Posted by: Walker Mackey | 2010/09/28

The Savior

After my AFF was complete, I headed to the store to grab some beer. It is tradition for the new graduates to buy beer. When I returned, I found my friend, “the savior,” packing a base parachute in the packing hanger. No one else was around and so I sat down for a lesson. We spent about two hours preparing the rig and making sure everything was packed to precision. With base jumping you pack your parachute differently. Unlike a skydive rig, you are jumping without a main and deploying your reserve, so the pack job is done in a slightly different manner. With base jumping your system is fail proof, and 100% reliable. After the pack job, we were headed to the bridge. The drive was very intense. We blasted rap music for the extent of the trip bust’n out lyrics at the top of our lungs. We reached the bridge way after dark and the first part of the mission was to check out the exit point. We walked to the center of the bridge and looked down. I noticed on the railing at the exit there was a bunch of graffiti. The first thing I read was “god loves you, don’t jump.” I remember thinking that it was odd that such a thing was written on the rail. In that same moment I looked up and realized that there was someone else on the bridge with us at the exit point in the dark. My friend “the savior” asked this individual what he was doing way out on the bridge in the middle of the night. His response was that “it was a quiet place to go and think.” My friend replied “well want a beer.” “I could use a beer” the man in the dark replied and we all turned to walk off the bridge. When we got back to the car, we inquired about what the man in the dark was all about. After some conversation we found out that our new friend had just lost his job, his girlfriend had broke his heart, and he was on the bridge to sort out his issues. “The savior” asked the man “was you thinking of jumping.” It was obvious that he was considering recycling his energy into the universe. “Well guess what” the savior said. “We are going to jump this thing.” The man looked at us in surprise. “Well what do you mean” he replied, not fully understanding. “We are going to base jump this thing,” the savior said as he pulled out the base rig. You could see the look in the dark mans eye change to light. He had been so funneled down a narrow path of self absorption and depression that he was contemplating suicide, but in that instant you could see his mind open into a realm of possibility. We made a plan. The man, who was now in the light, would drive around to the bottom of the bridge and walk to the landing area holding up a light and marking the landing zone in the dark. I and “the savior” would go to the exit point and call to make sure everything was good to go. I watched as “the savior” approached the railing and prepared for departure. My last thoughts before he casted off were of freedom and that this was a perfect example of someone utilizing there potential as a human. He climbed on the other side of the railing and flicked his cigarette into the void. I watched him leap into the darkness in excellent form. Blow! The canopy opened and he flew the wing toward the light. I got a phone call a minute latter from the man in the light saying “the savior” had made a “perfect landing.” The Savior” and I went out for a celebratory dinner at In And Out Burger. I have a lot of respect for this individual because of this experience and even though I have not seen him since he will always have my admiration.


  1. Hadn’t checked the blog for a while, so I was pleased to see two new exciting posts. Fun reads both. I was there with you.

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