Sep 18, 2012, 12:19 PM
Post #1 of 17
Parachutist Magazine Profile -- Uncut, Full text
Texan, I over-blither; Parachutist Mag trimmed out some jabber. This is uncut. Suffer. :-) -------------- Name: Pat Works [Madden Travis Works, Jr.] Nicknames: “Pat” for being born on St. Patrick’s Day; Texas skydivers called me “Crazy Pat”. Now it’s “2-Cats” as in: “Works, you got more lives than two cats.” Age: 68 Height: 5 ft., 11 in. and shrinking Weight: 170 lbs. Birthplace: Houston Nationality: U.S.A. Texan Marital Status: Married 41+ years to Janet Children: none Pets: 0 Occupation: RWunderground Parachuting Publications (newsletter & books), 1970 to present. Chief Technologist, Northrop Grumman Aerospace. Adjunct Professor, the Claremont Graduate School. Recently retired and loving it. Education: BA in English, University of Houston, 1967 MS in Information Systems, Claremont Graduate University, 1992 MBA, Executive Management, Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management, 1995 Post Graduate Studies, Ph.D. School of Information Science, Claremont Graduate University, 1992 - 1996 [all coursework for Ph.D. in the Management of IS] Transportation: ‘Z51 ‘Jake’ Corvette (and over 200,000 motorcycle miles) Pet Peeves: dimwits and the U.S. Congress Pre-Jump Superstitions: Eyes-closed touch handles hand-jive Hobbies: Tai-Chi, art museums, poetry, philosophy, shooting, reading, being …. Favorite Food: I try it all … leads to new taste treats. Rock, Rap, or Country? All, plus Alternative, Blues, Electronic, Jazz, Latin American, Pop, R&B, Rock, Metal and Classical. (5,000+ tunes on my iPod.) Life Philosophy: Be Here Now. Hold it tight. My route charts luck-blessed pathways with vistas God touched. My escort is Mind-Music. A Skydance medley composes an enlightenment symphony. Ten thousand MP3s of life-song melodies repeat at random whilst life unfolds, petal by petal. Hard opening or line twists? Not a problem. Neat packer or a trash packer? Doesn’t matter. Parachutes don’t worry how they are folded. Me neither. Parachutes are bred to deploy and I’m averse to reversing that process by trying to close ‘em back up. I use a packer. Did you start out as an AFF, static line, or tandem student? My Static Line 1st jump cost me $15.00. Would you rather swoop or land on an accuracy tuffet? I don’t swoop. Low-pain landings allow multiple jumps where neither the paramedics nor the coroner need be called. Jump Philosophy: Pull prior to impact. Team Name: Many … team party practice robbed my memory, but a few that stand out: The Wallace’s Outlaws, Texas A&M Parachute Team, University of Houston team, James Gang, Terminal Chaos, Godfrogs, Perris Skydance, Solitary Birds ESPN Freefly. Sponsors: Many generous sponsors … chiefly, Skydive Perris and the Conatsers who have been friends, patrons and supporters for 35 years. Container: Reflex Reserve Canopy: PD AAD?: Yep. Cypress Discipline(s): Fun jumping, RW, Formation Skydiving; Big Ways; Freefly; Skydance Home Drop Zone: Skydive Perris Main Canopy: Spectre Year of First Jump: First Jump 1961 Houston 1st Para Commander jump 1965 Houston first 5-way star 1964 Houston SCR-561 1970 Z-Hills; SCS#1 1971 Hinckley Licenses/Ratings: B-1513 (1962 Texas A&M) C-1798 (1963 Texas A&M) D-1813 (1965 Houston) Championships/Medals/Records: 1966 NCPL National Champion, Team Event, National Collegiate Parachuting League, 1966 (Univ. of Houston Team) 1970 SCR-561 - Z-Hills 1970s My 10-way teams won the California Rumbleseat Meet three times. 1971 Founder of the RW Council 1972 SCS-1, Hinckley 1972-78 Competed in 4-way, 10-way and 8-way RW at the USPA Nationals in ‘72, ‘73, ‘76, ‘78 1972 Founder of the CG GodFrog Good Vibes Award 1972 Founder of the National Champion of Combined RW Award 1972 Instrumental in introducing 10-way RW to USPA and competed at the first 10-Way Nationals 1972-74 Three-time Conference Champion in 4-way and 10-way RW 1974 Founder of the RW Council’s Certificates of Merit Mid-1970s Team Captain of many skydiving teams, including multiple wins of the Chute-Out at the Gulch, a meet that featured free-form sequential maneuvers of your choice. 1976-77 Two-time Conference Champion in 8-way RW 1976 North American Sequential Sweepstakes, Original 8-way meet in Ft. Lewis, Wash. 1976 4 stack (#663) at Perris 1980s USPA National Director, three terms 1994 1st Exhibition Event of Sit Flying, Team World Skydance, Eloy Ariz. 1995 1st American Championships of Free Flight, Skydive Dallas, ESPN X-Games test event. (Entered on 2-teams: Perris vRW & World Skydance) 1995-97 Competed in the SSI Pro-Tour, Freefly X-Trials for X-Games in ‘95, ‘96, ‘97 1996 Perris Free Fly Championships, Solitary Birds, 3rd place, Perris, Calif. 1996 Pro Tour Free Flying X-Trials (Pre X-Games) event, Solitary Birds, 1st Place, Perris 1997 Pro Tour Freeflying, Monterey Calif. 1997 Universal Skydiver Award No. 2, Perris 1997 X-Games Judge for ESPN 1998 1st Place, National Championships, USPA Freefly US Nationals Competition Trial Associations/Club Memberships: SME Certified Manufacturing Engineer CMfgE (Life) AIAA (past), NRA (current), SASS (current) USPA, Number #189 GW, #845 DW, #358 12HR, #233 24HR, #118 Brian, I don’t recall #s for my XX-hour clocks, or #n- Diamonds Wings; can you look it up? ……………………………………… Total Number of Jumps: 8,200 est. Freefly: 2,700 est. RW: 5,500 est. CRW: 15 est. Camera: 250 est. Tandems: 0 est. Accuracy: several hundred est. Demos: 50 est. Wingsuit Jumps: 2 est. Balloon Jumps: 0 est. BASE Jumps: 0
Total Number of Cutaways: 35-40 Going back to student status - what was your canopy progression? Over 1,500 jumps on round canopies starting with the 28-ft. “TU”; then PCs for 10 years: B4 harness, floating ripcord, sleeve, and double pilot chutes. In 1972 I switched to a piggyback. Went square in ‘76……I didn’t jump a square reserve until 1993. Most people don't know this about me: People think that I am a dinosaur. However, in real life I am a fossil, and perhaps as much a myth as a legend. Out of All of your skydives is there one particular jump that stands out the most? Yes – it was my first introduction to skydiving’s extraordinary eye-candy. Sunset jump, early ‘60s, Cessna climbing through flat-layered clouds interconnected by towering columns. Each respective layer had both floor and ceiling of cloud marble supported by alabaster cloud columns – a sky cathedral. Blazing sunset ignited endless chambers in enchanted light. That sun disrobed, exchanging her golden gowns with burning oranges in exploding red hues. In her glow, my airship toiled up, dwarfed in God’s crimson glory. My eyes inked phantasmagorical tattoos on my brain. How long do you plan on skydiving? ‘Til death do us part – with a proviso that my polio relapse backs off. What do you like most about the sport? Flying the wings I’ve won myself. What do you like least about the sport? Parachute packing Who, if anybody, has been your skydiving mentor? NA – My guide is sharing flight poetry. What are your future skydiving goals? Fun jumps with good health. What safety item do you think is most important and/or most often neglected? Remembering that safety is a religion and survival is an art. How did you become interested in skydiving? Riding bulls at the Houston Rodeos paid $15 per ride. Easy money my high school buddies jumped on. Not me. Taunted, “Works got no balls…” Bulls are bad-ass mean and plan to gore and stomp you. Parachutes are dumb with no ill will. “Shoot,” sez me, “I’d rather jump outa an airplane than onto a Brahma bull!” So, I called every airport in the Yellow Pages, found a place to jump, signed Mom’s name to the age waiver, and leaped. I skydive because… It scratches my itch to touch the poetry of perfection. Any suggestions for new students? Have you jumped into the arms of earth-pushed air and snuggled there, lazy, letting the fall just happen? Most “make” a skydive. Can you simply “take” one? Relaxed in mind and body, give yourself over to wind and gravity? Relax totally into the air. Let the wind cradle you. Letting the wind give you a position is to accept a gift. Allow the wind to configure you into your natural shape. Drift along on the arms of the wind so that intensity used to control flight is freed. Released from the chores of flight, your self-awareness has energy available to let you sense feelings that were before obscured by your fixation to do. Thus, by not-Doing and exclusively Be-ing, you earn a treasure. You receive a boon – enlightenment about an aspect of the air which, like a love, you can call on as you need. What's the most bad-ass thing you can do in the air? I can teach you to nail a head-down position in one jump. What is your favorite jump plane and why? Super Otter: a reliable comfy elevator that facilitates low-stress egress. If you could do a "fantasy 2-way" with anybody (living or deceased), whom would it be with and where would it take place? Ummmn…. Fantasy 2-way…. That’d have to be with a drop-dead gorgeous woman in heat in a $5,000.00++ per night hotel suite on the French Riviera. Were you a hard child to raise? No, although I did have polio in the third grade. If you could make everyone on the planet do something to make earth a better place to live, what would it be? Make the children of our Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – share mutual respect. Most embarrassing moment while in freefall or at a drop zone: Shucks! Always thinking it to be the norm, I recently realized that I began as a Low-Puller! As a student, Ed Fitch (D-89) had us opening at 1,000 ft. AGL and at 800 feet for 20+ jump “experts”. Recently, Dr. Fitch’s dear friend, Lenny Potts, affirmed that our DZ’s BSRs were nonstandard. (Today I open by 3,000 feet.) Someday I am going to own: A chunk of the hereafter. The toughest thing to do in the sport of skydiving is: to keep having fun with it. Once the fun goes, every sky jumper moves on. What kind of skydiving student were you - the typical flailer or a complete natural from jump number one? Jump number one was emotional overload, but I quickly caught on. Out of all your thousands of skydives, is there one jump you would like to do over again? Please explain for your fellow jumpers: There is one jump I wish I hadn’t made at all. 1963: Jumping my too hot 28-ft. “TU” flat circular canopy (Scissors mod) on a windy day, gusts deflate my canopy. Eeeek!! I’d drop 50-70 feet and it’d pop open, and then snap shut again. Bam! OUCH! Injuries kept me ground-bound for months. What do you consider your most significant life achievement? My triumph is that I am still alive. While in freefall, what has been your strangest thought? That the ground was covered with phosphorescent green worms wriggling in a morass of bright purple muck. Suggestions for the USPA: Keep on keeping on sustaining jumping for skydivers. Continue to keep our skies free. Best skydiving moment? Getting back in the air after recovering from the car crash that paralyzed me chest-down at the 1980 Nationals. Notes from that reentry jump: “Landing is a piece of cake …The smell of the canopy as I gather it in my arms is like being with a lover from long ago. I bury my head and sniff. It’s nice to be back.” Greatest competition moment? Winning the NCPL Nationals in ‘66; also winning the X-Games Freefly Xtrial at Skydive Perris in ‘97. Worst skydiving moment? Ground rush: free falling so low that your impact point explodes up at you, the horizon looms above you, and the landscape bursts out and rushes away instantly, replaced by sick fear, knowing death is here. Weirdest skydiving moment? Doing formation skydives inside clouds gets weird and wonderful as cloud wisps strobe your vision on and off; you get the freeze-frame herky-jerky that strobe lights give to disco dancing. Time for me to ask the impossible - explain "Pat Works" in five words or less: Outrider seeking mind-food, eye-candy, enlightenment. What is your perfect day like? To pass the toe-tag-test. On awakening, check your feet. If your toes do not display a mortician’s toe-tag, it is a perfect day. What drives your competitive spirit? Competing within myself to attain perfect speed, perfect flight, and perfect position. Relaxed aggression. Being good … being fast … being there. What quirks do you possess? (Examples: “I like peanut butter on both slices;” “I jump only in Cessna aircraft;” “I partake in road rage;” “I fancy orange underwear, but jump in only pink boxers:” etc.) I am a black-belt Space Cadet. If aptitude conferred rank, I’d be a general. What makes Pat tick like a cat with fresh catnip? New and different flight challenges that extend our borders and ignite our imaginations with new dimensions. Flight that tests us in the air and turns pages in our book of skills. RW formations – now Skydancing – is that. Skydive becomes Skydance when the flyers choreograph the levels, presentation and proximity to present aesthetically pleasing visuals. Any multi-person skydive having rhythm and choreography is a Skydance. In Skydance, flying movements are an end in themselves. Vertical, spherical and 3D air moves are involved. Beauty in motion is linked to rhythm so that the concepts of group aerial dance, video, and music merge. In traditional formation skydiving, the flying is a means to a grip – completing a formation with grips is the metric of goodness. In Skydance flow is more important than taking any hand-hold. (specialty question) 50 years of USPA Membership! What are your thoughts on your membership then and now with all the growth in between? Hmmm… Back then, there was no organization to oversee the national scene. The old Parachute Riggers and Jumpers Association had a loose affiliation with low influence. In the mid-1960s, Dr. Ed Fitch and Gunby et al. created and then linked a federation of area-specific Parachute Councils: an example was the Texas Parachute Council (TPC) which was a federation of Texas Parachute clubs. These federations were organized groups of affiliated clubs who met and drafted constitutions to promote the health and well-being of parachuting. The same things were coordinated in other parts of the USA and as a result, the PCA became not just a small clique of individual sport parachutists but a nationwide federation of unified state councils that we now call USPA Regions. That move broadened parachuting’s influence as a bona fide sport and began to transform what had been East-coast fraternity into a nationwide organization predicated on the thought that all parachutists don their gear one leg at a time. A schism developed in the early 1970s … “real” parachutists versus fun jumpers … and at that time I got involved. (specialty question) “The Art of Freefall RW” has been to skydivers what Ben Hogan’s “Five Lessons – The Modern Fundamentals of Golf” has been to golfers. Looking back to when you were writing it, did you think it would have the profound impact on the sport as it has? Yes and No. NO! I was oblivious to anything but getting the book published. The worldwide adoption of my 1975 The Art of Freefall Relative Work (2 editions, 6 reprints and translated into four languages) startled me a great deal. The international respect and attention I was accorded as the master and professor was a surprise and honor. I was elated my books led to extensive world travels and a succession of training camps, including the first USA RW training camps. I was proud to have both the SEALS and the Army Parachute Team as my students. I had a knack for training by sharing discoveries: no-contact, Skydance, relaxation and attitude as sure paths to flight for the joy of flying. Unwittingly, Jan and I became jump-celebrities. But while it is agreeable to be respected, celebrity can be a less-than-pleasurable thing for this Texas boy. Admiration and high regard is hard to accept and tough to adjust to when all you’re doing is “your thing”. YES! On the other hand, I’d expected some effect on our sport was assured because I had preceded my prescription for the “art” of flying with years of groundwork constructing a nationwide congress of RW alpha dogs to legitimize our pursuit. I called it The RW Council, and began publishing RWunderground, a subscription newsletter for which we had many contributors and that Jan and I produced on our kitchen table. The newsletter became a vehicle for articles and discussions surrounding the development and then promotion of formation skydiving as a competition discipline. Eventually the newsletter and its articles by various contributors around the country evolved into United We Fall, my second book. To my mind, United We Fall has had more relevance and impact on skydiving today because of its influence on the genesis of formation relative work. http://users.cis.fiu.edu/~esj/uwf/uwf.html The Art of Freefall RW was successful because of good timing. In the 1960s-early 1970s, an infant RW was disrespected and disdained as “just Fun Jumping, certainly not authentic parachuting” with a conviction that real parachutists did style and accuracy (S&A). All parachuting competitions were S&A events; fun jumps were not on the dance card. There wasn’t a word for relative work until the mid-to-early 1960s. Contact freefall parachuting consisted of baton passes or aerial grab-ass, and the lone book on parachuting technique was Russ Gunby’s “Sport Parachuting - a basic handbook of sport parachuting” (1960) which described the two basic-stable positions and how to make turns. Contact RW remained elusive. At any parachute club that you traveled to, finding enough fun-jumpers to make a three-way was a Big Deal indeed. One of my goals with RWunderground and then The Art of Freefall RW was to describe how to do relative work skydiving, make its participants feel like part of a fraternity, and promote it as a legitimate competition discipline. The book, being the first recipe book which told would-be flyers how to be RW skydivers, evolved into “The Bible” for performing those skills. I am pleased that it has done much more than I originally anticipated. (specialty question) What has been your primary motivator for 50 years (and counting) as a skydiver? FUN and sharing it, i.e. “the communication imperative.” What goes around comes around for me. Learning what others know and then passing it on is a good path to keeping the fun in skydiving. Listen, learn and share with skymates, because learning skydiving in isolation takes a long time and costs a lot of money. More importantly, it can be downright dangerous. Honor the Communication Imperative by being open to learning new things and then sharing what you’ve learned with others. (specialty question) How did you cope with periods of burnout? Any advice for your fellow jumpers? Focus on skydiving’s fun and its glorious visuals; that’s the key to jumping continuity. Please disclose five people worthy of a "Profile" that have not been previously "Profiled": The Perris Conatsers (Ben, Diane, Pat & Melanie). Also, a salute to PCA’s founders and our chronology linking them. Off the record - do you read "Profiles" each month or is it just a monthly piece of crap? I’ll always read a profile covering one of parachuting’s personalities. They aren’t crap, though a few “Joe Jumper” types are dull. Any closing comments? “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Of all skydivers, scribes are but a splendid few.* Recall and respect those who capture our history with their words and art. Hail our scribes or else our history is but dust in a wind. Honor our traditions else respect disappears. Say your story else the world is dumb and trees fall silently in our forests. * These writers, plus all emerging wordsmiths:
J. Scott Hamilton Lyle Cameron (RIP) Skratch Garrison Dan Poynter Uwe Beckman (RIP) Matt Farmer Roger Hull Carl Nelson (RIP) Roger Nelson (RIP) BJ Worth Howard White (RIP) Bill Ottley (RIP) Bud Sellick Russ A. Gunby (RIP) Tamara Koyn John Schuman (RIP) Brian Germain Charles Shea-Simonds (RIP) Michael Horan C.W. Ryan A.C. Keech Gene Hunnell Kevin Gibson Brian Giboney Robin Heid J. L. Seagull
Sep 18, 2012, 4:58 PM
Post #5 of 17
Re: [patworks] Parachutist Magazine Profile -- Uncut, Full text
[In reply to]
And That's why I jumped! Thanks Pat
Any suggestions for new students? Have you jumped into the arms of earth-pushed air and snuggled there, lazy, letting the fall just happen? Most “make” a skydive. Can you simply “take” one? Relaxed in mind and body, give yourself over to wind and gravity? Relax totally into the air. Let the wind cradle you. Letting the wind give you a position is to accept a gift. Allow the wind to configure you into your natural shape. Drift along on the arms of the wind so that intensity used to control flight is freed. Released from the chores of flight, your self-awareness has energy available to let you sense feelings that were before obscured by your fixation to do. Thus, by not-Doing and exclusively Be-ing, you earn a treasure. You receive a boon – enlightenment about an aspect of the air which, like a love, you can call on as you need.
I don't have to tell you how famous and revered Pat Works is. Most of us who have been in this sport as long as we have know his informative and entertaining writing. He is truly one of the icons of the sport. Most who have been in the sport for decades know of him and his writing.
337 recently wrote this: "Pat does have a way with words. Have you ever read a more riveting description of ground rush??? OMG, he had me sweating and trying to find something to pull."
EXACTLY. Pat has a fantastic talent with words that we have always admired.
This "data dump" of poorly formatted and barely readable none sentences, with no spacing, is not the writing of the Pat Works I remember.
I would like--I expect--more from Pat Works than this "data dump" of his life. He should be telling his story...his life story!...tell any story from his life. Pat is the master of story telling.
If he isn't at the top of most skydivers list of writers in the business he certainly should be. But he'd never have the reputation...and sell the books he has...if he produced something like what he posted.
I would like to see the story of his life. I don't care to read through reams of data to find that he has none children and 0 pets.
Check back to my website over the next few days, I'll be posting reams of data that none of you care about and you won't read.
Sep 27, 2012, 9:55 AM
Post #11 of 17
Re: [skr] Parachutist Magazine Profile -- Uncut, Full text
[In reply to]
In reply to:
Aha! I thought there might be more to the story than appeared in Parachutist :-) :-)
It was good to see the uncut version, but I agree with Guru312 that your stories reveal even more.
So if you happen to fall into a reminiscing reverie from time to time ...
You'll be writing to us, the jumpers, not to some Parachutist editor, so you can just kind of let go and ...
Writing to us the 'old' jumpers Skratch!
I was talking with a buddy at the DZ when Pat's magazine profile page came up, another guy with 10 in the sport said "Sounds like an interesting guy, what's his REAL name so I can look up what he's written"
Oct 4, 2012, 11:06 PM
Post #15 of 17
Re: [skr] Parachutist Magazine Profile -- Uncut, Full text
[In reply to]
A mattress?? From a 195??
Dear SKR Well, yes. Recall Military types and i suspect prison inmates too, slept on 6" thin mattress you can roll up and slip into a 195 easy. [Recall 2-3 tier iron bunk beds, wire frames, thin pads, and sheets you could bounce a .25-cent piece on for inspections]
We used those. We figured that a real full-size mattress could await our recognition and BIG $$$ from BeautyRest Co. along with large aircraft and SAG cards. Later on I did hear my stalwart pals did a (thin-pad-military) mattress dive. How some ever, apparently it rolled up on the reposing skydiver like a corn-dog on a wiener. (he escaped but was grumpy about the dive)
Oct 5, 2012, 10:09 AM
Post #16 of 17
Re: [patworks] Parachutist Magazine Profile -- Uncut, Full text
[In reply to]
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Agree that the profile-paste was lame; hard to read... I'll do it right next time i feel well. (HTML formatting is Hell)
Somehow, we are still soup cooking into a broth that shall refresh and sustain. Still, clearly, you are the cook. Perhaps I am seasoning.
. . . I think I'd like that.
I enjoyed reading it. I didn't know that you were once a Texas Bull rider, who later earned his doctorate. Not to mention all those other things you've accomplished. I think you've seasoned well. Thanks for sharing!