Lou Paproski

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One of the founders of RW and a member of the Arivn Good Guys, Lou Paproski died last Sat. 25 March 2006. Paul Gorman and Deke Dillon, also members of the Arvin Good Guys were with when he passed.

And now it starts. The beginning of it all is starting to come to a close. [:/]

RIP my friend.

My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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Well shit.

I got some emails that he was in the hospital
but I didn't know that he had died.

He was one of the good ones.

I remember his laughter.

He told me once that "Paproski" was Polish
for "Knight of the Silver Chalice". He said it
with such a straight face that I almost believed
him for a moment

And I remember the expressions of consternation
on the straight laced style and accuracy guys at
the 68 nationals in Marana when he would go
running down the aisle with his bare feet going
slap slap slap on the floor.

Those were the days of industrial grade air cushioned
French boots and nobody even wore tennis shoes,
much less went bare footed.

Of course he had a pair of mocasins stashed in
his jump suit that he would put on for landing.

>And now it starts. The beginning of it all is starting to come to a close.

Yeah ...


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And now it starts. The beginning of it all is starting to come to a close.

I feel privileged to have known and jumped with many of the pioneers.

The ones who are still jumpng may not be the hottest 4-way competitors, or have anything to do with swooping. However, they do deserve our respect and admiration for what they started.


"Harry, why did you land all the way out there? Nobody else landed out there."

"Your statement answered your question."

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And now it starts. The beginning of it all is starting to come to a close.

I'd like to think of it as an evolution. There are still some in the sport, and joining the sport, that will sit around the "bonfire" and listen to the tales. We enjoy a good yarn, and might just learn something to boot.

Sorry for your loss my friend, hope to hear more about your friend and be able to share the stories with ya.

Blue Skies,

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Hi Scratch,

I hope you're doing well. Your D981 signatures are all over my logbooks from the old days at Arvin. I've been monitoring this site, curious about where the younger generation is taking the state of the art. Looks like they're doing some fantastic things.

Reading about Louie's death has had me feeling low. The first time I saw Louie was when he and Bob Thompson knocked on my door at about two in the morning one night in early '65. I was crashed on the Murphy bed/sofa in the living room of the garage apartment behind Jim Dann's parents' house in Burbank. I knew Louie's name from the six-man. That color cover shot by Buquor was what got me interested in relative work. I think Louie had been down in Texas for a while. Anyway, the three of us spent a couple of hours swapping stories. I mostly listened.

I made most of my last jumps with Louie in the early '70s. I stopped logging them but I think this one was at Perris or Oceanside. The rest of the load was Pete Piciollo, Bob Thompson, Deke Dillon and Ron Richards. Louie backlooped out of the six-man but didn't let go of my wrist. The result was him stealing my air while pulling me over to where his French jum

p boots were coming up to collide with my face. Those boot hooks did a nasty job on me plus I almost faded to black. I finally got stable and headed for the target. In those days, I'm sure you remember, if you weren't close to the target when you umpacked a cheapo, you'd be going hiking through the thickets in platform boots. Anyway, I was tracking but I couldn't see because my bubble goggles were smashed and getting really bloody. We landed fairly close to each other so I just unbuckled, walked over and said, "Hey Mr. Smooth, where'd you learn that cool trick?" I must have looked pretty bad because he glanced up and his eyes got real big. He said, "Whoa!! Did I do that? Hey man, sorry about that." Needless to say, he bought me a huge steak dinner that evening on our way back to LA. Everyone in the restaurant was staring at the guy with the hamburger face. Hope I didn't ruin any appetites.

Louie always felt self-conscious about his last name. Many Polish-American guys do; unless they happen to live on the south side of Chicago. I should know; mine has one more syllable than his. He always wondered what his name meant. He said that the suffix "ski" meant "son of." I asked a college student to research our names. I was told mine meant, "Son of the Silversmith." When I informed Louie, he looked a little envious until I told him that his meant, "Son of the Knight of the Silver Lance." Neither of us did any further checking.

Louie and I exchanged numbers at that twenty-year eight-man reunion at the Travelers in Greenfield in '85. As you know, out of respect, Bill Newell had invited a bunch of the earlier RV pioneers too; Don Molitor and Hoolie Olivia, to mention just a couple. I got into motorcycles in the late '80s and rode up to Ridgecrest to visit Louie where he owned a billiards/beer bar called "Partners." Luckily, I had quit drinking in '72.

Even though I lost touch with him in recent years, I still felt close, because you knew you could always see him if you got the urge. Now I feel a sense of loss knowing that I can't.

Do you know if he'd been sick for quite a while or was this relatively sudden? I just can't picture Louie in a hospital bed. I'm really glad that Deke and Tall Paul were able to be with him. I'll always remember the way I last saw him in the early '90s; laughing and the picture of health from his years of working in the construction business.

Al Paradowski

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Lou was a good guy in many ways, I enjoyed jump and listening to his stories, I felt very honored when I was asked to jump with what was left of the "Arvin Good Guys" at Rumble seat 2000 with Paul, Deke, Brian Williams. He will not be easily forgotten, Now where do we go drinking in Ridgecrest?

Only the good die young, so I have found immortality,

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