Something changed today, something broke, let loose even, flooded everything, then grace overran and several miracles occurred.
This is my testimony before God.
Disclaimer, I could be wrong about anything or everything. As my testimony, that’s all it is, just one point of view- my own. I have told more stories other than these, and other people have told more stories than this, and there have been other posts. I do NOT claim that anything IS a fact, rather that this is in fact of what I, under oath to God or any court beneath him, would testify to. This is my story, this is my point of view.
I do not usually put my oath on any page I type… yet… it’s my birthday. Hand to God.
I am spent and so filled up at the same time, I’ve typed so much I’ll going to copy and paste much as I can and be brief. If you have questions, please feel free to offer any comments, commentary, or alternate points of view, (though, I’d rather you not be snide,) whether on the Facebook page or anyone can also submit a guest post, so far Nikki is still the only one with the balls to post on my site.
Facebook proved somehow to be the last straw that broke me and for that, I apologize. I should probably end my oath here and I wish I could but this all just happened.
I’ll have to skip a lot, I’m tired and I want to be done early. Really, so many of these details I’ve been writing about for the last six months, you’ll have to search a bit, as I didn’t end up keeping everything as linked up as I’d hoped, yet if you wonder about the details, the search box is on the upper right.
After the Facebook post and knowing Corey was right on many points, I reached out to my pastor.. actually, I reached out to Fr. Tim Nelson, first I called his office, and Suzzanne gave me father’s cell number. I called him on the phone from my new phone number and he answered on the first ring.
I called Fr. Tim instead of Fr. Chas, because sometime last year I had run into Fr. Tim Nelson outside of St. Johns Church, and him being a previous medical doctor, I asked his opinion on several medical lawsuits I was considering. “Oh, no…” was a quick and immediate response then, that was not a good road. Off the list, it went. (The conversation was much more detailed and enlightening than my brief description of it.)
God knows I have thought about filing lawsuits along this journey, yet I have held back, I have persevered because I knew that I needed to do it His way.
Today I talked to Fr. Nelson and essentially, asked for a reconsideration of the issue. Hopefully, he understood the desires I tried to express, to highlight my own issues, to draw attention to some errant attitudes in the skydiving and medical communities in a cost and time-effective way, and always in a way that would promote truth and greater understanding of the issues at hand.
And would also relieve me of needing to file for disability. When I was done talking, he relayed to me the gospel for the day and an interpretation of it based on my prayer to him.
A personal homily from Father Tim Nelson on the Gospel of Mathew 5:20-26,(you may read for reference, not for indoctrination,) on a gospel that he was already freshly prepared for on the day in question (today, as I type this) then manicured for my own subject matter that directly applied. I have never thought to put that on my birthday wish list at any point in my life. By my Lord and my God, what a gift.
At the end of the conversation cautioning for mercy and warning against vindictiveness, I received a blessing to move forward. The timing of this day has been phenomenal, off the phone with Father, I looked for a number I knew. The best attorney (aside from the one I trust to refer attorneys to me,) I know of for a case when you want a pit bull to tear the shit out of someone. My ex-wife’s lawyer. (don’t worry, mercy is coming!)
After a telephone conversation, I sent him this email:
Thank you Bill,
I would like to file for and claim my pension from Jackson County.
I would like your appraisal of the 12 potential lawsuits I’ve included, with the goal to acquire the means to support myself from those people, then forego the disability.
I understand if I need to file the disability in the meantime.
One lawsuit, against **********, should be handled with all the grace you can muster.. returned the sum paid to him from me and insurance, about 5000… x3 maybe.. lifetime ***************** would be nice too… would like to settle this, quickly, fairly and with the grace deserved of a brother before my lord.
you can be a pit bull on the rest.
I don’t know if that is enough grace, so I’m sure I’ll settle it down to my money back and the blank blank (call me!) What I do know, is that I’ve processed as much as I can and hopefully, as much as God called me to do. Oh, I had work to do, work one one else would do for me.
I had something to say, I had to say that it was not an accident. Today, I’m going to say what really happened, and I’m going to do it by releasing the attachment I emailed my attorney (my son is now an adult, and my ex-wife’s pitbull is happy to jump the fence.)
Wow. Let me breathe.
In and out, I am a calm and patient person. See, one of the issues I have in life (and I have a lot) is that I think too much, I have ever since I was a child, I try to think about the words I speak, then when I do speak I try to speak, quietly. Slowly and precise. My words matter.
However, a LOT of people in this world, and I could name several from the tip of my tongue, have another way to speak, fast and loud. Quick to judge, quick to turn a tide. So few people read all the details. Some people with think this post is about them (it’s not Corey – love you man, drinks at Johnny’s?)
From my very young childhood, I have been plagued with people in powerful positions that like to talk fast and loud. You see, often in front of unbiased judge (and they come in many different forms, such as YOU reading this,) when given two different versions of an event will not take the time to read all the details. Often an unbiased judge is also uninterested in the time spent to determine some great truth from a full examination of the facts, rather a quick path they seek.
My antogonists, my nemesis’, have always had the uncanny ability to speak loud and fast, while me gaslighting behind the scenes. Honestly, maybe, really… at this point, it could all just be inside my head.
How fast was the evaluation on the ground to produce: “look, low turn, downwind at 370 feet… suicidal idiot”.
Did anyone ask Shaggio about the special canopy course he cooked up just for me?
Okay, so long time coming. I can’t take my next jump until I log this one.
#2586 – January 8, 2022 – Skydive City – exit altitude 6k (ish, four h&p, I was out last) freefall.
I planned a 270 degree turn ‘swoop’ approach over the pond going east to west.
The objective to be learned was to “not veer”. It had been explained to me that this was my problem holding me back- I was always compensating for the wind in order to land on my “runway”. (Accuracy is important to me.) I was then trained to think of “crossing the finish line” not adjusting for my runway (training objectives for speed, distance.) I was instructed to “trust my setup” and just keep my hands “up and off my rears” and to “fly it right in” and “let the push me whichever way” right or left, “don’t veer into the wind”.
In hindsight, I should have better qualified my canopy coach. Especially as he is the one that read the windsock to me (an unfamilar location to me and the two weeks I’d been there, I’d been landing over on the student side with my son) then put his arm over my shoulder, turned me and walked me away towards the pond as he layed out this great plan for me. To get wet. Except, he didn’t tell me that. He blew smoke up my ass and I swallowed it hook, line, and sinker.
The only thing I changed in the plan, is I shifted to the north and I told him I would. “No, no, no you’ll have plenty of speed to cross the pond.” (And now, now I know what he meant.) I didn’t think I’d have enough speed to cross the pond from the gates. See, for any non-skydivers reading this landing into the wind is very important to us. The speed of the wind will add or subtract from the speed of your canopy on landing. The canopy I was flying was a Xaos 84 loaded with my 216 lbs of exit weight- a canopy progression well documented on excel with over 1500 jumps on xaos canopies.
My forward speed as I finished the turn I executed (I did not execute the turn I planned, I did ‘abort’.. kind of,) should have been about thirty to thirty five miles per hour as I approched the ground, subtracting the variable 10-15 mph per wind I was expecting would have allowed me to land gracefully (I have videos.. I’m not fast or fancy, yet I can tip toe down an accurate with a little wind on demand- practice, practice, drill your canopy skills.)
Now the turn I was planning to excute was my full high speed front swoop pass – I was in Florida for crying out loud (Which for the record here it was spoken very clearly and planely to my attorney, there is NO fault against Skydive City whatsoever. Both before and after my incident (see, from the beginning, this was no accident,) Cam, Chris, Andy, Justin, everyone at Skydive City has been awesome, no complaints at all… umm, sorry.. actually, if the bar could stock some Labatt Blue next time I come down, that would be epic. Other wise, flawless.
After exit (and I can post the entire jump from exit soon,) I had a long delay for a hop and pop (we had a higher pass..) then I opened my canopy, checked in and began my flight.
An interesting thing, that I now know, that I didn’t then, was that a downwind swoop requires a different landing pattern. By time I was at 3k, things just felt funny, I couldn’t put my finger on anything, so I checked my canopy and tested it’s extreme manuervering capabitlity (aka, had some fun!)
Something about me that many might not know, I am a very conservative canopy pilot, I have not had a lot of coaching and I don’t take advice well. I don’t trust people, I ignore canopy discussions at bonefire (other than to listen and absorb, not to try or test.) It’s not just with canopy flight either. I’ve found that in sixteen years as a skydiver, some skydivers (all skydivers) have some amount of excess ego, and like to toy with other people. All just fun and jokes and usually no one gets hurt.
I however, am particularly suseptible to this. Quiet and liking time to think, I usually can’t keep up the pace wigh a lot of people in normal conversations, I tend to sit back on the edge of groups and listen. I’ve found if I try to take the center stage in anything, usually a more experienced skydiver will come along and knock you down. Some people have learned to play wigh my idoesyncracies, including many on staff at SDT.
One time, a decade ago at least at old tecumseh way back when, Franz’s friend Paul was there for whatever reason. I was doing some computer work for Franz at the time (before I build the original burble) and I had given him the recommendation for Dell computers, I even gave him my little speil (well rehearsed then and I could probably give in now too. Dell’s are better for business, it’s the support that makes the difference, their self support website, you just need to plug in the code and instantly you have all the drivers.)
Sidenote: can you now imagine why most people don’t give me the time of day in conversation? I get tangetial.
Over that weekend, it didn’t seem odd at all when I gave that speil a dozen times or two. Apparantly, Franz and Paul had caught on, I would receite nearly the identical phrase every single time I was asked, so they passed that tip around. Everyone had a great time……
Now, I’ll mention again my disclaimer and I know I’ve often been described as “too sensitive”. Yet, I think I’ve got a point or two in all I’ve written tonight. I’ve been holding in my mind, processing, thinking, debriefing.
This post is getting long, it’s ten twenty two now, on the 15th. I’m a little nervous. A few more details.
What turn did I execute? Well, by time I got anywhere near the landing area (my usual flight path is simple, from the upwind drop to my landing pattern,) fighting to get in the right position (now I know, with a 180 degree wind phase shift from what was in my mind.)
When I crossed my runway (my mind in abort mode, no lesson anymore, just get on the ground) I executed a turn. A quick turn, with the intent to yaw as quickly as possible, a sharp body twist and with weight on and pulling on my rears to whip my canopy around. A flat braked to get into the wind and put it down.
Things I know about my canopy… it dives steeper with the wind at it’s back and at 84 sq feet, it can go fast already. Going downwind, my recovery arc was lenghtened and my forward speed.. my impact speed was dramatically increased.
Had I executed my abort/flat turn (And yes, now I know that aborting to a flat 270 was not the right answer, I should have full aborted to a simple 90, even then I still would have been downwind) into the wind as I thought I was doing, the facing wind pushes down on tail and gives it that nice short recovery arc. That I know, that I love, that I’ve executed over 1500 times on Xaos.
I love the landing pattern, always have since my very first jump. You follow the pattern. Ask anyone at SDT and they’ll tell you (if they are honest) that I don’t ever land down wind. I follow the pattern. Make a good plan. Follow the plan.
Okay, this is getting long, so to the hard part. Why? Why would Shaggio try get Jeromy to land downwind? What’s up wigh that?
Well, he was trying to fire me. Actually, he had fired me several weeks before via email. Actually, serveral email at the end of the 2021 season. I had mostly blown him off- he wanted me to meet/call Kody to discuss my job. Knowing that I’m a subcontractor, then already into my winter, I wasn’t going to beg anyone for a “job” that I didn’t have.
Before I got to Florida, I had called shag and let him know we’d be there, arranging our dates to not overlap. On the day in question, Shaggio showed up to Skydive City anyway (which, free world.. just would been nice to give me the family space I’d requested.)
When I saw him, he pulled me aside for a quick chat. Apologies for ‘the way shit goes’, letting me know he’d miss me the next year and that he’d be happen to give me a recommendation for any place I wanted to go, then he looked at me, grinned a little and said “sorry though, we are keeping your boys on staff”. (Both of my sons work as packers.)
And well, here’s the part were it’s my fault. I am the one that first broke a bit of skydiver ettiquette. I was pretty direct in telling him that I wasn’t going anywhere. I’ve lived in Jackson County my entire life, I had just been appointed a County Commissioner, and the whole point of training my son in Florida, so we could go home and skydive all summer together. No, I told him. I’m not going anywhere.
“Well you’re not coming back to Skydive Tecumseh.”
My turn to grin. Really, hows that are you firing me?
“I already did”
Great, what was my hire date, you mention my contract not being renewed, I’m going to need a copy of that for my attorney to review (and still do) and lets talk about my unemployment, my W-2’s and the last four years of unpaid employment taxes, a severance package to keep me quiet?
His eyes glazed, confused. Do you know employment law in Michigan shaggio? You’ve been sending me weekly schedules all year, I’m an employee- one being paid under minimum wage some days.
“You are not coming back.”
Not coming back? I’m a County Commissioner in THIS County. The County our federally public airport resides in. I’ll be there every day networking with the local FCC officials, I will record wind data, I’ll YouTube every cloud busting, plan spinning video I have. You don’t have a choice, I am Jackson. (Seriously, you’ve got love a video of an S&TA/TI busting a cloud, pushing his way though the door, as the spotter tells him there is no hole whatsoever.)
I then saw a look in his eye. One I should have know, I should have known better.
“Je’rooomy… dude.. chill…. we’re in Flordia, I’m not even working right now. I know you and Franz have a lot of history, and all that sounds like his problem. Where’s Cole at, hows jumps been? Have you tried the pond yet?”
Last note, in all the time I’ve know him, Shaggio has given me two canopy lessons, I’m put him at a .500
The first weekend I met him he watched my landing and told me to pull my brakes down, not out. Past that, he’s been busy being DZM and mostly taking care of the TI’s. Because we all know how skydiving works.
I almost died because I went full asshole because I thought I was going to lose a summer skydiving with my sons.
I damn near lost a lot more than that.
Now, here I am, seventeen months later. Should have been healed a year ago, but I drew the short stick.. then proceeded to get fucked by it with a little bubble/syrinx in my spinal cord. Fuck me.
So here I am, the day before my 45th birthday and I know one thing I wish for… listen up, I’m about blow out my candles… the one thing I’d trade for any amount of money or liabilty waiver… I wanna spend my summer skydiving with my boys at Skydive Tecumseh.
Before I post this, that will not happen. After I post this, it might.
Whew, a load off my shoulders… Good day, what a day, eleven pm now. I cried talking to Fr. Nelson, I do not want to be litigious, yet a means to an end.
Ahh, the job! Yes, as you can see, my fundraiser has surpassed the amount to publish my book. So, my book needs to be done, and it’s waiting on me. As of tomorrow, I hire myself as full time editor of this website- it’s time to produce our first book.
I am excited and I have learned to take my time, to hopefully get what I want.
I am a calm and patient person.
Time to rest.