Nov 21, 2010, 11:45 AM
Post #1 of 4
Joe Calabro (StangMan90)
Joe showed up at Davis last year wanting to learn to skydive. He got about 11 jumps under his belt when he got hurt last spring. He was recovering well from the injuries, and then they found out he had liver cancer. He left us earlier this month.
Joe was a really nice guy with a big smile and a bigger heart. He struggled with AFF but kept at it, always with a good attitude.
He will be missed.
Enjoy your new wings, Joe. I'm sure you'll have plenty to teach us about flying when we meet again.
I was on the DZ the day Joe did his Level 1 AFF. He had pizza and was offering it to experienced jumpers. This was how I met him, and I remember thinking what a smart idea that was to meet people and engage them during the jumping day. Sure enough, it's what got me to talking to him the first time, and I even gave him his first piece of skydiving swag that day - a bottle opener for all the beer he was also bringing. After that his was a face I always enjoyed seeing at the dropzone. I was there the day he was injured, and was so sad to hear it was he who'd gotten hurt - I was afraid it would dampen his enthusiasm for the sport. Not even close - he was ready to get back into skydiving as soon as his body would let him; unfortunately, it wasn't the injury, but cancer that stopped him from getting back up there. He still came by the DZ from time to time as he recovered, and still had that "I'm gonna be back in the air someday" light in his eyes.
The jump where he got hurt was to be his final AFF jump - I'd promised him a coach jump once he was able to successfully complete AFF; unfortunately, his injury meant we'd have to put that jump on hold. I'm just sorry I won't have the chance to jump with him now. We'll miss him at the DZ.
(This post was edited by NWFlyer on Nov 22, 2010, 10:12 AM)
Joe was a very special individual and will hold a spot in my heart. I was the AFF instructor on his last skydive. He had struggled with E-2, but he never gave up!! I remember standing on the step waiting for him to dive out "Come on Joe!! you can do this was running through my head" He came out of the plane and it was GAME ON!! A little wobble here and another there, but nothing that required my assistance. He finished the requirements early, I remember flying in front of him and giving him a double thumbs up!!
Unfortunately, he ended up getting injured on landing and required transportation to the hospital. I never got a chance to fill out his log book for that final skydive and it weighs on my heart. I hope his family will bring his log book to the DZ when we set his ashes free so I can make that entry.
Joe, when it's my turn to get my next set of wings you will be the experienced one!! i hope I can get some coaching when I get there!!