Shawanga came from the dropzone Stormville, NY, just a few miles from where the Ranch is now located. It originated (if my feeble mind is working correctly) with a team called the "Spaced Rangers" but may have been used prior to them.
I thought she was wrong but didn't protest. I'd already mentioned Shawanga Valley.
Anyone still around from the ol' Stormville DZ...circa 1968-!980 ?
Yes.... I made my 14th jump @ Stormville in Dec of 1972....and then a few dozen more in the mid 70's,, til the place closed and people migrated west,,, to the Ranch... The airport was ( and still is) north of Interstate 84 and east of the Hudson river,,, about an hour north of New York City...( I'm not sure if it is still an active airport,,, they do have or they have had,,, a HUGE flea Market set up on the place,, in past years..). They were flying a C182 and they had a lockheed loadstar,,, I think,,,, Willie Sweet ran the place.... I grew up in Brewster N Y.( where my folks still live,,,) but started jumping in Rochester, NY... So anytime I visited the family,, i would head over to Stormville..for some fun and some skydives..... I met Earl Wilson and Nina Wilson, there.. Kay and Kenny, Wild Bill Richards,,,,( a real asset to skydiving in the North East ) Joey D..... Al Jay Cobbs,,, Pat Rogers..Ted Bernhardi...Opie Freddie Elfenbien Al Jorgenson,,, and many others....... I was jumping a 28 foot black and red and white Lopo Main, in a StyleMaster Container system... hahahaha...( I remember THEM,,, even if they don't remember ME ) Things have changed MUCH since then,, and now if I visit in the area,,, I try to stop by @ The Ranch,,,, where some of those long ago friends,,, might be..... That group was a bunch of "go getters", and KNEW how to make things happen!!!!!!!. they still do a great job of carrying on that same energy and enthusiasm for the sport......@ the Blue Sky Ranch,, In Gardiner NY Each time I drive past the site, while on Interstate 84...I ALWAYS look off to the north, and can still spot the hangar at the west end of the field,,, and fondly recall the " 5 dollar skydives" and that "New Yawk,, New Joisee" 'Attitude' which I enjoyed so much... " Fly Baby Fly" jmy a3914 d12122 USPA # 9452
I knew all those people well...some remain my best friends til this day... Sadly some are gone.. Al Jay Cobbs...deceased Al Jorgenson ..deceased Earl Wilson ..deceased Ken Yegalla..deceased Wild Bill runs the Ranch from behind the scenes...Kay is treasurer and Ken is an otter pilot...Opie..also otter and porter pilot. Freddie the Elf...still jumping
I look at "wild bill" and kenny and kay now and wonder about the old days. Ralph the beast has stories now and then. I knew another guy named billy (worked at a brake dealer I dealt with). Crazy skinny irish guy from what I can tell of his stories of crater parties and "3 man african safaris".
My Dad was an old time skydiver at Stormville, mid 1970's early 1980's. Jerry Lerner. I started jumping at the Ranch 2 seasons ago and have met a few people from the old Stormville Days and heard many more stories.
Drew Kochis as I live and breathe! Where the hell have you been? You ghost you! You live 8 seconds away and we never see you. I'll wager that no less than 80% of the people at the Ranch have no idea who you are. Come visit WHEN IT'S SUMMER!!!
All kidding aside, Drew, it is good to hear from you. Please come out of hiding.
>3 man african safaris I probably shoudnt ask....But ????
>wild bill" and kenny and kay now and wonder about the old days Yea, Why was the jewel silver for so many years?
>wild bill richards Memories of billy being chased across the field by a highly intoxicated and naked (skippy) wearing a condom with cat wiskers on it (billy was scared!) Or questioning a big name swooper's manhood for not getting out at 3000' during a comp. >Drew Kochis didnt he used to have all the sky chicks hanging on him to jump? I guess he's hiding from his past....heh heh
wow bruno L... one of the REAL good guys... he's a first captain now for the airlines,,, been at THAT for close to 20 years.. flies Airbus 320s' as i understand... very likely that same LOPO i bet...
and HW is sharp as ever.. Tibor's WAS in west bloomfield..... last name, actually ORSZAGH... last we heard he was in OHIO workin' as some sort of inspector for an airline. he was a FINE DZO and a nice guy...
as to THAT 28 footer.... it met a sad fate , on a water jump into Lake Ontario in the mid to late 70's. the jumper who was using it, exited the harness OK upon touchdown in the Lake, but lost her hold of the entire set of gear, and the H/C, that main, and a brand new, "jerry Bird" flat pack chest mount reserve, sunk out of her hands, and went to the bottom of the lake,,,, we trolled for it many many times, dragging a grappling hook, but sadly never snagged it,, so there it lies , thirty years later.....
IF only I could afford to Hire the JASON crew or else get some treasure hunter like Mel Fisher interested in it,,,i'd go after it...
ps.... Andy9o8,,, send me a pm with your email address and i'll send you an 'old timer photo' from last summer, when i jumped @ kingers, with dude, pecker, and patti. JC, doug elder, dick Ski, chuck schmutz, cindy, and J .D. were also there... brought back some great memories of 'howies hummers', and others... so i'd like to get that jpeg ,, over to you... jmy ps < avatar picture taken over finger lakes skydivers, with Cayuga Lake in the distance.
Well, I put a ? after my spelling of Tibor's name.... I expect to see Kinger and pecker at PIA in Reno next month; I saw them there two years ago. And I expect to see Chuck Schmutz and Doug Garr and maybe Chip Maury at Jumptown this spring and at the Old Farts reunion in Raeford in May. A lot of the old central New York skydivers are in Doug's new book about his skydiving career.
I started jumping at Lakewood in 67, but went up to Sha Wan Ga Valley shortly thereafter.
Yes, it really existed, and yes, it was a helluva place to jump.
It was black jumpsuits and polio boots and 7Tu's and crossbow's and PC's and belly warts. Jumping the 180 and a J3 and H34's.
Anyone who denies the existence is brain dead But, The Spaced Rangers did exist...
We slid over to Stormville later in search of big A/C (the Lodestar) and big stars. We did the first 20 man outside of CA, and i had it on film.
The yelling of Sha Wan Ga on take off came from this.
The pilot had no manuals, so we stuffed as many jumpers as we could into the bird (22 or so). Take off's were mostly to the NE, and the walls of Greenhave Prison rose large in the windscreen on those hot summer days. Ray Finneran (along with others from the old Hudson Valley Skydivers) started doing this magicians song (da da dada da da da dada) slowly as the plane started the take off roll, and increasing in tempo as the plane moved faster.
After a point everyone rasied both arms, palms skyward, in an attempt to will the Lodestar off of the runway.
When the wheels left the ground, everyone yelled SHA WAN GA.
Not that we were superstitious, but the plane never crashed while we did that.
Eventually we all moved over to The Ranch at Gardiner.
Good times, and good people.
I heard about Ray Finneran passing in April. I made a lot of jumps with Ray, including a trip to Elsinore when they were still flying Howard DGA 15's
Ken Yegella was another old time jumper and a great pilot, and i miss him as well.
I haven't jumped in a long time, but age and cuulative injuries kinda' catch up to you.
(This post was edited by Pat_Rogers on Nov 10, 2011, 4:02 PM)
We jumped at stormville one weekend probably around 1971.
New Yoork, New Joiirsy, the german club the police club the DZ had it all including the loadestar.
We had a great time, bought a well used black and white checkerboard PC with red stars sewn on the stabilizers.
When everyone went to the resturant saturday night I got thrown out by the McNasty ownerbefore I got to finish my meal and all the jumpers got up and walked out in mass without finishing their meal or paying FWIW We weren't even drinking . , being loud or roudy, just eating.
15 yr's later we're at Z-hills and we run into Max Mienpost, and & Franc Bender two of the guy's I had only jumped with on one weekend in stormville 15 yr's earlier. They were that outstanding.
The last time I saw Bender was about 5 yr's ago and I'm still in cantact with "Max".
[Don't sweat not remembering me, I don't remember you either. Stormville was a busy place abd a peerson had to be real outsanding to be memoriable. I just try and blend in and go with the flow
The one weekend we .were there was so much fun.
Max wearing a whistle around his neck to herd the cattle to da plane. Double altimeters on his belly wart. always checked his q ejectors on his ea leg strap twice before checking the next one.
Jumping with a one eyed guy that got hurt bad in Normandy. Had to have his reserve handle on the left side.
Doing a four way or something, it's time to leave and Bender is on one side and someone else is on my other side. They won't let go, I'm trying harder and harder to do a 180 and and track. Hmmm Everyone else is .
Landing in the field with the dogs. Now I Know what to do when we land in a field with some big mean dogs that are barking growling and running at you at the same time.
I will always remember that one weekend in stormville 40 yr's ago. We had a blast
FWIW we helped the FBI guy Steve ? maybe Hubeck ..... move to the east coast KCMO. Long drive but worth the trip.