John Wayne

Recommended Posts

One of my Skydiving mentors and a real life renaissance man passed yesterday...somewhat fitting on Superbowl Sunday.

From my first day at the dropzone I knew I would stay in the sport if there were people like John Wayne in it.

I remember practicing PLF's when a red '67 rag top Vette rolled up and that blue eyed, blond haired guy with a million dollar smile hopped out and welcomed us to Skydiving...He truly was larger than life.

When he was in High School a teacher use to give him a hard time about his name...one day he'd had enough, knocked the guy out with one punch - left school that day and joined the Army.

Special Forces in Vietnam was a walk in the park for John...heck everything the guy did was full bore wide open.

Highly skilled demo jumper that pushed me beyond what I thought I could do both in the sport and in life.

He was a pilot, he raced everything with wheels on it...a master rigger that without asking - paid for and replaced my shot and a halfs with R3's because they were safer and I was broke. B|

He was a commercial diver for the Army Corps of Engineers...he worked on dams under water all over the Midwest, he's go skydiving to relax & do something safe on the weekends! :ph34r:

John just released his 3rd or 4th book a month ago, just like the stories he told in person - simply captivating.

It's a small number of people I met through this sport and have kept close contact with for 40 years...funny, but I knew from that first day that we would be friends for life.

One of my favorite John Wayne quotes from back in the day was -
"The best RW jumper in the world wouldn't amount to a pimple on the ass of a DEMO JUMPER!"

Blue Skies my Brother - and like the bumper sticker in the back of "48 Bravo" said... God Bless John Wayne!

~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

sorry for your loss Jim. What a great mentor!!


Thanks Tony, he was a heck of a guy. He was one of those people that pushed ya to be better in all things...

Took me on my first demo...I had 22 jumps and was on a Papilon, went into a baseball stadium wearing smoke.

His encouragement and help made it ~ and lots of what came after possible. B|

I remember John sitting down with my dad at the dropzone not long after I started jumping...he explained what the sport was all about. How I was progressing and said he'd keep an eye on me.

His kind don't come around very often...he'll be missed!

~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.