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

 

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redtwiga  (D 28131)

Jan 1, 2007, 1:36 PM
Post #26 of 200 (6408 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 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
Post #27 of 200 (6318 views)
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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 (6158 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
Post #29 of 200 (6137 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 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
Post #30 of 200 (6079 views)
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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 (5918 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 dont mean an asshole that would screw you over, or wouldnt 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 isnt a quote but its the essence of what he said:
Morality through fear of God isnt moral its 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 didnt know what I was talking about.
Lastlythe west coast punk scene was much better then the east coast! I got the last word fucker!

.

Damn Im going to miss you.
Fuck


misskriss  (Student)

Jan 1, 2007, 10:14 PM
Post #32 of 200 (5803 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 (5747 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 (5702 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 (5679 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 (5655 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 (5618 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 (5523 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 (5483 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 (5437 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 (5425 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 (5358 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 (5326 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 (5288 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 (5237 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 (5216 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 (5170 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 (5137 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 (5134 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 (5121 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)


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