Sunday, July 31, 2011

My First 4 Stack

I’ve been digitizing old videos and came across my first 4 stack jump. When I started jumping I was determined to try everything. CRW (canopy relative work) is when jumpers deploy on exit and start doing things together under canopy.

There’s no free fall.

CRW makes for kinda boring video, but I can’t think of anything scarier your first time. Jumpers don’t want to be anywhere near another open canopy, let alone deliberately making contact.

At the end of the day we’d often party ‘til pretty late. My buddy Louie had an old school bus he’s converted into an RV. He painted it white and had NASA logos all over it. It was a great place to sleep, and was long enough to pack your parachute in.

Louie would do fish tails and figure 8s in the parking lot as I hung on to the end of a rope in my roller blades. You’d be surprised how maneuverable a school bus can be!

Around 4:30am I awoke in the bus to someone kicking me in the leg. I was groggy and hungover. It was still dark, but I could make out my friend Apple’s long silhouette looming over me. I didn’t actually see him drinking out of it, but he had an open, half empty bottle of Captain Morgan in his hand. I assumed he had never made it to bed.

“I just woke up the pilot and he says he’ll meet us on the runway in an hour,” he said.

Our pilot was another buddy of mine who tried to get me to work for him as a private eye. But that’s another story for another time.

That first 4 stack was one of the most satisfying, peaceful experiences of my life.

A year later I was doing another one at Sullivan. It was one of the many times our group had been thrown off the airport and had to find another airport.

By then I was an old pro. When we landed, people actually applauded.

The first thing I noticed was a pretty girl arriving at the airport with my buddy Gary Peek. He’s our USPA regional conference director now and had been for quite a while. The girl was Kim, the mother of my children.

Check out the link of the video Louie took of my first 4 stack. I’m the guy on top. My canopy is white from above and rainbow from below. The guy with long hair and the bandanna around his head is Apple. The other guy is my buddy D. Wright. I believe all three of these guys were part of my skydiving wedding. The white bus at the end of the video is the bus where it all began. Louie wore the video helmet and it’s his voice you hear.


Tracy said...

Man that is THE coolest sky dive video I've ever seen. Absolutly awesome!!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this! The softness and freedom of the descent without any anxiety or fear!

Interesting, your passion for sky-diving, given your fear of heights. I kind of understand though. I always had a fear of heights, but loved to jump off the crossbars of the old bridge into Spring River in my home town.

Your Mom