Forums: Community: Blue Skies - In Memory Of:
Harry Leicher is gone ...

 


NTHRIWZ  (D 4008)

Oct 11, 2008, 4:01 PM
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Harry Leicher is gone ... Can't Post

It is my sad duty to report that Harry Leicher is dead.

Harry went in under a spinning main. He hit completely flat. Possible broken neck on opening. No movement under canopy. Only 1 person on the load saw it (he was on the backside of the open canopies relative to the DZ).

It happened at about 10:30 this morning at Perris on, of all things, some "Fielding crowd and friends" formation dives (31-ways at this point in the day).

RIP Harry, I'll really miss you.


Pat Swovelin


(This post was edited by NTHRIWZ on Oct 11, 2008, 4:05 PM)


jonstark  (D 8298)

Oct 11, 2008, 4:07 PM
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Really sorry to hear that Pat. Harry was a character and always there with a smile and enthusiasm. Sad indeed.

RIP Harry

jon


Shell666  (C 1817)

Oct 11, 2008, 4:10 PM
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I will miss seeing Harry in LP. I will miss receiving a random letter with a photo he had taken of me. I will miss the Christmas cards every year. I'll miss the hugs and kisses and see you next times.

Blue ones Harry (or should that be RED ones).


MajorDad  (D 579)

Oct 11, 2008, 4:28 PM
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OMFG!

My thoughts are with Janna and all the many freinds and family of Harry.

Eternal Blue Ones Harry. See you in your Red Jumpsuit on the other side.


(This post was edited by MajorDad on Oct 11, 2008, 5:13 PM)


Premier skybytch  (D License)

Oct 11, 2008, 4:41 PM
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My love and thoughts are with all at Perris today, most especially Janna.

Harry was one of the very, very good ones. I always looked forward to seeing him, at LP and at Perris. He was always happy and gave such great hugs.

With tears in my eyes, I am lifting a big red cup to you now, Harry. Frown


guppie01  (D License)

Oct 11, 2008, 5:17 PM
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Unsure

Blue skies Harry!

Steve and I just raised a glass to you... many more for this eve.

Bless Janna with peace and love,
g


VanillaSkyGirl

Oct 11, 2008, 5:19 PM
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Bluest of skies to you, Harry. May you fly free forever.

Sending my condolences to your friends and family.


happychick  (C License)

Oct 11, 2008, 5:24 PM
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What a sad day. My heart goes out to Janna and all their friends and family.

Fly free on the clouds edges, watch out for us below.

Shannon


Usetawuz  (D 2747)

Oct 11, 2008, 6:00 PM
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Blue skies, Harry. Fly free.


stratostar  (Student)

Oct 11, 2008, 6:23 PM
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Thanks for the friendship & chats Harry, blue ones brother.......
Frown


Nightingale  (B 26984)

Oct 11, 2008, 6:48 PM
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Damn, Harry, I'm gonna miss you. You have been such a good friend to me over the past year, always full of fun and kicking my ass to get back in the air. Thanks for the day at Catalina, teaching me to skip stones at Lake McScottish, and most of all, just for always being there with a hug and a shoulder whenever I needed one, and I'm sorry I never told you how very much I appreciated your friendship.

I just dug into my stash of Lang and opened one in your honor.

Blue Skies, Harry.


ltdiver  (D 20506)

Oct 11, 2008, 6:50 PM
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I was stunned when I heard about Harry going in today. He's the man who was so safety conscience that he'd land out in the dirt to avoid being in a tangle of canopies landing all at once on the grass! <See his dz.com's profile tag-line!>

Harry took me on a flight a couple of years back, just to have fun flying without a student doing frightful things to the controls. He just wanted to get up and fly. He never asked for repayment and I so enjoyed that flight. Thank you again, Harry.

I'll miss the hugs and the brief neck massages he'd give. The enthusiasm on meeting new people and welcoming them into the sport. His continual smile. His sage advice.

Big Hugs to Janna, especially. You both made Perris a welcome place to be.

This video is a fitting tribute to the pilot in Harry...And the one he referenced in one of his last posts here on dz.com.

Lori


(This post was edited by ltdiver on Oct 11, 2008, 6:54 PM)


ltdiver  (D 20506)

Oct 11, 2008, 6:52 PM
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Quote:
I just dug into my stash of Lang and opened one in your honor

Our minds think alike. Opening one from my stash right now.

ltdiver


skybill  (D 6009)

Oct 11, 2008, 6:53 PM
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Hi Pat and all,
That Eternal Star up ther just bigger by a great guy in a Red jumpsuit! Fly on Harry.


diablopilot  (D License)

Oct 11, 2008, 6:58 PM
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Harry, many thanks for the jumps we shared, I'm looking at a photo of me hanging with one hand on your harness and one on the young lady celebrating her one hundredth jump. We lost the other half of the hybrid early on but kept our part together and mugged for the camera.

And many thanks for the advice through out my flight training, you were not my instructor but you shared tips and information freely. I'm a pilot now and I owe some of that to you. I had hoped one day to share thoughts on instructing but I'm still a ways off from being a CFI.

To those that may not have known Harry, read his thoughts here on this website. He's a smart guy, who knew how to have fun, yet keep it safe.

Blue Skies Harry.

-jp-


(This post was edited by diablopilot on Oct 11, 2008, 7:19 PM)


Shark  (D 24499)

Oct 11, 2008, 7:18 PM
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Blue skies, Harry.

I'm speechless. It's been a tough year for SoCal DZs.


MakeItHappen

Oct 11, 2008, 7:54 PM
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I am at a loss for words. Harry would be the last person you'd think would go in. He apparently did everything right.
He packed for himself, so I am sure it was his normal pack job.
How strange to have such a hard opening on a canopy lightly loaded (~1-1.2)

Today was the 39th anniversary of his first jump.
He turned 60 about two weeks ago and proudly wore his SOS shirt that day.
Harry was looking forward to being on his first SOS load this January.
He was so enthusiastic about it, he even was organizing a SoCal base that was going to be rock solid and practiced by the time January came around. He helped with coaching at this year's SOS event too.

He was someone that always had fun on every dive - no matter how it went.

Harry we will all miss you.

Janna - my heart goes out to you.

.


riggermick  (D 17071)

Oct 11, 2008, 8:36 PM
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In reply to:
It is my sad duty to report that Harry Leicher is dead.

Harry went in under a spinning main. He hit completely flat. Possible broken neck on opening. No movement under canopy. Only 1 person on the load saw it (he was on the backside of the open canopies relative to the DZ).

It happened at about 10:30 this morning at Perris on, of all things, some "Fielding crowd and friends" formation dives (31-ways at this point in the day).

RIP Harry, I'll really miss you.


Pat Swovelin


Oh man, this just plain sucks! this it truly unbelievable. So sad. BSBD, Harry gonna miss you. It seems we loose more and more friends as time marches on. At least he died doing what he loved.

Mick Cottle.

PS: hi Pat.FrownFrown


codyjp

Oct 12, 2008, 12:19 AM
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I had the pleasure to know and work with Harry for four years. Harry was the model of safety so it is really hard to see him go like this. I am inspired that he was able to enjoy doing what he enjoyed most right up to the end.

We are sure going to miss his smile and humor every day at the club. The aviation and skydiving community has truly lost an amazing person.

My thoughts are with his wife and family.


grimmie  (D 18890)

Oct 12, 2008, 12:23 AM
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NO! This can't be real. I was flying back from Reno tonight with another Perris jumper and we were talking about flying and I brought up Harry's name. I was going to phone him tomorrow about some airplane stuff.

Harry was one of the good ones.

Hugs Janna.

Fly Free Harry...


katecooper  (D 7333)

Oct 12, 2008, 1:58 AM
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Frown My thoughts go to Janna and the So Cal Crew today. Dark skies in Denmark.....

love to all
kate


JakGramley  (D 18643)

Oct 12, 2008, 7:47 AM
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Harry was one of the good ones. He'll be missed. Here are some photos of Harry from the old PerrisCam website. Harry and his friends from happier days.... Fly free Harry.....
Attachments: HL1.JPG (77.0 KB)
  HL2.JPG (73.7 KB)
  HL3.JPG (74.2 KB)
  HL4.JPG (76.6 KB)
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  HL6.JPG (76.7 KB)


SBS  (D License)

Oct 12, 2008, 12:12 PM
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Sad day Frown

Can someone please be sure to post memorial details when they are available?

Thanks!


Clownburner  (B 26842)

Oct 12, 2008, 12:56 PM
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Blue skies friend Frown


tbrown  (D 6533)

Oct 12, 2008, 1:26 PM
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this is so hard to believe - of ALL people. I've known Harry for a very long time and will miss him deeply. Our prayers and love for Janna.


terminalrush40  (D 15096)

Oct 12, 2008, 1:35 PM
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Very sad loss indeed. I'll echo another's thoughts in saying I never imagined Harry would be a skydiving fatality. He was always so safety conscious.

Had a lot of laughs with him, fun jumps, he gave great skydiving advice, and he was one of the "old time skydivers" I much admired. The man in red will be greatly missed.

My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to Janna.

Blue Skies Harry.

Stacy Giarrusso


rapter  (D 11825)

Oct 12, 2008, 1:58 PM
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Blue skies


tonybrogdon  (D 12855)

Oct 12, 2008, 2:39 PM
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Extremley sad news. Harry and I have been friends for 30 years, He was a wonderful person and will greatly missed by many people.

Blue Skie Harry!


BikerBabe  (D 18644)

Oct 12, 2008, 4:34 PM
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FrownFrownFrownFrownFrown

I can't believe it.

My heart and prayers are with Harry, his family, and Janna.

BSBD

Frown


Lizzyrd

Oct 12, 2008, 5:26 PM
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A few memories....

Harry Leicher flew with me for over 50 hours during my first year as a new pilot. He was my very first instructor and he got me hooked on the world of flying. Now matter how many times I slammed the plane onto the runway, he was always patient, supportive, and encouraging. He would meet me at Norms on Saturdays to help me study flight manuals and he seldom asked to be paid for all of his extra time. When it came time for my first solo flight, he was so excited that he stood just off the runway with a radio in one hand and snapping rolls of pictures with the other. No matter where I wanted to go (airshows, Big Bear, Catalina), Harry was always up for it because he just loved to fly.

My favorite memory of Harry was my 100th skydive at Perris. I had planned to go out to the dropzone earlier in the day, but work had come up and it looked like I was going to be too late. At the last minute, Harry and I flew a plane from Long Beach to Perris, just to catch the last load of the day. At the time, I was a fairly new jumper so I did not know many people. Harry quickly put together a few experienced jumpers to help me look "cool" on my 100th jump at we got Craig to film it all. Take a look at the attached photo - I felt pretty cool as a newbie!

Harry, thank you for being there at so many milestones in my life. You were an incredibly caring, warm, generous, encouraging, and special person to have known. I know that I achieved things that I never would have had the heart or determination to have done without you. You will forever be remembered and have a special place in my heart.

Elizabeth


(This post was edited by Lizzyrd on Oct 12, 2008, 5:27 PM)
Attachments: 100th Jump.JPG (33.3 KB)


BirdWoman  (D License)

Oct 12, 2008, 7:24 PM
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Frown Frown This is just not fair. I can't say anything that other's haven't already said. The first time I met you at LP in 2002, your warm smile let me know that you were truly a good and genuine person. You and Janna were two of the people I looked forward to seeing the most. Your care for me and my hubby when he was in Kalispell Regional. Our IM conversations after a long day of work while Janna was out training. Your speaches about how you didn't like me swooping. The countless "Be careful, I care too much about you." Just two weeks ago I heard those words. We'll miss you. Fly Free with our friends. Say hi to Joel for us.
Feisty


Vallerina  (C License)

Oct 12, 2008, 8:46 PM
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Frown My condolences to you, Janna.


JohnMitchell  (D 6462)

Oct 12, 2008, 8:46 PM
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My wife and I have had the pleasure of running into Harry all over the place in the past 20+ years. Always a great guy, always a great skydiver, always a treat to hang with. He will be sorely missed. Our family's condolences to all he left behind. Unsure


Bruinflight1

Oct 12, 2008, 8:47 PM
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Harry, you will be missed dearly. Godspeed to the 'big' parachute jump in the sky!

I was Harry's best student, and he was my best instructor EVER. Harry was, simply put, brilliant. He taught me so much, he gave me so much advice. I will never forget that clipboard with the TAC on the back, and ratty ol' spiral-bound under the clip with all of his notes. And I will for sure NEVER forget his infectious and goofy laugh.

Harry taught me from the instrument rating and sent me to the CFI ride with Ray Evans at the LGB FSDO; due to his prep I aced it with the fastest oral/flight CFI checkride he had ever heard of. Ya know, you could always see the gears in that man's head turning. They were big gears, and they turned fast as hell. He always had a quip on hand- saw him get stumped only once in all the time I knew him.

Harry, I couldn't have come close without you, and all of my success in this career is to your honor. Damnit, Harry. I'm gonna miss the hell out of you. You always threatened to com on board my ship and tell the other passengers that you were my flight instructor and that is why you were wearing the parachute... well, it's not to be but I had a flight in memory to you last night.

Godspeed Harry Leicher you sonofagun.
Your homie,
Brandon


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Oct 13, 2008, 12:12 AM
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Shit! Damn Harry, the CAF team needed you.

Sparky


Merkur  (D 27990)

Oct 13, 2008, 12:43 AM
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Blue skies Harry!
M.


swooperman  (D 17784)

Oct 13, 2008, 8:28 AM
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I had the pleasure of doing several demo jumps with Harry into the Riverside Air Show over recent years. He is a hell of a guy; patient, knowledgeable, a raconteur...

I read the Blue Skies forum every Monday morning hoping there is no one I know. This sucks. Sorry for all the family, friends and acquaintances out there, Particularly sorry for those who didn't have a chance to meet him. He was pretty darn cool.

Blue Skies


rdy4flt

Oct 13, 2008, 8:33 AM
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Hey everyone. I joined this site today to send my condolences to Janna and Harry's friends here on the forum. I'm not a skydiver but I am a pilot, one that was trained by the best pilot out there, Harry. I met Harry several years ago when I joined Long Beach Flight School. Someone told me he was the best so the next day Harry and I had our first flight. Up to that point I had been flying already for many years but hadn't finished up my private. Harry and I flew all over together... from Catalina to have Buffalo burgers up to Paso Robles to get the keys to my mom's new house. He helped me finish up my Private Pilot's license and took me 99% through my Instrument rating. Being the best instructor out there Harry recorded all of our flight and ground sessions so I could later review what we had just done. I recently started to review our Instrument flights and I know that now they will be difficult to listen to. I flew with him at the beginning of this year but due to conflicting schedules I haven't not flown with him since but I spoke to him just a couple weeks ago for about an hour or so...just catching up and talking about how great it is to fly together and how we should go flying soon.

Harry was truly a dedicated instructor and a great friend. I am still in complete shock about his death...it really is surreal. His good friend and former skydiving buddy and my current instructor Monte called me yesterday morning to give me the news. We are all deeply saddened by the loss of such a great friend and as busy as this world is, with Harry gone the sky's and our lives will feel that much emptier.

Blue Skies Harry.....We'll miss you!


Rudi Limich


(This post was edited by rdy4flt on Oct 13, 2008, 8:35 AM)


Bigwallmaster

Oct 13, 2008, 8:42 AM
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Yeah ditto.

This really sucks! I didn't know Harry all that well but I've certainly seen him around quite a bit and done a few jumps with him in my years at Perris.

One thing I noticed about Harry was there was always a very calm and laid back tone to him.

Go easy bro.

JP


diablopilot  (D License)

Oct 13, 2008, 9:33 AM
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Smile That was a fun jump Elizabeth! I have a picture of it sitting on my desk.


peek  (D 8884)

Oct 13, 2008, 9:48 AM
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Harry brought a huge amount of experience, perspective, and common sense to the USPA BOD when he was Western Regional Director. So many skydivers, as well as pilots, will miss him. I so much enjoyed my conversations with him about skydiving and aircraft safety.


hottamaly  (D 15263)

Oct 13, 2008, 11:33 AM
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I am so saddened about your loss Janna. My heart goes out to you and your loved ones.

One story I have is when my mom died, she wanted her ashes spread over the ocean. There was only one person I wanted to help me with this and it was Harry. I called him up and he said "let's go". Harry, Janna, Jack Flash and I went up and flew mom over Long Beach. We static lined her out and circled around her for at least 10-15 minutes while her ashes flew with us.
To top it all off, they wouldn't take any money for the plane rental or their time.

You are missed Harry, it was great to spend the jumping time with you and Janna all these years.

BSBDFrown


rdy4flt

Oct 13, 2008, 12:11 PM
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In reply to:
Harry was one of the good ones. He'll be missed. Here are some photos of Harry from the old PerrisCam website. Harry and his friends from happier days.... Fly free Harry.....

Thank you for sharing those pictures Jack. I only have a few pics of Harry from a few of our flights. I'll try to dig up the pictures I have and post them up...

God damn! I'm going to miss him. :(


(This post was edited by rdy4flt on Oct 13, 2008, 12:15 PM)


livendive  (D 21415)

Oct 13, 2008, 12:11 PM
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Blue skies, Harry. Unsure

Blues,
Dave


jmpwme

Oct 13, 2008, 2:22 PM
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Fly Free Big Red.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Janna and their friends and family.


Steve, Kathee and the GT Family.


skidyver  (D 11074)

Oct 13, 2008, 8:51 PM
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The man in Red. God Speed.....

Big hugs to you Janna,

Jillie Bean


skidyver  (D 11074)

Oct 13, 2008, 8:57 PM
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And here is what Harry had to say about Al Frisby. And many of you noted his profile tag line. I always noticed that when reading Harry's posts......

We had a great turnout for Al's ash dive yesterday.

What was really special was that after a full week of rain, and forecasts for continued rain, we had totally blue skies at the pre-arranged time.

Someone up there wanted to be sure Al got the send off he deserved.

Take More Chances!

BSBD.

Harry



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Harry, why did you land all the way out there? Nobody else landed out there."

"Your statement answered your question."


jwynne  (D License)

Oct 13, 2008, 9:04 PM
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The outpouring of love and affection from all the people whose lives Harry touched has been amazing. His aviation friends asked what they could do, and I said "organize a memorial service for his aviation family, I can't deal with it'"

Harry's aviation family will be holding a Memorial Service
this Thursday, October 16th, 2008, at 3:00 in the afternoon
at the Long Beach Flying Club
2631 E. Spring St @ Temple Ave
Long Beach, CA

Harry's skydiving family is welcome. There will also be a Memorial Day and Ash Dive for the skydiving family in a month or so. We'll keep you posted.

No flowers, please.
Contributions can be made to Planned Parenthood. Harry's favorite charity, no joke.

Thanks everyone. Nothing is going to fix the hole in my heart, but you will all help me get through it.
Janna


wannabediver  (B 29004)

Oct 13, 2008, 11:49 PM
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FrownI'm sorry Harry, my tears are falling as I type. I am going to miss you so much! We will all miss seeing you out at Elsinore. Thank you for all of your warm, cheerful hugs, sincere advice and for always eating my chocolate chip cookies; even the burnt ones! lol See, you make me laugh even from so far above. Red has always been my favorite color. Now it is even more so because of YOU! While you're up there, why don't you put in a good word for the rest of us~Janna, I wish you comfort and peace. Know that you are just as loved by all of your skydiving friends and family. Hug n a cookie HarryAngelic~Tanya Smile


bigbearfng  (D 29442)

Oct 14, 2008, 9:16 AM
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Blues skies Harry, you've touched so many lives making so many friends. You will be missed.


rdy4flt

Oct 14, 2008, 10:30 AM
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Thank you for the info Janna. I will be at the Club from 8-10am then I have to drive to Glendale for work but I'm going to try my hardest to make it back to the Club for Harry's Memorial Service. Will you be there? I can't begin to express my sorrow for your loss. Harry will live on in all of us that know how great of a person he was. I have informed a few others not on this forum of the memorial service.

Take care,

Rudi


(This post was edited by rdy4flt on Oct 14, 2008, 12:54 PM)


dljanko

Oct 14, 2008, 12:23 PM
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Harry will be truly missed. I can't really believe he is gone. He was a great man, and a teriffic instructor. This is such a shock, especially considering Harry's dedication to safety.

Janna, I wish you peace in your grief. I am so sad for you, as are Harry's thousands of friends.

Rest in peace, Harry. Now you have eternal blue skies...


GreenLight  (D 18859)

Oct 14, 2008, 1:08 PM
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"Where's Squishy?"

A favorite line from an old movie that Harry used to repeat just about every time we saw each other. I will miss that line and miss the Christmas card each year. Most of all though, I will miss Harry. A finer man never lived.

Thanks for sharing him with us Janna.

Larry Walsh / Air Trash Webmaster


Danl  (D 24141)

Oct 14, 2008, 6:39 PM
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Harry was one of a kind and I miss him already.
Warm thoughts and best wishes to Janna.

Dan'l


LisaH

Oct 14, 2008, 7:54 PM
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Ok; I can do this now.

RIP Harry.

Smile


petehill  (Student)

Oct 14, 2008, 10:06 PM
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We all love you, Janna... our hearts are broken.
Pam Sedman/Pete Hill


NovaTTT  (D 17887)

Oct 15, 2008, 10:55 AM
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I knew Harry only here on DZ.com. He was a good guy and I'll miss him. I'll probably think of him sometimes when walking back from a long landing, as I have before:

"Harry, why did you land all the way out there?"

Black Death comes suddenly, from out of nowhere. My condolences to his family, friends and mates who are mouring their sudden loss.

N


mjosparky  (D 5476)

Oct 15, 2008, 12:42 PM
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Here a couple of pictures of Harry docking on me during an Air Show demo. It was one of my last jumps. Not may guys will dock on a burring smoke. Thanks for being my friend Harry. Unsure

Sparky

http://i397.photobucket.com/...arky/Cable06pix2.jpg

http://i397.photobucket.com/...parky/CABLE06pix.jpg


jwynne  (D License)

Oct 15, 2008, 5:48 PM
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I just spoke to one of the deputies about Harry's autopsy. It was done on 10/14. They are sending out for toxicology, so it will not be final until that information is back. The cause of death was trauma, but a contributing factor was heart disease. His heart was enlarged with significant coronary artery disease. They said it seems likely he suffered a heart attack during deployment. He may have been alive, but unconscious when he hit the ground. This makes the most sense to me. I couldn't imagine Harry being incapacitated by a hard opening with an unstowed brake.

Harry's father died of a heart attack in his forties. Harry was very aware of his genetic predisposition for heart disease. He exercised, ate well, monitored his blood pressure & cholesterol. We do all we can, but I guess when our time is up, it's over.

Please pass this information along. I think it will help us to eventually be at peace with this.

Janna


skydemon2

Oct 15, 2008, 6:53 PM
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Blueskies Harry! See ya on the other side! Angelic


Shell666  (C 1817)

Oct 15, 2008, 7:16 PM
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In reply to:
I just spoke to one of the deputies about Harry's autopsy. It was done on 10/14. They are sending out for toxicology, so it will not be final until that information is back. The cause of death was trauma, but a contributing factor was heart disease. His heart was enlarged with significant coronary artery disease. They said it seems likely he suffered a heart attack during deployment. He may have been alive, but unconscious when he hit the ground. This makes the most sense to me. I couldn't imagine Harry being incapacitated by a hard opening with an unstowed brake.

Harry's father died of a heart attack in his forties. Harry was very aware of his genetic predisposition for heart disease. He exercised, ate well, monitored his blood pressure & cholesterol. We do all we can, but I guess when our time is up, it's over.

Please pass this information along. I think it will help us to eventually be at peace with this.

Janna

Janna my love, it makes sense to me too. Harry would have done ANYTHING to survive this if he could.

I'm thinking of you and Harry and sending hugs and love your way.

xoxoxo


rdy4flt

Oct 15, 2008, 7:31 PM
Post #62 of 96 (2834 views)
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In reply to:
I just spoke to one of the deputies about Harry's autopsy. It was done on 10/14. They are sending out for toxicology, so it will not be final until that information is back. The cause of death was trauma, but a contributing factor was heart disease. His heart was enlarged with significant coronary artery disease. They said it seems likely he suffered a heart attack during deployment. He may have been alive, but unconscious when he hit the ground. This makes the most sense to me. I couldn't imagine Harry being incapacitated by a hard opening with an unstowed brake.

Harry's father died of a heart attack in his forties. Harry was very aware of his genetic predisposition for heart disease. He exercised, ate well, monitored his blood pressure & cholesterol. We do all we can, but I guess when our time is up, it's over.

Please pass this information along. I think it will help us to eventually be at peace with this.

Janna


I'm not a skydiver but this sounds logical to me. Like most of us know with Harry's experience most likely he would have recovered had he been conscious. Thank you for the info Janna. Although we never met, Harry told me a lot about you so I feel like I know you. Today, I was listening to the recordings Harry made of our flights together...it was difficult but at the same time nice to hear his voice and remember all the good he did. It turns out I will make it to the memorial at LGB Flight Club, hope to meet some of you there.

Rudi


chileman  (D 15862)

Oct 16, 2008, 7:46 AM
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Harry was one of the great ambassadors of our sport. He will be missed as evidenced by the number of lives he touched on this thread alone. A small sampling, I'm sure. Janna, my heart goes out to you.

Lee


dljanko

Oct 17, 2008, 12:16 AM
Post #64 of 96 (2596 views)
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In reply to:
I just spoke to one of the deputies about Harry's autopsy. It was done on 10/14. They are sending out for toxicology, so it will not be final until that information is back. The cause of death was trauma, but a contributing factor was heart disease. His heart was enlarged with significant coronary artery disease. They said it seems likely he suffered a heart attack during deployment. He may have been alive, but unconscious when he hit the ground. This makes the most sense to me. I couldn't imagine Harry being incapacitated by a hard opening with an unstowed brake.

Thanks for the information, Janna. This, at least, makes it understandable how this could happen to such a safety-conscious guy. I will truly miss Harry. He was a good friend.

It was nice to finally meet you, today. I'm sorry it was under such sad circumstances.

Please let us know when the Perris memorial will be; some of us from his aviation family would really like to attend, and to visit his other home-away-from-home at Perris.

I had asked him about how I could do a tandem-jump (dive?) as I have never tried this. He had made it sound so exciting that I wanted to try it. Now, I am unsure if I should give up on this idea, or if it just makes me more eager to try it. Maybe visiting the Perris drop zone will help me decide. I don't know. I just know that I miss him, and that my heart goes out to you and your family.

He touched so many lives, in so many ways....

With heart-felt sympathy,
Dave


thrlskr

Oct 18, 2008, 4:30 PM
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I attended Harry Leicher’s memorial on Thursday, and I could not get up and say what I wanted to, so I will here.
I met Harry five years ago, when he did my first phase check during my private pilot training. It was immediately obvious that he was like no other instructor. He taught me things on that flight that I never had heard from another instructor or in a book. Harry taught me to fly an airplane “by the numbers”. To make the airplane want to do what I wanted it to do by configuring and trimming, rather than to force the airplane and then trim out the resistance. He said it wasn’t lazy, reducing workload meant safer flight. Harry also recorded his lessons and then gave the tape to his students. I have many, many hours of instruction transferred to CD, including my entire instrument rating, an incredible learning tool. Harry wasn’t just an instructor, he was a teacher. He taught classes at Long Beach City College, gave FAA safety seminars, and his articles were published in AOPA Flight Training and other magazines.
Harry wasn’t in it for the money, and he wasn’t trying to fill his logbook. Harry was concerned about what happened to me when he got out of the airplane. He sent me e-mails with homework assignments. He would take my call whenever he could, even on the lifecycle. He was never late, always cheerful, and always willing to help. Harry would treat me like a friend, and share with me what he loved. With him it was safety first, followed by large helpings of fun. He did everything to minimize risk, and then he stepped out of the airplane. I will miss him. Blue skies, Harry

Danny Bower


NTHRIWZ  (D 4008)

Oct 19, 2008, 8:49 PM
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For those of you who weren't able to attend Harry's memorial at the Long Beach Flying Club (where he taught) this is what you missed.

All of the people in the group shot (against the wall) were students of Harry.

We should've recorded the mike, there were some great stories.


Joelsmom

Oct 24, 2008, 4:48 PM
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Sad to lose Harry and my condolences to Janna and their family too. Thanks for asking him to say hi to Joel, Stacey... I just know he and Joel will do some great jumps together, and hey, maybe even a few heavenly swoops (: And for certain they will take good care of one another and watch after us. Blue skies forever, Harry. Joel's Mom Gail


Shell666  (C 1817)

Oct 27, 2008, 8:40 PM
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Just got this info on his memorial:

Dear Friends of Harry,

You are invited to join Janna, along with Harry's skydiving, piloting, and other friends for a Harry Leicher Remembrance Day at Perris Valley Skydiving on November 9th.

We'll be reminiscing and telling "Harry Stories" throughout the day, and there will be skydiving of course, starting around 9 a.m., weather permitting. We will also be organizing Harry's Ash Dive. We expect the actual ash dive to take place at about 2:00 p.m.

At 5:00 p.m. we'll have a gathering of everyone in the pool area for a memorial and more Harry Stories.

Join us if you can, for all, or any part of the day. And If we've missed anyone with this e-mail, please pass the word that everyone is welcome.

For directions, go to http://www.skydiveperris.com/tunnel.html . Scroll down and click on "Directions"


guppie01  (D License)

Oct 28, 2008, 10:36 AM
Post #69 of 96 (1793 views)
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Thanks for posting Shell. Steve and I will be there to raise a glass or two.

g


jimthefireman  (D 110)

Nov 1, 2008, 1:04 AM
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Heard the sad news today. It is nice to see the forum and the familiar names from way back. Mick I see you and remember the Holden and the trips to Whenuapai, Jana it was amazing the day you two turned up on our doorstep in Auckland. From the time Harry put Helen's picture on Parachutist from the Bali Boogie to meeting you in Lombok and following your skydiving together you bring back a lot of happy memories and I know that is the way Harry would want it. Be well Jana, his loss is a burden most of all for you, but knowing him was a rush... most of all for you. blue skies!


grimmie  (D 18890)

Nov 10, 2008, 9:03 AM
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Fifty of Harry's friends let him fly free ysterday over Perris. There were some very funny and heartwarming "Harry" stories told in the Bomb Shelter at dusk. Al Krueger spent hours going over Harry's log book and told us about milestone jumps over his life. Harry had a truly amazing skydiving life. At the end of the evening Janna got up and spoke. She held up amazingly well, and there weren't many dry eyes in the bar when she was finished. I'll miss Harry. I always knew when I saw him at the DZ we would laugh, jump and talk airplanes.

Fly Free Harry...


ltdiver  (D 20506)

Nov 10, 2008, 10:25 AM
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A few ground shots of the day. http://www.facebook.com/...539616556&ref=mf

ltdiver


tbrown  (D 6533)

Nov 11, 2008, 2:09 PM
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Thanks Lori for the terrific pics of a very memorable afternoon. I just want to give this thread a little bumpy to keep it on top of the list for a while.


MajorDad  (D 579)

Nov 11, 2008, 3:51 PM
Post #74 of 96 (1294 views)
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Thanks for posting the pics.

Eternal Blue Ones, Harry

Catch you on the flip side.


Shell666  (C 1817)

Nov 12, 2008, 9:26 AM
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In reply to:
A few ground shots of the day. http://www.facebook.com/...539616556&ref=mf

ltdiver

Great pics. Thanks for sharing.

Harry, I'll miss you.


meteorite36

Nov 20, 2008, 11:33 PM
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Goodbye Harry
Thankyou for everything.

I'll pull a wheelie for ya at Laguna

OTLKVFR _ HelenFrown


CameraGeek  (D License)

Nov 29, 2008, 5:17 PM
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Blue skies Harry

Robbie Culver


tbrown  (D 6533)

Nov 30, 2008, 8:35 PM
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I knew Harry and jumped with him just a few times back in 1980, before taking a 22 year break from the sport and moving away from SoCal.

Years later, in 1991 we crossed paths in Snohomish, WA when he was up for some 54 Way attempts from a Twin Otter and a small air force of Cessna 182s. We were happy to see each other again and I introduced my two children, who were just little girls at the time.

When we moved back to SoCal in 2002, my wife and I decided to check out Perris one Sunday afternoon, just for "old times' sake". and wouldn't you know it, the first flesh & blood human we ran into was Harry, all geared up for a load. It was like instant old times again. That afternoon put the hook back in my gut and in just a few more months I was jumping again.

Al Kreuger gave a very touching speech about Harry at his Long Beach Flying Club memorial, recounting how Harry probably saved skydiving in SoCal in the mid-1980's. Perris had closed in 1985, while Elsinore was flooded out for the second time. But Harry solicited some 900 subscriptions to form the Perris Valley Skydiving Society, re-opening the Perris dropzone as a private club. And he served on the Society's Executive Board as its Treasurer, struggling to pay the bills for aircraft, fuel, and use of the airport, until the Conatser family stepped back in and re-opened the place as a commercial dropzone in 1987.

Harry wasn't just everyone's friend, he wasn't just a hell of a lot of fun to hang out with or jump with. He was all that for sure. But he also had the guts and the fortitude to step up and do what needed to be done at a desperate moment, with his professional skills as a commercial banker. He probably did save skydiving in SoCal, almost single handedly. For that, we all owe Harry a HUGE debt of gratitude.

I don't think USPA has handed out a posthumous Lifetime Achievent Award yet, but Harry would be a good place to start. And that's a not-so-subtle hint.


(This post was edited by tbrown on Nov 30, 2008, 8:39 PM)


diablopilot  (D License)

Dec 4, 2008, 12:45 PM
Post #79 of 96 (2153 views)
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I'll second that.Smile


grimmie  (D 18890)

Dec 4, 2008, 3:26 PM
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Third. Let's make it happen.


Nightingale  (B 26984)

Dec 6, 2008, 9:56 PM
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In reply to:
I don't think USPA has handed out a posthumous Lifetime Achievent Award yet, but Harry would be a good place to start. And that's a not-so-subtle hint.

There's been several posthumous lifetime achievement awards.
http://www.uspa.org/...bid/101/Default.aspx

It sounds like Harry did an amazing thing for skydiving and would be an awesome candidate!


jwynne  (D License)

Dec 11, 2008, 9:36 AM
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My last chapter in trying to understand why Harry died: I reviewed the autopsy report with a cardiologist who felt that his cardiac abnormalities were the cause of his unconsciousness under canopy. A lot of detail follows. Some of it is not nice at all. Don’t read on if you don’t want to read some graphic medical information.

After 2 months I received the final autopsy report. The blunt trauma part from hitting the ground was pretty horrible. Aortic transection, skull fracture, multiple rib fractures, diaphragmatic hernia. The cardiac abnormalities were also very significant. His heart was enlarged, and the left ventricle was thickened. He had severe atherosclerosis with severe narrowing of the major coronary arteries. The left anterior descending coronary artery was 90% blocked.

For me, the question that I wanted answered was: Why was Harry unconscious? Harry deployed his canopy and then became unconscious. The blunt trauma occurred because he gave no input flying his canopy. His canopy was in a moderate spiral with one brake released. Was the loss of consciousness due to a hard opening, a cardiac event, or some combination of the two?

Yesterday I sat down with the Director of Cardiology at UCLA and reviewed the findings. She was very confident that the cardiac findings were the cause of unconsciousness and he was probably dying from the cardiac problems when he hit the ground. Sudden death is the most common way coronary artery disease is identified. The coronary artery blockages Harry had are classic for causing ventricular tachycardia, resulting in no blood flow to a portion of the heart, causing sudden and immediate unconsciousness and frequently resulting in death. Unlike a heart attack, this is sudden and painless. The person experiencing it does not know it’s coming. The mechanism is, the coronary artery is 90% blocked, a small fragment of plaque or clot moves through the narrowed vessel and lodges long enough to completely block the artery. No blood flow, no perfusion, Vtach & immediate unconsciousness leading to death. The severely narrowed LVA is called the “widdowmaker lesion”. I asked her if a hard opening canopy could have been a factor in this occurring. She thought it was unlikely.

Other people may interpret this any way they like. For me, I think it will help give me peace. His death was not a random, shit happens, skydiving event. It was due to a medical problem that could of occurred anytime, anywhere. I wish we could of identified it somehow and had bypass done, but he was completely asymptomatic.


MajorDad  (D 579)

Dec 11, 2008, 4:51 PM
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Thank you for sharing the information with us, Janna.

Harry certainly led a life worth living right up to the end.

My thoughts and prayers are with you, especially at this time of year.

Take care,


swovelin  (D 3756)

Dec 12, 2008, 4:43 PM
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Janna, thank you so much for sharing this information. I know that delving into these details and then writing it up for us must be hard for you.

But I know that this is an essential step in the process. We were all left with unanswered questions. Why Harry? (Harry of all people!) And why now?

It helps to understand that Harry's death resulted from a medical emergency (which apparently was the cause of both his his hard opening and his uncontrolled descent). That is much better than speculating about some unknown "Shit happens" equipment problem.

This knowledge helps give us insight that will (eventually) help us to find closure. (Yourself included.)

Thanks again Janna. Harry would be proud of you for helping the community to heal in this way.


happychick  (C License)

Dec 14, 2008, 10:56 PM
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Janna, thanks for the info. Most importantly I am thankful it will help you find peace in time. In that time please know that there many people who care for you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, especially at this time of year. Be sure to know that shoulders to lean on, ears for listening, and arms for hugging are never far away.

Shannon


Shell666  (C 1817)

Aug 8, 2009, 8:01 PM
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Some pics that Star sent around. Miss you Harry. We raised a few glasses in your honour in LP.

Love you and miss you lots! xoxox
Attachments: HarryLeischer.jpg (58.1 KB)
  HarryLake.jpg (77.5 KB)


guppie01  (D License)

Aug 11, 2009, 2:50 PM
Post #87 of 96 (1489 views)
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Thanks for sharing Shell!

Cheers Harry!

g


tbrown  (D 6533)

Oct 10, 2009, 8:34 PM
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Tomorrow's the day, it will have been one year. We miss you Harry. Keep an eye on Eli, he's new up there.


Shell666  (C 1817)

Oct 10, 2009, 9:34 PM
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In reply to:
Tomorrow's the day, it will have been one year. We miss you Harry. Keep an eye on Eli, he's new up there.

Wow. I was thinking about him today.

Norah Jones' "Come away with me" was playing and it made me remember the day of Harry and Janna's wedding at Lang Creek.

They jumped in and I drove my RED Jeep to the brewery to make sure they were shuttled back to the DZ in RED STYLE. Just for Harry!

I played that song for them on the way out of the brewery. I thought that would be kind of romantic for them.

They were in the back of the Jeep and Harry couldn't stop talking about how fun the jump was!!!

Typical man ... LaughLaughLaugh

Harry my dear, I miss you.

Janna, my love goes out to you today, tomorrow and every day. We'll see each other again soon. SmileSmileSmile


skybill  (D 6009)

Oct 11, 2009, 6:51 AM
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In reply to:
Tomorrow's the day, it will have been one year. We miss you Harry. Keep an eye on Eli, he's new up there.
Hi tb,
Seems like yesterday and now it's been a whole year!! 'Ya hit the nail on the head about saving Skydiving in So Cal, Harry picked up the ball and ran with it!! That was 24 years ago. A lot of contemporary Skydivers were just getting hatched back then. I guess us old folks had to find something to do while we were grounded that summer!! 'Ya can't ferget Harrys' signature line on malfunctions,"It'llclear!!!!" said with a wink and definitely toungue in cheek!!


Nightingale  (B 26984)

May 20, 2010, 9:46 AM
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Miss you, Harry!


MissBuffDiver  (D 4621)

Jun 11, 2010, 5:56 PM
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OMG..these pictures reminded me of just how HAIRY.....HARRY was... I remember the time he told me a super funny joke on a hot summer nite at Perris...it was so funny i spit my gum out when i started to laugh...the gum shot out of my mouth right onto his chest and into all that chest hair...then the fun really began..we were on a quest to get the gum out...the harder he tried, the more it got stuck...then he grabbed the wad of gum, let out a yell that almost blew out my ear drums, and he pulled the gum and a huge hunk of hair off his chest...i can still see him...eyes red...laughing/crying hysterically....and oh the bald spot on his chest...wish i had a picture of that...It helped painwise that we had already polished off a case of beer, but the next case was to celebrate the bald spot and our friendship...THIS is my priceless memory of Harry....and then there's the time when Bill and Chris Deli and Bill Hallam and I and Harry went out dancin' and drinkin' in Otay.....let's just say that the band entertained us, but i think Chris and i offered better entertainment SlyWELL...that's another story.Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon!


Shell666  (C 1817)

Jun 11, 2010, 6:11 PM
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Re: [MissBuffDiver] Harry Leicher is gone ... [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
OMG..these pictures reminded me of just how HAIRY.....HARRY was... I remember the time he told me a super funny joke on a hot summer nite at Perris...it was so funny i spit my gum out when i started to laugh...the gum shot out of my mouth right onto his chest and into all that chest hair...then the fun really began..we were on a quest to get the gum out...the harder he tried, the more it got stuck...then he grabbed the wad of gum, let out a yell that almost blew out my ear drums, and he pulled the gum and a huge hunk of hair off his chest...i can still see him...eyes red...laughing/crying hysterically....and oh the bald spot on his chest...wish i had a picture of that...It helped painwise that we had already polished off a case of beer, but the next case was to celebrate the bald spot and our friendship...THIS is my priceless memory of Harry....and then there's the time when Bill and Chris Deli and Bill Hallam and I and Harry went out dancin' and drinkin' in Otay.....let's just say that the band entertained us, but i think Chris and i offered better entertainment SlyWELL...that's another story.
Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon!
OMG I laughed and laughed reading that! The VISUALS!!!! LaughLaughLaughLaugh

Yes, Harry was hairy .... I wish you had a pic ... THAT would be PRICELESS!!! LaughLaughLaugh

Hairy Harry ... we miss you ... LP misses you .... I miss your letters in the mail. With a little note and a pic of me that you took and then took the time to send to me ....

LUB YOU HARRY!!!! SmileSmile


MissBuffDiver  (D 4621)

Jun 12, 2010, 3:20 PM
Post #94 of 96 (960 views)
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Re: [Shell666] Harry Leicher is gone ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Tongue Glad you enjoyed the story. Yes he was HAIRY-HARRY!!!... I would bring my girls to the DZ, ages 3 and 5 with me all the time. The youngest one asked " is that man a bear mama?" The older one wanted to put braids in his back hair....so funny the things kids say...Wish he were here to tell the story about me and Chris Deli in the bar at Otay....cuz I was out of it and don't remember....In fact he reminded me when I joined this site a few yrs back...perhaps Bill Deli could tell the story cuz he was there too...I remember dancin' then waking up in a motel with one hell of a hangoverBlush....those were the days.


stayhigh  (F 111)

Apr 17, 2011, 1:03 AM
Post #95 of 96 (820 views)
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Re: [NTHRIWZ] Harry Leicher is gone ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Why the hell did you land out there all by yourself???.


Krip  (Student)

Apr 17, 2011, 9:18 AM
Post #96 of 96 (765 views)
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Re: [stayhigh] Harry Leicher is gone ... [In reply to] Can't Post

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Why the hell did you land out there all by yourself???.

Because no one else didCool

3 cheers for Harry Leicher!!!!!!Smile



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