Oct 17, 2005, 10:58 AM
Post #1 of 20
Today is a year since Dan McFadden left this world for the big blue sky. I miss him.
Dan was a good friend to me and I thought I was just saying what people say when they are in shock--that they will think of someone every day. But I have.
He's taught me so much...taken me places I've never been able to. Got me to do some things that could KILL me if I didn't turn off my own instincts and trust what he was saying. And I thank him for it.
He also introduced me to this website. I could never thank him enough. I've made lifelong friends and learned so much and got to GO places and take photos and drink tequila (oh wait..I already knew how to do that) and mooch curley fries.
I give him credit for being one of the FEW people who didn't blow their tops. Dan was very mellow and always tried to help find a solution to problems.We always called and thanked each other for our friendship, and I can't do that anymore. I hope you all don't mind if I do that here.
Dan, thanks for being my friend and understanding me. It really meant alot and I haven't forgotten your kindness.
The last time I saw Dan I was in Raeford with friends and they insisted they had to leave at a certain time on Sunday. Dan happened to be on a hot load and they refused to wait. I was very angry, but I left (it was a LONG ride back to New York). Dan said not to worry, that we'd see each other again because we didn't ever say goodbye. I never got to see him again, but I always believed I would.
For the people who knew Dan or flown with him, take a moment to send a vibe out to the universe to him. I'm sure he's looking down on us and making some inappropriate noise or the other.
When i think of dan, i seem to remember being a low time jumper....showing up at the DZ WAY to early, and up walks Dan wit hhis leather flight jacket on wit hall those patches on it, hands in his pockets, a pipe hanging out his mouth, and him just telling stories and jokes. Tom wood was usally the next to arrive.....that was a pair.
I didn't get to know him that well, but the one thing I'll always remember is him coming up to me at Hartwood to introduce himself, hand extended to shake mine with the warmest smile I'd ever seen in my life. Dan was a class act.
I don't think of Dan everyday, but I know I have told a lot of great stories that had Dan the pilot man in them. I do miss him greatly and will see him again one day.
I can't help but think of him every day, everytime I hear a plane overhead I smile and try to get a glimpse of it. Dan took me over the beerline and introducec me to Bill Rafferty, who promptly placed me on the 82nd's hot target with the instructions 'whatever you do don't run!'
My experience before that was standing at the beerline with a long lens and hoping for the best. Dan sat me on the runway and told me where he was going to take off and thats where I developed the love of smelling fuel. Believe it or not, I felt safe out there. My mother must be spinning!
There is so much more I could say--we did have a blast and really got to be best friends--we had a game where we'd stand there and SCREAM at each other before he took a load up and laugh thinking what the jumpers thought of his frame of mind. He busted my chops for leaving the door once with my eyes closed so I HAD to go back and do it over the next day--eyes OPEN! He was very soft spoken, but he had a sense of humor and was very kind human and an excellent flier.
Then there was 'Bohemian Rhapsody' sung in Aviators Lounge--he was the only one who took the time to sing all the words!
Wow!! Has it really been a year? When are you coming down again to see us again? Have you killed the plants Nancy gave you yet?
I'll pm you and let you know whats been going on...
I didn't 'kill' anything. You can't prove a THING!! Your spider plant committed hari-kari but I did great with the chilis--I'm giving my brother a lifetime supply. I also planted some grapes I ate in your kitchen--they were from the supermarket but it was a VIRGINIAN supermarket so it counts. I'm doing okay with those.
I'd love to see you guys again and visit the dropzone there and we can plot on hunting down the Otter!
My jacket is still torn from Dan's Memorial Bench! It's like he reached out and grabbed me to keep me there for a while longer.
Meet him once but did'nt catch his name,but reconized his picture. one hellava guy because not too many people make an impression that I can recall them after only once.Sending out my vibes! What was the cause for his leaving us so soon? GOD BLESS Bryan
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door— Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as "Nevermore."
But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. Nothing further then he uttered; not a feather then he fluttered— Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have flown before— On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before." Then the bird said, "Nevermore." --E.A. Poe
I wonder why people put on memorials on cyberspace, surely after 4 years I'd realize Dan ain't reading any of this stuff, but here I am.
And I saw something that made me smile. I pic in this thread Mayberry put up of Dan smiling in the cockpit. I have plenty of pics of Dan of my own, but they remind me of conversations and emotions of the moment. To see Dan's face in a pure smile without context of what was going on that day is a pure joy.
I realize people put keep posting here for the next person to read and know they aren't alone in their loss. I read all the other 'In Memory' threads and I see Dan has some damned good company, too.
Rest in peace, friend. You earned it. Love always...April P.S. To GravityMaster...the peppers still survive and I've given generations of seeds...TASTY!!
I heard this song this morning, and it has SO much meaning to me. I named my son 'Daniel' because of (well, they all have biblical names) but this song was the clincher. My son Danny turned 25 last month and hearing this today reminded me of how many layers the sky has for people. Dan and I used to fight over the meaning of this song. I say Daniel My Brother died on that plane and HE said the brother just took off and went to Spain (whatever, I stopped listening--its about the loss of someone who took off on a plane. PERIOD). I'm laughing thru tears. I miss that argument.
So...you guys tell me. WHAT does this mean to you? I say 'crash', but I named my son for this beautiful song and I lost my friend and this song KICKS me every time. The lyrics..sing along!
Daniel is travelling tonight on a plane I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain Oh and I can see Daniel waving goodbye God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes
They say Spain is pretty though I've never been Well Daniel says it's the best place that he's ever seen Oh and he should know, he's been there enough Lord I miss Daniel, oh I miss him so much
Daniel my brother you are older than me Do you still feel the pain of the scars that won't heal Your eyes have died but you see more than I Daniel you're a star in the face of the sky
Daniel is travelling tonight on a plane I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain Oh and I can see Daniel waving goodbye God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes Oh God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes
I don't think of Dan everyday anymore..its more like once or twice a week I'm smiling now when I think of him, because he knew just how his life was going to play out. Damn, I wish he was still here but thats my own greed. I want all my loved ones in one spot; all my 'Daniels' Blue skies (thinking of YOU)~~April
You haven't been forgotten, Dan. Thought of you yesterday but wasn't up to coming in..but this morning 'Oh Danny Boy' was going through my head so loud, I just wanted to leave a post.
If the family ever comes in, I'm leaving you a BIG hello and some love. I'll look for Mrs. McFadden's # and give her a call, I hope she's well. I'm sorry I haven't written in a while but believe me, Dan has not been forgotten. It's amazing how the years fly by. I can't believe how long he's been gone.
One last thing, Dan. You're still a knucklehead in my book. (said with love). Always~~April