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  1. Lake Chelan is geographically at a really cool place in Washington. The lake itself offers tons of recreation opportunities - I believe it is at least 52 miles long. Definitely, lots of stuff to do when you are there...At altitude, on a clear day, you will see Mt. Rainier (over 100 miles away) as well as Lake Chelan, the Columbia River and the amazing geographic transition of the mountain foothills, to the plains of Eastern Washington. Of course, the DZ owners are really cool and they are super experienced in all aspects of skydiving and rigging. I say, check it out!
  2. Hard to believe it has been 5 years already. I could hear his voice in my mind as I re-read this post and the letter he wrote you. Drinking a scotch on the rocks in his honor tonight. Miss you bro!
  3. Not sure what Joe's rank is - but, he sure looks like a "drill" Sergeant! Yeah, baby! Happy Anniversary! As for what now? Ya' got any doors that lock in your house? Five - ten minutes should do the trick (for him at least)! Congrats on the anniversary. Hope all is well! A.
  4. Unfortunately, from personal experience I can relate all too well. What gjhdiver said is very much on the mark. Long after the hurt has faded and real life has understandably moved on for others, the family will still be numb and hurting. I call it the "invisible scar." Life has moved on, time has gone by and we are supposed to be "better" so we act "better" on the outside, but inside we are far from it. It takes a long time to even start feeling better and there are a lot of highs and lows that go along with that. For those of you that are close to Corrine and the girls, stay in touch with them. The connection, care, understanding of their grief will be appreciated more than you may realize and I'm pretty certain of that. Sincere condolences to the family and close friends of Deuce. And to JP, in the words of Mother Love Bone, "life is what you make it, and if you make it death, then rest your soul." If you happen to run into my brother somewhere, give him one of your famous hugs for me... AW
  5. I like the dad's reaction (or lack of any). I bet he is thinking, "I'm with you son, because if there was a God, I wouldn't have to put up with this shrill woman either." As for the Christmas present threat, I think Dr. Seuss nailed it - it's about stuff for most people, not spirituality. The kid looked like he was about 12-13. "All of a sudden he doesn't believe in God." Well, mom - maybe it's because, all of a sudden, he's old enough to think for himself and has realized that MAYBE, the information he was force fed since birth may not be true. I bet that as a result of this, he'll try pot, have sex out of wedlock and do a lot of other bad shit.
  6. Thank you Jaye! All of the hugs, whether real or figurative, have and continue to be helpful. A statute of limitations does not exist with grief... A.
  7. My Heart aches for Spencer's family. To the immediate family, please accept my sincere condolences on your loss. Ditto to the Skydive Snohomish crew.... In the last several weeks, I've had numerous people say to me, "I'm at a loss for words." Well, I'm still at a loss for words. But, that is okay, what is important is that people reached out and tried to say what they were feeling. The family will understand, so know that it is okay to, not know "the right words." Say what you are feeling. You will feel better and those that were closest will appreciate your thoughts and intentions. Sincerely, Andy Whipple
  8. Karen, Thanks for being there today! Thank you to all who were able to attend and all that have posted such kind and soothing words! That being said, I have a crappy computer! I could not open the word file. I would love to have a copy of your words that Barry read. I do agree, Barry does ROCK. If you are reading this Barry, I can't thank you enough.....Todd and Raist too. I will be in touch with you all soon. I have met too many really cool people in the last two weeks to count. It totally sucks that we meet this way, but I am grateful to know that my brother was fortunate enough to have such wonderful friends. Thank you all! Andy
  9. Raistlin, I'm responding to your post, but much of what I say is directed to all who have made posts. I am Josh's middle brother, Andy. I have had the honor and pleasure of meeting many of you already and look forward to meeting many more of you soon. I, like many of you, am still numb and will always have an ache in my heart for my bro. In the last several days, many of you have said things that really capture Josh's essence. Raistlin, you in particular, have so eloquently and articulately and in many ways very accurately captured who Josh was. All of the posted words have helped me and other family members cope with our grief. Most of you know that my dad died in November. Losing Josh, especially in this way, is so much worse. This totally sucks! But, we have to keep on keepin' on. As I mentioned earlier, I have had the opportunity to meet many of you already. Last Friday, I went up to the DZ and met several folks. Saturday, I was able to go up to Index with a group to watch 9 BASE Jumpers do a jump in Josh's memory. That was such an honor to be there and it was a wonderful sight to behold. I always knew my brother had good friends, but until this weekend, I didn't realize what a tight knit community you all are. I am Josh's brother and we were very close, but it is truly heart warming to know that he had a lot of other brothers as well as some sisters out there who loved him just as much. It is really a beautiful thing. Josh's spirit will always be up at Snohomish and with all of his BASE friends. An ash dive has been discussed for the spring - maybe this summer on his birthday, but those details will have to wait until later - getting through Sunday is the goal of the moment. Josh and I first talked of "doing a skydive" about 15 years ago. I never followed through and he did and, understandably got hooked. I plan on participating in this particular jump - we'll finally get to jump together... Again, thank you all for your kind words, sympathies and support. It is appreciated more than words can express. Andy Whipple (PS - the service starts at 2:30. The program will run for about an hour and then there will be beverages and open mic time for another hour or so.)