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Most memorable meeting

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Every skydiver has someone he looks up to - someone he's met that showcases the abilities and desires all skydivers should have... So who was the most memorable character you've met while skydiving - and what were the circumstances? Tiny Broadwick? Harry Ward? Jerry Bird? Dan BC? Or someone who's name no one will ever recognize? Tell us who you met, and how,and what they meant to you...
If some old guy can do it then obviously it can't be very extreme. Otherwise he'd already be dead.
Bruce McConkey 'I thought we were gonna die, and I couldn't think of anyone

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mine would have to be cass from when i was a student at skydive texas.. he instilled the helping oter jumpes out if ya can by letting them borrow an alti or gogles or even rig if you could... i try to do the same......he also gave me my nickname of "wingnut"......

______________________________________
"i have no reader's digest version"

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I've met a lot of neat people since I started jumping.. When a buddy and I showed up at Sandwich Illonois on a rainy Friday evening sometime in '82, Roger Nelson took the two of us in his 206 personally just to make sure we got in a jump on a weekend that wasn't forecasted to be very good... The next day he took out a 27-way dirt-dive while riding around on his golf cart - he was supposed to have been on the dive but got called away to fly, and on the way by he headed straight for the dirt dive and said 'If I can't be on it I'm gonna take it out!' Unfortunately the accelerator pedal stuck and he did end up running through the formation, but no one was seriously hurt...

In '84, the day after bridge day at Xenia, Ohio, Dan BC went up with the Kone and I for a low one, once again because the weather didn't look good... We got out between 3 - 3.5 and turned a few points - I just remember getting ready to break off and BC shooting another back-in to me...

I've done lots of jumps with Floyd Martineau, one of the first Canadians to complete a baton pass in Canada and also the first Canadian to compete for Canada; and Bill Cole, the Canadian high altitude record holding jumper and successful stuntman who's made two chuteless jumps, borrowed one of my rigs for a demo once without my knowledge, and proceeded to throw the ripcord away after someone packed him a mal (how that happened is controversial)...

But the most memorable meeting I ever had with a jumper took place in a bar in Penetanguishene, Ontario on a cold winter night in February, 1986...

For those Yanks out there that don;t know it, Penetanguishene, or Penetang is a remote outpost almost in northern Ontario. Before being transferred there in '85 the only thing I knew about it was that it was home to the Canadian Prison for the Criminally Insane - you know, the real sick ones...

Anyway, I didn't know anyone around there so one night after closing up the shop I went with some of the guys (and gals) from work to this bar... Later that night on my way for a beer I spotted a guy wearing a jacket with a skydiving crest on the back - 'Huronia Skydivers - Coldwater DZ'.

Now at the time I was a lot younger than I am now, and having about 6 years and a thousand jumps under my belt, plus instructor and rigger ratings, I was pretty full of myself as I sidled up to the guy and tapped him on the shoulder... "Hey man, do you really jump out of planes or do you just wear the jacket?" I asked. This old guy turned around and sort of looked me up and down (Probably thinking, Jeesh, what a dweeb) and said, "Yeah I do... What's it to you?" "Alright" I said, "I didn't know there was anyone else around this neck of the woods."

Turns out Claude Lalonde - Froggy - aka the Frogman - had started jumping out of planes while with the Royal Canadian Regiment - the RCRs - two years before I was born, in 1957... He'd jumped before a quarter of a million spectators at the CNE airshow in Toronto, done work in the movie 'If You Could See What I Hear' in 1978, and generally been jumping his ass off while I was still wet behind the ears.

A day or two later a girl at work who knew Claude gave me his number and told me to call him... It turns out Claude had a 172 booked for solo jumps at the town Winterama that weekend - did I want to come along? Did I! But I had a couple of jumping buddies coming up that weekend to do some partying... "Tell them to bring their rigs" was Frog's reply...

That weekend there we were in an open door 172 in
-15C weather, dodging snowsqualls to jump onto the frozen ice of Penetang Bay... In the windseat I was sitting with my arms over my face to cut the cold wind, and my buddy beside me on the seat couldn't see much out the door when Frog tossed the winddrift either... Steve kept saying "Where are we supposed to land?" "Follow Froggy" I said. "Where;s the spot?" he yelled. "Follow Froggy" I answered. After Froggy exited he said "Where are we?" "Follow Froggy" I yelled as I dropped away, trying to get out of the wind...

Well, we didn't land where we were supposed to, but as we bundled up our chutes the snowmobiles were racing across the bay to pick us up and return us to the docks where the Winter Festival Queen and her retinue were waiting to welcome us...

After greeting the queen we ended up in the basement of the local Legion Hall to pack, while the local Pipes and drums band marched around the dance floor practising... No wonder we needed a few pops to get rid of our headaches!

Over the years I've jumped at many winter and summer festivals, airshows and competitions with Claude. I've seen him hum it low with a bridle cord wrapped around his smoke bracket, and I've had accuracy competitions with him under paracommanders for beer... Claude may not be the flashiest guy or best formation flyer around, but he was surviving when I was still wearing nappies and I figure it was a pretty decent night when I walked into that bar in Penetanguishene...
If some old guy can do it then obviously it can't be very extreme. Otherwise he'd already be dead.
Bruce McConkey 'I thought we were gonna die, and I couldn't think of anyone

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my first camara jump. got on the load just to do it .
a guess whould be on the helicopter ride next to me
jan davis and her husband tom sanders!!
video vent great!!! they even invited me in to their rv to review the tape. jan was a great person!!!
if my calculations are correct SLINKY + ESCULATOR = EVERLASTING FUN
my site

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Mine was pretty resent. When I went to Eloy this past May, I showed up a day earlier then the rest of the DZ.commers were supposed to be there. Well, I pull in to the parking lot in my big maroon truck, with Aggie Skydiving across it, in jeans, boots, a cowboy hat and Robert Earl blaring out of the cab. Needless to say, I was getting some strange looks as I walked into the Bent Prop. Being that it was about 8pm and I had been driving for a bit over 18 hours, I was hungry and very thirsty. Walked in, got a beer, went to the cafe in the same building ordered food and asked if I could join a small group of people that were ordering at the same time. They smiled and welcomed me to their table.

Well, we got our food and chit chatted back and forth for about 20 minutes or so. The usual from my end, is this your home DZ, do you FF or RW, etc. Just random skydiving chit chat. They were asking about Texas, AOT, etc. Well, we finished our meals and said we'd see each other again tomorrow (great group of people).

So, as I sit in my truck, reading Muscle and Fitness, who do I see? One of the people I was just talking to. Yup, I was eating with Arizona Airspeed and I didn't even know it. They were just as laid back as anyone else on the DZ and very approachable (obviously). All in all a funny story for me.:)
--"When I die, may I be surrounded by scattered chrome and burning gasoline."

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When I was just starting jumping in the early 70's, Jerry Bird's All Stars came to one of our jump meets. They were probably the hottest RW team of that day, so it was cool just to see them jump. A few years later a couple of these guys came back to our DZ and I was able to jump with them on a couple loads, they organized. I can't even remember their names. B.J. Worth was there also, but this was when he had only about 500 jumps. Anyway we went up and built a State Record Star for Montana. It had a whopping 15 people in it.

After a long lay off I started jumping again. (25 years) I ended up at Skydive Oregon (in Mallala) where a Free-Fly Meet was going on. I couldn't find anyone there to do Relative Work with so I met a guy (Pat Works) who was teaching folks how to do head down, and sit fly etc. I figured what the heck, I'd give it a try. I made several jumps with Pat and I'm sure he was amazed at how crappy I was. The closest thing I could do to a sit, was to lay on my back and imitate a helicopter blade. Pat later wrote a story about his experiences at Mallala in Skydiving Magazine. He said all his students did great, except for this one "Village Idiot". I sure hope that wasn't me. Steve1

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"For those Yanks out there that don;t know it, Penetanguishene, or Penetang is a remote outpost almost in northern Ontario."
The Yanks may be geographically ignorant on some occasions, but us Scots get all over the place.....
Penetanguishene is known further across the globe than you might imagine.

I jumped at Coldwater a long time ago, I was visiting a friend in Midland- the next town round the bay (Georgian Bay), so popped in for some airtime.
Nice place, really friendly peeps, and top class scenery.

I heard the DZ at Coldwater is shut now..[:/][:/]
--------------------

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. Thomas Jefferson

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Oh wow, great question.

I'd been jumping for about a year when this disreputable looking older guy showed up in a beat up old modified school bus. Got to chatting with him and soon found out that this guy had taken Johnny Carson up on a "buddy jump" back in the late 60's - yup, I was chatting with Bob Sinclair. I've seen him several times since over the years and I always stop to say hi. Unfortunately I never have gotten the chance to jump with him.

A few years later we had a turbine visiting us from Davis. Bungee Wallace came along with the plane and organized some very cool skydives for us. IIRC he was on the hunt for more talent for some world record attempts he was organizing up at Davis; two of the more experienced guys on our dz ended up getting on those loads.

A year or so later we were doing an eight way demo into Morro Bay's Harbor Festival. One of the dz regulars was good friends with Tom Sanders and Jan Davis and invited them to join us. Was quite an ego boost for a group of small dz jumpers to be filmed by Tom Sanders! Both of them were super nice; hung out at the end of the day to party with us even.

Another cool one was when Bob McDonnell (founder of the Golden Knights.... I forget his D number but it's insanely low, like 22) showed up at our dz to take part in an ICC that myself and a friend were running. Nothing like putting some pressure on us! He was a great asset to our course; you can't jump for as many years as he had without having some excellent insight into many areas of the sport. Had trouble getting my hat back on after he complimented us on the course we ran. ;)

There's more.... but I'm sure I'm boring you by now....

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Stupid story, but funny to me...

Still not licensed - jump number 14 or something. Rented gear, with a funky chest strap - really long (like 3 feet and not folded over at the end. ) I routed it the way I was shown at the gear rental store, which was different from any other chest strap to that point (through, back over the clasp, then back through the keeper)...now, I'm in the Otter, light load. Older guy in yellow across from me, chatting with a student. I'm not sure who he is, but I've seen him around. I smile, and he returns it.

"Hey, are you sure you got your chest strap right?" says he
"It's the way they showed me at the store - I think it's right" says me
"Mind if I check it" he says
"Yes, please" from me...now I'm worried...

He reachs over, slides his hand under it, and YANKS as hard as he can. Oomph splat and I land over in his lap...but the chest strap didn't move. The plane cracks up, and I sit back in my seat.

Great jump, and once on the ground, he introduces himself to me...

"Hi, I'm Jim Wallace. Let me explain why I did that"...cool introduction, most excellent human, good education, and comforting to know he's looking out for everyone, all the time.

Ciels-
Michele


~Do Angels keep the dreams we seek
While our hearts lie bleeding?~

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Chilling out at my home DZ after the Harvest Moon boogie, we were all around teh picnic tables listening to this guy talk, you know the type quite older gent, greying hiar and beard. He was talking about how he had never BASE'd and never would, then a buddy of mine who had done his first jump the day prior said to me, "Whoever this guy is, when ever he speaks everyone gets qiute, that is cool" I loved being able to whisper to my friend as I hand my log book over to get a jump singed, "Dude, you just met Jerry Byrd."
Coolness indeed

I'm not afriad of dying, I'm afraid of never really living- Erin Engle

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Quote

Dan BC?



Would have to be 1.)Dan BC and 2.)Mike Ortiz.

Approached Dan on first ever winter visit to Eloy to ask if we could buy an AirSpeed T-Shirt to support the US 4-way team.

1.)Dan> Hi, I'm Dan
gravitysurf808>(dude I know who the f*ck you are)

2.) 5 years later I'm working at Square2 in Eloy and Mike Ortiz walks in and is looking around the store.

gravitysurf808> Hello can I help you find anything?
Mike Ortiz> Hey man, how's it going? I'm Mike.


Impression I took away from both encounters was some bad ass skydivers with really grounded personalities.

read:EGOS=ZERO

This made a huge impression on me and still affects the way I approach students or newbies to our sport to this day.

Dan BC and Mike O....

...Thank you!!!!



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I got to jump with Roch Charmet three times at Sheridan Oregon in 1985. He was a strange fellow, and to describe him fully would sound like I was disrespecting an elder. But it's only fair to be truthful.

At the time I met him, Roch was a possessed man. I think he was in his fifties, but somehow seemed much older. He had scraggly white hair and beard and his hygiene was atrocious. Crouching in a small Cessna with him wasn't always pleasant.

Quote


From my logbook:
Jump #57: 1/25/85. "7500'. Watch Roch and Eric. Opened at 4.5 and would have hit peas but Roch got in the way."
Jump #58: 1/25/85. "7500'. Horny gorilla with Roch and Eric. Eric fucked the exit; never got it together."
Jump #59: 1/25/85. "9000'. Horny gorilla with Roch and Eric. Got it together quickly."


But most of the time Roch exited at 1500'. It was cheaper to get out low and made a faster turnaround and he was a driven man. I don't know if he got any enjoyment from skydiving except in sheer numbers. I don't know how many jumps he had at the end, but at the time he had recently become the first person to make 10,000.

Sometime shortly after this Roch died at Sheridan. He was the world record holder for sheer number of jumps at the time and I think that made him happy.

Roch signed logbooks with a little rubber stamp. My logbook shows in blue ink:

"ROCH CHARMET
Instructeur no 119"


First Class Citizen Twice Over

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Narcimund,
Sheridan Oregon brings back memories. I jumped there some back in the 70's. I remember they had a nice twin Beech. The pilot of it looked like he was 15 or 16. His nick name was Elevator. I can't remember the name of the guy who owned the D.Z., but they shut him down 6 or 7 years ago because so many people were going in. I think he even had a stolen aircraft. He seemed like a nice guy, but maybe a little too wild and crazy. Does anyone remember this guy? I'm terrible with names. Steve1

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That would be good old Ted Mayfield. Very pleasant to have as a small town, rough and tumble DZO, but he had some qualities that weren't compatible with authority. I wonder where he is now.

The old DZ land is currently up for sale in 4 to 50 acre blocks. It's being sold as airport frontage, although the strip itself is barely being maintained.


First Class Citizen Twice Over

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Scotty Carbone!

On one of my first trips to Zephyr Hills, a bunch of us were hanging out after dark and this guy came up and started telling us stories that had us nearly rolling on the ground laughing....jumping into a nudist colony, his time in jail for the infamous wet t-shirt contest, low-pulling...etc,etc. Still hear stories about Scotty, it's good to know he's still out there.

Blue skies,

Murray
--
Murray

"No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets." - Edward Abbey

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I'm amazed at how many of the individuals in each reply that I've met! Each time I read another story, I think oh yah, him too!!!! We really have an amazing sport.
Kate Cooper is my hero. I used to buy equipment for my AFF graduates through Square One back in the eighties when I was a Kansas jumper. Kate was great then and is even more incredible now!
Bungee Wallace was a really special guy. He brought magic to the dz. The wilbur's were never the same after Bungee died.

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Time: summer, 1992
Location: a mountain trail in southern Germany

I'm hiking down a steep trail when coming the other way I see a couple women. They have skydiving T-shirts on. Cool! At the time I was a newbie with maybe 150 jumps.

The printing on the T-shirts was even in English, so I stop and talk the woman in front. I say that I'm a skydiver, and ask if she jumps. (I'm thinking, is she really a skydiver or just someone who did one jump and bought the T-shirt?)

She says yes.

I ask, "How many jumps?"

"Eight thousand."

Momentary pause. I reply, "Uh, what's your name?"

"Cheryl Stearns"

"Yeah, I've heard of you."

Turns out she was sightseeing at the time, as the world style & accuracy championships were taking place a week or two later in Austria.

Peter Chapman

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Oh yes, Rocky Charmet... I met him in z-hills in December 1979... He flew in 3rd on my first 3-way on my 27th jump... I'll never forget the sight of his white beard flowing up on both sides of his face... He was quite a character - my understanding was that he was formerly in the French foreign legion, had jumped into Algeria twice, and fought in Vietnam (before the Americans)... I was told he was once promoted post-humously - he'd been declared dead before he came wandering out of the jungle some time later... I can still see the little movements he made in freefall, flying in - one of the first people I saw closeup in freefall...
If some old guy can do it then obviously it can't be very extreme. Otherwise he'd already be dead.
Bruce McConkey 'I thought we were gonna die, and I couldn't think of anyone

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Rocky Charmet reminds me of a guy I jumped with a few years ago. Everyone called him Frenchy. He was in his 70's and was a para-trooper in World War 2 (believe it or not). He had a heavy French accent and often jumped in Florida during the winter. I can't recall his real name. About his only possessions were his jump gear. He usually traveled by bus and stayed with jump buddies all over the States while traveling from DZ to DZ. When he wore out his welcome in one place, he'd move on to the next. As far as I know he's still jumping. Anyone ever heard of this guy? Steve1

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I really enjoyed meeting Bob Sinclair. Wow, he has a lot of stories! And I maybe only heard about .05% of 'em! Plus, I really enjoy meeting people who take time out of their day to make my grandma feel welcomed. He told her many stories, showed her pictures (she really likes pictures!), and gave us both a better understanding of the "old days." I think they would've made a wonderful couple!

Another thing that I like about him is that he encouraged me to write down as much as I can in my log book! I definitely saw the benefit of doing so with his...they're like history books! I think that's pretty cool. His van is just a skydiving museum...I'm really glad I got to see it!
There's a thin line between Saturday night and Sunday morning

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