1 1
jonstark

Bobby Frierson

Recommended Posts

There's some pretty heartless discussion going on in the incidents forum about the loss of one of the Souths best kept secrets. Bobby Frierson went in this weekend in Georgia and will sorely be missed.

Hopefully some of you who knew him will see fit to remember him here. Tell us a story or two.

I sometimes jumped at Vikings of Denmark and at Barnwell, SC in the late seventies. I had a small DZ located about 50 miles south of his so we stayed in touch. Bobby had an old Lockheed 10A, featured on the cover of "Skies Call", which he'd bring down. Man, did we have some good times. Most folks remember that he could talk your leg off but it was worth it if you listened. He had a really funny accent and was hard to understand at times. Real colorful to say the least.

Fly on Bobby.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's mostly not heartless. Really. People didn't necessarily know Bobby, but they're thinking about the sport as well as the person.

No one that I knew in the old days would have been much different. It's just that it was too hard for most older folks to jump in those days, so this situation didn't happen.

We had one guy start when he was in his 50's and that was almost unheard of (late 70's). "Old" jumpers were approaching 50.

Wendy W.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There are lots of people here who knew Bobby far better than I did. Truth be told, I only ran into him a few times, at Barnwell and Raeford. But he was one of those guys whose reputation extended a long way beyond where he might have been at the time.

I think that it's fair to say that Bobby was a good ol' boy who never let life get a chance to become too boring.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Right after I first learned to jump, I was looking for a place to do some weekday jumps. At the time Skydive Carolina wasn't open very much during the week. So I look in my Parachutist magazine under group member dz's for South Carolina. I called the Vikings of Denmark in Barnwell and the answering machine went something like this....

"If you need window shutters, shrubbery planted, some crop dusting done, or you just want to go skydiving, leave a message"

I wish that I would have made the trip.


How do ya like it Johnny?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When I calle dmy dad to to tell him that Bobby had died, we bot to talking, my dad did his ladt jump in 1975 in Barnwell but had heard the name Bobby Frierson numerous times when he was jumping outside of Ft Carson Colorado, so he might not be the best kept secret. Gald I grew up in Barnwell and glad I knew him and got to watch the Tater shooter being shot at the Barnwell City PD car as it went Joyriding down the runway.

Blue Skies Bobby

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am not sure how to express how I feel.

Kind of an emptiness in my gut.

I started jumping in 1978 at the Ft. Gordon GA Sport Parachute club, the dropzone we used was Barnwell. So I met Bobby and Joan back then and became part of the local family of jumpers. This was when Randy Cash was our pilot (when Bobby was not flying) and before he began jumping. I remember long weekends of jumping from day light to dark and then many a late night of partying until blackout.

Bobby was a great pilot, jumper, coach, friend, drinking buddy, and the most qualified jumper I knew. He would often fly and JM at the same time (I know now this is not that cool but back then it was a testimony to his skill).

I was on a 3 way one Friday after noon and recall telling the others I was going to pull low (in search of ground rush). I pulled at about 1500 feet, was in the saddle at about 800 feet (Sierra 23 foot main). Well when Bobby saw this and he met me at the peas (yes I opened very near them and landed in them) and we left my gear there and went for a long walk. Bobby discussed (in the slow and ever concise manner that only Bobby could) the fact that I was mere seconds from impact and that even the slightest of opening problems would have resulted in my death. When he was convinced that I was not suicidal he then explained to me that ground rush happens when you are NOT looking for it, when the earth fills your vision and surprises you. Then he grounded me for the rest of the weekend, and at that time I realized just how much he cared about all of us, this sport and most of all life itself.

I know in my heart that Bobby did everything in his power to save himself, this was part of his being.

A rush of old memories comes back from those days; jumping at FF Farms, sleeping in the hanger, meets at Barnwell, Neal Beverly, Vance, Rick Sand, John Norman, Bob Anderson, Harry Belton, Doug Moriorty, Randy and Sandy..................Bobby Frierson.

Good times man!! Good times!!

Later Bobby!!

Arvel
BSBD...........Its all about Respect,

USPA#-7062, FB-2197, Outlaw 499

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was temperarily assigned to Fort Gordon in May, 1980, when I showed up at Barnwell with 100 jumps.

Bobby checked out my rig and logbook, then promptly took me up to do a 4way with him, Jeff Mellinger and some guy named Phil. Logbook #1 says I made 4 jumps with him that day. At the time he had more jumps than anyone I had ever met.

I remember he always had a jug of sun tea sitting out.
Some of the other names I can make out are....
Vance Frierson, Darell Linden, Joan Latimer, R. Cash, Frenchy, Pat and Patty.

I had a lot of fun the 2 months i was there.

Bobby and everyone else made me feel welcome.

Rest in peace Bobby

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Though I had heard the name, I only met Bobby 3 days before....and I'll tell you this...

I sat mesmerized by his tales of the "old days" and his exploits and the evolution of skydiving equipment and the people he knew and jumped with...it was history learned at the feet of a participant and master.

I will never forget having met him. And I'm a better, safer skydiver for it.

Thank you, Bobby
Blue Skies forever.
My reality and yours are quite different.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Falcon5232, SCS8170, SCSA353, POPS9398, DS239

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm Woody Binnicker(D624). I trainedBobby and put him out on his first jump. He was gung-ho from his first jump. He made 200 jumps in 8 months so that he could get a D# under 1000(he got 911). We had to get up before dawn,go to the airport and go to 12500 and then go to work, so he could complete his D requirements. We became best of friends and started Vikings of Denmark(our home town). We bought several airplanes together and started the drop zone in Barnwell.We started the marathon jumping in '73 making 201 jumps in 171/2 hours. He flew the entire time and I did the jumping. Bobby was a great competitor and we were even able to beat the Golden Knights at some of the meets..Although I got out of the Sport in 75,we kept in touch all these years...I'll miss him...
Quote

***

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just ran across this posting ... not the news I was hoping to read. I jumped in Carolinas 70-75 before moving to California...most all my jumps in Carolina were with Charlotte Skydivers and jumping with Carolina Sport Parachute Council. Those meets took us around to various DZ's...Barnwell one of them. I remember Bobby. Remember you too Woody. Those days hold fond memories...I have some photos of jumping at Barnwell...a favorite one is in one of my log books...View of peas with dust storm obscuring horizon...meet was canceled due to wind. Wind sock looks like it was made of something solid and a small boy was being pulled across peas (on his feet by a pilot chute.

I remember Bobby's smiling face quite well. I feel diminished by reading of his death, and hope his family and closest friends are doing as best as can be expected.

I can't remember who used to drive that old hearse with a skydiving trophy as a hood ornament to all the meets...was that you Woody or was that Bobby's?

Blue Skies...Black Death
Ray
Quote

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I met Bobby Frierson back in 1977. I was at AIT training at Ft. Gordon, and started my jumping career at Barnwell. Bobby and Monica became good friends of mine. Those times at the drop zone were some of the best times I ever had in my life. I can remember the time Rick Sands went out too far on the wing of the Lockheed !!!! After I left Ft. Gordon, I was assigned to Germany, and I never got to see Bobby again after that. I heard that he had a stroke some years ago.

In 1977, we (the Barnwell gang) flew up to Raeford NC for the 4th of July. I was at that time only doing 10 secods FF's. I got up early one morning, and was looking for my JM to take me out before the "crowd" got up. They were loading up a C-172, and there was as slot open, and someone asked me if I wanted to go up, so I hopped on. Well, long story short, the plane was going to 7500 feet (30 second FF). I was too afraid to say something, so I just went out with them. I just went out and did a nice stable FF, but didn't get in with the others. Bobby was waiting for me when I got there. After he lectured me about jumping when I should not, from altitudes that I shouldn't..without the proper SAFE supervision...he told me I flew good and he suited up, and took me to 12500, and taught me how to do some basic RW. What a great weekend for me !

I have not jumped since I tore my knee up playing softball. I miss jumping, it was the best of times for me !

Now that I am in full fledged middle age, I raise and train Clydesdales !

Steve


http://www.horselakefarm.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(edited)

I will never forget Bobby. I got to Ft. Gordon, GA in 1976 and sometime after that became president of the parachute club. I was a jumpmaster and was allowed to instruct the first jump course under the supervision of an instructor. Bobby came to my first first jump course and told me I could teach under him. I would train the new students and we would go to Barnwell to jump. We had so many great weekends jumping there. On one of our jumps from the Lockheed Bobby flew around for a long time. I was sitting behind the pilot's seat and had no idea what was going on. Finally we jumped out for an RW jump. When I opened my PC I had no idea where we were. Another guy on a PC and I landed and walked a long way through a couple of fields. When I finally got to a road we got a ride. I asked the driver where is Barnwell. He said about 16 miles from there. I said where are we? He said Blackville. I asked if he knew Bobby, he said no so I asked if he knew a guy who had a runway in his back yard. He said he did and took us there. All the guys with squares were waiting for us there. I told my son about that story (he's now a tandem and AFF instructor). When I looked up Bobby I learned that he had died. I called Gene  Paul Thacker, who I flew for in Raeford, and told him I was so sorry to hear about Bobby. I said that at least he died doing what he loved. Gene Paul was very upset that he had been jumping after his stroke. When Gene Paul died I called Tony to tell him how sorry I was to hear about Gene Paul. He told me that Gene Paul had suffered for two years with COPD. If it was me, I prefer to go skydiving.

Doug Moriarity D-10758

Edited by 10109492
  • Like 1

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.

Guest
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.

1 1