As most of you know, Don & his wife Joanne bought a little over an acre of land in Cedar City Utah sometime ago & had a custom home built on it. They may be moving as soon as the end of this month. We couldn't let Don slip away without a proper going away party, so last Saturday, January 7th at Perris Valley Skydiving Center, we celebrated "Don Vredenburg Appreciation Day". This seemed the perfect day to do this because the Air Trash Taft Chapter was in town to combine forces with Perris Air Trash to compete in the Rumbleseat Meet. The team didn't win but they gave it hell & we are very proud of them. The competition completed by early afternoon & the Vredenburg Fest started in earnest, out in our beloved parking lot.
The usual gang of fools were there to "roast" Don, plus two very special skydivers from yesteryear. Those two honored jumpers were : Donna Wardean & Frank Venegas. Pete Gruber was there too. Donna was gracious enough to bring her treasured photo album & share with us, her many photos & articles from the early days of our sport. Thank you Donna!
As the afternoon progressed, we commenced with the "celebrity roast" for Don. Speeches were given, tales were told, [some of them .... possibly even true ....] Beer was consumed in large quanities, & a couple of gag gifts were bestowed upon the "guest of honor". "Little Don" was even present for the ceremony & was overjoyed to finally be reunited with his "daddy".....
We decided to take advantage of the fact that Frank & Donna were present & proceeded to induct them into the "Silly Tit Club". [later that evening we also added Rick Schlueter]. We welcomed them to "the lowest point of their lives" ..... Their membership numbers have been posted & may be viewed on the "Silly Tit" link, of the Air Trash homepage.
As afternoon turned to evening, "Stormin Norman" Van Pelt served up his world famous homemade chili with onions & cheese, to those who were lucky enough to get a bowl before it was all consumed. It was another great batch. Way to go Norman!
Special thanks goes out to Erin Arnel, Fred Basile's daughter-in-law, who provided three cases of Budweiser for the occasion. Erin is Silly Tit # 202, & is in the Air Force. She will soon be deployed to Iraq. We wish her well & will keep her in our thoughts as she serves her tour of duty. All & all, it was a great day to honor [dishonor] our good 'ol buddy Don, & everybody had a wonderful time. Don, you ought to move away more often ........ Ha !
This is John Bull reporting ..... for Air Trash News .......
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|Trash Load Waits For The Skyvan||A preview of the night to come.||Don V with all his kick stands and Barbara still has to hold him up. (Thanks for the jump Barb!)||The New TAFT Chapter Air Trash Windblade|
|We start getting our picutres taken with Don and 'Lil' Don in the parking lot.||John Brasher and Tony Brogden join in the fun.||Donna Wardean and Linda Hardesty take their turn.||John has a special friend... It's starting to get very silly in the parking lot.|
|John and Bobby look over one of Donnas old albums.||Bully brings the Silly Tit Meeting to order. He shows the official ST Chalice.||Don V drinks from the Chalice.||Don shows off a little gift from Bully.|
|Bully talking about Don V behind his back!||Donna and Frank are nominated to be inducted into the Silly Tit Club.||Bully explains the initiation to Donna and Donna explains reality to Bully.||Your's Truly shows the new members the Secret ST Hand Shake.|
|Frank flashes the crowd for both he and Donna. Not a pretty sight.||Trash After Dark....||Happy faces are abound.||Don raises his glass to the occasion.|
|Don hold still. There's something on your lip....||OH Wait... It's Linda.... Linda is on your lip...||The Taft Trash Windblade at night.||Mike Gerwig and John Bull at night...|