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Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil)

 


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 1, 2007, 5:25 AM
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Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) Can't Post

His Rodriguez Brother profile states that his favorite quote is:

Don't Knock on Death's door. Ring the bell and run away. He hates that.

It was really funny a few days ago. It isn't really funny anymore. I guess I am the wrong person to ask though, since I havent really laughed since I heard about this. And the way I feel right now I dont feel like I'm ever going to again. I'm sure I will, but I certainly dont feel it right now.

I was out of the loop for about 24 hours. When I found out, I spent the better part of an hour calling everyone I could to dispel this nutty notion that Cliff was gone. My thanks and apologies to everyone who listened to me scream into the phone.

Now it has become my turn. I am getting phone calls and emails from all over the world, as more and more far flung friends hear the news, and want someone to tell them that it isn't true.

This was my best friend. This is the guy in charge of pulling the plug on me in my living will. This is the guy who was a brother to me. This is the guy who always looked out for me when I was being an idiot - which was often.

I guess that I have to stop being an idiot now. Because there's nobody there to look out for me anymore.

I'd really like to hear from anyone who knew him out there. PM me. I'll respond when I am mildly less of a basket case.

In the meantime, I will be punching things, screaming, and doing everything in my power (which is fucking nothing) to make everything go back to the way it was before this happened.

I know we all have a 50-50 chance of having to bury our best friend. That doesn't make it suck any less. If you read this, do yourself a favor... call your best friend today.



-Marco


(This post was edited by skymama on Jan 1, 2007, 8:18 AM)
Attachments: bueno.jpg (34.7 KB)


shropshire  (C License)

Jan 1, 2007, 5:34 AM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry for your loss mate. Remember the good times and smile at the memories.


Best Wishes,


Andy_Copland  (A 105852)

Jan 1, 2007, 5:37 AM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) [In reply to] Can't Post

Like Shropshire said. Blues mate.


bloody_trauma  (B License)

Jan 1, 2007, 5:56 AM
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BSBDFrown sorry to hear... but ive learned to accept that when it syour time to go you have no say in it, is just your time. so the only thing to do is keep your eyes open and hopefully through careful planning, training and lots of luck you can stay alive to kick another day. didn't know the man, but it still hurts

FrownBLUE SKIES BLACK DEATHFrown


matt1215

Jan 1, 2007, 6:02 AM
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FrownFrown


ImGunnaJump  (A 37948)

Jan 1, 2007, 6:36 AM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) [In reply to] Can't Post

My deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and especially right now to you...his dear friend and brother.


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 1, 2007, 6:48 AM
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Re: [shropshire] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Sorry for your loss mate. Remember the good times and smile at the memories.


Best Wishes,

I kind of wish I could *forget* the good times. Thinking about those is what breaks me up. I just found a roll of photos of us from when we were in Thailand. I have six pictures of him, and four are of him eating bugs.

Thanks for all the good wishes from you and everyone else. They *are* making me feel a little better.

I know I'm not the only one to lose someone. I do feel like it though.

Last night I was telling my girlfriend that I thought it was doubly unfair that this should happen to MY best friend. Because, I'm fuckin weird. Not too many people can stand me as it is. So, when someone is a brother to you and has never turned his back on you (and I will say, Ive been such a fuck up in the past that he should have), it feels doubly unfair to lose him, and I feel a lot more orphaned than I could possibly have imagined.

This sucks. This sucks so bad. This is the worst thing that has ever happened in my entire life.

Thanks for reading my ranting. Sorry if I'm bumming anyone else out. I just dont know how else to cope at this moment.

Blue skies Cliff. Come back if you can.


shropshire  (C License)

Jan 1, 2007, 6:55 AM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

I hear you mate. But there will be a time.

Hey what would he say to you right now?


Take care.


ImGunnaJump  (A 37948)

Jan 1, 2007, 6:58 AM
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Quote:
Thanks for reading my ranting. Sorry if I'm bumming anyone else out. I just dont know how else to cope at this moment.


...not to worry. Just sent another prayer up for you and his family. I hope that isn't offensive...it's meant well.


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 1, 2007, 7:12 AM
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In reply to:
Quote:
Thanks for reading my ranting. Sorry if I'm bumming anyone else out. I just dont know how else to cope at this moment.


...not to worry. Just sent another prayer up for you and his family. I hope that isn't offensive...it's meant well.

It is obvious that it is meant well. And I hope my gratitude is just as obvious. Everything helps right now.


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 1, 2007, 7:20 AM
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Re: [shropshire] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I hear you mate. But there will be a time.

Hey what would he say to you right now?

He'd say "this sucks." Then he would go into an hour long lecture/diatribe about what death is really like. He'd cite at least 5 books and 5 movies about death, and tell me how each one of them was full of shit. He'd laugh at how ignorant they were, and would discuss ad nauseum his newfound expertise in the subject of death.

It sounds depressing, but I'm actually smiling writing that. He was such a "know it all." Of course, thats because he knew it all.

He probably wouldnt know what to say though when I asked him "who is gonna look out for me now, big brother?"

Ok, im not smiling anymore.

Actually, he'd probably tell me that I dont need him to look out for me, that I can look out for myself. But that's not really the point. Its not that I *needed* him to look out for me. Its that I loved that he *wanted* to look out for me.

I just want my friend back. I've buried lots of friends. Never my *best friend.* Burying a good friend doesnt even come close to how bad it sucks to bury your best friend. Not even close.

I hope that nobody reading this ever feels the way I do right now.

I keep getting private condolences messages. Thanks to everyone who has sent them. I'll try and reply to all of them. They really do make me feel better... as do all the posts on this thread.


aprilcat

Jan 1, 2007, 7:27 AM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

Last night I was telling my girlfriend that I thought it was doubly unfair that this should happen to MY best friend. Because, I'm fuckin weird. Not too many people can stand me as it is. So, when someone is a brother to you and has never turned his back on you (and I will say, Ive been such a fuck up in the past that he should have), it feels doubly unfair to lose him, and I feel a lot more orphaned than I could possibly have imagined.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
More people love you than you know (thats the beauty of life). When its your turn to go, someone WILL mourn you deeply. I lost a person that I thought would fly my ashes and someone else dear to me said 'don't worry...I'll take you up.'

So sorry for your loss but you HAD a friend and he is probably right over your shoulder trying to tell you that the ride wasn't that bad--the view from where he is is magnificent and he'll hold a seat next to him for you. You are not orphaned...you had a friend and HE had a friend and you still have other friends that are hurting too. Stick together.

Peace in your heart....April


freeflir29  (D 10000000)

Jan 1, 2007, 8:28 AM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

Damn..........I haven't seen Cliff in quite a long time. Last time I jumped with him was Jan of 2003. I remember that trip to Z Hills well. I trashed my camera when I ran into a Canadian. Laugh Fortunately, that was AFTER I had some jumps with Cliff. One of them is on my "1St Vid" which I think is posted on Skydivingmovies.com. I always appreciated that he took the time to jump with me. He was a pretty awesome free flyer and here was me at 300 jumps still trying to figure it all out. It was the winter time week day thing where finding people to jump with can be hard some days. Thanks for the jumps Cliff. Blue Skies Bro! You will be certainly missed.


Edit for the video link-http://www.skydivingmovies.com/...ion=file&id=1308 Cliff's jump is at the 3:04 mark. Remember that jump like it was yesterday. Unsure


(This post was edited by freeflir29 on Jan 1, 2007, 9:18 AM)


mnealtx  (B 30496)

Jan 1, 2007, 9:04 AM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. Blue Skies, Cliff.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Jan 1, 2007, 9:18 AM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

The dz won't be the same without you, Cliff. Thanks for the conversations... especially the one we had after Shannon died. Really didn't expect you to be next.

Marco, how is Jen doing? Please give her our love.

As Cliff would say - Don't fucking die, folks.


sfc  (D 25628)

Jan 1, 2007, 9:19 AM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

BSBD Cliff. Thanks for all the fun we had.

Frown


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 1, 2007, 9:33 AM
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Re: [freeflir29] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I remember that trip to Z Hills well. I trashed my camera when I ran into a Canadian. Laugh Fortunately, that was AFTER I had some jumps with Cliff. One of them is on my "1St Vid" which I think is posted on Skydivingmovies.com.

Edit for the video link-http://www.skydivingmovies.com/...ion=file&id=1308 Cliff's jump is at the 3:04 mark. Remember that jump like it was yesterday. Unsure

Oh my god. Thank you. That is beautiful footage of him. I've been watching it again and again and again. The first time, I flipped out and broke my hand punching the door. I dont hold you responsible :). I cant wait to make it through the entire minute without screaming and crying.

If you, or anyone else, finds video of him. I would love to see it, and I'm sure lots of other people would as well.


mfrese  (D 20145)

Jan 1, 2007, 9:35 AM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Holy shit. Unimpressed

Haven't seen a lot of Cliff since he went back to school, but got a chance to catch up with him at Thanksgiving. Blue Skies, my friend...it was great to jump with you, even better to get to hang with you for a while.

Jen and all his friends, all my sympathies...


fueler  (D License)

Jan 1, 2007, 9:47 AM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

Cliff was the first person i met when i started skydiving. He taught my first jump course and did a few of my AFF jumps. He kept me inline while i was a student and while learning to freefly. A smart one he was...and a lot of fun to get smashed with when the beer light went on. Ill miss him greatly.

Goodbye Cliff.


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Jan 1, 2007, 10:04 AM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
If you, or anyone else, finds video of him. I would love to see it, and I'm sure lots of other people would as well.

skydance 2006

He's about a minute into the video, swooping by the camera.

I have a bunch more of his swoops; I'll be going through tapes and will put something together in the next couple of days. Frown


Lindsey  (D 17865)

Jan 1, 2007, 10:32 AM
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This is the last post in the thread "Dead Friends List" by apoil

In reply to:
In reply to:
Thanks for posting your thoughts, everyone.

But I'm not sure that I'm willing to get close to any more jumpers. And I don't know that the sport is worth putting my family through the pain that would come if I die jumping.

What you are talking about now has nothing to do with skydiving. It has to do with dealing with loss.

Many people stop getting close to other people after getting their heart broken, or losing a loved one to disease.

There's the deeper question of what it really means to be alive which ties to why we jump in the first place. The route you are contemplating might reduce the chance of pain in the future, but it also cuts off something. And that something is part of what makes life worth living.

As to the pain you might put others through if you die, here's two things:

1) Don't fucking die skydiving. Seriously. Stay sharp and do everything you can to not let it happen. Learn from every incident and don't repeat the mistakes of others.

2) While it will be painful, how do you want to be remembered? As that person that was so passionate about life that she lived it to the extreme and took risks or as that person who was always safe and nothing ever really happened to her. Most families of skydivers have already come to terms with the possibility. If not, they will. They are your family - they share some of your genetic traits - they WILL understand. If you are talking about your extended skydiving family, they know that the risk of pain and loss are part of the full spectrum of experiences in life.



McBeth

Jan 1, 2007, 11:04 AM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm so sorry you are going through this right now. It's been a very tough few days here in Eloy. I want to thank everyone for all the hugs, you really never can get enough of them.


freeflir29  (D 10000000)

Jan 1, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
That is beautiful footage of him.


I remember him being mad at me for flipping to feet down. I was having trouble slowing my fall rate enough to stay up so right there at the bottom of the skydive I went to a sit. I can still remember saying "I know I know but it made for AWESOME video!" The compression has NOT been kind to that copy. If you want a DVD in full resolution just PM me your addy and I'll make sure it gets there.


skytash  (D 100388)

Jan 1, 2007, 12:18 PM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

He was one of my favourite tracking rabbits. He could stay as flat on his back as I could in a full max track with booties on. I kept meaning to find out where he was to do another tracking dive with him to work out how my tracking had developed in the years I didn't see him. I'm sorry that I won't be able to track with him again in this life.Frown

tash


Rebecca  (A 42203)

Jan 1, 2007, 12:43 PM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm so sorry. FrownUnsure


redtwiga  (D 28131)

Jan 1, 2007, 1:36 PM
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I called Cliff's phone this morning and left him a message. I just wanted to hear his voice again and also, who knows whether or not he can check his messages? I wouldn't presume to have that answer!

I met Cliff at the beginning of a boogie in Delmarva when I had 60 jumps. His head was shaved all the way around and he had a curly tuft up top that he kept in a ponytail. Everyone thought it was goofy but I thought it was hot. We spent the rest of the weekend laughing and teaching me to sit fly then I played hookie on Monday and he changed his travel plans so we could go to my house and continue laughing. He met my mom that weekend and dented her PT Cruiser with his PT Cruiser. Then we checked out each others music collections. Thus started our friendship. About a year passed and we found ourselves trying to figure out a place where we could live together. We talked and talked and talked for a year or so about moving out to California from the east coast. I finally got tired of the talk and made the move. He joined me at Hollister a few months later. Cliff moved into Hollister like a tornado. He was abrasive, messy, loud and condescending, and a total beer snob (Alex can vouch). He was also brilliant, hilarious, curious, desirous to meet everyone and eager to teach. Our relationship ended soon after he moved out and he began to date a wonderful woman, Jen. They found something in each other that brought them both happiness and love that grew and grew through his last day. When he got into Davis law school most of what he talked about was how close he would be to Skydance and how excited he was about that, although he'd miss all his friends at Htown and be back to visit as much as possible. Cliff found a real home in NorCal. He was worried about leaving Zhills, leaving the long standing friendships he'd established there. I think Cliff found just as many, if not more friends here in the end.

I have some things I would like to thank Cliff for. Thank you for the adventure; I would most definitely be a different person had I never known you and I'm better for it. Thank you for writing through instead of thru. Thank you for introducing me to more sick and twisted humor than I can recount here (you suck at flirting). Thank you for my friendship with Jen, this would be so much harder without her and I hope I can help ease her pain too. Thank you for your patience and insight. Thank you so, so, so much for sharing your passion for skydiving and freeflying with me and everyone around you. I am in this sport because you taught me the art of prioritizing. Thank you for Christmas. I have so much more but it's going to take longer. I'll miss the shit out of you buddy.

Marco, thanks for the Javelin. Keep breathing my friend.

Much love,
Aviva (Canadian)


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 1, 2007, 2:50 PM
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Re: [Lindsey] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
This is the last post in the thread "Dead Friends List" by apoil

In reply to:
In reply to:
Thanks for posting your thoughts, everyone.

But I'm not sure that I'm willing to get close to any more jumpers. And I don't know that the sport is worth putting my family through the pain that would come if I die jumping.

What you are talking about now has nothing to do with skydiving. It has to do with dealing with loss.

Many people stop getting close to other people after getting their heart broken, or losing a loved one to disease.

There's the deeper question of what it really means to be alive which ties to why we jump in the first place. The route you are contemplating might reduce the chance of pain in the future, but it also cuts off something. And that something is part of what makes life worth living.

As to the pain you might put others through if you die, here's two things:

1) Don't fucking die skydiving. Seriously. Stay sharp and do everything you can to not let it happen. Learn from every incident and don't repeat the mistakes of others.

2) While it will be painful, how do you want to be remembered? As that person that was so passionate about life that she lived it to the extreme and took risks or as that person who was always safe and nothing ever really happened to her. Most families of skydivers have already come to terms with the possibility. If not, they will. They are your family - they share some of your genetic traits - they WILL understand. If you are talking about your extended skydiving family, they know that the risk of pain and loss are part of the full spectrum of experiences in life.



Lindsey, thank you so much for posting this. This is CLASSIC Cliff Heller. CLASSIC!


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 1, 2007, 5:17 PM
Post #28 of 200 (6157 views)
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Re: [redtwiga] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

awesome post. big love at you.


jdfreefly  (D 24037)

Jan 1, 2007, 5:30 PM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm in the middle of re-locating to the San Francisco area. The last time I was in San Francisco on business, I decided to go and check out one of the local DZs. I ended up going to Skydance where I ran into Cliff.

Cliff had blown through Crosskeys on a few occasions, but I had never really hung out with him. However, he recognized me from Crosskeys, and pulled me into a few loads with him and one of his local friends.

We had a couple of nice jumps that day, and I was looking forward to getting to know him better once I got out there.

blue skies....
daless


Feeblemind  (D 28621)

Jan 1, 2007, 6:18 PM
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Re: [skybytch] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Cliff,

I will miss all your words of encouragement when I have complained about just doing video. I agree with Bytch when she reflected on your "Don't Fucking Die" comment. You will be missed my friend and I hope to see you on the other side!


BSBD,

Phil


WeakMindedFool  (D 28195)

Jan 1, 2007, 8:05 PM
Post #31 of 200 (5917 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Cliff was a fucking asshole. I don’t mean an asshole that would screw you over, or wouldn’t do the things he said he was going to do. He was an asshole that would tell you what he thought about your point of view. Usually he would take a particular side of an argument, just because you held the opposing view. We used to argue about what was more important, the east coast or west coast punk rock scene. As if there was any question? He was always good for politics, which is a challenge with someone as smart as Cliff, who could usually give a historical precedence for his point of view, even if it was horseshit. We used to argue the same side of an argument just for the debate.
I remember Cliff explaining his take on God and his fans, this isn’t a quote but it’s the essence of what he said:
Morality through fear of God isn’t moral it’s terrorism. To be moral out of fear for your self is inherently egocentric, which of course is the opposite of morality. I came by my morality through compassion, through educating myself and trying to understand others. Morality can only come from enlightenment. I agreed so he immediately told me I was wrong and that I didn’t know what I was talking about.
Lastly…the west coast punk scene was much better then the east coast! I got the last word fucker!

…….

Damn I’m going to miss you.
Fuck…


misskriss  (Student)

Jan 1, 2007, 10:14 PM
Post #32 of 200 (5802 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey You..

I know we're not much but Hans and I are here anytime, any hour. It was good to see you today and we are thinking about you. The door is ALWAYS open.


ACMESkydiver  (B License)

Jan 1, 2007, 11:29 PM
Post #33 of 200 (5746 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I am very sorry to hear of your loss.

My sympathy to all family and friends.


josambro

Jan 2, 2007, 2:28 AM
Post #34 of 200 (5701 views)
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Re: [redtwiga] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi folks. Cliff was probably my oldest friend, and I'm dealing with his death in the way that I believe he'd approve, namely by posting pictures of him vomiting out of a minibus on the internet. There are also some other pictures from the same trip at http://picasaweb.google.com/josambro/CliffHeller02.

Naturally there will be those who feel this action is a bad move, perhaps even some looking to take legal action against me. To such parties, I say only that they should contact my attorney, Clifford Heller, Esq, who specializes in...

Shit. I can't even make jokes at the moment. Cliff is laughing at me, I swear....


jmpnkramer  (D 19134)

Jan 2, 2007, 3:46 AM
Post #35 of 200 (5678 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, I have been thinking about this all day here in the sand.

I cannot believe it!

I know Cliff from Z-Hills!

Unbelieveable is all I can say! Frown

Take Care Brother!

BSBD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

K-MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

.


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 2, 2007, 4:22 AM
Post #36 of 200 (5654 views)
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Re: [josambro] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Naturally there will be those who feel this action is a bad move, perhaps even some looking to take legal action against me. To such parties, I say only that they should contact my attorney, Clifford Heller, Esq, who specializes in...

As Cliff's attorney, I hereby relieve you of any claims from now to eternity. And you're so right about him approving of it.

Cliff wouldnt have wanted anything glossed over. I'd much rather laugh at him than feel what I feel right now. And yes, he's definitely laughing at all of us.

I'm sure he would disapprove of how I've been grieving. He'd tell me to "fucking suck it up" and "dammit, quit cryin'".

This is one time, and the only time, that his advice will not be welcomed.

Speaking of which, Cliff and I always talked about this "code" of how men should act. It was about doing the right thing, being honorable, without selling out your own beliefs. Any time I had a question in my mind as to whether I was doing the right thing or not, Cliff was the first call I made.

And when I was hurting bad, he was also the first call I made.

So now I dont know what the right thing is to do, and I dont know who to call to have them tell me "suck it up" -- of course, followed by a lecture about what a great friend I am and why I should feel great. That was his "go-to" position with me.

This sucks worse than anything ever.

I really hope there is such a thing as reincarnation. If there is, Cliff will come back just like he was. The perfect friend.


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 2, 2007, 5:33 AM
Post #37 of 200 (5617 views)
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Freeflir29's Video [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey Cliff,

I just wanted to write to you to tell you that you dont get to stop looking out for me just because you died.

I expect you to continue to fulfill your best friend duties, and this "death thing" is no excuse for slacking on them. There's no way I can get through any day without your friendship, so I simply refuse to do so.

Once you're finished with your "newly deceased" orientation, get your ass back to work, because I can't figure things out without you man.

By the way, take a look at Freeflir29's video of you. It's the greatest thing ever.

link-http://www.skydivingmovies.com/...ion=file&id=1308 the footage of you starts at the 3:04 mark.

You've got this big shit-eating grin on your face as you exit. And, it just keeps shining there as you do some freeflying.

The way that jump went is EXACTLY how I picture you in the afterlife, and exactly how I want to picture you in this one.

You reach for the cameraman's hand to do a dock, and it so looks like you are reaching out to tell us that you are okay, and that you are reaching to us to tell us to hang in there. Its the same look you had on your face as you taught me how to sit fly.

And then at the end of the segment, you track away. That is pretty much where my heart breaks every time. I wish you'd stay in the frame for just a moment longer.

At that point, I start screaming and pounding the table, and smashing things, and flipping out, and Jennifer (mine, not yours) runs in the room to hold my arms back as I am screaming "Come back, Cliff."

I know you would totally disapprove of how I'm handling this, but I disapprove of you not being here anymore, so we're even on that. I know you wouldnt want me to be losing my mind about this, but you knew that I was a lot less mentally stable than you anyhow. That was part of the bargain you agreed to when we became friends. So deal with it!

And I know *that* would irritate you too. Well, if you don't like it then COME BACK!

If you can't, then find the best place for Fish Head Curry on that side of the divide. Save me a seat.

-Love, Marco (a.k.a. Terrasino Rodriguez)


(This post was edited by marcorandazza on Jan 2, 2007, 11:25 AM)


bert-monkeyclaw  (D 19159)

Jan 2, 2007, 7:17 AM
Post #38 of 200 (5522 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember Cliff from the early days at crosskeys as he attended several of our boogies. I also remember he was a city guy, having worked for CSFB, we'd trade "war stories" about our life on the "street."

I haven''t seen him in a few years and I'm sad to think the first update I've received of him is on this forum. I remember his great sense of humor and extend my condolences to you all on his loss.

Best,

Bert


sfc  (D 25628)

Jan 2, 2007, 7:51 AM
Post #39 of 200 (5482 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:

If you, or anyone else, finds video of him. I would love to see it, and I'm sure lots of other people would as well.

I met Cliff after he moved out to CA at Hollister, when he moved off to law school in Davis The Doctor threw this video together. In Cliff style he complained it did not have enough of "him" in it.
The last conversation I had with him was at thanksgiving, he was telling me about this watches (chronographs no less).

http://video.google.com/...7729599974&hl=en

If anyone can host a 65MB file I have a higher res version of this.


ladyflyer77  (D 28845)

Jan 2, 2007, 8:15 AM
Post #40 of 200 (5436 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm am so sorry for your lost. Having to deal with the lost of someone we love, respected and admired for showing us the true meaning of friendship is one of the hardest things we will have to face in life. It's not fair for us and most important for the person we are left to only remember through memories they have left for us.
The best thing for you is to keep living. Times will be difficult, and for this is the reason you need to remember that you do have other friends to hold you, scream with you and laugh with you. Be strong, be safe and you will see him again in time.

Here is a Beer! for your friend. May he fly free where the skies are always blue!!


Skyrad  (B License)

Jan 2, 2007, 8:27 AM
Post #41 of 200 (5424 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

BSBDFrown

Sorry to hear this news. Condolences


jraf  (F 111)

Jan 2, 2007, 9:14 AM
Post #42 of 200 (5357 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Yep, I left Cliff a message too...see you on the other side brother!
Attachments: Cliff, Alycee, Hans_edited.jpg (64.4 KB)


Frenchy68  (A License)

Jan 2, 2007, 9:36 AM
Post #43 of 200 (5325 views)
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Re: [jraf] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Frown
Attachments: Cliff.jpg (11.8 KB)


pop  (D 26308)

Jan 2, 2007, 10:00 AM
Post #44 of 200 (5287 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Doode....damn!


villain  (D License)

Jan 2, 2007, 10:28 AM
Post #45 of 200 (5236 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I called his phone as soon as I heard. I begged him to call me back as soon as he got my message. I so don't want this to be true. I miss him so much. I'm so sorry for everyones loss but I'm being selfish now and am just so sorry for my loss. I guess I need to rant too.
Blue Skies Cliffy.


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 2, 2007, 10:41 AM
Post #46 of 200 (5215 views)
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Re: [villain] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I called his phone as soon as I heard. I begged him to call me back as soon as he got my message. I so don't want this to be true. I miss him so much. I'm so sorry for everyones loss but I'm being selfish now and am just so sorry for my loss. I guess I need to rant too.
Blue Skies Cliffy.

Oh you TOTALLY are on the same wavelength as me. No reason not to be selfish right now. I'm sure not going to critique anyone's way of grieving. Maybe a little, but that doesnt mean I have a right to. I guess it all depends on what minute you ask me about it. But go ahead: Be selfish. Be delusional. Be nutty.

Be my friend.

I'll be yours too.


skydivexxl  (D License)

Jan 2, 2007, 11:11 AM
Post #47 of 200 (5169 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I heard ALL about Cliff from Aviva before he even showed up at Hollister. Our relationship was not ideal, but we respected each other. We disagreed on pretty much everything, and never shied from a debate. But when the day was done we'd cheers, tip our drinks, and have some laughs.

Thanks for the jumps and the friendship. Thanks for teaching my ill-fitting ugly green and purple Flite suit how to fly! My thoughts are with you, your friends and family.

Fly free, Cliff. I'll see you on the other side.

Andy


weegegirl  (D License)

Jan 2, 2007, 11:31 AM
Post #48 of 200 (5136 views)
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Re: [jraf] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, dayum. Looking at your picture Jraf, I too just realized who this is. I didn't know Cliff that well, but I did jump with him the first time I was down at Zhills years ago. In fact, he was the one who made that trip so memorable for me. I had less than 100 jumps and was flailing around trying to learn to freefly, and Cliff refused to let me do a solo even though he had never met me. Not only did he jump with me, but he videod the jumps and gave me a lot of free coaching. He never left my mind as that super friendly guy from Zhills. When people ask me what the best dropzone in Florida is, I tell them Zhills and then tell them about Cliff.

Shit. My heart goes out to his good friends and family. He was a genuinely nice guy. Beer! eternal blue skies.


lisamariewillbe  (A License)

Jan 2, 2007, 11:32 AM
Post #49 of 200 (5133 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Ive no idea what to say but offer condolences. Fly free Cliff Frown


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 2, 2007, 11:40 AM
Post #50 of 200 (5120 views)
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Classic Heller [In reply to] Can't Post

Cliff wrote: Most families of skydivers have already come to terms with the possibility. If not, they will. They are your family - they share some of your genetic traits - they WILL understand. If you are talking about your extended skydiving family, they know that the risk of pain and loss are part of the full spectrum of experiences in life

I say to that, now that Cliff is not here to argue back (yah! gotcha!) that I'm sorry brother, none of us are at grips with it now that you are supposedly gone.

I say "supposedly" because i am delusionally still holding out hope that this was all some hoax that he staged. Josh said that it would be just like Cliff to stage something like this -- so that he could start a cult. Classic.

Anyhow... back to my argument, that i will finally win with Cliff because he doesnt call me back.

Fine, we need to come to grips with it. And yes, pain and loss are part of the spectrum of life. And I thank you Cliff for showing me some of the best.

In life, you have a few of these "perfect days." The first time I jumped out of a plane. The first time i landed a net full of salmon in Alaska. The time I climbed an erupting volcano.

Cliff is the only person who appears in more than one "perfect day" for me.

The first one was in 1995 or so. We drove our motorcycles from Manhattan to New Hampshire. Helmets off as soon as we hit the NH border. 100 mph on rutty highways. Beautiful day. All our friends were already there. We all went boating on the lake way too fast, tripped out hard. I need to find this great picture of Cliff and i just contemplating life at that point. I know it doesn't sound like any big story, but it was a perfect day of adrenaline and peace and spending the day with my friends.

The second was our entire weekend in Lido, Indonesia. A bunch of skydives. We went to the restaurant and ordered one of everything on the menu - because we couldnt decide what we wanted. Umpteen pitchers of beer. Then we needed tequila. The guy at the hotel had to go find some in town. Cliff christened me "Terrasino Rodriguez" as my Rodriguez Brother name.

He combined the name of my family's village, with his own "dirty little brother" thought to give me that name. A perfect day.

Again, you had to be there. But that too was one of the best days of my life.

Thanks for showing me that end of the spectrum, Cliff.

Forgive me if i dont have such gratitude for you showing me the other side of the dial. I could have stood to go through life without you showing me that.

I'm gonna get you for this when i get to the other side! I promise, you'll be dealing with my pranks for a thousand years when i find you over there.

Oh, and I do believe that Cliff needs to buy beer.

-Terrasino


(This post was edited by marcorandazza on Jan 2, 2007, 12:01 PM)


hookitt  (D License)

Jan 2, 2007, 12:31 PM
Post #51 of 200 (4903 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Classic Heller [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Thanks for the good skydives, conversation and letting me take over teaching your girlfriend to pack. :)

I remember landing from the few skydives we did together thinking... "Now THAT... was fun"

Sigh...

You were my brothers coach instructor and he speaks very highly of that time and of later wisdom.

So long Cliff. We'll miss you.


TheAnvil  (D 26919)

Jan 2, 2007, 12:36 PM
Post #52 of 200 (4894 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry for your loss. Jen and everyone - my sympathies. What a terrible loss for everyone.

Frown


packerbarbie  (D 24253)

Jan 2, 2007, 12:49 PM
Post #53 of 200 (4875 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

 
I’m still trying to register all of what has happened over this last weekend!

Cliff, I didn’t know you well, but it was always nice to see you and fly with you. The last time I had the pleasure of talking to you and skydive with you was at the 06 Byron Boogie. Now, I can’t believe you are gone too. Unbelievable!!

Thank you for all the fun skydives. My thoughts are with you, your friends and family. You will be sorely missed!

Eternally blue skies. Fly Free with the angels.


lovelife22  (D 41499)

Jan 2, 2007, 12:49 PM
Post #54 of 200 (4877 views)
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Re: [sfc] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:

If you, or anyone else, finds video of him. I would love to see it, and I'm sure lots of other people would as well.

I met Cliff after he moved out to CA at Hollister, when he moved off to law school in Davis The Doctor threw this video together. In Cliff style he complained it did not have enough of "him" in it.
The last conversation I had with him was at thanksgiving, he was telling me about this watches (chronographs no less).

http://video.google.com/...7729599974&hl=en

If anyone can host a 65MB file I have a higher res version of this.

Just read the news of Cliff...Very sad!

Simon thanks for posting the video. I also met Cliff in Hollister and was always afraid to debate w/him b/c he intimidated me so much! Law school was very fitting for him--His family is in my thoughts and prayers today.

I attached an old photo from 2004, our "Hollister Hybrid" Smile

Blue Skies Cliff!
Attachments: HollisterHybridRecord.jpg (92.9 KB)


kenz  (Student)

Jan 2, 2007, 1:23 PM
Post #55 of 200 (4837 views)
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Re: [Rebecca] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

i am very sorry to hear about such a loss... heartfelt condolences to all that were affected!


Amazon  (D License)

Jan 2, 2007, 1:38 PM
Post #56 of 200 (4807 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

This was a reallly tough trip down to Eloy. When I came down from my load I was wondering what all the commotion was over to the west of the Main landing area. Unless I see the incident happening and can be of assistence I avoid the vicinity of accidents... but this one struck far too close to home when I walked towards my packer and saw Kristin crying and all shook up with blood on her from rendering assistance. At first I thought it was Jay since she was so upset. I have known them for a few years at Kapowsin. Finding out that it was Cliff AND Jay.. and no details... I was upset.... I was just stunned... you just cant put into words how much this affected all who knew him or who knew Jay and Kristin. All we can do at this point.. as we have had to do with SO MANY others is try and forget.... move on.... learn to live with our grief... and ALWAYS... remember the good times and good things about our friends.

Blues Cliff.... fly free up there.


skydemon2

Jan 2, 2007, 2:16 PM
Post #57 of 200 (4744 views)
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Re: [Amazon] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Sucks, Frown I had spent a few minutes talking to Cliff while waiting on our food that day, nothing deep just chit chat and talk of jumping later, but it is a reminder how fast things can change.....


(This post was edited by skydemon2 on Jan 2, 2007, 2:17 PM)


FallinAngel  (D 18432)

Jan 2, 2007, 2:21 PM
Post #58 of 200 (4730 views)
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Re: [Amazon] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I am just sick over hearing the news about Cliff. He always seemed to know where a good time was happening. He showed up at so many DZs around the country. I'm glad that I got to share the skies, and a few dinners, with him. He was a unique person, and I will always remember him fondly.

My heartfelt sympathies to his family. We will never forget him.


fxstudio  (D 24508)

Jan 2, 2007, 5:15 PM
Post #59 of 200 (4571 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

My condolences go out to all who knew Cliff. You were a great teacher bro, and a great friend. I'm sorry I hadn't seen you in awhile. I miss you dude.

I've added my photos of Cliff to the norcal_skydiving Yahoo Group in our Photo section.

If anyone would like an original just let me know.

David Miller


(This post was edited by fxstudio on Jan 2, 2007, 7:33 PM)
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fxstudio  (D 24508)

Jan 2, 2007, 5:50 PM
Post #60 of 200 (4534 views)
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Re: [fxstudio] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Cliff in a quick nutshell (view attachment below). You were so much fun my man. Especially the last Beastie's concert that came to SF. Man what a blast you are to be around.


(This post was edited by fxstudio on Jan 2, 2007, 7:31 PM)
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ficus  (D 29186)

Jan 2, 2007, 6:06 PM
Post #61 of 200 (4511 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

It wasn't until I saw the pictures that I realized I did meet Cliff, however briefly, at the Byron Boogie this year.

Blue skies, man. I met Jen yesterday and she is being tough as nails for you.

Ficus


fxstudio  (D 24508)

Jan 2, 2007, 6:26 PM
Post #62 of 200 (4488 views)
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Re: [lovelife22] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for posting the video!


Blue Skies Cliff you are terribly missed

David


(This post was edited by fxstudio on Jan 2, 2007, 7:32 PM)
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Elisha  (D 31656)

Jan 2, 2007, 7:27 PM
Post #63 of 200 (4418 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I only talked to the guy a couple of times, but he was a friendly enough guy. The most recent time was on 12/28 around noon before Evelyn and I fled the rain to jump at Perris 12/29.

I was thinking, "Hey, that's a Davis guy...I think his name is Cliff. I'll go say hi." I definitely saw those rough qualities you spoke of, but I'm generally pretty thick-skinned unless people are just, well, dicks and don't stop.

Blue Skies.


fallin_angel  (C 35659)

Jan 2, 2007, 8:41 PM
Post #64 of 200 (4357 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I just wanted to say a few words to pay my respects to Cliff.

He was one of my first instructors as well as a friend. He was quick to compliment your flying but just as quick to have a little talk with you if he felt you had done something even a little bit unsafe, but he was never condescending or mean about it. That's why I just can't believe this has happened to him.

I respected him so much as both a skydiver and a person. I am so glad I got to jump with him one last time at the Byron Boogie. That's the last time I had the pleasure of seeing him.

He will be missed by so many.

Sandy


vsecrets12

Jan 2, 2007, 8:57 PM
Post #65 of 200 (4348 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

hello all. i'm cliff's sister, vicky. i want to say thank you to all of you that have been sending your love and condolences. but even more so, to those of you that wrote on who my brother was to you. my younger brother russ and i have been reading and weeping. and has been cathardic in some way. the pictures and videos - keep em coming. i have not been able to watch any video yet - too painful, but i will when i'm ready. we are experiencing the most tremendous of loss here...words are not enough.
i hope to see some of you on sunday, if you can make it. please don't hesitate. all are welcome. and please introduce yourself!

marc - 12/12. you're in.

aviva - please get in touch with me. jen has my number.

take care everyone and be well. and most of all - tell the people you love - that you love them!!!

~vicky
Attachments: IMG_0099.JPG (53.1 KB)


skydivexxl  (D License)

Jan 2, 2007, 9:57 PM
Post #66 of 200 (4311 views)
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Re: [vsecrets12] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Vicky,

As one of Cliff's friends that won't be able to make it back east for the services, I hope you know that there are many of us out here that are with you guys in spirit. There are many stories, pictures and videos forthcoming, as well. We know this is an incredibly tough time for you, and anything you guys need, please don't hesitate to ask.

Andy


(This post was edited by skydivexxl on Jan 3, 2007, 12:02 AM)


Elisha  (D 31656)

Jan 2, 2007, 10:09 PM
Post #67 of 200 (4301 views)
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Re: [vsecrets12] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll remember those black rimmed glasses.


redtwiga  (D 28131)

Jan 2, 2007, 11:57 PM
Post #68 of 200 (4265 views)
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Re: [fxstudio] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for those pics Dave! They made me cry...again. We started packing up Cliff's apartment today. I can't explain how bad this blows. See some of you in NYC.
Love
Aviva


villain  (D License)

Jan 3, 2007, 4:54 AM
Post #69 of 200 (4225 views)
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Re: [redtwiga] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey guys, remember how Cliff would start to tell you about this tv show or movie he watched and you'd say "yeah, I saw that one" but he'd keep telling you about it IN DETAIL, he'd go on and on. It was really annoying. I wish I could call him and have him annoy me. Crap, this just keeps getting worse.
Those pictures are great.
Hang in there everyone.
m


okalb  (D 22854)

Jan 3, 2007, 5:11 AM
Post #70 of 200 (4219 views)
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Re: [vsecrets12] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Vicki,

Cliff and I worked together at CSFB for a few years before either of us started to skydive. One weekend I went up the the dropzone with a mutual friend and made my first jump. I was so excited when I came back to work Monday that it was all I could talk about. Cliff was one of the people I talked to about it. I suggested he try it and in typical Cliff fashion, he was there the following Saturday (after hounding me all week to give him a ride).

For the next few weeks, the only thing that got us through our days at work were our breakfast and lunchtime discussions about skydiving. Every Saturday I would drive cliff up to the DZ and we would jump. When we were both still AFF students, I decided to take my birthday off of work to go jump. Cliff immediately said he would join me, so we drove up to the Ranch and jumped. On that jump cliff hurt his leg and I had to bring him to the hospital. He wanted to go to the hospital in the city so he wouldn't be stranded up near the Ranch. The whole drive into the city we came up with stories to tell the doctors so the wouldn't know it happened skydiving. Football and falling out of a tree were top on the list. I dropped him off at the hospital and laughed my ass off when he showed up at work the next day with a cane.

I moved to Tampa and when he moved to Singapore we sort of lost touch. I got an email from him one day saying that he was coming to Florida to live for a while and needed a place to stay. He moved in with Laura and me a few weeks later. He lived with us for the next few months. I remember how excited he was the day I drove him to pick up that god awful purple PT Cruiser that he bought. Eventually he moved to the DZ. I was so happy for him when he decided to go to law school. I remember his cocky attitude when he told me he aced the LSATs.

Cliff was an obnoxious asshole who had no problem speaking his mind. He loved to argue more than just about anyone I know. I think most of the time he argued just for the sake of the argument and couldn't care less what side he was on, but he always had a way of putting things into perspective.

His passion for skydiving was stronger than anything I have seen in other jumpers. After 9 years and thousands of jumps, all he wanted to do was jump. Anytime anywhere and with anyone.

Anyway, I could go on like this for another few pages, but there is no point. He was my friend and I will miss him always.

Team Ho Ho forever!


lauras  (D License)

Jan 3, 2007, 6:11 AM
Post #71 of 200 (4194 views)
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Dear Vicky,

I guess I got the "kinder, gentler" Cliff more often compared to most. Although there were many times I told him I was going to throttle him in his sleep while he lived with me & Oren, he'd smile broadly and squeeze a body part until he left bruises.

We only made perhaps a handful of jumps together so my memories of Cliff center around lounging on the sofa, drinking *thick* cups of coffee. I've never been more fully caffeinated as the 2 months he lived with us. There's a huge coffee stain on the guest bedroom carpet that he confessed to about 6 weeks after he made it. He told me I could put a potted plant over ther stain. Right in front of the closet door.

We had loooong discussions about law school rankings, application essays, patent law vs what I thought he should focus on, M&A and corp fin. I pushed the whole Sand Hill Drive / Wilson Sonsini angle and how after practicing for 5 to 7 years, he could go become a tech VC and blow everyone out of the water. He certainly spoke with enough authority, even when he was pulling it out of his ass!

I have some of his PT cruiser recall notices that we still get at the house. I can't tell you how many times I told him not to buy that thing! And then the monster truck! Oy!

We didn't see each other often or talk on the phone, but his emails were always a riot and brought a smile to my face without fail. I am grateful Cliff walked through my life.

Love, Laura


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 3, 2007, 6:15 AM
Post #72 of 200 (4192 views)
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In reply to:
Hey guys, remember how Cliff would start to tell you about this tv show or movie he watched and you'd say "yeah, I saw that one" but he'd keep telling you about it IN DETAIL, he'd go on and on. It was really annoying. I wish I could call him and have him annoy me. Crap, this just keeps getting worse.
Those pictures are great.
Hang in there everyone.
m

Oh, Jesus, not only would he tell you about it in DETAIL, but he would know the references in EVERYTHING. He would see some detail in the corner that only he and the director noticed, and tell you how that episode of South Park connects to some TV show from the 1970s, and how that is actually connected to Beowulf, and then how the Church of the Sub Genius would eventually adapt it.

Cliff is really annoying me now. He hasn't called me back in days.

I went to work yesterday. I sat in my chair and stared out the window for 8 hours. I cried for about 4 of them. The other 4 were spent staring out the window, reading dropzone.com, and talking on the phone to all these fucking awesome people who keep calling me to make me feel better, and to try and get me to make them feel better. I suck at that, so sorry to anyone who called and I made it worse.

I fucking hate this. This sucks more than anything has ever sucked before. This is not fucking fair. I go from angry to sad to numb to delusional and back again.

In the delusional times I actually truly believe that this is all a hoax. I even tell people that Cliff is coming to visit me later. I think I may have scared a few people that way.

In the angry times I am totally destructive. I hope that I dont smash anything too expensive.

The numb times are probably the scariest. I just turn every emotion off.

The sad times are the worst though. I keep watching the freeflying video of him, and when he reaches his hand forward to dock with the cameraman, my hand involuntarily goes toward the screen, as if I could reach into it, dock with him, and pull him back out here.

Then he tracks away and I cant stop sobbing "come back Cliff".

Great... here I go again.

I'm fucking losing it. I'm really fucking losing it. It is not getting better like everyone said it would. It is getting way worse. Every fucking GODDAMN FUCKING MOMENT IS WORSE THAN THE LAST ONE FUCK FUCK FUCK! It is not getting better at all. How the fuck can it? Do the math. The moment I got "the call" was Cliff minus one moment. This is Cliff minus 5 fucking days.

He was supposed to be Uncle Cliff to my kids. We were supposed to get old, and get thrown out of old folks homes together for slapping the nurses on the asses. We planned on becoming dirty old men.

Cliff was like a translator for me. I'd say something fucked up, or do something fucked up, and as I walked away, he'd explain to everyone a) that I wasn't as much of a prick as I seemed, and b) what I really meant by what I said or did.

Now I'm just going to be that fucking weird dirty old man. Old mean old man Marco. With nobody there to tell everyone that I actually dont mean what I said. I just dont have enough time between now and a reasonable life expectancy to make a new best friend like him.

this is fucking bullshit. bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

Ok, lets see if I can tell a funny story.

So he and I are in Thailand, and well, lets just say I like Asian women. I'm sitting in a bar with him, and some girl is on my lap, and I said "Cliff, you know what I love about these girls?"

He looks at me and says "the pulse?"

Fucker!

We were in Bangkok. Outside the bar we're in, the "Bug man" is selling snacks. Crickets, scorpions, beetles, mealworms, and roaches. Yes, big huge fried roaches.

We grab a bag of each. Seeing cliff eating scorpions (which glowed flourescent green under the black light) was hilarious. We finally eat everything except the two big roaches. We stared at each other for a few seconds and then just decided to go for it. I do have pictures. We chewed, and chewed, and got more and more grossed out. It was like eating rotten ricotta mixed with ammonia, with a few grains of sand and some peanut shells thrown in.

At the same moment we both puked and got thrown out of the bar. We laughed our asses off as we stumbled out into the street, picking pieces of bugs out of our teeth, washing down the taste of bug puke with cold Singha. And as gross as that was, girls were grabbing us asking "you have girlfriend thailand?"

Nothing like eating bugs, drinking beer, and bird-dogging bar girls, with your best friend.

There is something special about a friendship when you can tell a story about eating bugs with your friend, and it isnt a story from when you are 5 years old, its a story from your 30s.

I feel a little better now...


danniel  (D 17550)

Jan 3, 2007, 6:20 AM
Post #73 of 200 (4183 views)
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I guess this is where the Singapore segment of his life comes in. When he moved here in the late 90s, he attempted to jump with a new group of skydivers, but, it never materialized. Then he got in touch with me and somehow, we clicked. From then on, Cliff was present on a lot of our trips to Malaysia, Lido and Bali, Indonesia. He made an impression on a lot of people with his flying abilities and also his honest personality with me. As mentioned by others, Cliff has the habit of arguing (some of which I really enjoyed as it was thought provoking) about almost anything under the sun. We had quite a few arguments on how student training and canopy skills were to be taught (he only had a couple hundred jumps then!!! and no ratings too). But, he always had a sensible take on certain issues and because of his natural desire to argue, and at the same time, learn, it did not surprise me to find out that he had gone on to become a great instructor. We all went our separate ways when he had to move back to the US and we only had a few emails exchanged thereafter. It saddens me that in the world of skydiving, where we are all far flung, that we sometimes connect again in the most unfortunate of circumstances. I have, and will miss you dearly, my friend Cliff. Until we meet again where you can teach me to freefly...

PS. He is the only non-Asian that I know of that loves DURIANS! And lots of it too...oh, and he enjoyed announcing his burping and farting after gorging the fruit...


(This post was edited by danniel on Jan 3, 2007, 6:29 AM)


josambro

Jan 3, 2007, 6:33 AM
Post #74 of 200 (4169 views)
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Even at 16 he was a self-confident, supremely assured bastard, and part of the reason I hung out with him was in the hopes that some of that would rub off on me. That and the drugs. Oh yes, the high grade weed, the pharmaceutical/CIA grade LSD, the nitrous oxide. Endless. It was, after all, New York City, at the height of the Reagan presidency.

Cliff didn’t have a mantra in those days, but if he did it might have been 'maintain.' No matter what the circumstance, no matter what kind of fiendish chemicals were competing for oxygen in our post-pubescent bloodstreams. There is no excuse for a freak-out, none whatsoever. At times this could be taken for a lack of compassion, this druggie existentialism. My most powerful memory, perhaps one that shaped me more than any other, comes from this time. It was a spring evening, perhaps nine PM and Clifford and I met on the Staten Island ferry and split four hits of acid two way. We went back to my mother’s apartment and stowed the rest of the evening’s supplies – four oil-cans of Foster’s Lager and a 24 pack of nitrous oxide – and headed out to the Silver lake park golf course. We were high, very, very high, and we smoked pot in that way that acid-eaters do, breathing the smoke as if it were air, feeling nothing but absolute drug bliss Clifford mentioned that he had more acid, two more hits, and I convinced him that the prudent thing to do would be to eat them as well. Maybe I said something like “It’s dangerous to be carrying stuff like that around.”


The park grew too bright, too filled with nefarious potential, and we both realized too late that the extra acid had perhaps not been as prudent an idea as it had seemed at the time. There was the matter of the lager, and the nitrous. Both would be needed, and soon. We walk / stumbled back to the front door of my second story home (mother away somewhere, which was probably for the best) where I discovered that my key was not. Pockets picked. Searched. Roundly like an octopus, hands in one than another, and back again, slips of paper, coins, assorted not-key items. Panic. Heat rising behind eyes until everything tinged crimson. In the category of very bad things, this was the very bad…door not…red laughing, malicious whispers. Tangling, everything was tangled, there was no getting out of it. The drug had hold, bad. Needed to grab something.

“I’m going to freak out.” I announced.

“If you do I'll just leave you here.”

No compassion. Yes. But Clifford Heller was not one to eat heavy psychedelics with weaklings. I had known this from the start. Ergo - MAINTAIN. His words were like a sword cutting through my own internal Gordian Knot.

Suddenly the evil dissipated, just like that.

“So…what your saying is that total meltdown is not a good option?”

“No,” Cliff replied. “Definitely not.”

Plan. Action. March forth.

“Lets go find it,” I said, sensing that my keen grasp of logistics would impress Clifford. After all, the chance of two severely deranged acidheads locating a four inch long key on a golf course at midnight was extremely high.

Oddly enough, we did not locate the key, though after several hours of searching I did remember seeing a bright red wooden ladder tied to a gate somewhere, the existence of which made ingress into the sanctum and consumption of beer and nitrous possible (albeit after the optimum peak for maximum enjoyment).

I learned many things from Cliff Heller. “Meltdown is never a good option” was only one of them.


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 3, 2007, 7:15 AM
Post #75 of 200 (4125 views)
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Re: [danniel] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
PS. He is the only non-Asian that I know of that loves DURIANS! And lots of it too...oh, and he enjoyed announcing his burping and farting after gorging the fruit...

I remember sitting in a Durian stand in Singapore eating my first (of many) durians with Cliff. A crowd of asians stopped and stared at the two white boys greedily slurping down the foul-smelling, but ever so sweet tasting fruit.

i had tried to try durian before that day, but Cliff wouldnt let me. "When we get to singapore" he said. No way he was going to let me eat a Thai durian as my first...


itsmehere

Jan 3, 2007, 7:27 AM
Post #76 of 200 (5951 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

To all of Cliff's Friends Especially Marco
I'm Cliff's cousin Cindy (actually I'm his father Shermans' first cousin) All the same Cliff was/is my cousin & always will be. I can't even begin to explain the pain & suffering his family (me included) is experiencing. reading all you posts & seeing the pic's & video's makes me happy & sad at the same time. One minute I'm crying, then laughing, then crying again. Seems like the crying is what I'm doing the most of.

There will be a memorial service for Cliff Heller on

Sunday January 7th 2007 @ 12 noon

Edgewater Hall

691 Bay Street

Staten Island NY 10304

Thank you all again for your kind words

Cousin CindyFrown


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 3, 2007, 7:53 AM
Post #77 of 200 (5930 views)
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In reply to:
To all of Cliff's Friends Especially Marco
.... One minute I'm crying, then laughing, then crying again. Seems like the crying is what I'm doing the most of.
...
Cousin CindyFrown

Ok, lets laugh...

I am on my 100th skydive and I have a bad accident. Well, not as bad as it could have been. But, my leg is mangled, bones are sticking out, its a bloody mess.

Cliff arrives on the scene pretty fast. I see the "oh fuck" look on his face, and he grabs my hand. I'm nearly breaking his hand squeezing it to bleed off the pain, and I say to him: "Cliff, buddy, how bad is it really?"

He laughs and says "I think they can fix it."

He sees me off in the helicopter, and scampers off. to make the next load. No sense wasting a perfectly good sunny day just because your buddy broke his leg (you fucker!).

After the sunset load, he walks in. I ask where he has been. He and I both laugh our asses off.

He asks, "does it hurt?" More smart ass comments are exchanged. I complain that they wont give me enough morphine. So Cliff goes over to the morphine drip machine, tinkers with it for a while, then says "ok, push the button."

30 minutes later, I wake up. He asks "is that better?" I think I just drooled all over myself.

Cliff had, in classic Cliff style, hacked my morphine machine to give me the dosage that he and I figured I deserved. The next day, the nurse can't figure out why all my morphine is gone.

Fast forward a year or so.

It is 2003, and I am finally graduating from grad school. I managed to cram a 1 year program into 3 years. Ok, maybe "stretch" is the more appropriate verb.

My graduation is at 9AM. I call Cliff and tell him that I'd love it if he made it. But, it is a beautiful day, and I can hardly expect him to forego a day of skydiving. I hit the bar at 11, and by 2:00, im sloppy drunk and passed out at some girl's house.

Cliff drives to Gainesville, looks for me in the bar, not finding me, he somehow finds where I have been taken to. I wake up with puke on my face, and Cliff laughing at me.

He says: "You shithead, I came here for a graduation party. Now RALLY!"

He pulls me out of bed, throws my graduation robe back on me, and brings me right back to the bar where I spent that morning... and we proceed to wreck ourselves.

I remember telling him that day that he was, as far as I am concerned, my older brother. And... that if anything happened to him, it would be really tough for me to handle.

I'm so glad I told him that. Well, the first part. The second part... I guess I'm not really playing my cards too close to my chest here, so I suppose I wasn't lying.

Cliff was a funny motherfucker. I cant wait to hear more and more funny Cliff stories this weekend, and on this thread.


itsmehere

Jan 3, 2007, 8:18 AM
Post #78 of 200 (5911 views)
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Marco,
Keep the stories & the laughs coming "They Are So NEEDED" by everyone. Thank You again


Elisha  (D 31656)

Jan 3, 2007, 9:20 AM
Post #79 of 200 (5867 views)
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Re: [itsmehere] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

I think they're great too and I only met (well, talked to, but seen him around the DZ at Davis, Byron and Eloy) Cliff twice!


Reese04  (D 28078)

Jan 3, 2007, 9:31 AM
Post #80 of 200 (5854 views)
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Re: [itsmehere] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

I only had the pleasure of knowing Cliff for a few months, having just moved out to CA in May, but he quickly became one of those poeple I really enjoyed seeing at a dropzone.

That he was an arrogant know-it-all was obvious, but in a very good way. He seemed to know something about everything, with a very keen memory for small details.

When I finally made it out to Eloy last Friday, I remember thinking, "Oh, good, Cliff's here." I was getting back in the saddle after really fucking up a jump a few weeks prior in Davis. When I explained it all to Cliff, he did the best job of anyone of putting things in perspective and making me feel better about it. When I mentioned the Cypres fire of another jumper that occured on that load, his immediate response was, "That's not your fuck up." I guess I needed to hear it plain like that.

I miss his candor and knowledge - discussions on tort reform, patent law, military justice, and just why hot air balloons are termed "lighter-than-air" when it's air inside them.

To all those who knew Cliff much better than me and everyone who is grieving, my sincerest condolences.

-Cass


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 3, 2007, 9:35 AM
Post #81 of 200 (5857 views)
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Re: [itsmehere] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Marco,
Keep the stories & the laughs coming "They Are So NEEDED" by everyone. Thank You again

I will do my best. I can't be the blubbering sad sack I have been and still fulfill my responsibilities under the Code that Cliff and I lived by.

When a man goes down, you look after his family. I need to get strong for everyone.

Well, I cant very well step up if I keep feeling sorry for myself. So, I have initiated procedures in my own head to get my shit together. Today, I have a case against the City of Daytona - they arrested my client for showing her tits in public. My firm asked if I wanted to pass it on to grieve.

Now dammit, Cliff would be PISSED if some douchebag took that case. It made me realize that I'm gonna have to be a lot stronger now. This losing my shit is OVER.

And with that, I'm hereby stepping up to the plate. All of you, any of you, anyone, anywhere, lean on me, follow me. I'll carry the flag (unless and until someone else wants it). All I ask is that if I wind up needing a brief rest, somebody keep me from falling down).

Look everyone, I am demanding that I inherit something from Cliff. ALL OF YOU.

This was a great guy, and we are all missing something huge now, but if we look around at all these amazing people that he brought together, Cliff didn't have lame friends. If we all band together, I think that the friendship and love that we can give each other should act as a pretty good salve for this deep deep wound.

My friendship is, of course, part of that inheritance package for all of you too. You all are entitled to a piece of the friendship and love I had for this man. I think it should be apparent how fucking huge that is, so come on under my arm everyone.... I have PLENTY left over for you. I got so much, I dont even know what to do with it. So come on down and collect a piece.

Take your time, and when you get here, I'll be up on the hill waiting for you.

Cliff, don't worry buddy. I got this one.

Ok, who wants some love? Its only going to go to waste if you don't take it! Extra helpings anyone?

-Terrasino Rodriguez
Attachments: Cliff lookin shaggy.jpg (39.6 KB)
  head down.jpg (25.1 KB)


JSE  (D 28998)

Jan 3, 2007, 9:56 AM
Post #82 of 200 (5826 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I don’t even know where to begin. I considered Cliff my best friend in skydiving and one of my best in general. From the moment that he found out I was planning on going to law school too we because instant friends. We went through the LSAT, the admissions process, the first year, summer job searching all at the same time. We both wanted to specialize in the same area of law. We hung out almost every weekend, first in Hollister and then in Davis. When we were too busy to jump we still talked almost every week. We exchanged stories and had deep conversations about school, law, skydiving, politics, religion and life. I use to crash at his house in Davis so I could jump more then next day. I remember sitting on the grass packing at skydance planning this whole trip out. We were going to drive down separately and meet up in eloy and share a hotel room. Cliff was late getting to Eloy because he stayed an extra day in San Jose with Jen.
I spent most of Cliff’s last few days hanging out with him. The two of us drove around on Thursday when it was raining and made it back to the dz just in time to make the only load of the day. That night we went with Tom and Chris from Hollister out to dinner and both of us had fajitas and margaritas. Fri. night we rode out on the fire engine to the bonfire. After the hotdog roast (Cliff burned the hell out of his dogs but he seemed to like them that way) Cliff and I stood around talking to whoever was around. We had a very frank discussion about safety and fatalities. I mentioned that I felt lucky I had never witnessed a fatality or even known anyone who died skydiving. I don’t remember if it was Cliff or Jon King who replied “I hope you never have to see one.” As skydivers these types of conversations take place on occasion, but boy what terrible timing.
We stayed at the bonfire late. Most of the people had gone, but there was a whole keg left and despite it getting pretty cold out Cliff wasn’t ready to leave yet. We stayed out there for hours standing around a small fire until the only ones left were Cliff, Ty, myself and two random jumpers. Cliff and I walked back to the dz in the dark. He told me that he was going to go back to the hotel. I told him I would see him there later and went into the bar for one last drink and to say goodnight to some people. When I got back to the hotel Cliff was already asleep, but he had left out a small gift for me. I didn’t even really notice it until the next day.
Cliff was up early on Sat. and by the time I got to the dz he had already done his first jump of the day. We got a group of jumpers together and started jumping. I was a little frustrated that our skydives weren’t all building as planned but Cliff said that he didn’t care and that he was really having a great time. It was getting later in the afternoon and the only thing I had eaten all day was an orange that Cliff had retrieved from his car for me. I told the organizer that I wanted to skip a load to have some lunch. When I got back from eating they were still on a ten minute call so I packed really fast and jumped on the load. On the tram Cliff and I were joking around about how both of us never missed a load because the organizer thought that I wasn’t going to make it.
What happened next is posted in the incidents forum.
I want to thank everyone who was on the scene and tried their very best to help Cliff. I was totally in shock and to a certain extent I still am. I did my best to help make sure that the right people got notified and that arrangements were made for all the stuff Cliff had in az. I also want to thank the Byron folks who took the car. Going back to the hotel room and packing up all his stuff was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.
I know this post was kinda long but I feel really lucky to have been a part of Cliff’s last few days and I wanted to share that with all of you. What happened is a tragedy but I want everyone to know and take at least some solace in the fact that he was in a good place, having a great day, and doing what he loved.
My heart goes out to his family, to Jen, and everyone else who knew him and called him friend.
Blue Skies Cliff. We miss you already.

-Jeff E.

P.S. – Marco, so that’s why he was always talking about Durian


(This post was edited by JSE on Jan 3, 2007, 9:57 AM)


Sebazz1  (D 23382)

Jan 3, 2007, 10:17 AM
Post #83 of 200 (5801 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Jesus what the fuck... I met Cliff at Hollister a couple of years ago. I have to be honest that we did not see eye to eye when it came to a few certain DZ political crap items but after our disagreements and such we where able to move on and enjoy a beer and all of the things we did see eye to eye on. We did have our share of good jumps together with some challenging AFF students. We worked well as a team when we needed to. I work in a corporate securities IP law firm and we had much to discuss. You where stubborn and itelligent and I'd like to think we butted heads more because of our similairities than our differences. Jesus Cliff, I'll never forget meeting you sir...


Blue skies man.. -Seb


purpleskygirl

Jan 3, 2007, 10:47 AM
Post #84 of 200 (5770 views)
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Re: [Rebecca] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't know Cliff until I started jumping with him in Eloy that fateful weekend. What a fun, intelligent, and awesome flyer he was! I remember we had trouble figuring out the best way to close up a freefly point smoothly while dirt diving, and he came up with a brilliant idea that worked out almost beautiful.

Some of you don't know me, but I'm the wife of the other jumper involved in the collision, Kristen. I am just as shaken up mentally and physically as many of you are. Nothing my husband and I say, or do, will bring back Cliff. Some of you may want to naturally place blame, but the main focus should be on remembering a much loved soul that touched many lives in a very special way as he did with me. I am very deeply hurt that he has departed this life. Please know that I did everything I could with others on scene to bring him back to us.

I showed up at the DZ on New Year's Day and made a jump with close friends as a cleansing, and to remember two beautiful people, Cliff and Tom. Jay and I will always be haunted with this tragedy, but we are surrounded with love and positive energy that will help us through these tragic times. I'm positive you all are surrounded with this love and energy as well because that's the way the people are in this sport. We are all family, and it will always hurt to lose a family member. We are all very aware of the dangers of this sport, but knowing this shouldn't run us out of the sport either. Life in general is dangerous, but we are at least living it to the fullest. I will always cherish the brief moments I had with Cliff, and I send my love to you all!

Blue Skies,
Kristen


mfrese  (D 20145)

Jan 3, 2007, 10:54 AM
Post #85 of 200 (5758 views)
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One of the most gratifying things about being around Cliff was when he would continuously argue with you...you knew he at least respected your opinion or intelligence enough to keep hacking at you about something. Wink


itsmehere

Jan 3, 2007, 11:13 AM
Post #86 of 200 (5728 views)
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Marco,
You are doing a GREAT JOB!!! I'm willing to take over the reins at some point but then someone else will have to pick-up where we leave off. I have been @ Cliff's house in Staten Island, NY every night since this tragedy happened (sat night NY time got there around 9pm). I go every day/night to his parents house. I'm his cousin & I want to take care of his/our family. I am so looking forward to meeting you this weekend (but not under the circumstances I'm meeting you). You are a true FRIEND to Cliff. "THANK YOU AGAIN & AGAIN & AGAIN"

Cousin Cindy


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 3, 2007, 11:38 AM
Post #87 of 200 (5692 views)
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In reply to:
Marco,
You are doing a GREAT JOB!!! I'm willing to take over the reins at some point but then someone else will have to pick-up where we leave off. I have been @ Cliff's house in Staten Island, NY every night since this tragedy happened (sat night NY time got there around 9pm). I go every day/night to his parents house. I'm his cousin & I want to take care of his/our family. I am so looking forward to meeting you this weekend (but not under the circumstances I'm meeting you). You are a true FRIEND to Cliff. "THANK YOU AGAIN & AGAIN & AGAIN"

Cousin Cindy

The helm is yours baby. I'm glad to see there is more strength growing from this steaming pile of shit! It is infectious. Lets spread it around. Come on, more funny stories!


superwoman8433  (C 27004)

Jan 3, 2007, 11:45 AM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Cliff was, and still is, an Awesome guy. He helped me a lot when I started freeflying. But what I remember the most is the nights partying!!!!!!!!!! RIP & Blue Skies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


magnumruss

Jan 3, 2007, 1:55 PM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello friends.
This is Cliff's brother Russ. I've been waiting to post something here until i got this photo scanned, but also because i haven't been able to read all the way through this outpouring of sentiment without falling apart.

the photo is from the summer of 2005 when my girlfriend and i visited him in hollister. that's me in the tandem.

on my 21st birthday (jan 20th 2001 the day bush was sworn into office) cliff and my cousin craig took me out drinking. my brother bought me my first Maker's Mark. after seven more we wandered out of the bar dissapointed that the whiskey was too good to make us sick. there was a huge blizzard that night. complete whiteout. we had a snowball fight and then craig called it an evening. cliff said we hadn't done things right unless we puked and he steered us to another bar for fucking margheritas. that did the trick. if you have never puked on newly fallen snow, both Cliff and I recommend it.

Cliff tought me how to pick locks, starting in second grade when I stole the diary of the girl who sat next to me in class.

He somehow made giving you the finger into the warmest gesture possible. you knew cliff liked you if he gave you the finger.

Cliff is the one who told me that everything they teach you in school about drugs is a lie. and he was right. he was also right about your grades in junior high school being meaningless. who else will tell you these things when you need to know them?

Cliff got me a nintendo in the late 80's when he realized that my parents wouldn't. he would not let me get left behind on a technology that defined my generation.

cliff had an ipod case that looked like a tank tread. i have never seen anyone else with it, and it is overwhelmingly apparent that it is the best one ever made. the same is true about virtually every accessory i have ever seen him with. his bang & olufsen headphones. his watches, his coffee machines. his Russian imperial stout microbrew. his badass kevlar motorcycle gloves that he left at home when he stopped cylcling and i now proudly wear. everything. so elite.

I have never felt a loss so profound. i really thought my brother was invincible. i am sure right now he would be arrogantly citing the statistics that prove how unlikely it would be for him to have died.

this sucks people. this sucks real bad.

I woud appreciate if everyone can send me pictures or video of cliff (especially with his voice), skydiving or otherwise. i am in the difficult process of scanning and collecting photos of him that i will make available to anyone who wants them.

you can email me directly at 'magnumruss' on gmail
my # is 9!74288456

thank you all for sharing what cliff shared with you.

love
russ
Attachments: tandem_6_2005.jpg (98.1 KB)


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 3, 2007, 2:13 PM
Post #90 of 200 (5559 views)
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Re: [magnumruss] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Little Brother, I got some major love reserved for you.

I heard all about your 21st. Cliff was so proud of you. He bragged about you all the fucking time. He bragged about what a cool guy you were growing up to be.

If this helps at all, I keep watching the video of YOU in the booth in the Best Buy listening to "We Built This City" for 24 hours. Your smirk, the attitude in your face, its all Cliff there... and watching that, knowing that YOU are carrying the flag now, somehow gives me peace, and a little bit of laughter.

You never know... how could you ever know that that funny as fuck stunt would one day become a source of strength to help someone who loved your brother get through this shit?

Love, Marco

PS - of course, it does suck that I have "We built this city on rock and roll" stuck in my head, and I will forever associate that song with Cliff's merge with the infinite. Of course, I do believe that this is one of Cliff's practical jokes that he is playing on me from the other side. Prick!


bertila

Jan 3, 2007, 2:20 PM
Post #91 of 200 (5550 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I am an old friend of Clifford's ...I have known Clifford since he was 13 years old....i got how you feel completely..
Take care of your self and thanks
Bertil[email]


vsecrets12

Jan 3, 2007, 3:00 PM
Post #92 of 200 (5510 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

oh marco - i can't wait to see you. i should have said 11 (instead of 2:40) xo.

once again, to everyone - i just want to express how greatly appreciated ALL your words are.
i'm so exhausted. full of grief. full of loss. and these words....the good, the bad and the ugly about my brother, make me laugh, bring me to tears and hopefully will make me laugh after the pain subsides.
oh god - the pain will ease, won't it?

kristen, honey - there is no fault finding. thank you for writing. be well, live fully, and be greatful. give my best to jay - and a speedy recovery.

love cliff's sister, vicky


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Jan 3, 2007, 3:01 PM
Post #93 of 200 (5509 views)
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Re: [purpleskygirl] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Kristen - please know that you and Jay are in our thoughts as well. I hope his injuries aren't too bad and the pain meds are freely available.

Everybody - I've spent the past seven hours going through our tapes, capturing Cliff landing and on the ground at Davis and trying to put all the clips together. I'll upload it and post a link in an hour or so.

I just hope all of you don't cry as much watching it as I have putting it together. Frown


siddacious  (C 37735)

Jan 3, 2007, 3:43 PM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

My condolences on the passing of a perhaps harsh at times, but loveable skydiver.

Blue Skies Cliff


Premier cpoxon  (D 11665)
Moderator
Jan 3, 2007, 4:10 PM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I met Cliff and did a couple of jumps with him at ZHills during Easter of 2003. The first jump we did is very memorable for me as it was one of the best, most fun jumps I'd ever done. Just one of those jumps where everything flows and just works, despite my lesser experience. It came together with very little planning and the funny thing is when we actually tried to do a similar thing on the next jump, it didn't work nearly as well. Attached is capture from the video.

Marco, your posts have been incredibly moving, touching and funny. Your friendship, grief and Cliff's character are so tangible. My thoughts go out to you and all those affected by this tragedy, especially his family, his girlfriend, his friends, as well as Jay and Kristen.

I hardly knew Cliff, but he is unforgettable. Blue Skies Cliff.
Attachments: Cliff Heller ZHills Easter 2003.jpg (61.5 KB)


Lark

Jan 3, 2007, 4:51 PM
Post #96 of 200 (5395 views)
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Re: [vsecrets12] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Vicky
So so sorry for your loss. . .Please keep your brothers memories very close to your heart. . .


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Jan 3, 2007, 4:59 PM
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Re: [skybytch] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Here it is.

My apologies for the rough edit job, and feel free to tell me that my music choices suck.

If anybody would like a hi-res version (avi) and/or the raw clips (also avi), please let me know. If you're a Davis or Byron local I can have a disc for you at Davis most any weekend or at Byron the weekend of the 13th. If you're not from NorCal or can't make it Davis or Byron, PM me your snail mail address.


fozchek  (D License)

Jan 3, 2007, 5:05 PM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff [exanguanate]Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

cliff was a character, to be sure. i met him years ago in z-hills when i was an aspiring freeflyer, and shared many a jump with him, both there and elsewhere.
on friday i was passing briefly through eloy on my way to los angeles, and though in a hurry, i stopped to give him a big hug and catch up a bit. we both spoke of how things had changed for each of us, and that neither of us were 'going as hard' as we used to.
i chuckled and brought up 'exanguanate,' which is one of the few words that even a word nerd like myself gives pause to spell correctly when writing (still probably got it wrong). the word means 'to drain of blood.' it was his little code. you had to put it in the subject line if you wanted him to actually open an email you sent to him. i never forgot that about him, and every time i saw him, or even heard mention of him, that crazy word would pop into my head.
anyway. there's some fierce bigways going on somewhere if there's an afterlife.
later cliff.


chopin416

Jan 3, 2007, 5:15 PM
Post #99 of 200 (5359 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

if only i had the power to turn back the clock. what i wouldn't give for the super power that hiro possesses
believe me i squeezed my eyes and winced as hard as i could - but no luck. i may continue to try and try until i succeed.
i'm cliff's cousin sherry


(This post was edited by chopin416 on Jan 3, 2007, 5:34 PM)


jenp9k  (A 47027)

Jan 3, 2007, 5:17 PM
Post #100 of 200 (5360 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Everybody

I'm sorry I havent posted sooner, I've been on the phone constantly since Sat. afternoon. Plus I havent been able to pinpoint what I could say to sum Cliff up, or our relationship. There's just too much going through my mind. Needless to say I am devastated.

Cliff was my AFF instructor. The first time I saw him (we were just talking about this the other day) I KNEW with clarity that he was going to change my life. I immediately developed the hugest crush on him but despite my best efforts at flirting he seemed uninterested! He told me later he took very seriously the rule against getting involved with students, but that he was hot for me the whole time too.

That brings up another point about Cliff, he really lived his life by what he believed in. Backing up his words with his actions. He didnt want kids because the world is overpopulated, he took quick showers because water is a precious resource, etc. With me he was always loyal and honest.

It's actually been amusing to hear how many of you insist Cliff was an argumentative fuck. I know he really did love to argue, and always had about a million obscure facts to back up whatever he was trying to make a point about. Law school seemed to have been invented for him! But I saw another side of Cliff. Sure we would banter, but as far as fighting and arguing go we never did it. When it came to issues in our relationship he was always receptive, considerate, compromising and loving. He even told me himself several times that he loved it that we never fought. :)

Some of you know we had started making plans to live together after he finished school. He was a pillar of strength for myself and my little girls and we all considered him our family. I watched him grow from someone who never wanted kids and hadnt really been around them, to someone who would get down on the floor and play chutes and ladders. They loved it when he would throw them on the bed and tickle them, or roll them up in the blanket and unwind them really quickly. Then into someone they could turn to for love when they were hurt, or needed some cuddling. He shared with me that his experiences with my kids had given him a new respect for and a new insight into how and why his parents had raised him the way they did.

When I told Cliff of my decision to stop skydiving, I was very nervous. I told him of my concerns for my little girls and he respected and understood my decision. He was only concerned about the part of me that is fulfilled by skydiving and wanted to help me find something else to fill that need.

I'm never going to be able to forget him, or move on as some people suggest. I dont think I'll ever be able or interested in finding someone who could love me the way Cliff did. He worked his way into my heart, my head my home. He's all over my apartment-the shampoo and toothbrush in the bathroom, the furniture he helped me move and set up, the foods he liked in my cupboard, the wine glasses he gave me above the sink. Everywhere I turn he's there, and I miss him.

Jen


redtwiga  (D 28131)

Jan 3, 2007, 6:16 PM
Post #101 of 200 (5225 views)
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Re: [fozchek] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff [exanguanate]Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
i chuckled and brought up 'exanguanate,' which is one of the few words that even a word nerd like myself gives pause to spell correctly when writing (still probably got it wrong). the word means 'to drain of blood.' it was his little code. you had to put it in the subject line if you wanted him to actually open an email you sent to him. i never forgot that about him, and every time i saw him, or even heard mention of him, that crazy word would pop into my head.

Another one of his favorites was "steatopygia". Look it up and you'll know why. A few of us in Hollister got together at my house this afternoon to remember Cliff in his first California locale. We drank some nice German microbrews he would have appreciated and watched some videos that Adam put together. It was truly a shifting point for me. Watching his huge grin in the air brought home how happy that kid was skydiving and I was able to smile too, watching him be that happy, knowing that's how he felt on the 30th.
Congratulations, Jen, on being able to bring out a side of Cliff that no one else could. As much as the flip side hurts, I'm so happy that he was able to find joy in you and your children, and a reality he had never seen before. Thank you for the words that must have been heart rending to write.
All the love,
Aviva


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 3, 2007, 6:25 PM
Post #102 of 200 (5215 views)
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Re: [redtwiga] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff [exanguanate]Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
i chuckled and brought up 'exanguanate,' which is one of the few words that even a word nerd like myself gives pause to spell correctly when writing (still probably got it wrong). the word means 'to drain of blood.' it was his little code. you had to put it in the subject line if you wanted him to actually open an email you sent to him. i never forgot that about him, and every time i saw him, or even heard mention of him, that crazy word would pop into my head.

Another one of his favorites was "steatopygia". Look it up and you'll know why. A few of us in Hollister got together at my house this afternoon to remember Cliff in his first California locale. We drank some nice German microbrews he would have appreciated and watched some videos that Adam put together. It was truly a shifting point for me. Watching his huge grin in the air brought home how happy that kid was skydiving and I was able to smile too, watching him be that happy, knowing that's how he felt on the 30th.
Congratulations, Jen, on being able to bring out a side of Cliff that no one else could. As much as the flip side hurts, I'm so happy that he was able to find joy in you and your children, and a reality he had never seen before. Thank you for the words that must have been heart rending to write.
All the love,
Aviva

He taught me what corophagia means. Ok, not as in he demonstrated... as in he sent it in a "vocabulary building" email to me. Along with steato...whatever.

Funny motherfucker!


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 3, 2007, 6:28 PM
Post #103 of 200 (5217 views)
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Was she hot? [In reply to] Can't Post

Ok, I CHALLENGE ANYONE to tell me truthfully... that they never told Cliff a story with a woman in it, and he didnt ask .. "well, was she hot?"

and then you say "Cliff, you sick fuck, that was my (grandmother, wife, dog, thai hooker, durian)...

He says: "ok, it is sick, but... was she hot?

Then you finally break down and say yes/no.

I cant be the only one he did that to all the fucking time. Ha!


icevideot  (D 23833)

Jan 3, 2007, 7:10 PM
Post #104 of 200 (5182 views)
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Re: [jenp9k] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Jen your post makes me very happy for Bueno as well as much as it makes me happy for you. You are right about how resolute he was about living by his beliefs and I am very pleased you too spent such time together. I know it is never enough but I am happy you had what you did.

As far as being argumentative, I think that word is misleading. I am accused of being outspoken (and it is likely true and without the benefit of Cliff's keen insight) and I found Cliff to be quite agreeable. The things he brought to the discussion were usually things that I hadn't noticed and we sometimes debated these much longer than they deserved. He did a wonderful job of building a case for his view and I enjoyed these discussions very much.

I never quite got used to the purple PT Cruiser but it definitely fit him at the time. He showed up at our sleepy little King Air dz in a swamp in SC (not Southern Cal.... the SC on the east coast) with a fairly new AFF rating. I think he would have moved on after the weekend but our DZO loved Budweiser with rare exuberance. I endured many long dissertations on the value of having an "NCB number". He tried tirelessly to save our souls by teaching us not to buy cheap beer. Get it? NCB= No Cheap Beer. Anything worse than Newcastle would send him off to the nearest store to try and teach us more respectable habits.

I truly enjoyed his friendship and can only hope people someday look back at me and remember me for being anywhere near as kind and friendly. I haven't seen him in a couple of years but the winter air holds a bit more chill knowing he has moved on to another existence. If we ever discussed religion I don't remember it but if God grades on a curve, I am certain Cliff did very well.

Peace and love Cliff and I hope to meet you again someday.


redtwiga  (D 28131)

Jan 3, 2007, 7:14 PM
Post #105 of 200 (5177 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Was she hot? [In reply to] Can't Post

"Is she hot?"
"Damn it you're missing the point, Cliff!"

He's met almost all of my pre-skydiving-days friends in various countries (all of whom have been sorry to hear of this, most of them brought to tears) and he never met a single one he didn't ask that about before hand. Usually afterwards he'd explain in detail the sort of encounter he'd like to have with them, too. Ew Cliff, sick. BlushTongue
As always,
Love,
Aviva


bheller

Jan 3, 2007, 7:21 PM
Post #106 of 200 (5172 views)
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Re: [purpleskygirl] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Kristin, this is Clifford's youngest sister Brandie. I would like to thank you for trying to save my beloved brothers life. He meant a lot to all of us and sadly, accidents happen. It is times like these when we have to stand by each other for support.


itsmehere

Jan 3, 2007, 7:46 PM
Post #107 of 200 (5146 views)
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Re: [bheller] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Brandice & to All Who are Reading these postings of "Cliff Heller"

You have me smile, cry, laugh, cry, smile laugh & cry again. It is wonderful that all of you have such special memories about my cousin Cliff. This has to be the hardest death I've dealth with in my entire life (I'm 52). Even my parents passing wasn't this hard on me, they were much older. Their deaths weren't TRAGIC. Cliffs passing into the wild blue yonder has made such an impact on everyone. It was a horrible accident that I don't think anyone who knew Cliff though he would go out this way. I only hope his passing will kept others from having that same fateful accident. We were all be blessed by Cliff's friendship. Keep these posts coming, I look forward to hearing more & more about my cousin from many different people in his life besides our family.

Cousin Cindy

P.S. Miss you more than words can ever say
I love you XOXOXOXO


bheller

Jan 3, 2007, 7:49 PM
Post #108 of 200 (5143 views)
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Re: [bheller] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

This is Cliff's youngest sister Brandie. Thank you all for your comments on Cliffy (he will hate me calling him that). He was an AWESOME big brother to me. I have scattered memories of him being there is a 15 year gap between us, but Cliff always was a wonderful brother. I was fortunate enough to go out and visit him Summer 2005 where I took my first (and only) jump. He told me that I should do the T+ 13,000 feet because the 9,000 foot jump would not be worth it. He shared his passion with everyone around him. It was an amazing experience and I am glad I had the chance to share it with him. It is hard for everyone in his life to deal with this devastating news. We are all broken up over what tragically took him from us. It isnt fair. Everyone he touched throughout his lifetime was blessed to know him. I will miss him dearly. His death is still very shocking to us all. We are all crying over what happened. I myself am in disbeleif. Like many of you I have called his phone to hear his voice which only made me cry. I wanted him to answer it. I want him to call. I want it to be a mistake that it was not him but in the same case I wouldnt want ANY other families to be gong through what Cliff's family and friends are going through. Thank you all who knew Cliff and shared about him. I learned some more things about him- qualities that I now realize I shared with him so thank you all for giving me that peice of my brother back. And unfortunatly, accidents happen, so to everyone who shares the passion of skydiving like Cliff did, please be careful up there.


itsmehere

Jan 3, 2007, 8:04 PM
Post #109 of 200 (5131 views)
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Re: [bheller] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Kristen,

No one blames your husband for what happened. It was an "ACCIDENT" and an accident is just that, an accident (it wasn't planned). As one of Cliff's family members I can assure you no one in Cliff's family blames anyone (especially Jay). Be well & I hope Jay is coming along.

Cliff's Cousin cindy


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Jan 3, 2007, 8:23 PM
Post #110 of 200 (5112 views)
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Re: [itsmehere] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Their deaths weren't TRAGIC

After a good friend of mine died earlier this year, I was questioning whether I should keep jumping. After reading my post about that questioning on these forums, Cliff sought me out one day at the dz. We had a long talk about my reasoning for hanging it up and he shared his thoughts on the matter with me.

Through that conversation and through his post to me here (quoted early in this thread), Cliff helped me to realize that when someone has a huge passion for what they are doing, it's not tragic when they leave us while pursuing that passion.

I didn't know Cliff for very long, only since he started jumping regularly at Davis. I didn't know him very well, but his words impacted me hugely. He was one of the people I looked forward to seeing at the dropzone. I hope the fact that through his love of skydiving he touched so many people in so many different ways in some way helps to lessen your grief, if not now then at some point in the future.

blue skies...
lisa


redtwiga  (D 28131)

Jan 3, 2007, 10:05 PM
Post #111 of 200 (5050 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Lookee what I found:
http://www.josambro.com/dropzone.htm


edelweiss  (C License)

Jan 3, 2007, 11:06 PM
Post #112 of 200 (5024 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Cliff was an important part in our little skydive family in Asia, while he lived in Singapore..... I remember all the stories I heard about him before I even met him. I was scared that I was not cool enough and I thought he will be laughing at me as I'm a bit of a chicken.... the opposite...he always had time for an encouraging word, cheered and motivated me for the next challenge.... a couple of years after he left Singapore Marcus and I met up with him at Perris for the flyboyz film festival. He got invited to do some big ways with the big girls and boys.... but he always found time to jump and hang with us....... Cliff you never left our mind......



....Marco, I never will forget the time you were in Singapore and jumping with us in Asia....I couldn't believe what you guys can eat....disgusting poor :-).... I thought I had to puke... I also don't forget the love I saw Cliff having for you - unconditional..... I think we are all very lucky to have crossed the path with such an incredible person.....

I also remember the first of January here in Australia were we are at the moment (it was still the 31 st in the US)..... Marcus reading the news on DropZone.com..... saying he has bad news...thinking he read the weather forecast and it will be raining for another 3 days...... how I wished this was true and how we wished Marco wasn't confirming our fear...

Jolanda


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 4, 2007, 4:53 AM
Post #113 of 200 (4960 views)
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Hunting Stingrays [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
....Marco, I never will forget the time you were in Singapore and jumping with us in Asia....I couldn't believe what you guys can eat....disgusting poor :-).... I thought I had to puke... I also don't forget the love I saw Cliff having for you - unconditional..... I think we are all very lucky to have crossed the path with such an incredible person.....

Those weeks in Asia were some of the best in my life. Hanging with my best friend, grossing everyone out with what we'd eat, being pigs in every way. I also loved that I was there in a way that could make Cliff proud of me. He knew me for so long, and saw me through a lot of changes in my life... and when I came to Singapore to be a speaker at a big conference, I loved that I was finally making him proud of me.

The part you wrote about seeing the unconditional love he had for me made me cry for about a half hour this morning. I haven't gotten that from too many people in this life. I dont expect to get it from many more. That was really cool. From fuck-up to big success, he was always in my corner.

I'm sorry to have confirmed the news. I wish that you and I had some other reason to re-connect.

OK, happy story time!

As you already noted, Cliff and I would eat pretty much anything. He was allergic to shellfish, but that didn't stop him from consuming any organic substance he could come across. It was cool to have a friend who would say "you gonna eat that eyeball?"

In Singapore, we loved going to Newton Circus to get red-hot Sambal Stingray.

When he came back from Singapore, I was living on Fort Myers beach, and he came to visit. An army of stingray camped out in the shallow water And we looked at each other and said "you thinking what I'm thinking?"

So we hacked up some bamboo poles and made spears out of them. A beer in one hand and a spear in the other, with horrified beach-goers staring at us, we both came out of the water with stingrays jammed on the end of our makeshift spears.

Next thing you know, we're grilling fresh stingray. We made a sauce out of coconut milk from the trees in my yard, and some ass-blasting hot pepper that I brought back from Laos. Of course, we got ourselves some nice frosty Singha to round out the meal.

Everyone on the beach looked at us like we were complete freaks of nature. And, well, I guess that was a fair opinion to have of us.

At the time, I was unemployed. I had just taken the bar, passed it, but couldnt find a job. While we were hunting stingrays, it caught the attention of a guy on the beach (well, everyone's attention, but this guy talked to us).

It turns out that the guy was a partner at a big law firm where I had been trying to get a job for years.

Cliff pimped me to the guy all day. By the end of the day, the guy hands me his card and tells me to make an appointment to come meet him at his office - that we needed to talk about me working for his firm.

Yes, I got my first job because me and Cliff were hunting stingrays with bamboo spears - and because Cliff couldn't resist looking out for me.

And now look where I am. Thanks, Cliff.


(This post was edited by marcorandazza on Jan 4, 2007, 5:12 AM)


0steveblack

Jan 4, 2007, 5:49 AM
Post #114 of 200 (4936 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Marco, this is Steve Black we meet & had a short but unbrideled time in Indo, also stimpies ( ashley's) wife hatede us both.
cliff did so much for me, & we did so much for him,
shit happens but it still hurts,
the shock is what gets me, he was the one person telling me to take care & have control, sad but true, he will be missed by me and many other.
I am glad we all had the times we did they will live on.


0steveblack

Jan 4, 2007, 6:02 AM
Post #115 of 200 (4933 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember the nigth the cliff made you a Randezza brother, Indonesia & singapore was a different & extreme world, Amigos in Jakarta, Lido hotel, figths with locals over pool tabels, Dag Glow aborshions, what more can be said, a great person lost he tought me how to sit fly.
hardest lose I have had to hear or aprat from our other Indo friend how went in.
I have not shed a tear for a long time until today I hope I don't have to again any time soon .
fuck it all, I hope he had a great jump before the opening,
Love to all ,& sorry for the lose, but better than crossing the road.
Cliff rock on.


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 4, 2007, 6:12 AM
Post #116 of 200 (4927 views)
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Re: [0steveblack] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I remember the nigth the cliff made you a Randezza brother, Indonesia & singapore was a different & extreme world, Amigos in Jakarta, Lido hotel, figths with locals over pool tabels, Dag Glow aborshions, what more can be said, a great person lost he tought me how to sit fly.
hardest lose I have had to hear or aprat from our other Indo friend how went in.
I have not shed a tear for a long time until today I hope I don't have to again any time soon .
fuck it all, I hope he had a great jump before the opening,
Love to all ,& sorry for the lose, but better than crossing the road.
Cliff rock on.


STEVE!!!!! I was trying to track you down for the past few days. I had an old mobile number and an old email address. I figured your dirty ass would boil to the surface soon enough.

Yeah... that weekend in Indo was one of the best of my life. What a fucking riot. Finding tequila in Lido, Indo., you saying "fuck it, give us one of everything on the menu, and bring us 10 pitchers of beer" (for what, four guys, three bar girls, and Rita.).

That was an epic weekend. I keep trying to write about it more, but I just get all fucked up when I do... I'm really happy to see your name up here though. PM me your contact info.


Taylor610  (D 11263)

Jan 4, 2007, 6:17 AM
Post #117 of 200 (4922 views)
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Re: [icevideot] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

As far as being argumentative, I think that word is misleading.

Quote:

Truer words never spoken in this case. You can say almost anything, if you say it with a smile, Bueno always had that smile, even laughed when he would hit the hard points, a laugh of the non-threatening nature.

I think he would have moved on after the weekend but our DZO loved Budweiser with rare exuberance. I endured many long dissertations on the value of having an "NCB number". He tried tirelessly to save our souls by teaching us not to buy cheap beer. Get it? NCB= No Cheap Beer. Anything worse than Newcastle would send him off to the nearest store to try and teach us more respectable habits.

Quote:

He used to always try to "turn me on" to a "real beer" but I every time I bought it, they drank it faster than me...stick with the cheap stuff. That way he would always offer me one of the good ones...

I truly enjoyed his friendship and can only hope people someday look back at me and remember me for being anywhere near as kind and friendly.

Quote:

Perfectly stated.

He did a wonderful job of building a case for his view and I enjoyed these discussions very much.

Quote:

His voice, I will never forget hearing that voice, probably because it normally carried some kind of a message that would make you think.

Maybe I should go get one of them New Castles, and remember all of those good times. My prayers go out to those who grieve for our friend.

bue·no – interjection Spanish. good; all right.
Smile

How well it fits.


itsmehere

Jan 4, 2007, 7:09 AM
Post #118 of 200 (4896 views)
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Re: [Taylor610] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I just went on the incident part of dropzone & under fatality Eloy 30 December is a detailed account of how this happened to Cliff & Jay too. Jay is alive unfortunately my cousin Cliff isn't. If anyone wants to know the particulars (how the canopy's collided etc,) just go there and read the account(s). My heart aches, my eyes tear in fact I'm still crying hysterically @ times. This one is going to take a long, long time before the pain eases.

Cliff "I Love You"

Cousin Cindy XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXXOXOXOXOX

Rest in Peace


ryanholte

Jan 4, 2007, 7:19 AM
Post #119 of 200 (4880 views)
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Re: [Taylor610] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Alright, all this talk about Cliff and beer along with some prodding from Marco has motivated me to make a post. My name is Ryan, and I’m Cliff’s friend from law school. Since I don’t skydive, and was never really fond of internet forums, I have held back posting something until now. I’ve enjoyed reading what everyone else has to say so much, that I feel it would be unfair to not share a pic and story with all of you. I also look forward to meeting many of you this weekend in Staten Island.

Here’s the story on the pic:

It was the last day of classes at the end of the Spring semester - right after the last 1L final (property law). Our school had scheduled to have a keg setup in the courtyard and Cliff and I had made a pact to get at least buzzed when we were done with the test. He had originally planned to leave right after the final to make the DZ before it got late, but the weather was unusually crappy that day. We had a great conversation about dark vs. light beer because Cliff was refusing to drink the Miller Lite the school had provided. Cliff was going on about quality brews, and I couldn't shut up about how many carbs they had. I knew how much he hated diet conversation. We paused long enough for the picture to be taken - right before Cliff gave in to me and finally walked over to the keg of Miller. We then continued the discussion until the keg ran dry and we noticed everyone else had gone home.

I flew out to DC the next day to begin my summer clerkship, and Cliff spent a week doing law review tryouts. I remember getting calls and crazy emails late into the night from him complaining about how ridiculous the law review competition was, or how he had figured out something in one of the problems that no one else would have gotten. I tried to remind him about the time difference between PST and EST but he didn’t really seem to care.

When he found out that he didn’t make law review, he called me first. After letting me know the news, he said “well, I guess it’s good that you didn’t waste a week of your summer doing tryouts, because if I couldn’t make it, then you couldn’t have.” Most people would have probably been offended by the statement, but not me. I understood everything Cliff ever said to me, and was never offended or hurt once. There was no question about it, he was right - if he couldn’t make law review, I definitely couldn’t make law review! We joked about the tryouts a little bit, and chocked up the situation to some crazy conspiracy by the school to only select a “certain type of people” for their law review, and how they were against engineers like us succeeding because we already had so much going for us. The theory was similar to the one explaining why we didn’t get into their top 10 law schools.

That was the great thing about Cliff, he could always recover well. After not getting in to Stanford, or not getting straight A’s the first year of law school, or not making law review – he always came back and fought harder. I’m still waiting for him to come back now…
Attachments: Me & Cliff.jpg (93.2 KB)


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 4, 2007, 7:32 AM
Post #120 of 200 (4867 views)
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Re: [ryanholte] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
After not getting in to Stanford…

Fuck Stanford. Fuck Stanford in the ass. They blew it. We should send this to the admissions committee there with a note "see what you dipshits passed up!"

I think I may have tried a little too hard to stuff the sadness yesterday... it exploded on me this morning. I'll have it together by the time i get to NY.


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 4, 2007, 8:06 AM
Post #121 of 200 (4851 views)
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Goddamn dipshit rodriguez gypsy dildo punks! [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the videos posted uses the Repo Man theme as the background music. That is SO cool.

In the movie, which Cliff knew verbatim, there is a point when Harry Dean Stanton screams with immense rage (at some guys called *the Rodriguez Brothers*:

"GODDAMN..... DIPSHIT.... RODRIGUEZ..... GYPSY.. DILDO.. PUNKS!!!!"

Whenever Cliff and I made a jump together, we'd always look at each other and yell that. He would have this funny assed laugh afterward...


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 4, 2007, 10:36 AM
Post #122 of 200 (4739 views)
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An independent opinion [In reply to] Can't Post

One of my students read this thread... this is an excerpt from what he had to say:

I can't help but be jealous of the relationship you had with your buddy, Cliff. It sounds like the ultimate friendship - the kind in those 80's coming-of-age movies (Stand By Me), but you got to continue that into adulthood. It sounds like you guys were the loudmouths at the restaurant that quiet people like me would mutter "look at those assholes" while secretly wanting to join in.

No wonder he got an A in my course last semester.

Ugh... im fucking losing it again.


bheller

Jan 4, 2007, 10:42 AM
Post #123 of 200 (4729 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Goddamn dipshit rodriguez gypsy dildo punks! [In reply to] Can't Post

THANKYOU EVERYONE including russ and vick for posting pictures of Cliff. please keep them comming.


WrongWay  (D 27371)

Jan 4, 2007, 11:44 PM
Post #124 of 200 (4454 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't know him extremely well, but he and I had some cool jumps at the Richmond boogie a few years back. I remember that "Bueno is bueno".

He still is.


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 5, 2007, 5:54 AM
Post #125 of 200 (4401 views)
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Toast [In reply to] Can't Post

Does anyone remember that "toast" that Cliff used to do, usually in the most inappropriate situations?

Something like this:

May prostitutes prosper,
May fuck become a household word, ...
Without further ado
Cunt.


Something like that. I know I am missing half the words because every time I heard it I was probably laughing beer out my nose.

I remember taking him out one night, and we had a bunch of girls at the table. He stands up, stone cold sober, and bellows this "toast" out.

He finishes, there is beer everywhere from me laughing, and the girls all fled.

Cliff had this way of cock blocking you, but making you have *more* fun in the process.

Cliff, you weird, offensive, hilarious bastard.


vsecrets12

Jan 5, 2007, 6:40 AM
Post #126 of 200 (5408 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Toast [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Cliff, you weird, offensive, hilarious bastard
oh. this gets me. so right you are. and yet...like jen has written somewhere, he and i never argued (well - after we stopped living 4 feet apart from each other on the second floor of 646 davis ave). i think he reserved his softer side for me. : )

sister, vicky
included is a pic of him, not being offensive!


(This post was edited by vsecrets12 on Jan 5, 2007, 6:46 AM)
Attachments: IMG_0100.JPG (50.9 KB)


bheller

Jan 5, 2007, 9:24 AM
Post #127 of 200 (5325 views)
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I remember when i was 15 there was this guy at my high school who was bothering me. When I told Cliff and our cousin Craig they both said "well how can this person continue to harass you with both his legs broken." I was glad to have an older brother willing to kick someones ass for me Smile There was another time when I was in 6th grade and I was soo sick with asthma that I had to go to the hospital. Just as my mother and I were about to leave to go, the doorbell rang and it was flowers form Cliff to me. He didn't even know that I was sick. The inscription said "just because I love you." He was a great big brother to me, Vicky, Russell, and even a Brother to Craig. I wish I had taken more time as an adult to form a stronger relationship with him. I always thought I had all the time in the world. So my bit of advise for this morning is "DONT HOLD GRUDGES you never know if a person will be taken from you and you will never forgive yourself for not making amends. Also, say what you feel you should say. If you love someone TELL THEM. Cliff and I always said we loved each other at the end of phone conversations. Furthermore, (OMG I feel like im writing an essay here!) NEVER assume that you can tell a person how you feel later, or another day. YOU might not have that other day. Live in the now; don't wait till later.UnsureFrown


(This post was edited by bheller on Jan 5, 2007, 1:32 PM)


brianfry713  (D 28665)

Jan 5, 2007, 10:25 AM
Post #128 of 200 (5289 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

My condolences to all that knew him well. He will be missed in Nor Cal.


flarosa

Jan 5, 2007, 11:01 AM
Post #129 of 200 (5262 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Everyone,

I'm not a skydiver but I was a friend of Cliff's for 20 years and I'd really like to express my condolences to his family and other friends. He was a great guy who always stayed in touch even when he was living thousands of miles away or on the other side of the world. I'll miss him a lot.

Two things I'd like to say about Cliff that a lot of people might not know is that he was a great writer and a great computer programmer. He was always modest about his writing. Instead of trying to publish a novel or write for a magazine, he'd use his skills whenever he sent you a personal email message or posted on a message board. Back in 1995 he was an early version of what we'd describe today as a "blogger", when he traveled the US by motorcycle and posted a journal of his activities on the internet each night. In the 80's he wrote a message on my BBS that was so good I kept it and put it on my web site many years later. It was titled, "Let's put Frank in the Cool Club".

Remember the Y2k bug? Some people say it was overblown. As a programmer, I've always said, it was a serious problem that programmers managed to fix in time. Cliff was one of those programmers. While the rest of us were getting ready to party, Cliff was in Singapore, at his computer, making sure the world banking system wasn't going to collapse at midnight. I remember chatting with him that day. "New Zealand just rolled over!", he said with great delight.

Here's one photo I found of him, from 2004, shortly before he enrolled in law school. I'm sure he'd have been as good a lawyer as he was with everything else he did in his life.

Frank


(This post was edited by flarosa on Jan 5, 2007, 11:04 AM)
Attachments: Cliff-2599a.jpg (90.8 KB)


bheller

Jan 5, 2007, 11:33 AM
Post #130 of 200 (5240 views)
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Re: [flarosa] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you Frank for that picture of cliff. if you have any more please send them.


murps2000  (D 23114)

Jan 5, 2007, 8:49 PM
Post #131 of 200 (5059 views)
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Re: [WeakMindedFool] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I've read this thread with a heavy heart, and it's tough to add to what I've already read. I see now that Cliff was to many what he was to me, and more. It surprises me to feel a tinge of jealousy at some of what I've read. People actually had more fun with Cliff than I did? Dammit!

But I can't complain too much because I was one of the lucky ones who crossed paths with him, both in the air and on the ground. I'm one of the lucky ones who got to eat gross things with him once, and drink and discuss good malt beverages on several occasions. I'm one of the lucky ones who got to freefly with Cliff, and debate the finer points of canopy flight. I'm one of the lucky ones who reaped the benefits of his free guidance, and sarcastic wit. I'm one of the lucky ones who got that complex yet unrivaled sense of humor. And I'm one of the lucky ones who enjoyed the challenge of debate with him.

People say Cliff was argumentative, but that's not accurate. Cliff was engaging. He was one of those rare people that you meet that you just can't evade in conversation. He requires your full attention. I would always approach Cliff when I saw him at the DZ just for that interaction, and I was never disappointed. How often will you meet someone with an expert opinion on everything from canopies to cognac, from head down to hip-hop? I've even had discussions with Cliff about the pride people should take in the proper use of the semicolon; it was one of his favorite punctuation marks. Yes, Cliff was a smart fucker.

This brings me to why I answered your post, Jason, and not others. Cliff didn't argue the importance of the east coast punk scene simply for the sake of argument. He did it because he was right, and as long as I breathe you will never have the last word.Wink

You are right about one thing, though. Cliff was an asshole. But God, I love a good asshole, and he was among the best.


I met Cliff briefly at Z-hills back in'03, but I didn't really get to know him until moving to Cali in '04. Many of you may recall that Cliff narrowly cheated death at Davis that year by hand deploying his reserve after a cutaway and entanglement with his reserve bridle. I moved out west and saw him at Hollister shortly after that near incident. After hearing his story, ironically now, I remember thanking him for not dying before I got out there to meet him again, because I had heard so much about him from Aviva & Aimee. I didn't know it at the time but I really did owe him thanks for that. I've had some good Cliff memories accumulate since then, and some good Cliff skydives during the past two years.

To Cliff's family, I am so deeply sorry. The too short amount of time that I have known Cliff only tells me that the magnitude of your loss is inconceivable. Thank you so much for blessing the rest of us with his presence.

To Jen, words can't begin to convey. Thank you so much for blessing the rest of us with Cliff's presence after he met you.

To Cliff, fly free bro. Dock on us sometime...

FrownFrownFrown


Sean M


(This post was edited by murps2000 on Jan 5, 2007, 8:51 PM)


hjumper33  (Student)

Jan 6, 2007, 12:32 AM
Post #132 of 200 (4995 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I go to medical school at UC Davis and just had a friend call me and say they read an article in the school paper about a law student skydiver and my heart sank when I knew it was Cliff. My condolences to everyone who had their life touched by this tragedy.

Cliff Article


Skycaroline  (D 100429)

Jan 6, 2007, 12:03 PM
Post #133 of 200 (4908 views)
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Re: [magnumruss] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I met Cliff during the 2002 Easter boogie at Zhills.

There there was no peace on that trip once I had!

Whether he was tempting me into debate around the campfire, insisting I come skydiving with him, or trying to drag us off somewhere to eat, drink or party...

I had a huge amount of fun hanging out with him on that holiday and many happy memories will forever be attached to those weeks in Zhills.

I was not much of a freeflyer - never have been - but that didn't stop me trying - or him trying to teach me... while he grinned from ear to ear in freefall... (the photo provides a sight that I am sure was familiar to many).

Was I the only one...? Or did freeflying somehow seem so much easier when he was right there in front of you?

I saw Cliff again at the Swedish Herc Boogie that same year. Then again at Zhills in 2003.

I was with him in Zhills the day he broke his wrist and my heart still skips a beat when I remember his landing from that jump...
The photo with his wrist in a cast was taken when he returned to the DZ later that evening.

I left Zhills to come back to the UK just after that photo was taken.

That was the last time I saw Cliff.

We kept in touch from time to time in the years that followed, I was glad just to know that he was following a path that made him happy.

I had of course hoped to see him again someday.

I still do.

--

Meeting you, flying with you and getting to know you Cliff was unforgettable.
Thanks for making me see so many things I'd never really thought about... in so many weird and wonderful new ways!



C.x
Attachments: Dsc00045.jpg (81.5 KB)
  Dsc00238.jpg (44.6 KB)
  Orlando0206.JPG (41.8 KB)


BritPaul  (B License)

Jan 6, 2007, 1:45 PM
Post #134 of 200 (4879 views)
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Re: [Skycaroline] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Cliff was the first instructor I met when I came to Hollister from Monterey Bay to get my AFF (finally) done.


I owe him a lot - I still have the videos of my lessons here with his huge grin on them, along with some later ones of him TRYING to get me to sit fly a couple years back!

Even after he left for Davis, I always got the feeling that Cliff (and his "debates"!) were still a part of everyday life at Hollister. I guess they will remain so - but I know he'll be missed in person.


Thanks for everything Cliff - it was good knowing you. My condolences to all his family & friends.


flarosa

Jan 6, 2007, 1:49 PM
Post #135 of 200 (4877 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's a photo of Cliff landing at the field in Hollister. The date was July 10, 2004.
Attachments: Sunset Cliff (Small).jpg (59.1 KB)


f1freak  (C License)

Jan 6, 2007, 2:56 PM
Post #136 of 200 (4859 views)
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Re: [Skycaroline] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
I was with him in Zhills the day he broke his wrist and my heart still skips a beat when I remember his landing from that jump...
The photo with his wrist in a cast was taken when he returned to the DZ later that evening.
aw shit....
I was one of cliffs neighbors at zhills. I remember that same landing.
RIP Cliff


f1freak  (C License)

Jan 6, 2007, 3:27 PM
Post #137 of 200 (4850 views)
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Re: [jenp9k] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

wow...
So sorry for your loss....
it's one thing to lose a friend... but a whole different thing to lose your life partner....
thoughts are with you


WeakMindedFool  (D 28195)

Jan 6, 2007, 3:33 PM
Post #138 of 200 (4843 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Here is some of my Video of Cliff.


webracer  (D 24550)

Jan 6, 2007, 4:01 PM
Post #139 of 200 (4832 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I have met and Jumped with Cliff at SDC on a couple of occasions. I then met him at Hollister again a couple years ago.
Cliff always impressed me with his manner and skill. I will miss him and wish to send my deepest condolences to all that were close to him.


RhondaLea  (A 29204)

Jan 6, 2007, 4:29 PM
Post #140 of 200 (4818 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Vintage Cliff

or, if you can't get the link to work (works for me just fine), paste the non-clicky version into your browser:

http://groups.google.com/groups/profile?enc_user=nPJnxA8AAACjFVthODk4BKwGtGMAvqAX


(This post was edited by RhondaLea on Jan 6, 2007, 5:23 PM)


f1freak  (C License)

Jan 6, 2007, 4:54 PM
Post #141 of 200 (4812 views)
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Re: [RhondaLea] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

link not working


0steveblack

Jan 6, 2007, 6:30 PM
Post #142 of 200 (4787 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Was she hot? [In reply to] Can't Post

no mate you know dame well you are not the only one, how many nights in Jakarta or at Lido this happened, everytime, he was a sick bastard but aren't we all.
some of the things we did in Indo we would never have got away with anywhere else, it's a surprise we never got locked up.


0steveblack

Jan 6, 2007, 6:43 PM
Post #143 of 200 (4783 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Was she hot? [In reply to] Can't Post

thinking back to the early days in Indonesia, CLiff tought me how to sit fly, we laughed at our national ranking at the time.
Cliff was the #1 ranks free flyer in South East Asia, #1 ranked in singapore where he lives.
I was #1 ranked free flyer in Indonesia, the fact that I was the only free flyer in Indonesia did matter #1 is #1.

The weeked that Marco come to jump with us & he almost gave Cliff a heart attack when he landed off, Cliff was shitting himself incase something bad happened to Marco & Cliff would have a hit out on him by the family for not looking after Marco. Luckily Marco landed safely on the Lido golf course.
not on the fiarway but on the green digging a huge trench in it & pissing off lots of golfers.

We got some great vidoe that weekend, some of sky diving also.


josambro

Jan 6, 2007, 10:22 PM
Post #144 of 200 (4745 views)
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Cliff ripped it hardcore, like porno-flick bitches
He rolled with groups of ghetto bastards with biscuits

He will be missed. Fnord.


magnumruss

Jan 7, 2007, 1:49 AM
Post #145 of 200 (4715 views)
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Re: [RhondaLea] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

holy shit. i am really glad you linked to these newsgroup postings. i didn't know these were out there especially in this quantity. i certainly didn't know google had made this all easily navigable and searchable in their gradual process of taking over the world.

i am glad to have all this as an artifact of cliff's panoply of interests. check out the recent stuff on alt.coffee.
what a connoi-fucking-sseur he was.


okalb  (D 22854)

Jan 7, 2007, 5:31 AM
Post #146 of 200 (4686 views)
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Re: [bheller] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

This was always one of my favorite exit shots. It was my desktop wallpaper for a long time and now it is again. That is Cliff in the top right corner.

I had to reduce the size to post it. If anyone wants a full size copy PM me and I will email it to you.

-OK
Attachments: 7-way small.jpg (73.0 KB)


bheller

Jan 7, 2007, 2:40 PM
Post #147 of 200 (4558 views)
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Re: [okalb] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I jumped with Cliff somewhere in northern Cali on 8/20/05. Cliff recorded the footage but he never worked on it or sent me my jump footage because he started law school the next week. does anybody know if cliff mentioned the drop zone or the location of the video?.........


WeakMindedFool  (D 28195)

Jan 7, 2007, 6:34 PM
Post #148 of 200 (4494 views)
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Re: [bheller] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Skydance Skydiving at Yolo county airport...don't know about the video. I know it was Skydance though.


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 7, 2007, 7:48 PM
Post #149 of 200 (4470 views)
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Re: [0steveblack] Was she hot? [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The weeked that Marco come to jump with us & he almost gave Cliff a heart attack when he landed off, Cliff was shitting himself incase something bad happened to Marco & Cliff would have a hit out on him by the family for not looking after Marco. Luckily Marco landed safely on the Lido golf course.
not on the fiarway but on the green digging a huge trench in it & pissing off lots of golfers.

We got some great vidoe that weekend, some of sky diving also.

Hahahah! Yeah, I remember that like it was yesterday. I jumped from the aircraft with my leg straps un-done, and was putting my rig on in free fall. Not my smartest maneuver. Of course, it got me disoriented, and it was either *try* and make it back to the DZ, or *definitely* make it to the golf course.

Golf course is surrounded by a banana farm, and yes, I trashed the green.

Some banana farmer puts me on his motorcycle and drives me back.

That look on Cliff's face, as it went from abject worry to "you idiot!" was priceless.

And my family would never put a hit on Cliff. We're not "that kind of Sicilians." That was Cliff's way of saying "I hope I didnt break him."

Black, if you have any video of him... us... that weekend... let me know. I'm collecting it.


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 7, 2007, 7:54 PM
Post #150 of 200 (4469 views)
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The Funeral [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, here I am ... back home in Florida.

I had what can only be described as a voyage of a weekend. All expenses paid (well, paid by myself) to exotic Staten Island.

I'm sad to report that this is not a hoax... and I was still holding out a wee bit of irrational hope. But I am happy to report that we did manage to laugh.

Friday night we had a great time. We polished off a lot of Maker's Mark, Saturday it was a bottle of Patron, and a bottle of Maker's.

The Eulogies did him justice. The service was perfect. And we actually managed to start making fun of Cliff -- which he would have done to us.

I can't say that I actually "accept" this... but I'm not losing it anymore. Hugging Craig, and Vic, and Russ, and Brandi, Sherman, Crazy Cousin Cindy, Jen, Aviva, etc., started to put a little of my bleeding strength back in me.

My big brother is gone... but i've inherited a little brother, and two sisters.

Not a bad trade.


Mmaur24

Jan 7, 2007, 9:06 PM
Post #151 of 200 (5944 views)
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Re: [bheller] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Hello everyone, I'm Monica and I'm a friend of Cliff's family. My best friend is Cliff's youngest sister. I never had the pleasure of meeting Cliff because he already left Staten Island before Brandie and I met. However, I feel like I did manage to get to know him through all the stories I heard and the posts I read on here. He truly seemed like such a unique and unforgettable person.

From my understanding, Cliff seems like one of the few people you come across in life that consistently leaves an impact on those around him. And from an argumentative point of view, it sounds like he would have made one hell of a lawyer. However, after listening to stories from my best friend I also gather that he was a versatile individual who was quick witted and had a big heart.

What happened here was nothing short of a tragedy as well as a painfully devastating loss of talent and potential. One of the things I admire most about my best friends family is their marked intelligence and I can see that Cliff was no exception. Although I fall in the shadows of experiencing this loss, I have to say that Cliff's style of life is inspiring. As a person who has lived on this island all her life with how repetitive and mundane it can be, hearing about Cliff's biography reiterates to me that there is a big world out there full of so many diverse experiences and that the only thing that limits us is ourselves. And as Brandie so eloquently put it, life is too short for putting things off for later. My thoughts and condolences go out to first and foremost his family but also to all of the other people whose lives he has touched.

Seeing death as the end of life is like seeing the horizon as the end of the ocean.
-David Searls


itsmehere

Jan 8, 2007, 5:25 AM
Post #152 of 200 (5885 views)
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Marco,
I now am known as Cousin Cindy (I dropped the CRAZY). You also inherited a slew of cousins, my son Michael, my sister Sherry & of course "ME". The memorial service was a true tribute to Cliff. He would have been proud of us. Aside from meeting you & adding you to "our family" I also had the pleasue of meeting the beautiful Jen, Aviva, Alex, & quite a few other special people in Cliff's short life. Even Cliff's law professor Tobias showed up. It was wonderful seeing the turnout for my cousin Cliff, heartfelt but wonderful just the same. Jen, I'm so so sorry that this is how I had to meet you. I know as we all do the Cliff truly loved you (no doubt about it). It's times like these that bring us all closer together & truly make us family. I hope we can keep this thread going for a long time. I don't want anyone to ever forget Cliff (there is no way anyone who knew Cliff could actually forget him, he left an impression on almost everyone he met).


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 8, 2007, 6:01 AM
Post #153 of 200 (5874 views)
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Dont drop the Crazy! It makes you special. And not in a hockey helmet way... in a precious and "only you" way.

Wanna hear something weird?

There is a conference in Arizona that I really wanted to attend, but I was not going to be able to due to work responsibilities.

This morning, I get an email that my firm is sending me after all. I guess I will have to make a little pilgrimage to Eloy. So, any Eloyians that may be present in February, I would love the opportunity to meet you.

Marco


itsmehere

Jan 8, 2007, 7:05 AM
Post #154 of 200 (5861 views)
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Dearest, Sweetest, Wonderful FRIEND & new Cousin Marco,

Keep smiling, you are so loved by this family.Tongue
Can't wait for you to come back to NY for some "FUN" and good timesBlush.

Love Ya,
Cousin Cindy
(aka formally known as CRAZY Cousin Cindy)XOXOXO


Vertifly  (D 27236)

Jan 8, 2007, 7:24 AM
Post #155 of 200 (5849 views)
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Didn't know you as well as some in here, but perhaps a little more than others for a short time:

I think you were careful and skillful dude. Don't know what happened. Don't really care - just that you get to fly elsewhere.

I know you were the only guy in America with a "______" kind of main(what kind of canopy was that called?). From where? Anyway, that told me that you walked your own road man, and that's cool. I'm with that.

You made a chunk of bread on that pad you had in the city and were like, "How much you gonna give me for my condo?!!!.....aahhhhh, sold! Guess I'll go freefly and swoop all over the world now."

Good jumps man. Lots of fun stuff up there with you. Too bad we couldn't have done more sometime.

You had a lot of positive vibes to offer and we shared some air. To the last member of our team. Blue sky's and fly forever man. Dave C


flycurt  (D 22511)

Jan 8, 2007, 2:06 PM
Post #156 of 200 (5734 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

You will be missed brother, but not forgotten. Thank you for your friendship throughout the years. See you on the otherside.


stenzo

Jan 8, 2007, 2:38 PM
Post #157 of 200 (5721 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Blog from a band that Cliff was friends with back in the old-school hardcore scene of NYC

Cliff Heller- Rest in Peace
On December 30th a friend of Six and Violence passed away. Cliff Heller from New York died in a skydiving accident on December 30th in Arizona. For those of you that knew him, you know how sad this is--for the rest, well, he was a true renaissance man--one of those rare characters who was a genius and could succeed in mainstream life and be a total radical freak and get away with it-- a true genius (and Subgenius).

The story in the Staten Isalnd papers;
http://www.silive.com/obituaries/advance/index.ssf?/base/news/1168003836266840.xml&coll=1
I had not been in touch with Cliff for a long time, but my hazy memory recalls some great times spent with him and his wife Cathy in the heady days of college and post college NYC. I distinctly remember my firt impression of Cliff at Stony Brook--maybe because of his major in electrical engineering or god knows what I just presumed he was a geek--and then I quickly learned that not only could this guy hold his own in terms of caustic wit (perhaps outdoing ME!) he was also a bona-fide Church of the Subgenius type. Now Stony Brook in 1986 or whenevr I met him did not have many people who were hip to the Subgenius thing--I had been turned onto it via Devo and the "Book" which Jim Starace's older brother had from the 70's---so when I met a guy like Cliff, he stood out!

I later realized what godddamn genius Cliff was--I was just figuring out my way around the metaphysical universe and he already had it mapped! I mean REALLY--and yet he was also a warm and straightforward guy. It was an honor to have him respect Six and Violence and have his smiling face at a gig. Hell, he probably could have formed his own band and done it way better than us--and yet he was a humble and supportive guy.
I was lucky to have Cliff out to my my beach spot in Riverhead--a place I only have a few friends out to, and my girlfriend and I had Cliff and Cathy over to party at our flat in Setauket. These were heady days--I was on a pretty deep trip towrds self discovery, and to have people like Cliff in my orbit was very formative for me. I doubt he benefitted as much from me, but who knows! He was the intelligensia and COOL as far as Stony Brook went. I wish I had those converstaions on video.

Cliff was one of the first guys I knew to get a propoer New York apartment, and to get a real job (while I was out driving a delivery van!)--he was one of my forst peers to get married--I was a bit in awe of all that grown up stuff.
As I got more into a drunken haze in the post college years, New York was a blur of total mayhem--I remember many mental snapshots of hanging out with Cliff, but I was all over the place. I remember Cliff and Cathy being quite forgiving of some rather insane drunken behavior on my part at a party at their flat-- crazy stuff of youth---of course NOTHING phased Cliff---he was always quite amused it seemed. He had a 100% open mind and thrill for life.

Which brings us to skydiving--I had mostly stayed in touch with Cliff's ex wife Cathy over since maybe the early 90's--and I had no idea Cliff was so into sky-diving. Obviously this was something that he was WAY into as he had somewhere between "4000 and 7000" jumps--- I'm not good at math but that would strike me that he was jumping out of planes on a pretty frequent basis!

In my shock and sadness to process that "Cliff died" to the more semi-absurd "Cliff died SKYDIVING" I have to say, that totally sucks since skydiving is one of those elective things, not necessary to one's survival except on the existential plane (which was very important to Cliff).

I guess I am getting more conservative in my old age. I guess I feel that since I feel that I have cheated the Grim reaper so many freaking times I will NOT ask for trouble. No skydiving for me, or anyone else in the Six and Violence as far as I can tell--waking up alive is a real thrill for us at age 40 since some of us are in fact dead already (RIP Paulie).

Ray Amico and I wrote the Six and Violence song "Die for Fun" exploring this concept, albeit in a crude way. Ray wrote most of the lyrics and he references every extreme thrill that humans do, from jumping out of airplanes to jumping motorbikes, to running with the bulls, etc. I threw in some lyrics to reference other life-testing sports like drinking and drugs. In many ways, it is all the same. The philosophical question posed in the song is "why would we DIE for fun". When you have time read the article on Wikipedia.org about "boredom"--it is actually a key element of the human experience and a key motivator in our choices, sometimes to the extreme.

So I sit here mourning the loss of Cliff Heller, and OUTSTANDING human being--not to put any one life on a higher pedestal than another, but, you know, we all do it. It always seems that good die young and the schlubs just drain the rest of us survivors. You know the deal.

But I do have to think back to my reaction hearing about Cliff's death on the phone, and in my deepest Queens accent, saying "WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANNA JUMP OUT OF A FUCKING AIRPLANE FOR ?????!?!??!?!"

No offense to those people that like to jump out of airplanes, but seriously, with terrorists, diseases, George Bush, bad drivers and all forms of hideous monsters out to kill your ass every day, do you NEED to test the limits???

Well, as I was reading posts about Cliff, I found he had answered my question in advance (as you will se from other posts, apparently Cliff was actually smarter than everyone else and did always have the last word without ever being annoying)

Cliff wrote about the possibility of death skydiving: "Most families of skydivers have already come to terms with the possibility. If not, they will. They are your family - they share some of your genetic traits - they WILL understand. If you are talking about your extended skydiving family, they know that the risk of pain and loss are part of the full spectrum of experiences in life."
Very existential Cliff-- I wish you hadn't had to take it so far, but then it was a stupid accident, and stupid accidents happen everywhere my brother. At least you were here, at least you actually lived life to the fullest instead of just talking shit like most of us do. You did more in 40 some odd years than many men combined.


Cashmanimal  (D 30009)

Jan 8, 2007, 10:56 PM
Post #158 of 200 (5629 views)
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Re: [stenzo] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Unfortunately, I cannot relate to Cliff as well as most of those who have posted in this thread. However, I feel a twisted connection to him that makes me feel as if i have lost somebody very close to me.

In Eloy, i was putting the pin through my closing loop when I heard the canopies collide; I was packing on a tarp in between the main building and the bathrooms. As a new skydiver, the entire situation is burned into my mind, as I saw it occur from begining to end.

Once I realized there was nothing i could do after having many experienced friends talk with me briefly, I returned to my rig and put it on as the group I was with (Skydive New Mexico) was on the DC-3 load that was the first plane to leave the ground after the accident. As I landed in the main area, the ambulance was just pulling away.

It was later after talking to a friend that I was informed of where Cliff was from. It really hit me hard finding out that Cliff had spent plenty of time jumping at Hollister. In August, I moved from New Mexico to attend college in San Jose, and I now jump at Hollister.

Seeing so many photos of Cliff hanging around at Hollister, videos of his jumps, and recolelctions of the impact he has had on so many people has made me feel as if i have lost an old friend... despite the fact that i only saw Cliff for a few seconds, which proved to be his last.

Although I did not know you, your death has had an obvious impact on me, Cliff. I can assure you that you will never be forgotten... neither by those who knew you, or those who did not.


itsmehere

Jan 9, 2007, 5:41 AM
Post #159 of 200 (5593 views)
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Re: [WeakMindedFool] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Jason,
I am Cliff's cousin Cindy & I have been trying to see this video you have of Cliff. I logged in got a screen name & password it takes me to the site but there is no way for me to get this video to play. What do I have to do once I'm on skydivingmovies.com & on the actual cliff site there?


Premier cpoxon  (D 11665)
Moderator
Jan 9, 2007, 6:26 AM
Post #160 of 200 (5582 views)
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Re: [itsmehere] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Jason,
I am Cliff's cousin Cindy & I have been trying to see this video you have of Cliff. I logged in got a screen name & password it takes me to the site but there is no way for me to get this video to play. What do I have to do once I'm on skydivingmovies.com & on the actual cliff site there?

Cindy,

I've sent you a personal message with a link to the video on skydivingmovies that doesn't require you to log in to download it.


redtwiga  (D 28131)

Jan 9, 2007, 2:33 PM
Post #161 of 200 (5512 views)
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Re: [cpoxon] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

My photos of Cliff (tell me if this link isn't working...)
Aviva
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/redtwiga/my_photos


CaterinaB

Jan 9, 2007, 2:42 PM
Post #162 of 200 (5507 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi All,

This is Caterina 'Cathy', Cliff's ex-wife.

My story of Cliff is from long ago, as we were married in '92 and separated by '94, way before he started doing any of this insane shit. Although he did other insane stuff back then!

I fell in love with Cliff the minute I saw him. He had stars shooting out of his head...Ok, I might have been a bit buzzed. We were 19, and at a party, but I really did see them, like fireworks. It was an experience that I will never forget and the only one that I ever had quite that way. We were together for 8 years and they were formative. We became adults together, making the same stupid mistakes we all make. We stuck it out as long as possible, but we started taking each other for granted and it was time to separate.
We did it amicably knowing that both of us were responsible for the way it turned out. He was an argumentative 'fuck' back then and it bummed me out a lot.

We did have a really good time together, we traveled, we skied, we saw the Butthole Surfers, Frank Zappa and many other bands, including our friends the Six and Violence. Men, have been told I have good taste in music and I attribute much of my education in this area to Cliff. During our time together I really fell in love with his family, too, especially Linda, his mother. She was truly an inspiring person who was compassionate and very loving. I loved the rest of them, too.

I was an aspiring choreographer and dancer and through my artistic activities he met the likes of the upstanding Marco (what a degenerate you were, back then!), Bob Berger and Jeff Bock. He got a motorcycle when we separated and then I guess he went down the 'adventurers' path. Wow! I never would have imagined him doing this. But he was a willful man who was not afraid of the reality that the universe had to serve up.

The last time I spoke to him in April, I called him to try to get a copy of our divorce decree, as I was getting married. I shared with him that I was pregnant and he seemed genuinely excited for me and that I was marrying Patrick, someone he's known for about 10 years.

I'm really sad for Jen, who seems to have made the impact I was trying to make 15 years ago. Ah, the impetuous nature of youth! Yay, Jen for giving him the gift of experiencing 'family' and 'children'. I'm having that experience now and I'm glad he got to have it with you.

Someone please set up a grant in his name for sky diving safety. It sounds like he was dedicated to supreme safety in this incredibly beautiful, yet dangerous, sport!

Love to all who had the opportunity to cross paths with him. May your grieving be short and your memories long. Cliff will be remembered by many in many different ways.

Love,
Caterina 'Cathy' Bartha-Daniels


vsecrets12

Jan 9, 2007, 4:54 PM
Post #163 of 200 (5462 views)
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Re: [CaterinaB] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

thanks cathy, for being there, for sharing your pics, for writing this and for being a part of our lives.
xo, Vicky

feel free to keep in touch.


vsecrets12

Jan 9, 2007, 7:52 PM
Post #164 of 200 (5419 views)
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Re: [RhondaLea] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

thank you SOOOO much for finding the google groups link.

vicky


jenp9k  (A 47027)

Jan 10, 2007, 10:03 AM
Post #165 of 200 (5303 views)
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Re: [CaterinaB] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I feel like I need to defend my use of the word 'argumentative.' When I first posted, it was after about 3 or 4 days of talking to a lot of family members who knew Cliff in a different way than those of us who knew him during his later years or through skydiving. Truth be told, more than once I heard Cliff referred to as a "son-of-a-bitch" by them!

I had many phone conversations with Cliff about his experiences in class. More than once he told me about how he had raised a point in class that went against what the professor was saying. He told me about how he was afraid the voicing of his opinions was going to affect his grade! How he felt he had offended one professor or another by speaking out and sticking to his guns. But he still always felt he HAD to make his point! He was driven to stand by what he believed and this is one more reason that he was drawn to the law.

I'm going to stick to my original choice of argumentative simply because he was! While common usages of this word often carry negative connotations one of the literal meanings of the word is simply, "...arguing or containing arguments suggesting that a certain fact tends toward a certain conclusion." This is what I meant when I attached the word to Cliff. That most of us were able to recognize that he was not mean spirited or meaning to offend speaks highly of who we are and explains why he chose to surround himself with us.

I'll amend it to "unoffensively argumentative," however, for those who might misinterpret my statement and fail to recognize that I would never say a negative thing about this man. I love Cliff more dearly than I ever imagined was possible and our relationship consistently exceeded all expectations I ever had for what a man and a woman could share.

And I'm also going to stick with "fuck" because if someone Cliff was engaging happened to get a litlle riled up well that just made it more fun!

Wink Jen


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 10, 2007, 10:07 AM
Post #166 of 200 (5296 views)
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Re: [jenp9k] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Jen,

You, of all people, have absolutely no need to defend anything to anyone. We all see different facets of our friends, and I know that if we all drew pictures of his psyche, while they would all resemble one another, they would certainly all look somewhat different.

Once you say "I loved Cliff," everything else is just window dressing.

Here, have some slack....


itsmehere

Jan 10, 2007, 12:01 PM
Post #167 of 200 (5248 views)
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Re: [jenp9k] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

My Dearest Jen,
There is no need to explain yourself. As part of Cliff's family "WE" knew what you meant. There was no malice in your words. We all Love (loved) Cliff & always will. You his "True Love" needn't explain anything to anyone who truly knew him. PLEASE keep in touch & be well. I've been thinking about you constantly since meeting you on Sunday. You and the girls will be in my thoughts & prayers.
Love,
Cousin CindyCool


KerMor  (D 28000)

Jan 10, 2007, 2:36 PM
Post #168 of 200 (5212 views)
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Re: Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Cliff, I am so sad to read that you left us...

I have spent so many fun week-end jumping in your company, so many hours discussing with you about the pro and cons of different skydiving equipments or teaching techniques, so many hours talking with and sharing with others our mutual love for skydiving.

And I have never got a chance to thank you for always being available for us, fellow skydivers... from the best way to fill out the student log book to leading us for the sunset tracking dive.

BlueSky Cliff, see you up there.
Gwen


(This post was edited by KerMor on Jan 10, 2007, 3:02 PM)
Attachments: track9.jpg (85.5 KB)
  1_track6.jpg (83.1 KB)


itsmehere

Jan 11, 2007, 6:03 AM
Post #169 of 200 (5131 views)
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Re: [KerMor] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Gwen,
Hi I'm Cliff's cousin Cindy. Thank you soooo much for the beautiful pic's of Cliff.Cool

Anyone else out there have any pic's of Cliff please post them.

Cousin Cindy


bheller

Jan 13, 2007, 7:04 AM
Post #170 of 200 (5017 views)
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Re: [itsmehere] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

in the words of marco randazza "this really sucks."


monkycndo  (D License)

Jan 13, 2007, 9:55 AM
Post #171 of 200 (4991 views)
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Re: [KerMor] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow, I remember joining in on track9. I wasn't the best at tracking and never got close to them, but I could still see the smile on Cliff's face for the entire dive.

He gave me my check out dive for my A license. After I completed each of the required manuevers, I was rewarded with a big smile and an OK hand signal. He always made me feel like he had as much fun on each jump we did, no matter how well it went.

His wonderful energy in the air and his educational/agravational discussions will be truly missed.

Sean


jenp9k  (A 47027)

Jan 14, 2007, 10:59 AM
Post #172 of 200 (4932 views)
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Ash dive yesterday [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi everyone
For all of you who came out to Hollister yesterday a big hug and thank you! Watching the ash dive from the ground was absolutely amazing. I could see the cloud appear and dissipate when he was released. Thank you Adam.

Anybody who has video of the dives made yesterday in Cliff's name, please contact me. I'd like to have copies of what you have for myself and for his brother and sisters too.

Doctor, could I also have a copy of the tribute you made? It was beautiful. It is very hard for me to watch these videos of him alive and I feel his absence again every time I do. But I would like to have copies for that someday everyone keeps telling me about when it wont ache so badly.
Love,
Jen


skyshark6  (D 22612)

Jan 14, 2007, 10:15 PM
Post #173 of 200 (4885 views)
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I can't get the ACS mailing list to let me send out the email, but some of the pictures that I took yesterday are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45847151@N00/
and Mike Wilder has my copy of the video from the jump. If he dubs out, you'll get mine, too.

I'm glad I got to see Cliff at Thanksgiving at Bob and Patti's before he left.
You have my deepest sympathies, Jen. I can't imagine what you must be going through... I'm sorry that we all lost Cliff.


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 15, 2007, 6:12 PM
Post #174 of 200 (4812 views)
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Nice photos. I'd love a copy of that tribute DVD too, if someone can get it to me.

I wish I could have been there for the ash dive. "Missing Man Formation" is a hell of a way to do that.

Missing Man Formation ... :( Pretty much describes every triumph I'll have now.

Aw man... I'm hitting that "acceptance" thing. But it isn't like what I thought "acceptance" would feel like. "Acceptance" has this connotation of "dealing with it." Not exactly an accurate way to describe this.


sfc  (D 25628)

Jan 15, 2007, 11:01 PM
Post #175 of 200 (4758 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Ash dive yesterday [In reply to] Can't Post

Cliff's ash dive was a very emotional moment for me, it was beautiful and clear sunset.
We climbed out at 16,000ft into a crisp chilly sky and started our last jump with Cliff.
The calm that was on the whole group was amazing, we didn't pull off the best exit out of the king air but everyone flew and we made our slot for Cliff.
We then all turned to Adam and watch Cliff fly free. I can still picture the last moment I saw Cliff hanging as a cloud as we fell away, it will be ingrained in my memory for ever.

I've uploaded a copy of the tribute the Doctor made to www.skydivingmovies.com, it is waiting approval and should be viewable in a day or so. Its called cliff_memorial.avi.


itsmehere

Jan 16, 2007, 6:04 AM
Post #176 of 200 (7062 views)
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Skyshark,
Cliff's cousin Cindy here. What beautiful pictures. Missing man formation -Frown
Thank you all, especially Jenn for a touching tribute to Cliff. I'm sure he's watching over you & the girls right now. Blue Skies Cliff I'll always love you & miss you too. Most of all I'll always remember you.


itsmehere

Jan 16, 2007, 6:36 AM
Post #177 of 200 (7054 views)
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Re: [jenp9k] Ash dive yesterday [In reply to] Can't Post

Jen,
The memorial (tribute) you did for Cliff was awesome. I looked at the pic's & they're beautiful. Is there any way I could get a copy of the video you're talking about? My thoughts & prayers are with you. PLEASE keep in touch with me. You are truly a wonderful person. Meeting you under the circumstances that we meet weren't ideal. What I can see you are a sweet & caring individual who truly loved my cousin Cliff & I know those feelings were mutual. It's going to take a long, long time before your pain eases, but know that you are in my thoughts & prayers.

Love,
Cousin Cindy XOXOXO


sfc  (D 25628)

Jan 16, 2007, 7:17 AM
Post #178 of 200 (7043 views)
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You can download the tribute video from here

http://www.skydivingmovies.com/...estpass&id=bzkvr
or
here if you have a skydivingmovies login
http://www.skydivingmovies.com/...ion=file&id=5266

If you don't have it already you'll need to install this codec (xvid) http://www.xvidmovies.com/codec/
Funny thing about this codec, Cliff and I were chatting about movie downloads when I first met him and we agreed that this was the best codec out there for movies, seemed fitting to use it for this and it is af course the best.


(This post was edited by sfc on Jan 16, 2007, 7:26 AM)


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 16, 2007, 8:29 AM
Post #179 of 200 (7016 views)
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Re: [sfc] Ash dive yesterday [In reply to] Can't Post

Man, this video is awesome. Warning... if you thought you had "dealt with it" ... think again. I lost my shit after watching this.

Missing man formation (discussed earlier) is such an appropriate way to describe this. Cliff was my wingman - in every arena except at work... and when he started law school, he began taking that duty too.

I know that sorrow is part of the spectrum of human emotions, but I really wish I had gone the rest of my life without knowing what this feels like. Every fucking day... every fucking day... every FUCKING DAY.... something happens and I get that "Oh, I gotta call/email Cliff about this..." It only lasts for a nanosecond, and then reality punches me in the face.

At least he was a skydiver... these videos would have been kinda lame if he was into knitting or something like that.

I remember back when Cliff was "promoted" to being my best friend. We actually talked about it. He thought it was funny, and asked if he had to share the title with anyone.

Its something awesome when you just realize that one day, the guy you're hanging out with is the best friend you have. Its even cooler when you tell them that. It gets even cooler when you tell them that 10 years later.

Now I go through the list in my head of all my closest friends. I ask myself "so who is your best friend, NOW?"

And my answer is ... "I don't have one anymore." It should follow logic that someone should be it now, right? Shouldn't it be that whoever my "second best" friend was should step into the void?

I didn't realize that it doesn't work that way.

I just fucking don't have a best friend anymore.

This blows ass.


magnumruss

Jan 16, 2007, 8:39 AM
Post #180 of 200 (7013 views)
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Re: [sfc] Ash dive yesterday [In reply to] Can't Post

i dreamt about cliff last night. he's probably been dominating my dreams lately (i haven't thought about anything else when i'm awake), but this particular dream was right before i woke up so i remembered it.

cliff asked if i'd seen the new video of him on here. he brought it up in the same way he would talk about a new movie or something.

i had the presence of mind to ask him what his password was (accessing the files on cliff's laptop has also been on my mind). he told me something and if it works i will officially shit myself.

it's weird enough that i woke up and found a new video on here. fuck. it is way to easy to make me cry lately.

the video is beautiful.

russ


itsmehere

Jan 16, 2007, 10:14 AM
Post #181 of 200 (6979 views)
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SFC,
I must be a moron Unsure I can't get the video to play. It goes to windows media player but nothing turns on. All I get is that damn little hour glass "HELP"


(This post was edited by itsmehere on Jan 16, 2007, 10:15 AM)


jenp9k  (A 47027)

Jan 16, 2007, 11:19 AM
Post #182 of 200 (6948 views)
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Cindy please call me
Jen


jenp9k  (A 47027)

Jan 16, 2007, 11:26 AM
Post #183 of 200 (6941 views)
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Simon,
I installed the codec and the newest Windows Media but it wont work for me either. Is this the same footage you are going to give to Doctor? He said he would put together a DVD for me so if so I wont worry about viewing this right now.


sfc  (D 25628)

Jan 16, 2007, 11:43 AM
Post #184 of 200 (6933 views)
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In reply to:
Simon,
I installed the codec and the newest Windows Media but it wont work for me either. Is this the same footage you are going to give to Doctor? He said he would put together a DVD for me so if so I wont worry about viewing this right now.

It is the same one, did you install the codec AFTER upgrading windows media player.
There are other players available as well, try this one instead http://www.bsplayer.com/


itsmehere

Jan 20, 2007, 8:24 PM
Post #185 of 200 (6796 views)
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Simon (sfc),
I finally got the Cliff Memorial video to play thanx to bsplayer. OMG (oh my god) I'm still hysterical & I can't stop crying. This video is awesomeAngelic. I thought the tears had stopped, boy was I wrong. After seeing your video I totally lost it again. I saved it to my PC & hope that when ever I need to see Cliff I can go there & see it again & again & again. You did a GREAT job. Thank you sooooooooooooo much. You deserve props for thisWinkCool. I only wish Cliff was here to see it too!

Cliff's Cousin Cindy


(This post was edited by itsmehere on Jan 20, 2007, 8:26 PM)


sfc  (D 25628)

Jan 20, 2007, 10:03 PM
Post #186 of 200 (6776 views)
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The credit goes to the Doctor, he was the one who edited it, I just put it on-line, I'll show him your message.
Cliff did see part of the video, the section in the middle after the CLIFF banner roles in was what the Doctor made for him when he left Hollister to go to law school. I think he liked it.


redtwiga  (D 28131)

Jan 25, 2007, 9:11 AM
Post #187 of 200 (6674 views)
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Another classic Cliff quote I just found in an old email:
"- Mayhem.
Mayhem is now my favorite felony. In stark contrast to its jovial post
modern usage(s) including but hardly limited to lending name to minor
regional skydiving festivals, the crime of mayhem is essentially maiming
with extreme prejudice. Maliciously cutting off another's limbs or severing
someone's tongue are mentioned explicitly in the California Penal Code. The
traditional common law defines it as permanently impairing another's ability
to defend himself. I make no apologies for the intrinsic gender bias of
common law judges. They wore powdered white wigs doncha know."

I miss the fuck out of you.
-A.


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 29, 2007, 4:57 AM
Post #188 of 200 (6608 views)
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Re: [redtwiga] Ash dive yesterday [In reply to] Can't Post

My friend Dena (Esclava Rodriguez) came over this weekend. Cliff was her AFF instructor, and Cliff and I were Esclava's "Rodriguez Parents."

Anyhoo... I made Fish Head Curry for her and a few other guests. You haven’t seen pathetic until you see a guy holding a 5 pound grouper head, looking at it with tears in his eyes like it is motherfucking Yorick. Fortunately nobody noticed. Of course, I did not manage to hold it together for too much longer after that. (Yes, we ate the eyeballs).

I am now officially the only person who could ever burst into hysterical tears while watching a “Jay and Silent Bob” movie.

I watched Clerks II, and Dante and Randall are in a jail cell…. the scene that got me is actually is up on youtube.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqr79X4zxpA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqr79X4zxpA .

Dante’s character doesn’t really remind me of Cliff at all, but I can certainly identify with Randall in this scene - and the two of them interact in a way that did remind me of Cliff and I.

The scene is really funny until about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. That’s where the tears started to well up. Of course, I just chanted in my head to myself “I will not cry in front of a house full of people while watching FUCKING CLERKS II”.

About 60 seconds later, I totally exploded. And yeah, Cliff and I never planned to open a convenience store together, but there was this plan that I would drag him into the porn law business eventually, and spend the rest of my life working with my best friend.

Fuckin Kevin Smith. Frown

"I hate everyone and everything seems stupid to me."

"But you were always the counter balance to that... The yin to my yang"



(This post was edited by marcorandazza on Jan 29, 2007, 5:16 AM)


redtwiga  (D 28131)

Feb 3, 2007, 7:36 PM
Post #189 of 200 (6492 views)
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The day that Cliff died I had my first tandem cutaway. I broke my foot this year and said goodbye to many friends. A dear friend recently broke his back too. After hearing about Cliff I just couldn't jump anymore. I needed some time to figure this whole deal out. I missed Cliff's memorial jumps and ash dive.

Finally, today, I got back in the air for the first time since Cliff's death. I'm not done with skydiving yet it seems. I brought Cliff with me on the jump and maintained the ginormous goofy grin he always had jumping. I miss him deeply and haven't worked through all the emotions by a long shot.

Today was good. Today I remembered why we do this and why it's ok that Cliff died. Please don't take that the wrong way. I'd do just about anything to turn back the clock and change that day, but, through skydiving, I'll always be able to hang out with my dear friend.


monkycndo  (D License)

Feb 3, 2007, 8:08 PM
Post #190 of 200 (6480 views)
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NorCal has had a tough year. Glad you got back in the air. Cliff would be proud.


Feeblemind  (D 28621)

Feb 3, 2007, 10:13 PM
Post #191 of 200 (6467 views)
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Re: [redtwiga] Ash dive yesterday [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey,

Glad to know you were thinking of Cliff today, as I was driving out to the DZ today Cliff was on my mind. I am more than a bit irritated he is not there to argue with anymore. I just hope folks will learn from the incident that took his life. Today as I was landing and someone decided to pull a downwind swoop. Needless to say I was more than a little bit irritated. I took a few deep breathe and waited a bit to talk to the ST and A. He promptly advised me he had discussed the landing with the individual.

Lets all use or heads:
Gear Check (full!!)
Board
1,000 feet
Gear check (i.e. check your handles)
Give eveyone a high 5 at 10,000
Gear check (i.e. check your handles)
Spot
Jump
Fly
Deploy
Land
Repeat


Stay safe my friends


redtwiga  (D 28131)

Jun 25, 2007, 12:50 PM
Post #192 of 200 (6156 views)
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6 months [In reply to] Can't Post

A wee excerpt from an email to Cliff's brother this morning:

So, I realized this morning that it has already been 6 months since Cliff's death. I can't believe it's been that long. I still think about him daily, usually many times each day. I don't know when it gets less horrible. I had a dream a few weeks ago. I was in a huge sports arena and I saw Cliff sitting on the cement steps between the bleachers with Jen sitting between his legs. She was telling him how angry she would be for fucking with her that way if she wasn't so ridiculously happy he was alive. They never saw me, but just seeing Cliff was enough and I felt a lightness in my heart that I haven't felt since Cliff went in. I guess I've grown used to it because as soon as I woke up the weight came back and it was and is terrible and I recognized it but it was surprising. It was one of those dreams where you're not sure when you wake up if it's reality that just happened or dream. I just want to see him again. I don't have to talk to him, or need him to see me, I just want to see him again, that's all.

A friend came out to visit Friday and I in Ohio a few months ago. I did a few jumps with him and we each kept one on account for the next visit. That week the truck he was working on fell on him and crushed and killed him. I did his last jumps with him and they were great. I was incredibly lucky to have that time to spend with him before he died. As horrible as it is that Vince died, I am filled with relief that it was not skydiving. It has been hard enough getting back in the air since Cliff's accident, I fear another skydiving related death so close to the others would have kept me from the skies for good. It also helped me realize yet again...is that re-realize?...that we can die doing anything and freak accidents happen all the time, so do what you love because there is nothing else, and you owe it to the dead.

Anyway, I just wanted to spread some love to all you special, beautiful people. Yes, special. Like short bus. That's right.

Love you. Love you Cliff. Love you Vince. Love you Wally. Love you Shannon. Love you Dazia. Forever.


scottjaco

Jun 29, 2007, 5:49 AM
Post #193 of 200 (6049 views)
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That was a nice letter. If I’d had a dream like that, I would have been in tears after I awoke.

I really hope that others who have been scared away from the sport because of that tragic weekend at Eloy will remember what they love about skydiving and perhaps give it a second chance.

I posted a thread a few weeks ago about my feelings related to Cliff, Tom & Jay. It was the responses I received from other skydivers that helped inspire me to get back in the air.

I hope you can heal from this, and I know it takes time. I do believe that your friend would want you to move past this.

People say that you will feel differently about the sport when you experience an event like this. It’s true, but ironically I don’t feel jaded. I feel better because I’ve seen the worst and I have overcome my fear. It’s given me a sense of peace, like a new chapter has started.


agent_lead  (D 29342)

Aug 30, 2007, 11:56 AM
Post #194 of 200 (5658 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] The Funeral [In reply to] Can't Post

wow @ this thread...i remember reading the article in the staten island advance back in jan and wondering why i didnt know him..as there are only a small handfull of skydivers who live here..we should have met up at some point..

regardless of the fact that i never met him...i feel like i knew him for years after reading thru this entire thread...

sounds like we lost one of the good ones...the really good ones...

my condolences to all of his family and friends and anyone whos life he has touched in any way


blue skies brother...blue skies..

-agent


jenp9k  (A 47027)

Sep 1, 2007, 2:41 PM
Post #195 of 200 (5560 views)
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Wow Agent!
You read through all this? Cliff is still so loved and missed. Thank you for taking the time. I'll pass your post on to his family.
Jen


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

Jan 3, 2008, 3:09 PM
Post #196 of 200 (5034 views)
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A year later [In reply to] Can't Post

Cliff, i found your Redwing boots.. I was using them for motorcycling, but man, those things suck!

Oh yeah, and "they" say time heals all wounds...

thats fucking bullshit. I dont feel any better today than I did a year ago.

New Years used to be my favorite holiday.... now it is just "the day I stopped having a best friend." I didnt even bother to leave the house because I didnt want to be a downer at anyone else's party.


murps2000  (D 23114)

Jan 12, 2008, 6:27 PM
Post #197 of 200 (4696 views)
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New Years used to be my favorite holiday.... now it is just "the day I stopped having a best friend." I didnt even bother to leave the house because I didnt want to be a downer at anyone else's party.

Man! Cliff was your best friend..?

LUCKY...

Easier said than done, i know, but try to think of it that way if you ever can.

Especially if you have what I've come to regard as "Cliff moments". It's when you see or experience something in life that you find strangely hilarious, but there's no one to tell because Cliff was the only one who had a sophisticated enough sense of humor to get it. I wasn't fortunate enough to know Cliff as long as many others, but I'm surprised at how frequent these moments are for me.

Keep your head up, bro. We all miss him.


marcorandazza  (A 38011)

May 10, 2008, 3:16 PM
Post #198 of 200 (4186 views)
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Re: [murps2000] A year later [In reply to] Can't Post

Okay... here is a funny story.

I'm getting married next weekend. Cliff was supposed to be my best man. (My current best man was supposed to be godfather of my kids).

So I'm planning my bachelor party... which isn't going to be the same. I invited my fiancee's dad. She says "well, I guess that is okay... it isn't like there are going to be whores at the party."

And I fuckin burst into tears saying "no, my whoring buddy is dead...."

Well... on the up-side... I finally figured out what to do with his ashes. I am having a flask engraved with: the usual, name, date of birth, date of merge with the infinite... but also with "Rest in Slack" and "Don't knock on Death's door. Ring the bell and run away. He hates that" on it.

And... one of the up-sides to Cliff dying... his best friend in law school, Ryan and I have gotten pretty close since Dec. 30. I've asked Ryan to come to my wedding and take Cliff's seat. He'll have that flask in his pocket throughout the ceremony.

My whoring buddy is dead...... that would sound so fuckin FUNNY if it was in a book or a movie. Fuckin sucks when it is in your actual life....


fueler  (D License)

Jul 13, 2008, 10:44 PM
Post #199 of 200 (3887 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] A year later [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been thinking of you lately Cliffy....i havent made a skyjump in months and its starting to piss me off. What the was the name of that really demented japanese movie again?? I've drank a crap load of your least favorite beer tonight. I'll catch up with you later....


redtwiga  (D 28131)

Jan 1, 2009, 2:45 PM
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

Missing you always...
When does it become anything less than unbelievable?



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