|The Good Ole Days|
By Tom Dolphin - firstname.lastname@example.org
Back when rocks were soft, dirt was white, and dinosaurs were in free fall over the earth. We were a smaller group, we were brothers that shared fun, companionship, knowledge, and the euphoria that you can only know by jumping.
We didn't need $1,000.000.00 multi engine, climb at the speed of sound, jet fuel burning, aircraft. We were happy and totally satisfied to have one cessna that would run every weekend. We never needed altitude over 7,500 to do our RW jumps, we knew that if you were not skilled enough to do you formations in the allotted 30 seconds that you were in need of help and further training, and any and, all from the greatest skygods to walk the earth on down would talk to you, explain what your weak areas were and would bust their asses to bring "you" up to the speed of the group. "Never" was it ever considered to ask for money to work with and improve the skills of your brother.
We were all a team and only as strong as our weakest member, so no one was to be belittled and left by the wayside. It was our way of life, you did your job during the week, and lived for the weekends at the DZ, snow, sleet, rain, wind, weather made no difference, you knew your brothers would be waiting for you at the DZ.
If you could not jump you organized other types of fun, some of which I sometimes cannot believe that we lived through, but always as brothers, our backs together against this world that thought us insane, and less worthy than others to be a part of it.
You could go to the DZ and leave your billfold full of cash laying of the floor by your gear bag , and if you forgot it, than the next day it would still be there with the cash intact. You could trust your wife, your girlfriend, even your family with these persons and "never" give a second thought, to their safety, and treatment.
You didn't need to buy three new mains a year to keep up with the Joneses, you were not judged by the cost or quality of your gear, you spent your money on jumps, to become a stronger member of the brotherhood, more proficient, more skilled. You were judged by your ability alone, no other things were needed to be considered.
Somewhere in the last 15 years all of these things have become lost, everyone now is an individual with a agenda only for himself, no trust, no brotherhood, only at the DZ on the perfect days, when the "big" aircraft are there, and then only to make three jumps in the two hours he has allotted to be at the DZ, or to test jump his "new" 54 sq ft Hawkazoomie, and impress all of the lesser ones. You missed out on a time of purity and companionship that will never come this way again, and the sport is the lesser for that.