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

 

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itsmehere

Jan 3, 2007, 7:27 AM
Post #76 of 200 (6240 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 (6219 views)
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Re: [itsmehere] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

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 (6200 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

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 (6156 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 (6143 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 (6146 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 (6115 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

I dont 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 Cliffs 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 dont 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 wasnt 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 didnt 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 werent all building as planned but Cliff said that he didnt 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 wasnt 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 Cliffs 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 thats 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 (6090 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 (6059 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 (6047 views)
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Re: [Sebazz1] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30), Condolences for Cliff Heller (Apoil) [In reply to] Can't Post

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 (6017 views)
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Re: [marcorandazza] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

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 (5981 views)
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Re: [itsmehere] Fatality at Eloy (Dec. 30) (Clifford Heller) [In reply to] Can't Post

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
Post #88 of 200 (5975 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, 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
Post #89 of 200 (5870 views)
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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 (5848 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 (5839 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 (5799 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 (5798 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
Post #94 of 200 (5752 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 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
Post #95 of 200 (5726 views)
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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 (5684 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
Post #97 of 200 (5670 views)
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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
Post #98 of 200 (5661 views)
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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 (5648 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 (5649 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


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