The Aluminum Asylum

The Aluminum Asylum
Our home on wheels

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

It's Tuesday and I am finally posting about our big weekend. Grandpa made his tandem jump on Saturday. We drove to Beeville, Texas, about 155 miles north of Weslaco, near Corpus Christi. We left about 9:15 am. Here is a smiling Gene with his lady friends Dorothy and Jeannie prior to leaving for the day.

We stopped for lunch at the Cracker Barrel in Corpus Christi after checking into our hotel. The hotel was quite a disappointment after viewing the photos as listed on the internet. It looked beautiful but is really run down. What do ya want for 6000 points I guess. Other Choice Hotels are like 20000 points in Corpus. You surely get what you "pay" for.

Grandpa was really quiet at lunch and barely spoke on the way to Beevilee. Hmmm, wonders he getting cold feet? Nah. Scared? Perhaps, we shall see! His tandem jump is scheduled for 4 pm. We arrive at 3:10 and the 3 pm jumper is still waiting. Finally after about an hour's delay, the 3 pm birthday girl jumps. This was her birthday present from her folks...she has a rugrat, about three that his Daddy can't handle and the kid acted up the whole time Mommy was up in the air. I have NO patience for bratty kids. We all got neck cramps trying to see the plane and the jumpers. Finally we see them and the landing is very good. The gal seems quite happy. By now it is 4:30. We are instructed to go back to the headquarters just outside the Beeville Municipal Airport. We have forms and forms to complete (these folks are really covering their a$$ from a legal standpoint let me tell ya!) and we watch a film. Gene is signing his name and not paying attention to the film, so Dorothy scolds him and says if you don't watch this movie, you might get hurt. I think he is overwhelmed. The instructor comes in and asks the gal who works there, Misty, how old Gene is. "91?" Alex the instructor is a bit unsettled. He's never had someone this OLD jump with him. He takes grandpa and puts him in a rigging and hangs him from the ceiling like they do jumpers during training. He makes grandpa do all kinds of things. After he does each maneuver, Alex apologizes and says he just wanted to make sure Gene could do all the things he would have to do. He says Gene doesn't look or act 91.

By now, it is like 5:45. I am tired and bored. We are finally off to the airport for the jump. After another 20 minutes, they harness Gene up, the photographer jumper arrives and begins to tape, beginning with a brief interview. Here are some photos of the prep and getting on the plane.

This is Alex, the instructor harnessing him up. Alex is quite a big guy, about 6'6". I wouldn't mind diving with him either..

Gene is trying on goggles to go over his glasses but decided to just take off his specs. Sure hope he can see up there. The other guy is the photographer, can't remember his name, but he too was quite a large fellow.

Getting on the little plane...That's what would keep me from doing this...that plane was held together with rubber bands and duck way would you see me climbing aboard.

Shutting the door and beginning the taxi.
Well, it took FOREVER to get to the right hight(10000 feet maybe?) Finally we see the shoots of both the photog and grandpa. It looks as if he got quite a ride. We had trouble getting either still shots or movie clips when they were so high up, but we managed a few...

Here we go!

I was able to get some good video footage which I am going to work on uploading next. I should be able to add the video here. I also plan on putting it on YouTube. I am not yet proficient at the video stuff so this should be a learning experience of sorts. Grandpa got up and I think he was in a stupor, he couldn't even talk. The photog who had landed first, hit hard and tore up his leg a bit. We finally unhooked the old fart and off we went for dinner. They told us an hour for the video. After a so-so dinner at Chili's (but the beer was cold...) we went back. Unfortunately, the crew decided to do some free fall diving and didn't return to the office to work on the video. They promised to send it FedEx on Tuesday. Well, it still isn't here, so Paulie called and left a nasty message. You know Paulie, he figures nasty works wonders, the putz.
Well, that's all for now. It's gonna be 100 today and 103 tomorrow. I forced Paul to run the AC...I don't CARE if the nights are freakin' cool, the days will kill ya!