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patworks

43rd Birthday of the First Big-Way 10/17/65

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All hail the 43rd anniversary of the first big-way, October 17 1965
That first 8-man in 1965 was quite an accomplishment. It had taken about 13 months to go from 6-man to an 8-man. And it took another two years to build the 10-man.
Later, Bill Newell SCR #3, founded the Star Crest in 1967. The purpose was to award everybody who had been in an 8-man at that time (about 20 people), and from then on out, some kind of recognition for it. Bill’s organization has contributed a great deal to the growth of relative work formation skydiving around the world. It is called the Bob Buquor Memorial Star Crest (BBMSC) which awards for freefall relative work accomplishments. (http://www.scr-awards.com ). USPA has recognized the SCR and SCS awards as marks of achievement in relative work and a principal reason for its growth.
The below is a email trail posted by Bob Federman SCR 155, Brian Williams SCR 8, and Bill Newell SCR 3.

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We start with an email from Bob Federman to his old sky mates dated 10/17/2008 --
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Good morning my friends happy October 17th 1965, it should be a national holiday cause it changed the future of skydiving for ever. Long live the star crest memorial my hat is off to all those 35000 + S.C.R. no’s who have followed this glorious event.


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I remember when you guys did that 43 years ago. I had about 150 jumps then and I thought it was the coolest thing in the sky. It then became an obsession of mine to get a SCR number, too. I went from Illinois to California in search of one about 1966 or 67. But I had to wait until 1969 to get mine, SCR 155. Shortly thereafter then we put Hinckley Illinois on the map with the first 10 way out side of California. I came in 10th. By the way, Brian (Williams), how did it feel to come in 8th on the worlds first 8 man star?

Bob Federman, Fedo, S.C.R. 155
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Reply From: Brian Williams [mailto:swooper8@yahoo.com]
Sent: Friday, October 18, 2008 7:37 PM
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Wow! Forty three years is a long time, but thanks to Bill Newell, it seems like last weekend. Here is how it felt to me,


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Making the world’s first 8-man star on October 17th, 1965 left us all with a great satisfaction of accomplishment needless to say. Once on the ground, we danced, howled, and whooped. It took us, the Arvin jumpers, about a year and a half of trying virtually every weekend to finally do it. The pictures of the jump that appeared nationwide were shot by Bob Buquor.


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The following names are of the jumpers in order of hook-up: Gary Young, Al Paradowski, Bill Newell, Mitch Poteet, Bill Stage, Jim Dann, Don Henderson, and Brian Williams . I wrote a three page article about the jump for Parachutist magazine.


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However, Bob, let’s go back to the spring of 1960 where I first met Bob Buquor at Elsinore . We hit it off from day one and soon were joined by Wes Drennan, Dave Keaggy, and Marcel Larochel. We became the founders of the Parabats Skydiving Club. We weren’t particularly interested in jumping from an airplane at 2500 feet and landing on a target. We were making most of our jumps from 12,500 and wanted to fly like a bird. We had a lot to learn, but by trial and error Wes and I made our first hook-up.


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We found ourselves jumping at various D.Z s in Southern California; Pyru, Perris, Lancaster, Avenal, Taft, ocean jumps, and so on. It was at Avenal that Bob, Wes and I made our first 3-way and later, with Dave, our first 4-way. We were jumping with another club called the *** Condors

from Pasadena and spent a year jumping there and having a great time. Buquor fell madly in love with Joann. The people of Avenal treated us like royalty, and I started instructing a few of them in the sport of skydiving.
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I don’t know if we did this purposely or if it just happened by accident, but we had the heavy jumpers exit first. I recall Marcel, who had a few extra pounds, exiting last one day and passing us like a freight train going to hell; scared the poop out of us. He never went last again.


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Unbelievable as it seems, we did not make the connection with the difference in our individual weights and body mass etc. I would come to realize this factor years later. We were just a group of people who liked to fling themselves out of airplanes.


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Oh Yeah. In those early days many thought we were deranged or had a death wish. Eventually we tired of driving the 240 miles each way and moved on.


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We wound-up jumping with the Rumbleseat Skydivers and others at Taft and had a blast jumping from a Twin Beech. These were the days of baton passes, grab ass, and just plain general freefall mayhem.


Dave bought a Cessna 170 and Bob Buquor and I found ourselves making exhibition jumps in Mexico . Bob fell madly in love with Teresa. Bob and I were the only ones left of the Parabats. Bob was taking pictures of people in freefall now, and with his Voitlander strapped to the back of his hand, he was getting some great shots. We continued to jump at most of the D.Z.s of the day including Oceanside , Corona , Lost Hills, and others. We returned to Elsinore for a stint and Bob fell madly in love with Beverly. However, after a few months of romancing, Beverly became fearful of meeting with Bob. She was afraid her husband would find out. Shucks!
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Late 1963 and early of 1964 I was instructing students At Fox Field in Lancaster when a girl student of mine gave my phone number to a guy she met who was interested in making a parachute jump. I told this guy, Jerry Bird, to come by my house on Saturday morning and he would make his first jump at Fox Field. Without doubt, Jerry was the best student I ever had. I think it was on Jerry’s tenth jump that Jerry Bird, Bob Buquor and I exited from Dave Keaggy’s Cessna over Fox Field from an altitude of 10,000 feet. He was on his way to becoming the world’s first famous skydiver.


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Anyone who has ever jumped at Fox Field will tell you that it’s too damn windy most days for the old W.W.II surplus round 28’ parachutes. In the spring of 1964, the operators of the skydiving business at Fox (Chuck and Pep Hill) decided to move west to Arvin where there was practically no wind at all. I went to investigate and fell in love with the place, and so did Buquor who fell madly in love with Vanessa and married her.


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Dave followed a few months later with a Cessna 195. We had a number of pilots come and go who flew us at Arvin; Gene with two 195s and Mark for a few weeks with a Twin Beech. However, it was Dave Keaggy with his Cessna 195 and Walt Mercer with his Howard (2-plane shot) that we jumped from on that special day when we made the first 8-man star or 8-way as it is now called.


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It became quite apparent that Arvin was attracting some of top jumpers of the times; jumpers I had known from other D.Z.s such as Bill Stage, Bill Newell, Don Henderson, Lance Hazaroe, Don Oliva and more. A new group of jumpers who were interested and eager to learn relative work appeared also. Buquor and I thought we were back in Arvin again. Buquor, by this time, was a professional photographer, and jumpers were eager to get on a load that he was going to photograph.


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The first four-way at Arvin was performed by Don Henderson, Mitch Poteet, Louie Paproski, and Andy Keech in the early part of 1964, with Buquor capturing the action with his brownie. Later, five and six-way stars were put together on a regular basis.


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Arvin became a jump center that attracted people who sensed that it was the place to be. Unlike Taft or Elsinore with hangers where you could escape from the heat, Arvin had nothing to offer but hard parched dirt with scraggly weeds and bones and blazing sun. Still, there was magnetism in the air. It seemed to take forever, however, before we were able to make an eight-way.


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O.K. now; let’s get back to about two to three weeks before we made the Big Eight. It was late in the day, and we had just finished making another failed attempt at an 8-way. We were sitting and discussing the jump trying to figure-out what to try next. Considering the fact that we had a strong 6-way going, it was disheartening to have the seventh and eighth jumper pass by us like a ton of bricks. My mind flashed back to Avenal when Marcel came streaking by us like a freight train. How in hell could I forget something like that; something I’d known for years. I shook my head thinking—Brian, you’re a dumb-ass. I felt like a stupid nerd as I spoke to the jumpers and said, *** I think we’re doing things bassackwards. What we have are fast fallers and slow fallers. We’ve been putting the slow fallers out first with the idea that the fast fallers can get to us quickly or before we run out of time. I think the slow fallers should go out last.


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There was silence as the words were digested. Finally, Bill Stage said, *** Hell, Brian you flyers will never get down to us.

Of course I argued that it might take a little longer but once there all we had to do was attain a modified French Frog position and hook-up. The idea was kicked around for awhile before everyone thought it was worth trying.
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The first thing we knew it was October 17, 1965, and we had just made the Word’s First 8-Man Star. Oh Yeah. We did do some celebrating that night, Bob, but, why in hell did it take so long for us to figure out what to do? Can I say evolve? May I ask *** Why didn’t some bright engineer come along with blue prints for the Mustang car in 1914 instead of letting Henry Ford screw around for all those years with the Model T?

Shall I say, evolve? Why didn’t some bright kid come along and say to us that the slow fallers had to wear vests containing lead weights. Jeeze! That’s as simple as the nose on your face. It simply had to evolve. I ultimately wore a vest weighing 12 pounds.
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Bob, I have to apologize for such a lengthy answer to your question. I got started and couldn’t stop. I will add that jumping with such a fine group of people has had a lifelong beneficial effect on us all. There is one person I shall mention who has spent most of his adult life as the Administrator of the Bob Buquor Memorial Star Crest awards. Yes, I’m talking about my close buddy, Bill Newell. Bill thought that Bob Buquor had not received the recognition that he deserved as a skydiving photographer and therefore started the Star Crest Awards in his memory. Bill has done an outstanding job these many years, and I commend him for it.


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Let me close by mentioning that the Arvin Good Guys went on to make the World’s First 10-man Star on July 2nd, 1967. The participants were: Gary Young, John Rinard, Clark Fischer, Jim Dann, Bill Stage, Jerry Bird, Terry Ward, Bill Newell, Brian Williams , and Paul Gorman. I’m proud to say Jerry Bird and Paul Gorman were former students of mine.

Clear skies, Brian Williams SCR-8
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Reply From: Bill Newell, SCR #3, Starcrest founder, mailto:bbmsc@att.net

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Well thanks there Brian, Seems like yesterday to me too. Typing the SCR's into a database every few days lets me remember those years - from '65 to ’87 numbers went to 12,400 SCR's … we’re about three times that big now.



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But I've seen a lot of familiar names go by, and it's amazing when they'll pop up - folks who you know and knew, but who came along later and later -- The SCR/SCS applicants are coming in more frequently now than in the last few years, and it could be a new awakening for the newbees.
Hail the 43rd anniversary of the first 8 man star!!



Everyone take air, Bitchin Bill Newell, SCR# 3,
Father of the Star Crest Awards
Pat Works nee Madden Travis Works, Jr .B1575, C1798, D1813, Star Crest Solo#1, USPA#189,

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Anyone else out there like me, a charity case SCR? It was in the mid 70s at Elsinore. Some kind hearted RW geniuses decided to give a kid a break and put him into a star. We exited the DC 3 and all of a sudden people were docking on me. Then, suddenly, I was in a big star. Holy cow! I had only done bad two ways before. I was walking on air after we landed.

When I came back to my home DZ with the SCR patch the Sky Gods thought I must have stolen it from someone.

Mark
2018 marks half a century as a skydiver. Trained by the late Perry Stevens D-51 in 1968.

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Anyone else out there like me, a charity case SCR?
Mark



Kinda, but with an ulterior motive. -beer-

1976, Ken Coleman and Rocky Evans took me out of Mr Douglas for my first DC-3 jump, first in Deland too. Then Snoots are for Toots came down and put me into a big round for WSCR/SCR.

The following weekend I brought a keg. Honest! THAT is another story but I think I would be repeating myself here.

jon

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Hi Pat,
17OCT65 I was jumping with Southland Skydivers out of a Cessna 170 at Hammond Airport, La. two man attempts and an occasional "complete" was the norm. California was "Light years" ahead of us and everyone else. The storys of "Big Stars" out West made their way to us and the Quest is history. "MY" SCR was still a ways off but that's another story. 'Tell ya' about it sometimes at the Rumbleseat...
SCR-2034, SCS-680

III%,
Deli-out

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