Dec 5, 2012, 11:12 PM
Post #1 of 9
Wallace's DZ and Spa, Sunday, 1960s
100F & 99% humidity, Houston is hot
SCENE: Wallace's Drop zone and Spa --- Crosby, Texas. Summertime 1960s Houston DZ Daze --
SUNDAY, 6-9 of us attend sky cathedral . Some Newguy drives up. Rent Car. ALL the correct gear and parachuting equipment. Packing mat! Tidy! Squared away. Parachute-packs like a brain surgeon. Spiffy duds. Sincere sort.... "HI! Checked FAA; found your NOTAM!" :-)
Manifests himself for a jump. Expansive. Explains his air hero status; Yankees he knows. Miles driven. Skies conquered. Our good luck. Puffs 'n preens gracefully.
Humble sort in his dreams, Samaritan, Newguy offers that any 2 of our paltry skydivers who might accomplish a two-way formation in FREE FALL, well, then, HE would close third to grant our DZ a 3-Man star-shaped formation! natch, had our rapt attention.... Right-off, Skippy is DELIGHTED! Cheery! Gleeful! Wonderful opportunity! Carlos signs on as 3rd-man.
TAKEOFF: The Cessna C-195 lofts SKYWARD 7,200' To Chorus, "Hoot! Hoot!"
EPIC SKYDIVE: Carlos +Skippy 2-man hookup just out the door. After a polite pause with ceremony, Newguy flies in and enters 3rd. Magic! A three-man Star!
Yawn. Overwhelmed with devilment, Skippy + Carlos transition 3-man-star into a 3-man-line. (A lower-case "L" sans serif) . . . Tight grips. Welder's gloves. Carlos Gene has Newguy's arms. Skippy owns Newguy's legs.... Hot Damn! Watch !!! 'giggle-giggle' -
MULTIPLE SKY WONDERS! . . . Voila the 3-man-line! Ahhhah! Rare . - History in motion: The poetry and joy of 3-man RW flight is profound. It merits "OMG" moments! Newguy is particularly excited. Writhing, kicking, and screaming, Newguy is having the time of his life! He shakes like a belly-dancer.
CATCH & RELEASE: at 800-900 ft., satiated, Carlos and Skippy leggo of new guy above Houston dirt. ... a Geographic moment, Texas scenery flash upward. My, My! bushes freight-train up as trees run away! Ground rushing up at his face like D-Day at night, Newfellow deploys his parachute with alacrity.
CAUSE: Flagrant safety violation! By coincidence, sun struck; bored, 2-Texans experience a judgment lapse but deploy canopies 500 yards altitude low.
CORRECTIVE ACTION: Such safety defilement curdles the parachute Club Safety Officer (CSO) into fetid cheese. However, our Club Safety Officer did not freak out. Mostly because we never had one. Pending
NEWGUY: Canopy open, he lands, scurries to collect his kit. Awestruck to the hilt, stuffs shit in rent car and splits. LATER: Stalwart true believers weigh heat/humidity versus hope and manifest a 5-man star formation shot from church at 7.2K. Cool.
1.5 miles up is cool whilst Houston DZ summers fierce.
(This post was edited by patworks on Dec 5, 2012, 11:24 PM)
Hey, Pat! John Crowell here. First post on this site. You may not remember me but I was one of your students at UH in the spring of '66. I remember going over to your place in the Heights for training with Jill and the guys. I roomed with Robert Bottrell and later with him and his brother Dave and made my first jump at Scholes Field in (on) Galveston Island in May of '66. I just came across this website a while back, reading up on all the OldFarts threads and came across your posts in tribute to Skippy and Carlos.
I have had this picture all these years that I just decided to scan 'cuz i know you'd love it: Taken by Ed Burran. To me it is the quintessential skydive shot. Bob Richardson grabbing stable, Carlos grabbing a catapult out the door. Smoke and oil all over the underbelly and mud thrown up on the wing from the wheels of the 195. Just about says it all.
I have a few more pics I'll scan and post later with a few stories to boot.
I'm glad to know you are doing well and still active in the sport!
In reply to:
(This post was edited by Scattershot on Mar 2, 2013, 2:27 PM)
I can't write like Pat, but this story reminds me of the time I went to Sheridan, Oregon in about "73".
I noticed that they were jumping a twin beech that day. It had a big rectangular door. Normally a beech had this little door that was a real challenge to get ten guys out of quickly.
I had less than 300 jumps back then. That was considered a fair amount for the time period. Out of the trunk of my V.W. I unloaded my gear bag. Inside was a Super Pro main (with a new para-commander), motorcycle helmet, belled jump suit (with my SCR and SCS sewn on), french jump boots, porshe goggles, stylemaster reserve container with a 24 foot inside, and went to look for Ted Mayfield.
Ted was a big friendly guy, who didn't like rules much. I liked him right off, and figured this place was going to be fun.
Shortly after arriving I saw Jack DeChristopher. I'd jumped with Jack a year or two earlier at Star, Idaho. We'd beat the Air Force Academy in the ten way competition at Star. I don't think Jack ever knew that I only had 85 jumps when we did that. B.J. was hard up for a tenth member of his team and asked me to come. I felt like I was hot stuff after that.
Jack was still wearing the same white jump suit with black stars sewn all over it. He introduced me to some of the big boys who were jumping the beech that day. I pretended like I did this stuff all the time.
I was all geared up, when up walks our pilot. I couldn't believe it. Here was a 15 year old kid, who apparently had a twin engine rating. I could tell that Ted was really proud of this young-ballsy-feller. Everyone called him "Elevator". Elevator never seemed to quit talking. He sure was a happy kid.
We needed a bigger field to land in. So with Elevator behind the controls we took off and headed for the Mackminville Airport. There was a bigger drop zone there.
The exit went like clock work. The base pin went together fast. We built a solid eight way. A couple guys were out, but this was considered really good work (for then). We were all happy. We drove back to Sheridan with grins on our faces and plans of doing it all over again.
The next load we did it even faster. Then we broke it on line and built two four ways. Whoa....this was big doings! Talk about exciting stuff.
The next day, I drove back to Montana, and told everyone, who would listen, about the time when I jumped with all the big boys in Oregon. Now this was something to brag about!