difficult as it was for me, I somehow found the stregth to say this about my friend, companion, brother, earlier today...

"I first met Chris in the very early 90’s when I was making test jumps for Precision, and I would come up here to the dz on weekdays to make jumps out of 42 Bravo. As I spent many an afternoon with just him, we got to know each other quite well in a short period of time. What first struck me about Chris was what a smart guy he was. Chris had a very keen wit, and many of the things he would joke about would go right over most people’s heads.

As the years went by, my friend began to work with me at Precision. As it was only a handful of guys in a factory full of “the ladies” (as we have always fondly referred to them), we spent our working hours together, ate lunch together, made test jumps after work until dark, then jumped together at the dz on weekends, and spent a lot of time on the road together. Needless to say, when you’re around someone 7 days a week, and sometimes 24 hours a day for several years, you get to know that person quite well. Chris was the kind of person that I could actually still stand to be around even after years of such close contact. The more I was around Chris; the more he rubbed off on me…now that’s a scary thought!

We had many conversations about some of the serious sides of life, many of those late at night when Chris was feeling particularly “philosophical”. While Chris is certainly remembered most for his off-the-wall sense of humor, he did have many serious thoughts and views of life. The single most important of those more serious sides of Chris was his devotion to his wife Kristi and his daughters Haley and Annabelle. I can tell you with utmost certainty that nothing meant more to Chris than his family. I’m sure that all of us that were close to Chris already know that, and Kristi you certainly know that, but I feel it important to say it now so that anybody here who may not have realized what a devoted family man Chris was, will come to a better understanding of the “real” Chris Martin. I came to love Chris Martin as my brother and that’s what makes his family forever mine as well.

Chris was the kind of guy that didn’t waste time getting to the task at hand. When something needed to be done, he was always first to roll up his sleeves and get with it. He wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty, whether it be turning wrenches on an airplane, fixing the mechanical or electronic systems at Precision, the sewing machines, whatever… And if he didn’t know what was needed to get something working, he figured it out quickly. I was amazed many times at the stuff he dared to tear apart; and when it went back together, it worked. He was an incredibly smart and talented guy.

We ate lunch together every day for a long, long time… just Chris, George, and me. And every day, we would flip coins to see who had the privilege of picking up the tab. Somehow, George seemed to buy more often than either of us. Chris and I were often accused of rigging the coin toss to make sure George bought lunch. Now, really, would we do something like that? Don’t worry Chris, I’ll never tell. Hey George, you want to flip for lunch!!

Chris was a unique individual. He was zany, fun loving, witty, and a hell of a good friend and companion. He has left an indelible mark on me, and the fond memories of our years together as friends will never fade. Sometimes I wanted to absolutely choke him; he loved getting my goat and found great delight in “getting under my skin”. One thing he always did that just really got me was this: I celebrate my birthday at the WFFC. My lovely wife Tracie is the best birthday present shopper I’ve ever known. She has always surprised me with great toys for my birthday. And every year, without fail, as I’m opening a wonderful new gift, be it a remote control airplane, a scooter, a PDA, or what-have-you, Chris sneaks in the box while I’m ooo-ing and aah-ing the new gizmo, and takes the manual and won’t let me have it… “Real men don’t need no stinkin’ manual.” I am one of the exceptions, I guess, because I want to read the book! Chris wouldn’t hear of it, and the madder I got at him about it, the funnier he always thought it was. So typical Chris…

Some of the memories I have of times spent with Chris are the best times I’ve had in my life. He was always a little envious of some of the darker sides of my younger days, and he loved to get me to tell him stories. But whenever I could see his wheels begin to turn, and he’d say stuff like “so, do you still know any of those people down there” or anything like that, I’d stop him right there and say something like an older brother would say to stop little brother from doing something stupid. Chris had a sense of adventure that few have. Thank goodness for his sake we weren’t friends in the early ‘80’s.

We had some great adventures together, traveling to many places together, even road trips as far as the west coast. That can be a long time in the cab of a truck together. I never got tired of being around Chris; my only problem is I couldn’t come close to keeping up with him! If I ever said, “man, I’m tired, I think I’m going to bed. We’ve got a big day tomorrow” or anything like that, then he would somehow have that ability to get me to stay for just “one more” nightcap.

And then there was the time we were on our way to the WFFC and Precision’s RV burned to a crisp on the shoulder of I 57- THAT was pretty rich. I can’t go into that story now, but believe me; we had quite an experience on that trip. When Tracie went into labor, he posted on dropzone.com a contest to guess the time of our daughter’s birth to win a free canopy. Tracie got so angry with him for calling telling her to cross her legs, it wasn’t time yet, or “What is she doing? Tell her to hurry up and push. My time is an hour from now.” She wanted to post a contest to see “how many miles will Beezy and Chris get out of Dunlap before breaking down?” Chris didn’t think that was nearly as funny. And speaking of the WFFC, Chris Martin was known throughout the land as the last one to bed and, amazingly, the first one up in the morning, not just once, or twice, but night after night after night. Surely he slept for a couple of days solid when we would get home from the convention.

A few of the things Chris said have jumped out at me, as I’ve been thinking about my friend in the last few days. Here’s a good one…he called one night, and when I answered the phone he just said, “what does 2 lines on the EPT mean?” Well, Chris, what it means is, H A L E Y ! Tracie and I have laughed about that phone call many times. Here’s another of Chris’ famous lines that I’m sure many people here know all too well… “No, the weather is clear here, we’re flying loads right now. Get your butt to the drop zone!”

I could go on and on with so many stories about my friend that are dear to my heart, and all of the things that made him so special. I know you all could too, and that’s what makes Chris Martin so memorable. So I’m going to close with one of my fondest memories, and one that I know Chris would say himself if he only could be here now; Like I’ve said about what an energetic life-of-the-party guy he could be, every day at a boogie, and I mean EVERY day at a boogie, Chris would come up to me with that familiar twinkle in his eye, that look of child-like mischief, and say kind of quietly, “You know…I hear…tonight’s going to be a party night.”


diablopilot  (D License)

Nov 7, 2004, 12:05 AM
Post #104 of 135 (4444 views)
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Re: [beezyshaw] Condolences for Chris Martin (GroundZero) [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you Beezy.


Wish I could have been there.





-jp-


chaoskitty  (B 26574)

Nov 7, 2004, 9:46 AM
Post #105 of 135 (4414 views)
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Re: [beezyshaw] Condolences for Chris Martin (GroundZero) [In reply to] Can't Post

The service was beautiful and Chris could not have shined on us more.

I wish I had taken better photos, but here they are.
Some are from Friday when we were getting the dz ready for the service, and the rest are from Saturday.
It was a party night *indeed*! But out of respect for those who were running around naked in a canoe full of ice cold beer.. I can't post those pics.. ShockedLaughSlySmile


(This post was edited by chaoskitty on Nov 7, 2004, 9:58 AM)


skydivejones

Nov 7, 2004, 1:20 PM
Post #106 of 135 (4384 views)
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Re: [beezyshaw] Condolences for Chris Martin (GroundZero) [In reply to] Can't Post

many many great things were said about chris on saturday......thanks for posting yours here Beezy


Dougjumper  (B License)

Nov 8, 2004, 8:59 AM
Post #107 of 135 (4275 views)
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Re: [chaoskitty] Condolences for Chris Martin (GroundZero) [In reply to] Can't Post

The Sun was Beautiful..Awesome day.

With all Friends and Family. Wow...
We had a Spread of Food Galore.

Just the way Chris would have wanted it..


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
Moderator
Nov 8, 2004, 11:45 AM
Post #108 of 135 (4235 views)
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Re: [beezyshaw] Condolences for Chris Martin (GroundZero) [In reply to] Can't Post

I was unable to attend but Kristi asked that I write something. This is what I wrote:

I may not have known Chris as well or as long as some of you here, but then again Chris could make you feel like you had known him your whole life in a matter of 5 minutes.

Like every person here today, Chris was not perfect but he had many qualities that we all recognized and came to love. Chris had a positive energy around him that made people want to be around him. Chris loved to socialize with everybody and with his steel blue eyes and his big grin was always easy to spot, although some would claim it was his Hawaiian shirts and flip flops that made him easy to spot.

Chris shared with people, no matter what it was or how long he had known you. He was always willing to talk to you or give you some of his time. We all saw something in Chris that made him special to us. For me, it was his enthusiasm and passion about skydiving, especially when it came to flying his BirdMan suit.

Chris could make people smile, he made me and I’m sure everyone here smile. Think back on those moments, I’m sure there are many of them. Chris lived life, he stood on the edge and really lived life which is why we all loved him so. We all saw qualities in Chris that we liked for one reason or another. All of those good Chris qualities that I could list, and there are many, those are what you and I should try to live up to. Chris is my friend and my bro, I will miss him, but instead of focusing on the sorrow, I will remember all the good times we had together. I am sure that’s how Chris would of wanted it.


Scott Campos


beezyshaw  (A 3393)

Nov 9, 2004, 7:42 AM
Post #109 of 135 (4144 views)
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Re: [sangiro] Condolences for Chris Martin (GroundZero) [In reply to] Can't Post

A few pictures, taken by Jason Waller, of our skydive on Saturday at Chris' memorial service...
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skydivegirl  (D 25942)

Nov 9, 2004, 7:51 AM
Post #110 of 135 (4132 views)
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Re: [beezyshaw] Condolences for Chris Martin (GroundZero) [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Beezy. From the ground, that was the most beautiful and heartbreaking thing I have ever seen in my life. I can't imagine how it felt to be up there with him.

~S


sinker

Dec 3, 2004, 9:25 PM
Post #111 of 135 (3978 views)
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Re: [beezyshaw] Condolences for Chris Martin (GroundZero) [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi everyone. Most of you don't know me, but I knew Chris. He did my tandem training in '94 and my AFF later that same year. He and Gino Leon had a huge impact on me getting the skydive bug back then. For several years, Chris, Gino, Denny Collins, and Kent Stephens were my "family." I've not been in the sport for some time now, mostly due to my kids being so young. That makes Chris' death particularly hard, knowing that Haley and Annabelle now have to live with his absence.

I'd come down to the DZ all the time and just hang out, wanting to learn whatever I could. Chris was always willing to teach. And joke. And poke fun. And loan me smokes. And bribe me into buying beer, even when I didn't owe any. And we'd fly the Lear Jet on flightsim when the weather sucked. And he would talk me into dipping my hand in AvGas to help him clean the dirty Twin-Bo he used to have. And he'd get pissed off at my clumsiness and yell at me but after I'd stay away for awhile, he'd call and invite me back, saying I was family. That meant tons to me, being new to TN and not knowing many people. And he would let me fly his stunt kite on windy days. And we laughed our heads off at the tandem he took up, the poor student had sinus problems and in freefall had snot all over his face. Chris did everything he could to avoid getting the shit all over himself!

One load just off of AFF and trying to get my 200 lb ass out the Cessna door, he got impatient with me, roled the plane to the right and kicked me in the ass. Out I tumbled, onto my back. I could see him clearly, laughing his ass off. I flipped him off and he just laughed more.

He was always safety conscious. I remember him landing out on numerous occasions if the wind was causing turbulance off the hangars at the DZ. He'd rather walk the long way back than take an unecessary risk. And he always had an AAD, at least as far as I knew. That is why his death makes me angry as well as deeply sad. Why didn't he have an AAD? Why such a small canopy? I don't understand and it makes me angry. But I do know that he died doing what he loved. That is somehow strangely consoling and inspiring to me. But the cost seems too high. I don't know. The man had passion, that's for sure. I hope that helps his family in their grief.

My favorite memory of him is this... many of you who have been to his DZ might recall the picture that was on his office door for years. I came down in April of '03 and made a few jumps, and the pic was still there. It's Chris on the step of the Cessna, ready to jump. Strapped to his chest is a small teady bear. Here's the story of that pic... at that time my wife was a gradeschool teacher in Nashville. She had received that bear in the mail from a student in another state, a boy who was ill and wanted to send that bear across the country and see where it ended up before returning to him.

Well, I thought it would be cool to ask Chris to jump with it and he agreed to it. I gave a cheapo disposable camera to the pilot, and viola, there's the pic. Chris was so happy to do this seemingly small deed for a sick kid. I sent the bear back w/ a copy of the pic to the kid. I never heard from him, but just imagine the grin on that kids face, knowing that his bear went jumping with a generous man, a skydiver, in Tennessee! I'll never forget that kindness Chris showed.

Man, I'm bummed. Even though my relationship with Chris was from the past, his death still leaves a hole in me. And to read on this thread that Kent Stephens is gone too? I hadn't heard that and it makes me even more sad. Kent did my first tandem! He was down to earth and was very kind to me.

Even though I'm not part of the jumping community anymore, I still grieve with you all. Chris was always the life of the party and he'll be missed. My prayers go out to him, Kristi, Haley, Kelly and Annabelle.

michael dudek


Aviatrr  (D 27349)

Apr 10, 2005, 9:29 PM
Post #112 of 135 (3856 views)
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Condolences for Chris Martin (GroundZero) [In reply to] Can't Post

Holy shit....I have been out of the sport for a while now due to an injury, and was recently trying to get in touch with Chris....when I found this post. I have read through all the replies, but I still can't believe it. Chris was the one that hooked me up with my first x-braced canopy, and helped me learn to fly it effectively. He volunteered his time, jumps, and even HIS CANOPY to help me. Chris and I made a few wingsuit jumps together, too...

I'm sure this is quite a blast from the past for all of you, and I'm sorry if it brings up bad memories....but this is the first I knew of this. RIP Chris...BSBD, dude.

Mike


chaoskitty  (B 26574)

Apr 11, 2005, 9:01 PM
Post #113 of 135 (3700 views)
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Mike,

I'm sorry you are just now hearing of this. Life has not been the same without Chris.
His family is healing, and doing well. His daughter is growing and is as adorable as ever.

I love to talk about Chris and share memories. If it would help you, you are more than welcome to get in touch with me.

blues,

Kristi


Deuce  (D 25597)

Apr 11, 2005, 9:10 PM
Post #114 of 135 (3683 views)
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Hey, Mike.

I didn't hear about your injury.

I hope you are OK.

Please PM me, when you have time.

JP


Premier LouDiamond  (D 25931)
Moderator
Oct 29, 2007, 10:00 PM
Post #115 of 135 (3337 views)
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Gone but not forgotten bro. Sadly, two others who posted in this thread are now also gone, both fantastic people in many ways. Hopefully all of you are hanging out together telling lies to one another and sipping a cold one. I raise my glass to you all.

RIP: Chris Martin, Beezy Shaw, JP Kelly (aka Deuce).


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Oct 30, 2007, 4:52 AM
Post #116 of 135 (3259 views)
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WUML?

Still missing you, Chris. You all better be partying up there.


CSpenceFLY  (D 25252)

Oct 30, 2007, 6:30 AM
Post #117 of 135 (3215 views)
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I met Chris' wife yesterday at Beezys memorial service. I never met Chris. a friend of mine tried to get me to go up there a few times but I never made it. I thought there would always be time.


chaoskitty  (B 26574)

Oct 30, 2007, 11:47 AM
Post #118 of 135 (3104 views)
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Losing Beezy has definitley reopened some wounds. Being around Beezy was, in a sense, like being around Chris. It would have felt the same if time had turned around and we lost Beezy before Chris. Its going to be hard to find a way to let them both go.
Love and healing prayers to all who loved them.


micro  (A 49033)

Oct 30, 2007, 9:16 PM
Post #119 of 135 (2998 views)
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Re: [chaoskitty] Condolences for Chris Martin (GroundZero) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Losing Beezy has definitley reopened some wounds. Being around Beezy was, in a sense, like being around Chris. It would have felt the same if time had turned around and we lost Beezy before Chris. Its going to be hard to find a way to let them both go.
Love and healing prayers to all who loved them.

You said it girl. I just heard about beezy from krisanne about an hour ago. <heavy sigh> Gonna miss beezy. Still miss chris. Frown Sometimes it gets easier. Sometimes it doesn't.


ragoo

Jan 12, 2008, 11:33 AM
Post #120 of 135 (2652 views)
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Even though it's been over 3 years, I just found out Chris is gone a couple weeks ago when I ran into another of our old skydiving buddies in Wal-Mart. I'm just now going through what the rest of you went through back then.
Believe it or not, but I actually trained Chris for his first jump back in the good ole' days of the Golden Eagle Sport Parachute Club at Tennessee Tech in the mid '80's. Something that stands out in my mind is how he would so casually outdo me. I'd been doing this stuff for over a year (PLF, suspended harness, etc.). I had lots of students I had to spend extra time with. I would show Chris something one time and he would do it better than me and then grin at me like he knew I knew it, and I did. In a matter of months, we traded places and he became one of my RW instructors. And he was a good one, too.
Even when I landed feeling like crap because I thought I blew the jump, he always had something positive and constructive to offer.
Chris was there for some of the best days of my life. We'd jump all day at White County Airport, then when it got dark we'd go stash our gear in the football stadium at Tech, then off to Grady's, our (un)official clubhouse for refreshments and tall tales.
I haven't jumped since about '90 but I'm starting to feel froggy again. I've also been thinking about Chris alot lately. Spring's around the corner. I'm hoping for a spiritual convergence to happen here. Maybe.
For years I kept telling myself I would cruise down to Tullahoma and drop in in him and for years I never did. Now I'm kicking myself hard.
Love you, buddy, and I miss you.

Randy Goolsby[reply]


chaoskitty  (B 26574)

Sep 9, 2009, 7:36 AM
Post #121 of 135 (2393 views)
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Chris's birthday was last week, and its hard to believe its coming up on five years since we lost him. I think it would have been his 50th.

Life has changed a lot but I'll never forget the good times. Still miss you, Chris Martin!


MrHixxx  (D 24144)

Sep 11, 2009, 12:12 AM
Post #122 of 135 (2239 views)
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English John and I were remembering Chris this past weekend at Couchfreaks. It isn't quite the same without him. Sharing family photos, talking about our kids and skydiving. Another year he should have been there with us...

-Jon


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Sep 11, 2009, 5:29 PM
Post #123 of 135 (2128 views)
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Every time I hear someone talking in that distinctive TN accent, I think about and miss Chris. So glad I got the chance to be a friend of his. Smile


haineyD8971  (D 8971)

Oct 11, 2009, 7:09 PM
Post #124 of 135 (1938 views)
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Hi, MrHixxx & Everybody-
I'm sitting here in Baghdad & for me the month of October has been a terrible time of the year since 2004. First, we lost Chris five years ago, then Beezy too soon afterward. I just received my October 09 Parachutist (mail is truly in the "snail" mode here) and found out that we lost SGM Harry Parrish out at West Point, VA in August of this year. Too many good friends and mentors leaving us too soon! This is truly a bad month. I miss my friends and they're always on my mind even after these years.

I'd posted my respects for both Chris and Beezy on this website years ago, but I think that I screwed up and they were never displayed. I'm not good with computers, anyway (and now the irony with that-I started my MBA online.....I've got my hands full).

I met Chris in McMinnville, TN back in the late 80s when I returned from being stationed in Korea. I saw a USPA sticker on his vehicle & flagged him down; it was one of the best impulsive things I've ever done with my life. I thank God that I was given the gift and honor of calling Chris "friend".

I was on leave from the Army at the time; Chris & I got some intel that there was some heavy skydiving going on in Jenkinsburg, GA. So we decided to do a road trip down there in separate vehicles; I was to follow Chris. Yeah, right!!

Chris drove like the proverbial "bat out of hell" and I lost him almost immediately near the TN-GA state line when we started hitting the hills. We managed to link up later & made it in one piece to J-burg, where Billy Roades was running the DZ. They had either a King or Queen Air & I was ecstatic! I'd only jumped military helicopters with maybe a couple hundred of Cessna jumps at that time. When we were dirt diving, Chris asked me if I wanted to be front float and I eagerly replied "Hell, Yeah!!" Then I paused and asked Chris what a front float was. He just shook his head & smiled, then tolerantly explained what I had to do.

Chris was always patient & a great mentor. Every jump I made with him, whether in J-Burg or at the grass runway in Carr,TN (with King Morton flying the Cessna) or at T-homa, was a gift.

When I was about to hit 1,000 jumps in Hawaii, I waited until I came back to Tennessee because I wanted to do #1,000 at Tullahoma with Chris. We did a 2 way on the last lift of the day; it was going to be a "cat" with Chris on the tail. He threw out my pilot chute at about 9,000 ft; I still remember his smirk as my canopy deployed. Chris nailed me with a pie as soon as I landed. Afterward, a huge t-storm moved in and all of us got trashed on some of Chris' moonshine. What a day!!!

I was on shift as a deputy at the Cannon County Sheriff's Dept on that terrible night that I heard about Chris. My wife kept crying and was having trouble telling me what happened; she thought the world of Chris like everyone else. When she finally told me, I had to pull over because I could barely see to drive. The closest place to park was a small church in the back area of the county; that seemed fitting somehow. I staggered out of my patrol car (the reserve deputy riding with me thought I'd gone nuts) and I didn't think the tears would ever stop.

I hadn't gotten that much of a chance to be around Chris when I retired from the Army and became a cop, and it tore me up when I realized I'd never see my friend's smile or hear him joke around with me ever again. I will regret that lost time with Chris for the rest of my life. You just don't make friends like him everyday. One of the beautiful things about are sport is the special friendships that you make with exceptional people like Chris.

When Kristi allowed me to both speak at the memorial service for Chris and make that final jump with Beezy, Dave Nye, and Chris, I could never articulate the special gratitude that I owe to her. Those moments were some of the most difficult and emotional, yet honorable things that I've ever done in my life. No words are eloquent enough to articulate, and I'm forever grateful to Kristi for allowing me to be a part of it.
My thoughts and prayers are frequently with Kristi, Haley, Anabelle, and all of the family and friends that knew and loved Chris.

Mr. Hixxx-Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts with you and everyone else. I agree with you.....it isn't quite the same without Chris.

Mike Hainey
D8971


Dougjumper  (B License)

Oct 15, 2009, 4:41 PM
Post #125 of 135 (1769 views)
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Hey Bra, Sure miss the Fun times down here in Tullahoma. Hope your having a good time up there. I know you and Beezy are keeping things on the cooler. Damn I miss ya both. Tullahoma will never be the same.

Peace my Friends! Thinking of ya. Doug W. Aka (Toby).


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