I am sad to share that long time Texas skydiver Mike Ware passed away today from lung cancer. I have many fond memories of Mike, from his stories of buying his first rig back in the 60s for $30 and having Mike McGowan cut holes in it to make it high performance, to doing my first demo with him and following him in downwind into a high school football stadium. I had my first reserve ride on his nice pink PD 143 reserve as well ( me and at least 3 other people he loaned his rig too! It was a good reserve ).
I'm sorry I didn't have time to get down to see him one last time.
Mike was on my first 4-stack; my proud 100th jump. Also there at the memorial for my first skydiver friend's passing (Zara) -- somehow I ended up hanging out with him and Wendy, sharing the understanding that while of course losing anyone is cause for grief, it is not a reason to ask WHY or rail against the "shit happens" factor -- we live, we die and life goes on. Vietnam vet, general good guy, sad to not get a chance to see him again -- but that is what we do. Blue skies, Mlke.