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SkymonkeyONE

Blue Skies, Black Death (Roger Nelson)

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a great loss to the world in general, not just the skydiving community. I never had the honor to meet him, but its obvious the passion and drive he put into this sport, and that is something far to rare, and the world worse off for its lack....


Blues skies Roger
____________________________________
Those who fail to learn from the past are simply Doomed.

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When I first started freeflying. Roger and Rook came to Spaceland, Houston and did a little Q&A. We all sat down and I was on the front row.

He talked at length about safety. Then technique. When it came to the questions part. Nobody said anything, I was about jumping off the floor trying to constrain myself. I had a billion questions.Yet I felt like my questions "were dumb ones" and to ask these -famous people- was slightly intimidating.

I asked my question, Roger was SO NICE. He answered and he said "Come here for a second". I went up to the front and he showed me and for everyone something about my flying. He drew pictures on the board and we all learned. Then the questions flowed.

I learned how great this man was. There was zero sign that this man had influenced the sport of skydiving as we know it. He was funny, serious yet informative without intimidation, approachable and just good people.

l once told him that he had raised a wonderful son in Rook. I was amazed at Rook and his politeness and he signed a picture of me 'Superstar'.

Roger told me anytime I was near Chicago to come by and he would give me some jumps. Just come on by. During this time period I was so enthusiastic, I could hardly stand myself.

The attached picture is framed yet I did scan it a long time ago. So the quality isnt good. The story behind this is; when Rabbit was doing the 1,2,3 -snap the picture. Roger suddenly picked me up.
We both laughed so hard.

He made fun of this Texas as I was not used to the cold that day.

He waved to me with a huge smile as he and Rook taxied away.

:(
.

~AirAnn~

rogerann.jpg

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When I heard about Roger's death this morning, I had to pull out my first logbook. Back in '94 when I had 60 jumps, I went to Lake Wales which Roger owned at the time, with some friends. They were doing big-ways but manifest hooked me up with other low-timers to jump with, but on Sunday, Roger took me up on 2 "big-ways" - a 9 and a 16 way. I remember being scared but in awe that someone like him would take me on my 67th jump who could hardly fly up in the air. I was base, and I remember doing a 2-way with Roger, and having everyone else come in and dock. It was amazing to me - I closed up my first hour of freefall on that jump. I remember I was supposed to pull in the center and the camera guy wanted me to give him a good wave-off. I think I waved off for a solid 5 seconds. I've never forgotten that jump or that dz.

Its funny - yesterday I did 2 formation load 8-ways where I was part of a 2-way base with lower-time jumpers. Seems so apropos in a way. I'll definitely completely the tradition of what he did for me back then.

He was a pioneer, and its definitely a great loss to the sport. My condolences to all who knew him better.
BSBD,
Wen

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:(Skydive Chicago will never be quite the same to me. I have only been in the sport for about a year and a half now, learning everything I know from Roger and his wonderful staff. Roger was such a nice guy and would ask to jump with me almost every day I was there. It was a pleasure to have jumped with him and even more of a pleasure to talk with him and get to know him a little.
My deepest sympathy to Missy , Rook, the entire SDC family and to the thousands of other people who's lives have been touched by Roger.
Blue Skies Forever!
John Zagoda

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I have only been to SDC like 2 or 3 times but everytime I was there Roger made a point to say hi. He was the most friendly guy I have ever seen and I must say one HELL OF A DZO. The guy had a real passion for life and skydiving, It was clear in not only his personality in person but with his weekly updates though the SDC website. Peace Roger, and Blue Skies, It will be wonderful to have a guy like you up there watching over all of us!

My prayers go to his Mom, Father, Missy and Rook.

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This is a sad day for skydiving. Roger was my AFP instructor and taught me (and many others) so much. He was always ready to help people learn and excel, pushed every single SDC jumper to be the best they could be, and he was a great influence...

:(

My condolences to his family... we'll all miss him.

sean

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Damn. Roger was the first person to greet me on my first trip to SDC, and recognized me when I came back months later.

For those of us in the Chicago TV viewing area, Fox 32 will be running a piece about Roger on the 9:00 PM news.

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Kevin - thanks for posting this. I was there and got to dance with the Daddy Sugar Glider... I'm in absolute shock

Roger - you were always fun, relaxing and radiated a good vibe. Thank you for all you've brought to this world, including your 2 beautiful children.

Missy and Rook - my love and condolences.
~Deva~

Quote

i know this isn't the best video in the world, but it's all I have of rodger - shot at the mardi gras boogie this year.. during the party showing rodger having a good time 'ravin' he comes up and says "i am a sugar glider"

PMS #24 RDP #1 RDP #2
To fly, we have to have resistance. - Maya Lin

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Sad news...
I'd never met Roger but read about him quite often. You always have that feeling, that great people, like Roger was, cannot and should not pass away, because they are symbols, idols, sources of inspiration... and when they do pass away, it's a shock to everyone.

To all people Roger had been an insiration to - please listen to Inspiration by Gipsy Kings, it's a really inspiring guitar play and I think it will be appropriate here. (can't find a link, but you can use Kazaa)

Blue skies. Just blue skies.

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Quote

Quote

At Skydive Chicago, a woman answered the phone Saturday night.

"Skydive Chicago," she said. "Are you calling about your first jump?"



Not wishing to sound morbid, but that is what i would expect,
Life goes on. [:/]



Welcome to the Society of Vampires. [:/]

I finally was able to meet Roger a little over a month ago. I had gone to SDC to do my 100th with Sunshine. I did #100, on Saturday May 4th. I was constantly looking for Roger, heard he was around, but never managed to see him.

Much alcohol was consumed that night by the bonfire, and I fell asleep in my semi.

Around 6:30 a.m. I just couldn't sleep, so I grabbed my gear and walked up to the loading area, and waited for the hanger to be opened. It was finally, and I just chilled for a few minutes. I manifested for the first load, as a solo. When I walked out to the hanger again, I caught sight of Roger. He smiled and walked over, sticking out his hand.

He said "Hi, I'm Roger Nelson. I haven't seen you around before."

I replied "Roger! I've been looking forward to meeting you for quite some time! I'm Reverend Jim."

His eyes widened a bit, "You're Reverend Jim? The one from Rec Skydiving?" Then he grinned widely, and we chatted for a few minutes. What brought me there, who I was there with, ect. He asked me what I was doing on that jump, and I told him honestly that I was making my 101st jump, and it was to be my first camera jump. We chatted about camera safety, and that he was glad to see I was doing a solo to see what the camera felt like. I had thought I was to be the last out, but it seemed he had a student for that load. Roger and his student were to follow me out. Wow, what a feeling!

In the plane, Roger tapped me on the shoulder to remind me to put my helmet on during take off. I showed him that I had it fastened to my chest strap. He just smiled that big Roger Nelson smile and nodded.

It was a memorable jump. I know I got a good shot of his student as I was leaving the plane, but I'm not sure if Roger is in frame (I developed negative only, and don't have a film scanner yet).

The only regret I have is forgetting to have him sign my logbook for that jump. It's only stamped. I have made it a habit to have every DZO from every DZ I visit sign my logbook. I figured I'd just have him sign it the next time I got down there.

That's one blank that will never be filled in. Jump #101. That was, and is, the place for Roger's signature.

Rook and Missy, you are in my prayers.

Roger, fly free with the Angels.
It's your life, live it!
Karma
RB#684 "Corcho", ASK#60, Muff#3520, NCB#398, NHDZ#4, C-33989, DG#1

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I got the news on Saturday ... Shocking to say the least. Still in shock, now I feel a sense of heavy sadness. My deepest condolences go out to Missy, Rook and Roger's family and friends. It is strange, I was just thinking the other day if anyone was to write a biography on any person in this sport, who would make the most interesting biography and Roger Nelson came to mind. He truly was one of this industry's pioneers and one of the most interesting, ambitious and hard working people I ever had the pleasure of knowing. Even if you didn't agree with all of his beliefs, Roger was a hard person not to admire and respect. I cannot imagine Skydive Chicago without him there but I hope his visions and memories stay alive and well.

Blue skies Roger,
You will be missed.

Jen
Roy Bacon: "Elvises, light your fires."

Sting: "Be yourself no matter what they say."

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I flipped on the news tonight and saw the story. They showed roger swooping and stated that someone had died at SDC. I said to myself, "Can't be Roger, can't be Roger". I'm kinda in a state of shock right now, Roger was such an inspiration to me and he probably didn't even know it. My heart goes out to Roger's family and friends, especially Missy and Rook...:(:(

Blue Skies
:(Chris:(

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