'67 old Photos and story of Skippy Mannino, Pioneer Texas Skydiver

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Skippy Mannino, Pioneer Texas Skydiver + Wallace Outlaw died of old age! 8-0
Skippy Mannino, Pioneer Texas Skydiver + one of the Houston "Wallace ‘s Outlaw" tribe died of old age. (!) Shocked Amazing. Skippy once survived landing in the Houston ship channel by using the birthday cake + Box he was parachute delivering to a party as floatation gear. Skippy carried RW into the 1960s with their pre USPA (PCA) approach of 1k pulls, no altimeters, 5-way stars, and round canopies from 7.2K using Cessna 185 and Cessna 195s. A jump-story teller of hugely funny SNAFU jumps: easy to like.
Stephen Edward "Skippy" Mannino, 72, passed away on Sunday, March 12, 2006. He served in the U.S. Army. Five-time Golden Gloves champion boxer. Skippy Manino (RIP) Houston Parachute Club; Wallace Outlaw – “A sweetheart of a man” --Texas jumping with Skippy and his antics!! Skippy would sign log books with his name using newly dead Clyde Jacks D-number, D42!! When the person would recognize that the number was Jacks' and not Skippys', Skippy would say, “It’s OK, he's dead, he don't need it!!" Skippy + Clyde were close friends and Skippy "bought" Clyde's D42 license from him, on his death bed, for a dollar.
Skippy did do a lot of highly technical demo jumps with round canopies. Being Santa Clause, or whoever, he'd insist on a roof landing or wherever kids could not hear him talk. Having a cleft palate, he talked and sounded ‘different’ and it bugged him. He said, “I didn't want kids thinking their Santa sounded like me...." Demo jumps in the 1960’s…. So, picture a very tight landing spot in a back yard, a resort, a shopping center, a beach house, a sports field, a parking lot, a cemetery, whatever for a demo.
…. He did all. Think of restricting yourself to landing wherever keeps you separated from the children until a "Real" Santa or Iron Man can step-in...... Try Round canopies and spotting yourself from a small Cessna over whereeverthehell Texas in winds under a small 28' round canopy that boasts about a a 3 MPH Fwd. speed. Think about doing tough guy stand up landings under a 28’ round canopy to wow the folks…. Do some of that, and you'll get the great stories Skippy related. Really crazy shit…. Don’t try it. You’ll get bad hurt. Example: one cloudy day at CG Wallace’s DZ in Crosby Texas, some civilian restaurant owner invited us, “…Hey, y'all common fly on over where you boys can parachute here in to my place…. … folks will love it and I’d give you all free eats too.” So, five of us load up in the Cessna 195, climb to just below the clouds at about 1,600 feet AGL, throw 3-streamers to plot the spot and exit at about 1,500 AGL for the free-food demo. Carlos spots. Everybody does a fairly long delay except me. We all exited with our floating ripcords in-hand. Me, a turkey, arched a bit, popping my main just off the step. Ouch! Embarrassing! I’m open above a grand…. Nobody notices as this is a SMALL Restaurant with a not-big parking lot. Cars consumed space, too. It was real easy to get focused on landing alive. At about 200’ Carlos gets freaked by all the obstacles and landed on the restaurant’s roof. Skippy, thinking that that was way COOL did the same. The rest of landed amongst the parked cars. I did a messy front-roll PLF (Still do).
The restaurant owner was way impressed, saying something like, “Amazing, wonderful, great that you two fellows could actually land on my roof! Who would have thunk…. Course, I’m certain you boys don't know landing knocked our ceiling fluorescent light tubes smack onto my tables, customers, and food…. So, I’m gonna have to close down for a spell and clean thing up. Real sorry about that. But you men come on back by here some other time and I’ll give you that free lunch like I promised.” Whilst Carlos took the heat, the rest of us get beer and slink back to the DZ. It was to cloudy to jump anyhow

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Skippy was a dear friend and one of the most unique and colorful guys I ever knew.

I remember when I first met him he would weave stories (like the cake-in-hand water landing) that I really thought were folklore, but the first time he invited some of us to his house, I saw framed newspaper articles about so many of his hijinks that I only then realized all his stories were true!

Skippy never seemed to have a bad day. He was always ready for any kind of jump folks wanted to do, was a badass CReW dog, and while he was seldom the first guy to his slot, he was always there.

Of all the things I wish Skippy had left with me before he passed was his INCREDIBLE dirty rice recipe. It was - like him - legendary!

See you someday, Skippy. Hopefully not real soon, but someday for sure!!
Chuck Akers
Houston, TX

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SCENE: Wallace's Drop zone and Spa ---

- Sunday. Newguy shows up. Rent Car. ALL the correct equipment. Packing mat! Tidy! Squared away. Packs like a brain surgeon.

Manifests (Found Doug). Explains his air hero status; Yankees he knows. Puffs 'n preens gracefully.

Samaritan, offers that if any 2 of us could possibly build a two-way, HE would grant the DZ a 3-Way! Humble smile.

Skippy is DELIGHTED! Cheery! Gleeful! Wonderful opportunity. Carlos is Carlos, & signs on, too, Chorus, "OH ! Yes!" and "This is a nice opportunity you give us!"

SKYWARD 7,200'

CG and Skippy get a 2-way just out the door. After a polite pause with ceremony, Newguy enters 3rd. Magic! A three-way Star! Hot Damn!

Overwhelmed with glee and mean, Skippy + Carlos transition, quick, to a line.

CG has Newguy's arms (2-way) and Skippy has Newguy's legs.... A 3-man-line! Ahhhah!

History in motion: The poetry and joy of 3-man RW flight is profound. It merits "OMG" moments for the accomplishment, certainly!

Evidenced by writhing, kicking, and (Hearsay) screaming, Newguy was having the time of his life.

After a while,.... after exulting in the conquest of linked flight, both GC and Skippy leggo of new guy at 800-900 ft. AGL.

His joy increases. All open per SOP and land.

Dumbfounded by bliss, Newguy, stuffs his shit in his rent car and splits. Awed; No ceremony.

DZ regulars yuk it up; weigh the heat versus hope and manifest for a 5-way attempt from 7.2K.

Certain was the 4-way.

But one day, Weird Bob entered fifth at about 2,000 AGL on his back, smiled and we took it down to break-off.

Strange entry. Very.

. . . . we plumb forgot to remember the recent ride Newguy got. Houston DZ summers are to blame.

Pat Works nee Madden Travis Works, Jr .B1575, C1798, D1813, Star Crest Solo#1, USPA#189,

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This is an older post but could not resist sharing a Skippy story. At the Crosby DZ, Carlos Wallace actually had some packing tables (rare for the day) so Skippy was packing on one of them. There were several of us hanging around waiting for a load and watching Skippy. A toddler came up to Skippy with a ball and said "Mr, Look at my ball" Skippy paid him no attention and kept packing. This happened at least 2 more times so we were mesmerized to see what would happen as Skippy got more annoyed and knowing Skippy, knew he would reach his limit. Finally, he looked at the kid and said "Take that ball and stick it up your Ass? This was in Skippy cleft pallet speech so it laid us all out, made the kid cry and Skippy finished packing. I bet everyone that knew him has a story as he was definitely one of a kind. One of the neatest guys I have had the privilege to know.

Pat, Skippy also landed on a water tower during one of his Santa jumps and if I remember correctly, had to have the Fire Department get him down.

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