The first order of business was meeting her parents. Kim is 11 years younger than I am and her parents were shocked at my age. Her mother told her she didn’t know if she’d feel comfortable calling me son. The feeling was mutual.
Two weddings were planned, one for us and one for Kim’s folks. I’m going to talk about ours.
A friend of mine named Dennis Jett was a
I was tending bar at the Venice Café at the time and my friend Jeff Lockheed knew John Pertzborn. There’s nothing a skydiver loves more than a camera. Pertzborn was supposed to show up and put us on the news.
The big day came on a chilly, overcast day in October. I taught the first jump course that morning and the wedding would be in the afternoon. The weather was so nasty Pertzborn blew it off but we were determined.
Kim’s parents and a lot of our non-skydiving friends showed up at the Vandalia, Il. airport for the first time. There were 15 people in the wedding party and Sam Johnson was our camera person.
We had a formation planned that had the minister, maid of honor, best man, bride and groom in a circle. The rest formed an aisle behind us and we were supposed to turn after the kiss and fly through them.
At 14,000 feet we exited right into an ice cloud. Everyone was flying with their hands covering their faces. It was like being sand-blasted. My best man, Bob Mudge, gave up and Dan Wright flew in to take his place.
We went through the ceremony motions, I kissed the bride, we turned and got out of there. Kim landed and slipped on ice. She did the most spectacular tumble in front of her parents. I thought her dad was going to kill me for making her jump when she was pregnant.
Bob must have thrown the ring down in disgust. I found it on the ground as soon as I landed.
The ice pellets actually drew blood through our jump suits. My buddy Rob Walsh would talk about it for years as his worst skydiving experience. He died in a terrible plane accident 2 years ago with another good skydiving buddy of mine Scott Cowan.
A great thing about skydivers is they’re easy to please. I bought a half barrel of beer for the reception and that’s all it took. Kim brought a cake but no one touched it.
Sam left his camera helmet on and video taped the whole party. He got drunk and forgot he had it on. He was busted by his girl friend later when the tape revealed an awful lot of girls’ asses.
For the next eleven years I became a family man. The kids are a fantastic experience. They both took to music immediately. Dylan plays piano and trombone. Chloe plays piano and flute. They’re both picking up guitar right now.
The pictures show Chloe’s first piano recital, she is playing Franz Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B minor, and Dylan’s first incarceration.