Air Trash Days

Phil Christman Memorial

Taft Road Trip

Photos & Page By: Larry Walsh, Dennis Henley, and Mike Gerwig

Singing The 12 Days Of Jumping

Story By: John Bull

On Saturday, Oct. 27th, Air Trash, Silly Tits & others with questionable backgrounds.... descended upon Taft drop zone to pay homage to Phil Christman's life, friendship & his many years in skydiving. The weather gods however, were not cooperative. As a result, Patty's wish to spread her father's ashes in freefall on a picturesque, beautiful day, unfortunately did not come to fruition. A new opportunity to give Phil his final skydive will be forthcoming in the near future. Not to be dismayed by inclement weather, friends from all over came to visit & share their favorite "Phil Christman" stories. Among the many Air Trash & Silly Tits who attended, were some esteemed skydiving veterans. Some of these timeless & honored ['dishonored' ] skydiving 'royalty' included : Brian Williams SCR # 8, Bill Newell SCR # 3, Don Henderson SCR # 007, Frank Venegas SCR # 67, Dennis Henley SCR # 216, Stanley Troeller SCR # 53, Don Vredenburg SCR # 172, Chet Bennett SCR # 4013, and others, who's names escape me at the moment. Also, everyone assembled to sing a special get well.... "Hurray For Pat......Hurray At Last " good vibes song to Pat Works , who continues to heal at home from a serious head injury. Pat, we hope you are doing well & will be back to your usual 'Quantum Weirdness' soon. [a Robin Heid term]....

In the early afternoon the cloud ceiling did lift somewhat, and so a six-way round was organized rather quickly. Exit altitude was 10,000'. Those on the skydive were : Larry Walsh, Lyle Cameron Jr., Don Henderson, Stanley Troeller, Rick Schlueter & myself. Immediately upon exit, we found ourselves freefalling through ice crystals. Ouch ! The skydive was fun though and it felt good to be in freefall over Taft dz once again.

As the afternoon progressed, Norm Van Pelt, President of the Air Trash Taft Chapter, called an emergency Air Trash meeting to order. Some special skydiving veterans were inducted into the Air Trash brotherhood & given caps during this meeting. They were : Frank Venegas, Dennis Henley [& brother Paul, posthumously].

Following the Air Trash meeting, a Silly Tit meeting was called to order as well. New members brought forth into this illustrious fraternity included : Mariann Troeller, [aka 'Lady Godiva'], Dennis Henley, Terry Peterson, Jay Sweeney, Dave Crouch, Brian Williams, and "Voodoo". Our Air Trash webmaster Larry Walsh, has posted their numbers. To view them, click on the Silly Tit link, on the A.T. homepage. To feed the hungry souls at the dz on Saturday night, 'Stormin' Norman Van Pelt' simmered a HUGE pot of his world class chili, which included TEN POUNDS of hamburger meat !!!! Also, throughout the course of the day, Patty Girl shared with us, a fresh batch of her home made chocolate chip cookies, which are without doubt, the FINEST & TASTEST in the land...... In addition, Don Henderson was finally reunited with his long lost & rarely seen until now.... 'secret'.... baby photo....

As dinner concluded, the Halloween party started in earnest, which included a live band, dancing, beer & a costume contest. Fun was had by all. On Sunday morning, the survivors drained the water from their ice chests, folded up their tents & headed for home.

A special thank you goes out to Dave Crouch, Coral, and all of the many fine people at Taft drop zone, for your hospitality.

This is John Bull reporting for Air Trash News....

Click on any of the thumbnail pictures below to see a larger image of that picture. Use your BACK BUTTON to return to this page.

A Moment Of Silence For Phil