"And while of course Ted would've loved to have another 15 or 20 more years with Marcie and parachuting, I'm sure he's content that it ended with a cool jump story:
There he was age 75 skydiving hard at the cutting edge test jumping one of his own creations on a beautiful autumn day with young-enough-to-be-his-children/grandchildren friends and colleagues who all lived to tell lies about his last jump.
Cheers, old friend. We'll miss you but you lived large, long and with a heart full of love and you can't do much better than that."
I was shocked and saddened when I heard the news just a short while ago. I went through his rigging course in Quincy in 1971. Ran into him and jumped with him through the years, most recently some of the SOS record attempts. I bought my first new rig from him - the Stylemaster main with the center pull belly wart - $200 for both. He was a pioneer in the industry and about as good a person you could ever hope to meet. Truly a loss for everyone - but he left us doing what he loved.
Ted Strong was a fucking titan. When I was the manager of Skydive City, I met him and Bill Morrisey a lot. He was the definition of a true gentleman, and this sport is what it is today precisely because of him. Without Ted Strong, there would be no tandem.
I can't express how sorry I am to hear of his death. However, the best tribute we can pay to this man is to be the best tandem instructors we can be, on whatever system we are qualified in, for one thing is certain. Without Ted, there wouldn't be any of them. He broke the ground that others followed.
I was just getting my Strong rating towards the beginning of the year when I was in FL for a while. I stopped by the Strong factory to pick up a package needed for the tandem course, and while I was there I was given a tour of the whole place by the helpful staff.
During the tour we stopped by the R&D or engineering department upstairs. Ted was there and I was introduced to him. I talked to him for about 10 or 15 minutes, and was very impressed and privileged to meet him.
He's definitely brought the sport a very long way. I'm very sorry that he has passed... my condolences to his friends and family.
I was worried for Ted when I saw a PIA video a while back and he told about test jumping a very very small canopy.........it opened in a spinner and he was extremely lucky that he managed to cutaway from it. He almost didn't.
Wow, just made my first jump in 20 years this past Friday. Reviewing my logbook I remembered an entry from Ted on January 16, 1985 when I followed him and my twin sister out on her first tandem jump. I still have the picture from 26 years ago, tell me who was having more fun jumping with a brother and sister that day. Rest in peace Mr. Strong, you've made an entire community better just by sharing your life with us.
For as long as I can remember, Ted has always been there. I bought my first "real" rig from Ted. When I made my first very own rig, I bought the para-pack, webbing and hardware from Ted. Anytime I had a question about gear or jumping, Ted was always ready to help, although he must have hated selling me everything one yard at a time. Because has has always been there for me, I thought he always would.
Was that the jump with NO LATERAL ATTACHMENTS? I swiped a photo of the photo of that from your office!
This is a truly sad day. We were competitors, but we were friends first.
My favorite memory of Ted is from the early days of tandem when Ted and I were practically the only people in the world doing tandem. We knew we had something special, but we didn't yet know if it would be a safe and practical. Up till this point we had been working separately, but on this day we decided to work together. So we exited a 182 over DeLand with two experience female jumpers, and did the world's first tandem RW..a two-by-four if you wish. There were no drogues yet, and those first tandem parachutes tended to destroy themselves (and the jumpers) every other jump or so if you took them to terminal, even with a light passenger. So I guess were were both lucky that day as everything went perfectly.
We landing laughing out loud, shared a round of beer with girls, and the rest is history. I think we can all agree that tandem jumping has worked out very well indeed.
THANK YOU TED!
(This post was edited by efs4ever on Oct 24, 2011, 12:59 PM)
Hi there, my name is James and I saw your post on Ted. I also have a custom made Quasar II made by Ted Strong. He invited me to his factory here in Florida and had his people tape measure me and do all the things they needed to do in order to make my adventure is skydiving the best it could be. I am 1 of 4 wheelchair skydivers in the world. There’s only 2 of us in the US. What caught my attention even more about your post is your location. I am from Dover Delaware, I grew up in Dover and I have been to that dropzone there in Laurl about ‘98 or ’99 and it was not a good place to jump. But in the past few yrs I have been hearing good things about it and I will be back to visit in Feb or March. Not to jump just to visit. My Dad and brother still live there. Anyway, Ted was a great guy and I was fortunate enough to meet him and work with him on my skydiving adventure. And I know that he would have appreciated your words about him. I go by the name of Pookie and I have been in this sport since ’06 and things just seem to be getting better and better about this sport and I just wanted to say Blue Skys to you from SkyDive City down here in Zephyr Hills, FL. If you have face book you can find my skydiving page under Team DumbAss, yes it’s a real team. There is a picture of me and the DZO hanging out of a plane doing my last Tandem Jump. OK, that’s all LATER………….