A GHOLSON DID THIS ON HIS 60th BIRTHDAY
The following is an adventure of Jeff Gholson who is a descendant of "Elder" Wm. Gholson line.
I just had to find a way to thumb my nose at finally reaching the big
six-oh. I hope you can open & view these photos of my birthday skydive. I also got
a videotape out of the deal and chose Tom Petty's "Free Falling" as the music background...
And before I go on -- yes, the skydive center gave me a senior discount for
the training/jump package!
Everything went OK. As it was my first time, the rules of the PCA required
that I be accompanied by two licensed "jumpmasters".
We leaped from the airplane at 13000 feet and did a freefall (about 120 mph)
during which I had to demonstrate to my jumpmasters, with hand signals, that
I had absorbed the key training & safety procedures.
When I pulled the ripcord at 5000 feet, I was on my own to descend to the
ground (so eerily quiet & the descent seemed to last forever) to a soft
Six people were in my first-timers class, 4 twenty-something gals, one
other guy + myself. (There were a lot of gals out there jumping!).
I wondered if among those 4 gals one or more might chicken out -- no way! --
all of them went thru with their jumps without ever wavering -- nerves of
steel! Actually, a fair number of people take the 5-hour class but find
they just can't muster what it takes to leap out of the plane. The skydive
pricing even includes provisions for this eventuality.
After finishing the class around noon, we had to sit around and wait until
nearly sunset for the wind to decrease, which sidelined student jumpers
all afternoon. But the time went pretty fast, especially watching
licensed skydivers doing their thing all afternoon, even thrilling &
complex formations of them making patterns in the sky freefalling.
But the wait was worth it because the waning daylight made the views from
up there really magic.
But no doubt about it, it was scary jumping out of that plane!
Each of us first-timers got a lot of congratulations in the skydive
center's bar afterwards: they played each of our skydive videos on their
bigscreen TV and after they played, a lot of regulars there stopped by our
table to well-wish, back-slap, hug, high-five, kiss, etc. They even treated free beers for all us first timers!
If you've never been to one of these skydive centers, by all means go just
to have a look! Take kids! It is quite a spectacle and the people-watching is half the fun --these skydiving types are quite a diverse group to say the least!
It was an unforgettable experience! The training was so competently done
~ it actually mitigated a lot of apprehension for all of us first-timers.
Here is the website of the place we went to, and there is a lot of general
info about skydiving there, if you're interested:
Thanks for your patience in enduring this long-winded account, but I just
had to share the fun!
All The Best!