This could be me...no, really. OK, OK, it has to go like this. No kidding, there I was (all good airborne stories start like that)! ...waiting in a dramatic pause. 3,500 ft., full gear, I must have been carying a 135 lb. pack. The static line got stuck in the door so I chewed it off with my teeth, then in an act of sheer brilliance and amazing dexterity, I sliced the pack open with my K-Bar knife (the only great thing the Marines ever gave us). The chute deployed like Mae West and I plumeted to the ground like a stone. In my most pious voice, I called out to St. Michael, patron saint of all airborne soldiers, and the chute fully deployed. I hit the ground like a brick...feet - knees - face. Shook off the concussion, wiped off the blood, and leapt to my feel calling the rest of the stick sissies for taking so long to reach the ground.
So, now do you want the truth? 60 jumps out of all sorts of high performance aircraft. Day time, nighttime, with green eggs and ham. 3,500 ft., perfect day, no pack, no gear...nothing by wind in my face and a gorgeous view of Mount Ranier. What can I say...there is a God! Days like this one made up for all the others; cold, wet and tired. The photo is from ca. 1985, I just scanned it today. Many more to follow, probobally on a web page as there will likely be many. I wouldn't change my life - but I do miss those days (grin)!