A great turnout and perfect weather teamed up to provide a memorable weekend at the 6th Old Farts Reunion.
On October 23-24, dozens of true pioneers from the early days of Sport Parachuting gathered with many younger friends at a private airport near Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California for the 6th bi-annual Old Farts Reunion.
With over 160 registered participants, the Reunion offered something for everyone. Some came just to enjoy the camaraderie of old friends, and to take a fond look back at “the good old days,” via photos, videos and testimonials. Others came to skydive and to party, to live the present moment to the fullest.
The participants included a veritable “Who’s who” of notable parachutists, including, Bob Sinclair, Jerry Bourquin, Kevin Donnelly, Gary Douris, Jay Gifford, Larry Perkins, Garth Taggert, Stan Troeller, Dennis Trepanier, Chuck Wycliffe; the list goes on and on. But, don’t think that they came just for nostalgia; most came to skydive all day and party all night!
This year’s Old Farts Honoree of the Year was none other than Ray Cottingham. The sentiment on his plaque sums up the high esteem in which he is held: “Master Parachutist, Expert Cameraman, Friend To All.”
Under perfect blue skies of an Indian Summer Fall weekend, smiling jumpers, young and old, made load after load from the Perris SharkAir SuperOtter, totaling up a record number of jumps at a Reunion.
The evening entertainment included a free raffle conducted by another icon of the sport; Pat Works. Pat enjoyed giving away dozens of valuable prizes and some funky ones too. Old Farts won free jumps donated by both Elsinore DZ and Skydive Perris. They won free introductory flights in the Perris SkyVenture wind tunnel. They won great skydiving apparel from Ground Zero at Elsinore, goodies from SquareOne, and skydiving art and memorabilia from Pat and Jan Works too.
The video presentations were also a highlight. Tom Courbat impressed everyone with a new world premier video of the first-ever CReW 8-Stack, compiled from the original Carl Boenish 16mm movie footage. Ken Crabtree wowed the crowd with his “Who is Al Krueger?” video, which had recently been premiered at the USPA Nationals for Al’s USPA Lifetime Achievement Award.
There was much more food and beer than could possibly be consumed, more stories than anyone could possibly listen too, more jokes than anyone could possibly laugh at. But we tried, oh how we tried!
This year’s Reunion was a tremendous success, both on the ground and in the air. The Old Farts proved once again that they can still skydive and party with the best of ‘em. The next time you meet ‘some old fart’ at the DZ remember: Old Farts Rock!
Jerry Swovelin is proud to have organized the Old Fart’s Reunion; he invites you to visit us online at www.ofr5.com.