Condolences - Paul Joseph - AKA darnknit and crwpj

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Well, I found out about 30 minutes after it had happend...I was sleeping, and I got a phone call. half asleep I answered my phone, and as soon as I saw the name on my caller ID I knew it was something bad...and then..."I just wanted to let you know, PJ went in about a half hour ago"..."What??? What happend? Are you serious"...I started shaking...I couldnt really understand it all, I was barely awake, it didnt seem right...though, it never seems right when something like that happens...It's so hard to wrap your mind around...I still cant wrap my mind around Bungy going in a few years ago, even tho I was there, and I saw it...I didnt know him as PJ...I knew him as Paul...I lived with him for awhile...we had some fun times...and then some really fucked up times...But, every person who comes into my life, I take as some kind of lesson in life....I hope that he had finally gotten everything straightend out in his life...I hold no resentment towards him in my life...It's just so crazy everything that has happend...It's crazy that I hadn't seen him since I was 15 and now im 22, then just a few months ago, I went to crosskeys to visit a few friends, in july...right before my 22nd b'day...and I saw him at the dropzone...he was sitting on a bench behind me...I was hoping he would say Hi first, but maybe he wasnt sure who I was....so...I turned around, and became the cocky 15 year old I used to be..."Hey Paul...How're you???" and he said Hi back, and asked me how I was...and it continued from there...not much of a conversation...but it was just interesting to see, and say Hi to someone I hadn't seen or talked to in awhile...it almost seemed as if he was scared to say Hi to me...to respond to me in anyway...I'm really hoping that that was because he had made a lot of changes in his life...and that he just wasnt sure if I despised him for all the things that had happend...I don't hold any resentment towards him, and I hope he knew that...he was an interesting character...Having lived with someone for awhile, and seen their everyday routines, makes it a little harder...I'm really saddend by his passing...I was shaking so hard when I found out about him...I didn't know how I was supposed to take it...I was almost his step-daughter...I don't know...even though I haven't lived on a drop zone for awhile...I still think of skydivers as part of my family...losing someone in your family is something really difficult...and Paul, regardless of the crap we went through, was a part of my family in a sense...Maybe our see'ing each other a few months ago was a way for us, even tho we didnt talk for very long, to say "Hey, I'm ok now, it doesnt matter what had happend in the past, our lives have moved on, and things got better"...I'm still very sad about it...I had never expected to ever have to say goodbye to anyone like that, until I was alot older...but now, I've had to say goodbye to many...My prayers are with his family, and his friends...And Paul...I really don't hold any kind of blame towards you...shit happens as we used to say, and you move on...It's those fucked up things that happen in your life that either make, or break you....I learned many things from you...I'm just sorry that this is how we had to say goodbye...Not a day passes that I don't think about the skydivers...members of my family, that I've met, and lost...Blue Skies....I really hope that you had finally found everything that made you happy in life....Atleast I know everyday there will be someone saying to me..."you dumbass, don't do that, wtf is wrong with you"...lol...try and give me a kick in the ass when I need it...

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To all of the Crosskey's family, I am sorry to hear of your loss.

You truly are an amazing dropzone with such a happy and close loving family, it saddens me that this untimely misfortune has happened.

I was there around Memorial Day in '05 for my friend Mike Ramon's birthday week. We were only going to stay a day but ended up staying for four days because we were having so much fun...trust me, it wasn't just the skydive's (we were so hungover we almost puked on a handful of loads!) we stayed because of the fun energy and atmosphere that all of you created! Whenever we talked after that, it was always the crazy stories of 'that week at Crosskeys!'

I lost Mike not even a month ago, he was my friend, he was my family...I have cried a million tears but it's not the mourning that is getting me through, it's the REMEMBERING that is helping me...

I only met PJ once, you guys were lucky to see him everyday...Cry for him, miss him....but REMEMBER HIM, laugh and tell stories and keep his spirit alive. Become the positive impression he left on you. The world can never be too full of amazing poeple...

Take care Crosskey's

Vanessa rose~
Smile & Laugh everyday, if you're not, change something..Life is now...

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After almost two weeks, I felt the need to express what I feel ...
When I arrived at work at 5:30 a.m. on Monday, September 11, a coworker told me a tandem skydiving accident claimed two lives in New Jersey on Sunday. I instantly hit the local news links on the internet. Then, when I read that it was Paul, I shuddered. My mind began replaying the brief exchanges I had had with Paul over the years. In the next hour, during the Philadelphia AM drive time broadcast on 94.1 WYSP, host Paul Barsky of the Barsky Show along with Kim Douglas and comic relief Vinnie the Crumb, would break the news to over half a million listeners of 94.1 FreeFM during their drive to work. Following Kim Douglas's reading of the news, Barsky commented on how they had interviewed Paul Joseph on the show after a listener had won a tandem skydive with him. The jump was thrilling; the Barsky Show had given their audience a treat. Now they were reporting the news that Paul was gone… and they knew him.
As I reflected on Paul my mind replayed how helpful he was with every question I asked. The moment you meet someone, there is a feeling you get, an impression, an impression that often remains permanent. With his off-color humor, quick re-torts and manner, Paul was really a great guy at heart. He wanted you to know that if you asked him a question regarding winds aloft, ground winds, spot, etc., he wanted to give you THE answer. But being correct in the answer wasn’t his only intent; he wanted you to know this is what he knew based on all that was known at the time. A professional carries an idea until it is found to be untrue. At heart, he was a professional. He was studious, diligent and intent in his profession. I too, viewed his canopy wrap video one night while busting suds at Crosskeys. I think he slipped it in the VCR to get our reactions. One word sums up our reactions… Awe. He defied impossibility. It was his profession. He was, a professional.
On Sunday, September 10th, two people fell to earth. The resounding impact was felt by every tandem master in the sport, and every skydiver who knows, at that moment of peril, that forceful, decisive clear minded action must persist to the very end.
After much rumination over this, it’s come to me that tandem masters serve a dual purpose--ambassadors of the sport and the economic engine of most drop zones. John Eddowes once told me tandems built Crosskeys, as they will most drop zones in the future. Paul Joseph was not just one among them, but more importantly, he was a rock star to a once in a lifetime experience for thousands—making dreams come true.

My heartfelt condolences go out to Donna and the many involved in the tightknit community of Crosskeys, who, whether directly or indirectly, feel guilt associated with his loss. As you pass through the processes of shock and numbness, yearning and searching, disorganization and despair, may reorganization come quickly.
To those who feel directly involved, I hope you can release any such thoughts of guilt. It’s simply not your fault. In a multiple cause, chain event, shit happens that no amount of preparation corrects. Let it go. Compartmentalize it, put it in perspective, learn and move on. Now matter how much it shocks your constitution, aberrations and anomalies will occur in those extremely rare circumstances of a grey sky. The best predictor of future performance is past performance. The record of safety in past performance is an unstoppable force. Statistical probability doesn’t play here; No, Murphy did. But it’s over. Get up, get busy, move on.
I didn’t know Paul that well, but I think he would want you to get on with your lives.

You're always the starter in your own life!

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My friend, my brother. Since our time together, way back in the mid-nineties, I have often thought of you and your antics. The stories here have reinforced my memories.

After playing around with some close canopy flying, I recall my first two-stack, with you. That jump was only the beginning of a multi-year ride of weekends living in the old RV at Eloy.

Sunrise flights in the Cessna & bumpy randoms in the afternoon. Side-by-sides & downplanes. You standing on my shoulder as we deployed (I can't count how many times that happened). Landing that diamond in the peas with Kevin and Chris. Wrapping up our days watching landings from our place sharing some green bottles (not that Samual Adams 99 cent a case piss beer). The hugs and tears when you thought it was me who had hooked it in. Spiraling our two-stack through that killer cumulonimbus cloud. All of those out landings with the long walks through the desert (damn headwinds). Lineburns on our fingers and shoes (your multicolored Converse All-stars). Singing songs & "soothing" tandem students on the way to altitude. Dancing around the May pole & the Easter Bunny Chocolate CRW thing. Frayed Knot and the Golden Knights (Frayed Knights) at the Nationals. Kevin top-docking you and your "graceful" landing while you were wrapped (wasn't that the first round?). Nearly the same thing happening at Perris and landing in the middle of town (thank god for that vacant lot). Packing for you in the hallway of the hotel @ 2 AM after several hundred miles and a cooler full of beers. Our two-stack into downtown Phoenix on 4th of July (crazy sh*t that one).

As I type this, the memories just keep flooding back. Like when you recited this during my first team jump:


On this day in '62,
Skylar Buzz invented CReW.
PC Downplane, Hook to Roo,
I cut away and Skylar should have too.

At 50 feet he was heard to shout,
"No problem! Don't worry! I can get out!"
But alas he was wrong on that fateful day,
as he hit the ground, the crowd turned away.

The Earth did heave with a mighty quake.
A wet thud resounded with Skylar's mistake.
He's buryed here on this hallowed ground,
on the very spot where his body was found.

So remember my children when you're doing CRW,
the spirit of Skylar flies with you.

Your spirit will also fly with me, Paul. I will miss you and your wit. You have touched many during your short ride in this world.

Blue Skies my friend,
Blue Skies, Soft Docks and Happy Landings!
CWR #23
(It's called CRW, add an e if you like, but I ain't calling it CFS. FU FAI!)

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