That's right! You heard it here first. Skydive America Palm Beach is now the proud landlord of some new guests. Yep, that's right. Scotty Carbone (a self-proclaimed skydiving gypsy), his lovely wife, Tammy, and his 3-legged dog, Hercules, have traveled across time and space from their last dropzone which was Skydive Spaceland in Texas and have finally landed and set up home on the Skydive America property.
This is fantastic news for Skydive America and the jumpers as they have brought their entourage of trailers and tents including the cutaway cafe. Now Skydive America has the one thing it was missing -- the constant smell of food in the air, as they knock out some smashing breakfasts lunches, and dinners along with plenty of cold drinks, tea, coffee and homemade sandwiches, munchies and all sorts of skydiving goodies.
Skydive America was, is, and has always been an awesome dropzone which I thought had everything (except decent food). I mean where else do you get to jump with Olav Zipser, Jerry Bird and Scotty Carbone all on the same load on a weekly basis?
When asked how long they are going to stay, the reply was, "for at least a couple of years."
Scotty brings with him about 12,000 skydives, good food, a bang-on sense of humor and some great organizing, along with more stories than an old Jewish grandma at a Matzo ball party.
This weekend the skydiver writing this actually replaced his gold chain, that's been around his neck for the last 15 years, with a black piece of leather, a closing pin and a couple of beads, after being told by Carbone, "why you wearing that girlie thing kid, you need to be wearing one of these," as he kindly charged me $18 for my new necklace and told me how all skydivers with more than 200 jumps must wear these (hey who was I to argue -- I have 250 jumps -- he has over 12,000 and he did give me a free cup of tea).
Anyway, having Scotty and Tammy there have only added brownie points to the dropzone and added a sense of history. I mean, when I am awakened at 7:00 AM on a Sunday morning by the sound of horribly loud 70's music blasting from the "Carbone Zone" Trailer/Café, and I walk out of the bunkhouse and there's the sweet smell of bacon and French toast in the air and then there's Scotty Carbone with his big chef's hat, a pair of boots and boxer shorts and not too much else, scuttling around and kicking up dust dancing with cooking spatula in hand, it reminded me of a scene from "Good Morning Vietnam" or of old skydiving days. I don't know -- it just seemed to make me feel nostalgic and was definitely a lot better than a bunch of us sitting around eating cold Egg Mcmuffins before first load. So, needless to say, the "Carbone Zone", Tammy and Hercules, the 3-legged dog (who runs 22 miles an hour behind Scotty's scooter wherever he goes -- you have to see it -- it's hysterical), are warmly welcomed by the all the skydivers and everyone at Skydive America. (Yes, even the freeflyers have to eat you know.)
When I arrived home after another great weekend of jumpin', the wife said "Where's your chain?" I said, "its in my bag -- I am not wearing it anymore. I'm a skydiver and Scotty Carbone said I have to wear this." To this she replied, "Who the f#@# is Scotty Carbone. If he told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?" (She's not a jumper.) Then, surprisingly, she said, "I actually hated that gold chain -- you look much better in that new thing, whatever it is."