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PROGRESSIVE

Michael Truffer

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Mike Truffer (and Sue Clifton) promoted skydiving, communicating clearly knowledge of joy, heartbreaks, skills, and survival techniques. They paid honor to our Communication Imperative as wordsmith and publisher both.

Recall after all, that what ‘others’ don’t know could kill you.

Of all skydivers, scribes are a splendid few. Publishers, a rare gem.
Remember Mike Truffer.
Recall and honor those who capture our history with their words and art: J. Scott Hamilton, Lyle Cameron PUBLISHER (RIP), Skratch Garrison, Dan Poynter PUBLISHER, Uve Beckman PUBLISHER (RIP), Matt Farmer, Roger Hull, Carl Nelson PUBLISHER (RIP), Roger Nelson (RIP), Bj Worth, Howard White PUBLISHER (RIP), Bill Ottley (RIP) Bud Sellick, Russ A. Gunby (RIP), Tamara Koyn, John Schuman PUBLISHER (RIP), Brian Germain, Charles Shea-Simonds PUBLISHER (RIP), Michael Horan PUBLISHER, C.W. Ryan, A.C. Keech PUBLISHER, Gene Hunnell PUBLISHER, Kevin Gibson, J. L. Seagull and emerging wordsmiths all. Hail our scribes & publishers or else our history is but dust in a wind. Honor our traditions else respect flees. Say your story else the world is dumb and trees fall silently in our forests.

... Mike was so much more than that. He is so much more than a friend. My lame words do naught to fill the empty that my heart cries into. All i feel is sorrow. All I hear is echoes

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I met him only one time when I was in DeLand this year in January. He and his friends invited me to join their five-way. When people ask me about my time in FLorida I always start telling about this skydive and this is also were my telling ends. Not because the skydive itself was so special but because of the five people. Mike was a vital part of this group and I enjoyed his great personality a lot.

I was looking forward to meet him again when I am back and now he is gone. Very sad. RIP

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I have sitting on my bookshelf of skydiving books, the last issue of Skydiving Magazine, January 2009. That was the magazine we waited for all month. With Skydiving Magazine and now Mike Truffer gone, there is a huge hole in skydiving for all of us.

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Truffer was a really great guy. He was open, friendly, honest, smart as hell, and just the right amount of smart-ass.

Here is a picture of him jumping with my first real 4way team in 1998. It should be pretty easy to find the one guy that loved to jump but didn't really want to do 4way seriously.
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." -- Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334

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I'm so saddened by this... I never met Mike but I we shared many emails over the past year or so while we collaborated on an Android app. I felt I knew him, and I wish I could have met him.

As I just wrote on FB:

"I just learned that Mike Truffer, the skydiver with whom I developed an Android app for organizing skydives (called "Skydiving Formations") during the past year, died. I am in shock. I never met nor spoke with Mike, but I always looked forward to meeting him some day. Our interaction was purely via email, but I feel I knew him - his warm and honest personality came through clearly in his words. He was a joy to work with, trusting and trustworthy, and he spoke his mind always. RIP, Mike. May the app we developed together (he supplied the artwork, and I did the code) carry your legacy for a long, long, time."

-Joe

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Never met Mike either, though once long ago I bought a Navy conical reserve from him, by mail. Then of course there were all the enjoyable years of reading Skydiving Magazine - including years when I wasn't even jumping anymore. It was refreshing to read some real critical thinking about our sport. We haven't even begun to realize just how much we'll miss him.

Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !

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I first met Mike at the '73 USPA BOD meeting in Pope Valley, California. He was a recent college graduate with a low-level position with USPA. He was a scawny, fresh-faced kid who was as excited about jumping and his new job as is a puppy to a warm bowl of milk.

Mike once said that he started SKYDIVING magazine by cut & paste on his girlfriends kitchen table. It eventually became the most popular publication in all of parachuting world-wide. Maybe not by number of subscribers but by how well respected it was.

I always enjoyed reading his editorials, even when I disagreed with them ( and I let him know when I did ;) ). He was always gracious even when I disagreed with him.

The last time that I saw him was about eight years ago when we had lunch together at the restaurant at the dz in DeLand.

He is the reason why USPA has a US Team Trust Fund. One of his many contributions to jumping.

He served on the BOD of USPA for many years as a National Director.

He was a friend,

JerryBaumchen

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Skydiving was a great publication, and Mike's editorials were always worth reading and re-reading.

Let me add one note about Mike's personal integrity. When he decided to stop publishing, I figured I was out $20 for the unused part of my subscription - no big deal averaged over the 20 years I was a subscriber. And then a few weeks later I got a check in the mail with a note apologizing that it took so long to send out the refunds.

In retrospect, I wish I had saved the check instead of cashing it. That piece of paper and what it said about the man was worth more than the face value.

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mpreil

Skydiving was a great publication, and Mike's editorials were always worth reading and re-reading.

Let me add one note about Mike's personal integrity. When he decided to stop publishing, I figured I was out $20 for the unused part of my subscription - no big deal averaged over the 20 years I was a subscriber. And then a few weeks later I got a check in the mail with a note apologizing that it took so long to send out the refunds.

In retrospect, I wish I had saved the check instead of cashing it. That piece of paper and what it said about the man was worth more than the face value.




I agree. I'm extremely shaken by this. I never met Mike, but we communicated about photos I occasionally got published. I remember getting a refund on my Skydiving Magazine subscription also. It said a lot about Mike Truffer.
Russell M. Webb D 7014
Attorney at Law
713 385 5676
https://www.tdcparole.com

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MEMORIES...Personal recollections -- Mike and I met when he was the editor of Parachutist Magazine in ’73-74? We worked together on several many projects. Through him, USPA promoted the 1st book on formation skydiving, my 1975 “The Art of Freefall RW.” He published the 2nd edition and 2-3 reprints with his Aerographics publishing house. As a supporter of our “RWunderground Newsletter”, Mike Truffer helped foster the birth of formation skydiving.

Later, as publisher editor of “Skydiving Magazine” he, along with ParaGear, McElfish, and RW freaks promoted RW & my RW book and the anthology of articles from RWunderground printed in “United we Fall” in 1978, the UWF Art prints, and the first book on freefly, “The Art of vRW” in 1997.

Mike was a seasoned USPA BoD member while I served three terms as National Director from 1981-1986. Then he did much via USPA to help pilot formation skydiving into safe waters; assured USA Teams ‘ funding; dared cover B.A.S.E.; waded calmly through near USPA impeachment for conflict of interest; recused himself (removed himself as a judge) over a the particular BOD proceedings to henceforth identify our sport as “skydiving,” a proscribed expression, in conjunction with our PCA sanctioned name, “parachutists.” NSTIW.

Throughout that period, he, Sue, and Troy encouraged my blithering and printed my prose. I think that like him, they too carried the torch for skydiving by sharing and communicating clearly our joy, heartbreaks, skills, and survival techniques. “Skydiving Magazine” championed and followed the Communication Imperative: that, what sky mates don’t know may perhaps kill you. Knowledge is safety; skill is fun.

Mike is so much more than a friend, icon, and fun guy. My lame words do naught to fill the empty that my heart cries into. All i feel is sorrow. All I hear is echoes. Of all skydivers, such scribes (and aerial photographers) are a splendid few. Treasure them.
Remember Mike Truffer. Emulate him. Share and protect our mutual history. Guide others to respect and honor our traditions. Tell your story else the world is dumb and trees fall silently in our forests.

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My refund check was $42. I called him up and said I was going to cash it and put it all on Buttercup in the fourth race at Santa Anita. He laughed and said I would probably make more money on that than running exotic boogies:)
When I started Tsunami Skydivers in 2004, the very first check I wrote was to Skydiving Magazine for an ad for the first Boogie in Belize. He said, get used to it, youll be writing me a lot more over the years. Mike and Sue came to boogie one and had a great time.

At the Nationals at the Ranch in the mid '90's my 4 way team, me, Scotty Mizener, Tom Slocum and Tom Allen, hooked up with Mike, Sue, Guy Wright and Craig Buxton. We had a tremendous time and finished fourth in the Open division. It was my most fun Nationals ever. Tom Slocum named our 8 way the " French National Team". He figured all of the French jumpers would wonder why their 8 way team scored so low when they read it in Skydiving!

I called Mike last month looking for an ancient back issue of his magazine. We talked for a very long time, since we hadn't spoken or seen each other in a long time. We vowed to catch up in person and make some jumps.

Hug your skydive friends...often.

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Mike published my first skydiving story, and helped us bring about the Norman Kent Aerial Cameraman training project. He was a terrific editor, and as honest as they come. I don't have jumping stories, only having met him at a couple events and talking about the magazine and educational endeavors, but he was a very encouraging man, filled with good ideas and suggestions.

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I first met Mike in 1977, when I came to DeLand as a 300-jump newbie. Mike was about my age, but was far more experienced. We've had so many talks over the years about so many subjects. In the mid 80s, I stopped jumping, due to business and family. I never stopped my subscription to Skydiving, however. For about 10 years, reading Mike and Sue's paper kept me up on news and kept skydiving alive in my heart. Eventually, I started jumping again, and I've always credited Skydiving with bringing me back into the sport.

In his writing as well as in life, Truffer always called a spade a spade. As others have said, sometimes we didn't agree, but Mike would always listen to other sides of an argument, and it was always a friendly discussion.

Not many of the folks I met in DeLand 36 years ago are still jumping. It always made me happy to see Mike at the DZ. He seemed ageless.
Blue Skies, Mike. You'll be missed.

Kevin Keenan

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Mike Truffer coordinated the National Collegiate Parachute League during the years I was a 'skydiver/student' , early '70s...and a group from here, drove to DeLand Fla. for the 1974 Meet....and Meet we did ;)Many fun and interesting people !! Mike was one of them, for Sure. Years later I quickly signed up for SKYDIVING newsmagazine when I saw his name affiliated with it. A few communications over the years, letters to the editor etc. were always met with interest and attention, on His part... I was lamenting once, that my '74 NCPL meet tee-shirt had been Lost (or stolen) [:/] when I removed it after a water jump, set it to dry, and never saw it again.[:/].
Well a week or so later, a package arrived with the exact silk screened front, as the shirt in question...:o:)...he later told me that it one of his own..:)When I bulk - ordered a bunch of back issues of SKYDIVING , back a couple of years ago.... the customer service was excellent, as usual, with a quick arrival of the order. And then,,, "just to fill the box " , as he later told me on the phone,,,He included 4 perfectly sized heavy duty silkscreened Tees...2 of them matching powder blue colored shirts with the SKYDIVING logo proudly emblazoned across the chest... @ no charge :)They meant ALOT to me when I got them, they will mean a lot MORE to me, now.

bsbd

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