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SkymonkeyONE

Blue Skies, Black Death (Roger Nelson)

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So we're walking up to the plane, about to climb up the stairs, and someone taps me on the shoulder. It's Roger. I think to myself "He has a student that needs to go ahead of us, ok"... then he asks "what are you guys doing on this jump?"
"Two-way sits"
To which he simply says "Three???" and smiles...

For two novice jumpers who were trained by Roger and the SDC crew, it was awesome.

My friend Carl videod that jump (From April 27, 2003) and it's here if anyone wants to see it:
http://www.stalker.org/~sean/roger

We were on a high the whole next week from that jump...

:(

ps. the encoding of the video might not work with your player... but it's all i have [:/]

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What can I say except my deepest empathy goes out to both Rook and Missy.
Once again never had the chance to meet Roger,but if Rook is anything like his father he was an extra ordinary man.

Rook and Missy you have sad times ahead. Be strong abd solid and YOU will get through it.

BSBD:(:(

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I remember as a student at SDC, being frustrated with a jump. I was ready to give up. Roger came by and asked how I was doing. I expressed my disgust. He asked to see my video. After watching he said, "Carl, you are a better skydiver than that." He encouraged me to go back up and try again. I nailed that next dive. Over the years I have been jumping at SDC Roger has been a continual encouragement and good friend. I am a skydiver today largely due to his influence.

I was fortunate enough to be on 3 jumps with him in April of this year. I have always appreciated the love and kindness he showed. I am also proud that he spoke boldly on his Christian beliefs. The Lord has called his servant home. Missy and Rook, you are in my prayers. I pray that God will bring you comfort in this difficult time.

Goodbye, Roger. You will be missed.

Sincerely,

Carl Lebsack

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I met Roger several years ago in Monterey. He brought an Otter or two out one winter. What a awesome man. Took me under his wing and kept safe in the base of some 20-30 ways when I was just beggining to skydive. Man I thought he was the coolest. I've been wanting to come to SDC just so I could meet him again. He had quite an impact on me in just the two weekends I met him...

I am sad for this loss... My deepest sympathies to family and friends.

Eternal Blue Skies Brother... Eternal Blue Skies...

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I now have "November Rain" playing at maximum volume on my surround sound in my RV. I am not sure when I am going to turn it off. We have already done our BSBD toast here in the Rancho Deluxe; I hope you have done the same.



let everyone know i give my condolances ..
Leroy


..I knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw my bath toys were a toaster and a radio...

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Dear Lord.

I was in Colorado at a boogie when DJan told me about this, and I've had all of yesterday and a six-hour drive home to absorb the news.

I only met Roger once, at Nationals last year. But he made an impression on me, because he asked me for feedback about how the meet was going, things the DZ could do better for the competitors, etc. He didn't know me from Adam, but the fact that he was asking people for feedback really impressed me.

I'm also very glad that he was never afraid to boldy speak his Christian beliefs.

Missy and Rook, you are in my prayers. God bless you both, and God bless you, Roger.

BSBD,
Andi
Never meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!

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I'm still in shock, still not able to fully believe this is true.

I happened not be at SDC this weekend and I didn't think twice before answering my phone when I saw a jumper on the caller id early Saturday afternoon. I'm certain all the people in the crowd around me were wondering what could be so bad to have me instantly stumbling backwards into a chair muttering over and over "that's not possible, what do you mean a collision, how is that possible???" When I finally got the bad news later that night, I was driving and had to pull over and stop for a half an hour as I just sat and stared into space, not wanting to believe the news.

Roger was more than just Skydive Chicago - he was Skydiving. He was the inspiration, the vibes, the spirit, the passion, and the brotherhood that keeps us coming back jump after jump.

The stories will flow in about Roger - if you knew him, if you had a chance to jump with him you would understand why there are so many. I don't think there is anyone that has given as much to the sport or given as much to the jumpers as Roger did. You never heard from him "I don't have time to help you out with that right now" and with the way he scheduled his life we should have heard that all the time. It was his passion for the sport that drove him - wanting to always make it better and safer.

Take an average day at just Skydive Chicago - look out across the crowd and ask just one person there how he inspired them - and then you would also find out that the confidence he gave them in the sky somehow made it back to the real world as well. It was that intanglible part of him that will be missed. Those 30 years of confidence and experience in the sport which are now lost - the sport will never be the same without his constant stream of innovations and teachings. My only hope is all those FreakBrothers that learned from him will pass on the spirit and vibes that he generously passed on to anyone that crossed his path.

Personally - I can tell you that Roger is one of the main reasons I still skydive. Just when I was ready to quit the sport out of frustration early on in AFP - he took me up in the air. He was the one that showed me you can relax in the air and still have control - and he did it for me in one jump. The way he explained it on the ground, the time he spent going over videos with me and the stories must have taken up over four hours of his time. By the time I got in the air and in the door he looked at me and told me to smile and have fun. I smiled the entire way down and had a great jump. Little did I know at the time I just made my first skydive with a legend in the sport. I made my last skydive with him last Sunday - that smile of mine in freefall still hasn't faded and I have Roger to thank for that. As I have spent more time at Skydive Chicago over the last five years, I was always in awe how Roger could show up last to the dirt dive (because he was just on the previous load), take any slot in the jump and the exit and still make it in and look amazing while doing it - the man knew how to fly. Then of course there will be the smaller things that made the DZ more friendly - the way Roger would walk the hanger and talk to anyone, esp those he didn't recognize or those that were sitting by themself.....the golf cart tours....the way he would just walk up to any group - freefly or belly - and ask if HE could jump with THEM....the Blue Man Group CD blaring from the auditorium.....always complaining that the cookies in the deli were too good.....the way he stuck to his convictions about safety in the sport.........

Thank you for making a home for us Roger. Thank you for giving us another family. We will continue to Spread the Love.

Freak Brother #4109
_________________________________________
you can burn the land and boil the sea, but you can't take the sky from me....
I WILL fly again.....

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Last year in one of his weekly updates, Roger talked about one novice jumper's "breakthrough moment", and that got me thinking about mine. It was my AFP level 11 (cannonball exit and backloops) and Roger was my JM. It was my first (of many) jumps with Roger, and I was soooooooooo nervous to be jumping with him. I was afraid I would screw up, that I wasn't good enough. While we were dirt diving, I was practicing tracking towards him for a dock. He kept slapping at my hands because my thumbs were sticking out for some reason......... Anyway, the jump didn't go perfect. I couldn't do a 360 on my back, but I did do my back loops. Then I had a hell of a time flying to him and docking on him. And when it was time to turn and track, I got unstable in my track and ended up pulling lower than I should have. (I still have the video and you can see his finger giving me the pull signal in the frame of the camera) Then, I had a hard enugh opening to knock one shoe off, and line twists. (my first) And when I landed, I had a gian grin on my face even though I was sure I had failed that level.

I walked into the AFP trailer to debrief, missing one shoe, talking about a mile a minute. Sorry, got unstable there, had a hard time with those docks, did you see my line twists, I lost a shoe! All coming out all at once. For some reason, Roger did NOT fail me, and encouraged me to make another jump that day, and Mia Bohr, one of the ultimate manifest "Bytches" ever, loan me her shoes!

That's just one of my "breakthrough moments" courtesy of Roger Nelson, a man who will be sorely missed.

maura
FB4100

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This may be Roger's last "big" way on video (a 21-way) on 6/1. Roger was last diver, docks third from last, at approx. the 10 0'Clock position, white suit, no helmet, blue rig. Video by Charles Lane. Two of the GKs are on the jump, too.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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This may be Roger's last "big" way on video (a 21-way) on 6/1. Roger was last diver, docks third from last, at approx. the 10 0'Clock position, white suit, no helmet, blue rig. Video by Charles Lane. Two of the GKs are on the jump, too.



Yep, docking third to last just under some of the lettering. He docked on my right leg. I was in the base. Yes, I put extra lead on to be there. What the video doesn't show is the last point we were to build was an arrow head with Roger at the front. Franky and I had said that when we went to break off we would pull Roger and use him for leverage to start our tracks. [Frank was on Roger's gold medal 10-way team]. When it came time to dock on Roger and start the arrow head he did some kind of Judo move and grabbed our hands with just his finger tips before we could grab his. LOL....we never got a grip on him where we could hose him. Bwahahahahha......man he was a whascilly rabbit. Of course he knew it was coming cuz Frank and I couldn't contain ourselves in the dirt dive and where practicing the hosing from the get go. LOL.....

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June 7th seems to be an increasingly significant day in history for those who jump out of planes.

Roger was an inspiration to the skydiving community in all he did. While I never met him, his advances in training pressed me to learn more about becoming a better instructor. His mentorism carried beyond those who knew him personally.

Our condolences to Rook and Missy.

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Quote

This may be Roger's last "big" way on video (a 21-way) on 6/1. Roger was last diver, docks third from last, at approx. the 10 0'Clock position, white suit, no helmet, blue rig. Video by Charles Lane. Two of the GKs are on the jump, too.



Yep, docking third to last just under some of the lettering. He docked on my right leg. I was in the base. Yes, I put extra lead on to be there. What the video doesn't show is the last point we were to build was an arrow head with Roger at the front. Franky and I had said that when we went to break off we would pull Roger and use him for leverage to start our tracks. [Frank was on Roger's gold medal 10-way team]. When it came time to dock on Roger and start the arrow head he did some kind of Judo move and grabbed our hands with just his finger tips before we could grab his. LOL....we never got a grip on him where we could hose him. Bwahahahahha......man he was a whascilly rabbit. Of course he knew it was coming cuz Frank and I couldn't contain ourselves in the dirt dive and where practicing the hosing from the get go. LOL.....



I have the entire jump on DV at home - sans lettering. I'll upload it when I get back.
...

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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