Oil Can

#1

Tin Man

Dirt's Childhood Playmate
Joined
Mar 9, 2015
Messages
18,754
Likes
9,834
#1
I'm not much for self-aggrandizement (I actually studied and practiced Buddhism, Weezer :p). I started this thread to park TL;DR posts. I'm something of a loquacious soul, and my multi-paragraph posts aren't always well received in other threads.

To be candid, I'm no OMG. Still, here it is, my VN journal of sorts.
 
#3

Tin Man

Dirt's Childhood Playmate
Joined
Mar 9, 2015
Messages
18,754
Likes
9,834
#3
Tin Man origin story

Though I first trained in '74, there was a long hiatus before I took up skydiving in earnest. Gear and training techniques had radically changed by the time I resumed in 1998. My re-entry into the sport was via AFF - accelerated freefall training with ram-air canopies capable of directed flight.

By the Fall of '99, I was dedicated and accomplished enough to be in the market for a rig. The DZO wanted me to try out a used rig for sale. I did so on a flight in a CASA - a twin-engine beast of a boogie plane capable of taking 32 jumpers to altitude in each load. The sky would be full of parachutists. Landing pattern discipline was key.

On the ground, the airfield management had dismantled some decrepit hangers, leaving a huge pile of scrap metal at the western edge of the main landing area. This wasn't optimal for having a larger than usual number of parachutists descending with each load. Landing pattern discipline was key.

My first (and only) jump of the day was a fun jump with one other skydiver, a two-way. It was a gas. Everything went fine. Jumpers under canopy were stacking up in the pattern and flying conservatively, as they should.

Relative ground winds dictated that final approach would be from the west. I'm on final approach, flying over the grass strip between the runway and taxi way. Under 100 feet above ground level, a skydiver known to me carves out of the pattern into a slot directly in front of me. She's too close, and her inputs are erratic. The risk of a collision under canopy is too high, and if one occurs, both of us are likely to suffer severe injuries or death.

I elect to shift my flight path, vectoring to the left then correcting to the right to resume course to the main landing area. This takes me over the tarmac, over the drop zone hangar, and over the huge pile of scrap metal...

On my new final heading, I note that my descent rate relative to my forward progress has increased. Some nuance of the relative wind, buildings and objects on the ground. My overflight of the huge pile of scrap metal is going to be close. Pulling my legs up underneath me should give me ~4-6 feet of clearance, however, wind rotation off the closer tree line is pushing me into the path of a pole sticking 12 feet out of the top of the huge pile of scrap metal. Any adjustments to my flight inputs could cause me to drop into the huge pile of scrap metal. Would I clear the pole?

No. I fly directly into the pole. Impact is to my sternum. I flip around the pole and tumble to the ground on the opposite side of the huge pile of scrap metal. The DZO comes running out, scowling down at me. I simply state, "It's OK. The gear isn't damaged." The DZO scoffs, "Well, that's the important thing," and storms off.

I daisy up the lines, gather the chute, and trudge back into the hanger. My favorite instructor from my training days shouts out, "Hey! It's the Tin Man!" The nickname stuck.

I did not jump again that day. A fellow fun jumper who happen to be a nurse told me in a disapproving tone that I better stay grounded til I sussed out the consequences of my ignominious "landing." My muscles and joints were stiff for several days. I had a walnut sized bump on my sternum which took a couple of years to completely subside.

As for the jumper who broke landing pattern discipline to carve in front of me and prompt my flight path change, she got a stern talking to. That was it.

Finally, no, I didn't buy the rig. It had bad juju for me.

I am Tin Man! Hear the flap of my slider as I overfly you!
 
Likes: 3 people
#11

Tin Man

Dirt's Childhood Playmate
Joined
Mar 9, 2015
Messages
18,754
Likes
9,834
#11
The Stuff of Memories

In 1971, Andy Kurlansky opened a little walk-up pizza joint near the Emory University campus in Atlanta. He called it, Everybody's Pizza. It was a favorite haunt of southern-bred hippies, stoners, and denizens of the night, as well as students. Really good pizza pies (even if you were not stoned). For 41 years, through flush times and hard, Everybody's kept feeding everybody. In that time, they expanded the original location to a spiffy sit-down place. They even opened a second location in the Virginia-Highlands neighborhood.

My life took me away from Atlanta and back again several times over the decades. Each time that I was back in A-town, I would eat at Everybody's and/or take a pie walkin' on a regular basis. Mellow Mushroom was born. Pizza delivery franchises opened like blooming herpes sores across the landscape. Nothing put a dent in Everybody's business. We loved their pies, and we had memories connecting us to it.

Even when I settled north of the ATL in this last move, I faithfully made the trip into town to get Everybody's pies. One just could not go too long without an Everybody's pie. After my very first colonoscopy, I broke my fast with Everybody's pizza. It seemed to make the entire ordeal worthwhile.

Then, in March of 2013, the Kurlanskys announced that Everybody's was closing. They were retiring. They didn't want to sell Everybody's as an ongoing business. They closed up shop, sold off the equipment, fixtures, and the like, and Everybody's was no more.

It was heartbreaking. The loss led some to characterize the Kurlanskys as selfish, depriving generations of loyal customers any future chance of enjoying Everybody's pizza pies. Maybe they weighed the option to entrust all that made Everybody's special to others and couldn't place their faith in any candidates. Maybe they didn't. It was their business. They chose to resign it to memories.

I really want an Everybody's pizza pie right now...
 
Likes: 1 person

VN Store



Sponsors
 

Top