Newspaper Archive of
The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
September 28, 1983     The Issaquah Press
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September 28, 1983

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Falling through the sky A first jump is h'ke nothing on earth by Debbie L. Romano I was standing with a group of about 50 prospective parachuters on a clear, warm Saturday morning. As we stood there, most of us were getting our first up-close look at a skydiver coming to earth. We craned our necks upward, clustered around the gravel target area as a jumper drifted down. He landed -- hard. And just laid there. The owner of the Issaquah Parachute Center, Jamey Woodward, looked him over. As the parachuter began to roll around in pain, Jamey looked at his class and said, "1 wish I could tell you folks he had clone something wrong, but I can't. He did everything correctly." Not exactly the most reassuring sight for 50 nervous people about to try para- chuting for the first time. We should have known when we signed the legal waiver forms that morning. One of the statements we had to initial stated quite plainly, "1 understand that I am to jump from an aircraft at approximately 2,800 feet altitude. My parachute will cause me to land in a rough- ly vertical position. I understand that the human body is not designe d for this sort of impact and that I may be in- jured even if I do everything right. Nonetheless, I am accepting tlis risk." I was the very first person in our class to jump that afternoon. I knew that everyone else was watching me to see if I screwed up or broke something. Resolutely turning aside all thoughts of the morning's writhing parachuter. I readied myself to get into the plane. I had to crawl in backwards, which is not eas,, since I'm short and was wearing more than 30 pounds of equipment. It was a tight squeeze, made even tighter when the pilot and jumpmaster got in. We started to sweat as the temperature rose. It was the first time I had been in anything smaller than a jet, and the noise inside drove my thoughts away before I could think them. I looked out of the plane and saw the fields far below. They didn't look much different from the aerial photo- graph James; had shown us during the lesson. There was Lake Sammamish, the airfield and the freeway. We had been warned against landing on the freeway.. Though they will try and stop the traffic with smoke bombs if it looks like you're headed that way, there's no guarantee cars will stop. And the freewa\\; looked so big from the air. I asked Jamey if my static line was attached. On the first few jumps, the chute is opened by this sort of Walking back to the center, all smiles. remote controlled ripcord attached inside the plane. I was sure I had seen him hook it up, but I felt reassured by the rattle of metal fastenings banging together. First jumpers are taught a litany: "Arch thousand, two thousand, three thousand, four thousand, five thousand -- check canopy! Big, round, symmetrical!" This means that if after five seconds, you look up and the chute isn't big, round and s, mmetrical, you'd better remembe your JN4L:Y WooDWARD PHOTO Floating to the ground, knees together. DBIE BRUSIUS PHOTOS emergency procedures, because something is wrong. I repeated it to myself, over and over. I hardly' gave a thought to the emergency procedures that had been drilled into us. It was the landing I was worried about. I remembered the dire warnings to keep our knees and ankles together. During the lessons, some people were told to practice jumping with leaves between their knees. If the leaves were in place when they landed, they were just in case you were wondering... Mini metropolis The population of Issa- quah is 5,578. Borrowed colors Issaquah High's colors are purple and gold because its first football uniforms were hand-me-downs from the University of Washing- ton. Ancient sea The entire Issaquah area was once submerged under a quiet ocean. Downtown low down The elevation of downtown Issaquah is 58 feet. Time zero There are no parking meters on any Issaquah streets. Butter believe it Issaquah's main export is butter. The local Darigold plant, which runs all day and night, churns out 110 tons of butter every 24 In the money hours. The City of Issaquah operates on a budget of $5.5 million. Ferry left home The first ferry Issaquah Popular park was made of wood and Lake Sammamish State built in 1914, but spent most of her life in California. She Park is the second most popular state park in Wash- was brought to the San ington. Francisco Bay in 1918 and renamed the "'Squash." She was beached in 1948, used Red light, as a home, and later allow- green light ed to rot. In 1983, everything but Issaquah's first traffic her pilot houses were junk- light was installed at Front ed. Those may be used as a and Gilman in the summer community center in of 1982 Sausalito. PINE LA KE FAMIL Y MEDICINE Donald T. Stewart, M.D. Diplomate, American Board of Family Practice family medical practice at the Pine Lake Dental-Medical Center 22725 S.E. 29th Issaquah Day or Night Call 455-845 Adult and pediatric medical care. including obstetrics Evening and weekend hours available OVERLAKE ..,. T-SHIRTS v" JACKETS , HATS " SWEATSHIRTS , ATHLETIC JERSEYS , TEAM LETTERING e NUMBERING .t PICK UP " DEUVERY FAST SERVICE DISCOUNTS TO TEAMS, CLUBS 8" SCHOOLS --No Minimum-- 1392-60051 1740 19th N.W., ISSAQUAH The Eastside's Largest Medical Center Ready to serve a// your health needs NEWCOMERS... 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