Feb 3, 2020
All right. When I was in my early 20s… I guess all my life, I’ve been, sort of, a ne’er-do-well, a man who’s always too late. I was on a picnic, an island, near Baton Rouge, and some men parachuted into the island, and I had been drinking beer, and my friend had been drinking beer. So, I said… They’re drunk and parachuted and maybe guided themselves into the island. I said, “Yeah, I’d like to do that.” I was, pretty much, inebriated, and I said to my friend, “You going to do it?” He said, “Yeah. If you do it, I’ll do it.”
So we went back, and then we sobered up, and we realized what we had committed ourselves to, and we were scared to death. I was scared to death. I made 24 jumps in all. My friends made something like 500 jumps. So 24 is like you’re barely scratching the surface.
On one of the jumps, I arched, and then I went to get my ripcord, and then, I said, “No, I’d better arch again.” So I did that, and then, I said, “Well, it’s time to get it,” after about three or four seconds, and I went, and it wasn’t there.
It was… Where is it? And I started tumbling, and it was in the air. Fortunately, I tumbled. I was on my back, and I saw the ripcord. So I pulled it and my parachute opened, and about 10 seconds later, I hit the ground. My knees were shaking so badly, that I couldn’t stand up. Then, my friends came and said, “You jerk. You’re going to get us thrown out of this, so that we won’t be able to use this anymore, use the fields anymore.” So, I went home, and I made about 10 more jumps, but after that 24th one, I was just… I swore off it. I just couldn’t do it again. So that’s it. Yeah I still did 10 more jumps, you can always tell an intelligent man…
Okay, I jumped about 3,000 feet, and until you have about 30 or 40 jumps, you can’t free fall. Free fall is a little more dangerous. So I was not to that level yet. I jumped from an airplane. I went up in airplane, and I looked at the side and there’s no door. I was scared to death. Because I had never been in a small plane before and there was no door.
I made the decision to start doing this while I was drunk, and then you went through with it because, well, I had my pride. You know?
What it was is, when I went for the first time, I didn’t notice, but my thumb, I think, caught. Then, I tried to arch again for three or four seconds. Then, I went back for it, and it was missing. I never told anyone, only the only persons I could tell were my buddies, and they would’ve said “Don’t come with us anymore.” So that’s about it.
On a good jump, it’s enthralling. All of the people who did it regularly were addicted. If they didn’t jump every two weeks, a long time, they’d start getting nervous.