|Gladys Roy & Ivan Unger, c. 1927, photographer unidentified|
I remember years ago hearing about the first woman to jump from an airplane, and it turns out she had a whole lot of history before that happened. Tiny Broadwick made the first freefall jump by anyone, ever. She had been making static-line jumps from balloons for years. The story is here, from that link to Parachute History:
In 1914 Broadwick gave the first demonstration of a parachute jump to the US government. The first four jumps were static line jumps. On the fourth jump the static line tangled with the aircraft so on the fifth jump she decided to not use the static line. She cut the static line so that it was long enough for her to pull the parachute pack open after she was clear of the airplane. This was the first premeditated FREEFALL jump by anyone.Tiny was called that because she was just a little over 4 feet tall and weighed 85 pounds. At the age of fifteen, she started jumping from balloons hanging on what looked like a swing. She was not wearing any type of harness, just sitting there during the ascent. Originally from North Carolina, she settled in Southern California later in life, and her history was totally unknown until a skydiver (Dave Burt) tracked her down and started taking her around to local drop zones and adventure clubs. Smart Guy met her several times, and he said it was truly amazing to see these big burly skydivers standing around listening to this little old lady tell stories of derring-do that made their jaws drop. Her parachutes have been donated to the Smithsonian, and in 2003 the North Carolina Historical Society dedicated a marker to her memory.
Maybe when I retire from skydiving altogether I can take up tennis.
Yikes, this makes my stomach lurch just looking at it and then again when I read about Tiny.ReplyDelete
She must have been quite a lady..married at 12 and then a Mother at thirteen..and then adopted..how interesting that Smart Guy got to meet her! I really enjoyed the old photo..yeah Tennis ..you go for it DJan:)ReplyDelete
I was glad to see as I read on that she actually lived to be an old lady! And that wing tennis is something else! I'm hoping you'll do your tennis on the ground, please!ReplyDelete
Please spare us the anxiety of wing tennis. I enjoy most of your adventures but I don't think I could handle that one.ReplyDelete
One time a load of guys and gals did a nude skydive from our DZ. (Un)fortunately nobody shot any video.ReplyDelete
These people are crazy! That's one thrill a little over the top for me...but hey more power to 'em. I think they know the secret to life and death...no fear...what a wonderful feeling. I bet they're really enjoying themselves up there! Heehaa!ReplyDelete
just imagine the guy that gets hit with the ball way down below when they miss...smiles. now this i might not try...too crazy. lol.ReplyDelete
Clearly she did not struggle with vertigo issues. I'm alaways amazed that people are so worried about time in the air. I feel time on the road these days is far riskier! Love this story. Thanks.ReplyDelete
Talk about moxie! I won't even walk down a flight of stairs that doesn't have a railing...I would guess that I'd have quit jumping after I landed all over tarnation. It's neat that Smart Guy met her and got the opportunity to listen to her stories.ReplyDelete
I have a feeling tennis would be too boring for you. Have you thought of rodeo riding? Crocodile hunting?ReplyDelete
You're quite the interesting woman...!
Tiny sounds like quite a woman, it would have been fascinating to hear her tell stories. I have seen a lot of footage of the wing walkers and some of them had to have been a little touched in the head.ReplyDelete
Retire from skydiving then tennis? I would have thought rock climbing.
Try scuba diving, next. Totally different world under the sea. Of course, there are sharks.ReplyDelete
A couple of years ago, I took the Atlantis submarine ride to the bottom of the sea. Saw a shark, a manta ray, plankton, a turtle, and oodles of colorful fish. This was off the shore from the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort. Try this ride the next time you are in Hawaii.
crazy indeed! I wonder if we could convince Nadal and Federer to do a match like that... ;o)ReplyDelete
Amazing - and a little scary!ReplyDelete
Good for you to be a woman of the air! We need more examples like you, women turning into birds ;)ReplyDelete