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Usetawuz

"Big Bad John" Gordon

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We lost a long time member of the skydiving community on July 5, 2013. John "Big Bad John" Gordon, D-6068, died in a traffic accident. John, 81, was a member of JOES (Jumpers Over Eighty) and SRA, as well as being a ski school instructor and motorcycle enthusiast. He made over 10,000 jumps during his lifetime. He will be missed!

Blue skies, John.

_________________________________________
The older I get, the better I was!

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Very sad to have heard about this today. Really likes that guy and always made a point to connect with him whenever he was at the dz. does anyone know what is uspa license number would have been? He had been jumping since the dawn of time!


Cheers,
Travis

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Usetawuz

We lost a long time member of the skydiving community on July 5, 2013. John "Big Bad John" Gordon, D-6068, died in a traffic accident. John, 81, was a member of JOES (Jumpers Over Eighty) and SRA, as well as being a ski school instructor and motorcycle enthusiast. He made over 10,000 jumps during his lifetime. He will be missed!

Blue skies, John.



Was saddened to see your post, Usetawuz. For anyone interested in the circumstances of John's death, you can read it here. Bottom line: He got ambushed by badly-neglected "Road Closed" signage and drove off the end of a washed-out road during a rainstorm into an irrigation ditch.

Anyway, I jumped and skiied with John for years many years ago in Colorado. He was indeed a big guy and jumped really big gear, yet was one of the most graceful skiers I'd ever seen.

He also had a real trying time for about year way back in the late 1970s or early 1980s. He bought a 252 Parafoil and after a few jumps he started having trouble landing it. He kept hammering in and we kept trying to work with him on his approach and flare, brake line length, etc. He was one P.O.ed big bad dude about this because all of us, including him, thought he was doing something wrong. And the worst part was, no one else had a Foil so we didn't know much about the canopy characteristics.

He never injured himself, but he sure biffed in a bunch -- and then it turned out that Parafoil had gotten a bad bunch of fabric that lost its porosity after 25 jumps or so, and that had been his problem all along. I don't remember if they replaced it or he just bought something else, but when he instantly started landing the new canopy like he knew what he was doing, he was the happiest big bad dude on the block.

Also one of the funniest. Although much of his humor would today fall even outside the normal parameters for politically incorrect speech, here is a sample that should give you an idea of his big bad sense of humor:

John was pretty fit for a big old guy but he did have a bit of a belly so one day somebody kidded him about his belly, and without missing a beat he said:

"You can't drive a spike with a tack hammer."

BSBD, John. I love ya, man.

B|
44
SCR-6933 / SCS-3463 / D-5533 / BASE 44 / CCS-37 / 82d Airborne (Ret.)

"The beginning of wisdom is to first call things by their right names."

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