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|My weekend at Lodi|
by Dave "Livendive" - email@example.com
Memorial weekend I took the girlfriend (who handled her first boogie VERY well) and headed out Thursday morning on the 14 hour drive. Made a couple stops and pulled in at about 1:30 a.m. on Friday.
On Friday, I made three RW jumps, putting increasing stress on my shoulder to see what it could take. These jumps were with Bozo, Harju, FlyinAmazon, 3secBob, Dornay, and others. Out of the three jumps, we got zero points. Went to Galt for dinner and had carnitas, which are a treat I can only get when I find myself in Lodi and only on Friday evenings (not sold ANYWHERE in WA state), and I missed them last year.
Due to my shoulder dislocation a couple weeks ago, I decided to change plans on taking my girlfriends sister and her boyfriend on tandems, and Duke and Spurgeon took them on Saturday morning instead. I chased the sister with Spurgeon, but neither of them weigh more than a buck twenty and the fall rate was toooo sloooow for me to dock with any kind of finesse (average 107 on my ProTrack), so I just smiled and hugged the beach ball.
Then I made a 9-way with Frefa11n, and Dances with Clouds thrown into the mix of other rec.dotters. A couple folks (Lisa one of them) got their Double Eagles on it, then I swapped canopies and put a Lightning 176 in my container (made for a Stiletto 135). Went up and built my beerth diamond, closing the tail, then we broke and built a stack, and rotated it. I struggled with the rotations as I'm not used to a floating problem (an older 143 is considerably different than a brand new 176 when your exit weight is 240), but it was a hoot. The newscrews running around trying to get info on the fatality were a bit irritating. Blind John and Dan Fairchild were hanging out together, but were any of the reporters interested in a positive story on them? Of course not. The fire Saturday night was HUGE, and HOT. I mean it, it was absurd, but really fun. I mixed up a batch of duckfarts, and passed the bottle around. It seems several people like them things.
Sunday morning 3secBob, Bozo, and I went and played with 3-stack rotations. I think we got through it three times, maybe four. The first time I hit Jim, he had planed up about three seconds earlier, wasn't yet looking, and I was in front risers so I had some speed. The "whoa!!!" was pretty funny. Later, he hit Bob, not with his nose, but rather something south of his bridle attachment. It was great fun watching Bob's feet run like crazy over Jimbo's topskin, completely ineffective, like a first S/L student. Of course he had to whine about me trying to make a ghost of him with my last attempt at docking. Hey CRW Mike put the idea in my head that a wrap might be fun! (just kidding!)
Having fun on a wind break Bonfire in Lodi
Photos © 2001 Lisa Hyde
My Diablo went back into my container then, and later we did a 6-way for a few points that was pretty amusing. This was also the day that we pied Marcie, watched the guy land his main-reserve entanglement, and postponed Jan's ash dive due to winds that came up in the afternoon. Went down to Lodi (the Parachute Center is actually a couple miles north of Lodi) for Italian food and BS'd with another jumper who just happened to be sitting across from us. Back at the DZ, the odd music guy was encouraging karaoke, and my redneck friend Bob, sporting a Booth style mustache and overalls, was bogarting the microphone to sing "Tom Dooley". Charlene also sang an a cappella song for Kathy that was great! And her finale was not to be missed (unless you blinked).
Monday morning (Memorial Day) we made Jan's jump. George carried the ashes of Russ (Jan's dad) and Jimbo carried Jan's ashes, with Kelly and I finishing up the 4-way base. Marcie, Spurgeon, Bobbi, Duke, Lisa, and Pete chased, with lurking being more of the plan than docking. Jan yanked Jim out of the base and dragged him low, and the rest of us broke and mosied down to him. George did a great job flying without the use of his arms, both of which were preoccupied with bringing Russ along for his first jump, and the base rebuilt plenty high. We sat there with the 4-way for a few moments, then Kelly reached over and helped George release Russ. Another few moments after he got his grip back, I reached over to the black and red bag Jim was holding and we let Jan go. Grips back, we held the 4 way for another thousand feet or two, then broke.
I think a lot of people take the phrase "Blue skies, black death" as some sort of machismo, but I never have, rather thinking of it as a balance, like yin and yang or comedy and tragedy. This jump was the epitome of that, as it was an unfortunate gathering in the sky, with a somber purpose, but it was still life at 120 mph, and there was still flying to be done. A couple hugs, beers, and a video dub later, and we were back on the road, getting home at 1:30 this morning. Oh, and after 9 jumps, my shoulder's not even stiff.
It used to be that the "Lost Prairie Boogie" was my only "can't miss" boogie, but after three consecutive Memorial Days at Lodi, I think I'm gonna have to add it to the list.
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