“You’re damn right I got the blues, from my head down to my shoes” - Buddy Guy
I thought maybe today would be the first day without tears, but it’s not time yet. I have lost two true and loyal friends. These are both people who have made a difference in the lives of many skydivers, not just mine. They were both leaders - facilitators, motivators and mentors.
Danny I have known the longest. He was a mover and shaker at the political level. Yes, he sure could be a jerk. But he didn’t mince words, and you knew where you stood with him. He was always a loyal friend, willing to share, never turning his back on you or acting like he didn’t know you. He made sure I got to my first WFFC. He told me yes I could do front float out of the Porter. And yes, right now I am angry with him. We all know his head was big in more ways than one.
And Bob. More subdued. A mover and shaker at the hands-on level. A loyal and trustworthy friend. He was a welcome fixture at my dropzone with his dog’s leash in one hand and a cigar in the other. He was a natural leader, willing to share his time and talents with you no matter what your level of skill. I’m sure I never would have known what kind of a hero he was if it had not been for this incident. I am so impressed at the difference he has made in so many lives.
Now is the time to initiate some sort of common-sense policies about HP landings. We do not need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We do not need to mandate additional training or licensure through the USPA. If there are no other canopies in the landing area – have at it. Swooping is an awesome discipline – we have some of the best in the world right here. But there has to be zero tolerance for high-speed/radical maneuvers in the main landing area when other canopies are in the air. Period. Doesn’t matter who you are. The consequences need to be swiftly meted and equally enforced.