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arthur stead
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On May 8, 2014, slowkneenuh wrote:

Arthur, I am hoping citizenship in "our land of the free and home of the brave" had something more to offer you than easier customs clearance.


You bet, John ... many good reasons. And I must apologize ... I hadn't looked far enough back in this thread to realize it was YOU who got it restarted! Looking forward to the next installment of your story. And maybe we can convince Daryl to finish his Van Halen tale ...
Arthur Stead
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Chrystal
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Thank you for the nice comment Landmark. Seriously, I think I must have been evil in my former life as I'm sure making amends in this lifetime! Smile

I'm also looking forward to another installment of another story as well as Daryl's tale. In the meantime, Arthur and everyone else I enjoyed your stories too and looking forward to more.
Cheers!
Chrystal
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I'm bumping this post back up as I have found it really interesting and am hoping others will share their stories.
Daryl -the other brother
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I'll finish my story sometime this week. (I promise) Smile
Mark Boody Illusionist
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I can hardly wait...
Daryl -the other brother
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Van Halen Part 8

As all of my loyal readers know (all 3 of you), this tale began in the frigid winds of a Chicago winter and has lead to sun-bathing at a resort hotel in Ft. Lauderdale. My girlfriend and I were under the protective wing of Van Halen’s road crew and they were determined to make this a trip we would remember. They succeeded., in Spades!

I was about half way through my first drink, relaxing poolside, laying on my lounger next to my GF, sun glasses on, eyes closed and listening to the waterfall. I am just reaching the “Zen” of my relaxation when I hear a sexy female voice say “ We heard you’re looking for a good time.” I opened my eyes and saw 2 beautiful blondes looking down smiling at me. One of them was twirling a hotel room key around her finger. I closed my eyes, counted to 3 and opened my eyes again. Yup, they were still there! I turned and looked at my GF, she looked like someone just hit her with a stun gun. The look on my dumbfounded face must have said it all because the 2 girls immediately started laughing.

These 2 jokers turned out to be Karen and Sandy. They were “with the band” and Tommy had asked them to bring us a room key in case we wanted to freshen up. Sandy grabbed my GF’s hand and pulled her up saying “ We’re heading to the spa to be pampered and we’re stealing your girl friend. “ One look at my GF’s face showed she didn’t object to this “abduction”. As if almost an after thought, Karen turned around and said “ The guys are heading back to the stadium to finish setting up. They said if you want to come along and watch, meet them in the lobby in 10 minutes. “ Smile …..I had to let that sink in you a second……Did I really just get invited to watch the Van Halen crew do set up and sound check for a mega rock concert? I was a wanna be rock star who spent more weekends playing in “bar bands” then I cared to remember. So for me, to watch a crew of professionals set up for an arena sized concert was like manna from heaven! Smile

They said be in the lobby in 10 minutes, I was there in under 5!
My driver to the stadium was a guy named Randy (Randy the Roadie), he looked a lot like Jason Lee in “Almost Famous”. Smile On the way to the venue, Randy shed some light on the “M&M’s Rumor”. For those of you who haven’t heard it, there was a rumor that the band had in their contract a clause stating there would be a serving bowl of M&M’s in the dressing room with all the brown ones removed. I had heard this was because Eddie didn’t like the brown ones. According to Randy the rumor was true but not for the reason stated above.

Randy told me contract riders can be very lengthy. They cover everything from power requirements to what type of drinking water should be in the dressing room. Some venues are better than others at getting it all right. They stuck the “M&M Clause” in the middle of the contract, so if they walked in the dressing room and found no M&M’s it could mean more important things in the contract had also been overlooked. It worked, but only for awhile. Once the press found out, they spread the rumor everywhere (I heard it in “Guitar Player Magazine). Before long M&M’s, minus the brown ones became a kind of trademark, they even got them from fans!
As we pulled into the stadium’s rear parking lot, the first thing I noticed was the rows of semi-trailers and tour busses. Nothing about them “announced” Van Halen. The busses were custom jobs and the trucks and trailers were all white and showroom clean. There must have been 25-30 vehicles in all.

We walked in the back entrance and amid all the Van Halen road cases and crowd of people there he was!…Who? … Find out in chapter 9 (I know it’s a cheap shot but I‘m tired of writing!)

I thought I would be winding this up tonight but there is still quite a bit of the story to tell, we have to get through dinner and the concert, then we get to the good stuff!
Chrystal
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Fabulous story Daryl!!! You have the gift of a true story writer and I'm anticipating Chapter Nine.
landmark
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Thanks, Daryl!
Mark Boody Illusionist
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This is AWESOME, I feel like I'm there!!
arthur stead
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Quote:
On May 23, 2014, Daryl -the other brother wrote:

We walked in the back entrance and amid all the Van Halen road cases and crowd of people there he was!…Who? … Find out in chapter 9 (I know it’s a cheap shot but I‘m tired of writing!)

I thought I would be winding this up tonight but there is still quite a bit of the story to tell, we have to get through dinner and the concert, then we get to the good stuff!


OK, Daryl ... we're ready for the conclusion of your story ...
Arthur Stead
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slowkneenuh
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Bump! Time for an update.....
John

"A poor workman always blames his tools"
Chrystal
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I'm also anxiously awaiting the next chapter! I'd also love to hear from others who want to share as everyone has a story.
slowkneenuh
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Chrystal's story of skydiving in another thread reminded me of my experiences from a long time ago.

As I mentioned in a few posts in this thread, I was a paratrooper in the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division. A previous poster had mentioned some differences between skydiving and military parachuting. I'll add a few more based upon my personal experiences.

All of my jumps were from four different aircraft.

The most unique and most intimidating was the C124 Globemaster. This was a huge transport plane and when used for transporting troops or for parachute jumps it was configured with two floors. This meant that two passes were made over the drop zone. There was always tension right before the drop and this aircraft added twice the tension. If you were on the second floor you felt the tension as the troopers on the first floor prepared and then exited the plane. Then to add to the tension, while the plane was circling around to return to the drop zone again, the troopers on the second floor had to descend to the first floor in full combat gear on purpose built stairways to prepare and then exit the plane. As luck would have it I was on the second floor for my first (and I believe only) jump from this aircraft. Other than the size and uniqueness of the aircraft, it was an uneventful experience.

The next unusual aircraft was the C119 Flying Boxcar. It was built during the 1940's and 1950's and was the oldest aircraft we jumped from. This aircraft was unique in that the rear end of the aircraft tapered. Whenever you jump from an aircraft you are trained to make a vigorous exit from the plane. That is you quickly grasp the side of the plane while bending your knees and thrust yourself out the door to distance yourself as far as possible from the aircraft itself upon exit. The primary reason for this is to prevent the "prop wash" from the engines slamming you back into the side of the aircraft and injuring you or damaging your equipment. Even though most aircraft had prop wash deflectors it still could happen. The tapered tail of the C119 added a different risk. If you didn't make a vigorous exit the risk was not that you would hit the side of the aircraft but that if another trooper made a weak exit at the same time as yours, there was a risk you would slam into each other and sustain injuries or even worse your parachute lines would become entangled and fail to open properly. I had several jumps from this aircraft and it was actually my second favorite. Probably because it wasn't so intimidating.

The next two aircraft were similar except for the number of engines, the C123 and the C130. Most of my 29-30 jumps were from these aircraft. Of the two, I preferred the C123 (my favorite), as the two engines weren't so noisy when the doors were opened in preparation for jumping (which is also intimidating) and the prop wash was significantly less.

Now two quick stories that unfortunately time has erased from my memory on which aircraft they occurred.

I believed it was the C130 where I had a weak exit, was slammed against the side of the aircraft, and broke all of the protective straps in my helmet liner. It did stun me (not sure if I passed out) but quickly came too and landed safely. Thank God my main chute opened as designed because I would have been in no position to deploy my reserve chute which has to happen in a matter of seconds after exiting if your main chute fails to deploy. The other incident happened shortly after my main chute deployed successfully. Again, when jumping from an aircraft, troopers are jumping from opposite sides simultaneously. Most times you do not hit each other, but what can occur can be more challenging and it happened to me. Because you can be in close proximity to each other after exiting the plane or the winds aloft can place you close together you can the experience someone "stealing" the air from your chute and your chute collapsing. Whether your the "stealer" or the "stealee", both present challenges. It happens by one chutist directly over another chutist. The air trapped by the chute below leaves very little for the chute above and the chute above begins to collapse causing you to "fall" on top of the chute below you. Like most everything else there are instructions to follow, this one being "walk off"' Of course they don't tell you that while you are walking on silk that your body will sink into the chute up to your waist, your fellow trooper below will be panicking and screaming for you to get off before you screw up his chute, you could tangle your lines together as you slid off, in either situation both of you go crashing to the ground, and you only had seconds to do it or your chute would not have enough time to reinflate before you reached the ground. But surprisingly it worked! I walked off and everything worked as hoped.

These incidents made me realize why the want teenagers in the military. They have no fear or no brains! Smile

Enough of the story for now. Sorry If I have repeated some of the tale. Looking forward to others contributing or continuing to contribute.

John
John

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landmark
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Great stories John, thanks!. Now, I'll know what to say to my loved ones if any of them ever wants to go parachuting--NO!!! Smile
Chrystal
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I loved the story! Thanks for that!
Daryl -the other brother
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Quote:
On Oct 8, 2014, slowkneenuh wrote:

A previous poster had mentioned some differences between skydiving and military parachuting.
John


That was me John. I love your sky diving stories and I have a few of my own but for now I think I better continue my Van Halen story. Sorry for the long delay. It's been a crazy summer.

Van Halen Chapter 9

“We walked in the back entrance and amid all the Van Halen road cases there he was!…Who??? “ Smile

Our favorite roadie, Tommy. Smile I know, all this time you probably thought it would be one of the Van Halen brothers and I’ll admit I had visions of standing on stage watching Eddie bang out “Eruption” for a sound check Smile . But it didn’t happen. Truth is , first time I saw the band members was when they played that night. If they were at the stadium or the resort that day, I never saw them.

Since the show was only hours away all the heavy lifting was done and the stage was visually all set to go. The set-up was identical to the one I saw in Chicago, but from the wings it looked much BIGGER, in fact it was HUGE! I swear you could have landed a plane on that stage! It gave me a new respect for the way David Lee Roth ran across it from one side to the other, the whole time swinging a samurai sword or doing Karate kicks or just being Dave. Hydraulic platforms were attached to either side of the multi-level main stage and the backdrop behind it all was walls of Marshal cabinets. Various colored lights were flashing on and off as sequences were being tested and there was a guy ( he looked a lot like Jason le…Oh never mind ) banging on the drums one at a time. The double bass kit sat on the “catwalk level” and consumed center stage.

I couldn’t go on the stage because of insurance concerns but I was totally happy watching from the wings. After a short time had passed, I decided to wander down to the soundboard and see how the stage looked from the audience view. I went off stage left and down the center aisle towards the middle of the stadium. It was a little strange being in a stadium that big with practically no one in it, especially when I knew that in a few hours it would be packed to the rafters. Once I got to the sound / lighting platform, I turned around and stared out at the sea of empty seats trying to imagine where we would be sitting this evening. ( turns out I walked right past them )

The sound and lighting “control center” sat in about the middle of the audience and it was huge. This was way before the days when everything could be run on a laptop. The sound and lighting boards looked big enough to bring in that plane that I was expecting!

I introduced myself to the various crew members, they were a great bunch of guys and when I told them I was a musician they were more than happy to go over the details of their sound board with me. I spent the next 5 or so minutes saying things like “oooh ok” and “ I see “ with a lot of head nodding. They could have been speaking French for all I knew.

All to soon it was time to head back to the resort. I had time to shower before dinner so I headed up to our room. I walked in to find my GF wrapped in a big white bathrobe with a towel wrapped around her head. On the bed was a brand new tiny black dress complete with high heels. My GF looked at me with a smile and said “ we went shopping “. I asked her if it wasn’t a bit much for a concert. She said “ It’s not for the concert, it’s for the band’s post concert party that we have been invited to attend”. My response? Smile WE’RE GONNA PARTY WITH VAN HALEN? My GF grabbed her dress and shoes, gave me a quick kiss, and headed for the door. She was going to do hair and make-up with her new found friends who were just down the hall. They wanted to “make an entrance”.

As my GF wandered down the hall to perform her “magic” in front of the make-up mirror, I took a shower and started making plans of my own. As yet I still hadn’t mentioned that I was a magician so my dinner plans had nothing to do with food. The Van Halen crew had been providing me with jaw dropping moments all day long and now I was going to return the favor. I got dressed, loaded up and headed for the dining room with my pockets full of miracles and an evil grin on my face. Smile
Chrystal
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Slowkneehuh, I've had the chance to reread your story a second time and can visualize the experience. I can't imagine the difficulty of having to climb from the second floor to the first in full combat gear. I also can't imagine being slammed into a plane at that speed or altitude. You have steel in your veins and also great stories to tell!

Daryl, your story as always was entertaining and worth the wait of several weeks. I am looking forward to the next chapter!
slowkneenuh
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Chrystal, you're recent skydiving experience motivated me to tell that story. As you now know, folks that have jumped from an aircraft, whether skydiving or military (not during combat), have a unique experience after their parachute deploys. The absolute quietness in the sky and a view not normally available to humans. Unfortunately the altitude we jumped from was 1250 feet (height of the Empire State Building) so we didn't get to enjoy it a very long time. Congratulations on your bold experience and thanks for your comments.

Landmark, thanks for your comment. I do believe that what some of the younger folks pass as sport or fun today is far more dangerous than parachuting.

Daryl, thanks for your comment and your serial style stories which are thoroughly enjoyable. Keep them coming.
John

"A poor workman always blames his tools"
arthur stead
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Thanks for resurrecting this thread. Really enjoyed your stories, Crystal and Daryl. And John, your parachuting experiences were incredible! The way you described them really conveyed the intensity and danger.

Here's something a little different:

As a young boy I had a handful of recurring nightmares. In one of them, I was seated at a long table with several other people. Everything in the room was red: the walls, the carpet, the tablecloth. Something was being passed around from person to person beneath the table. It was always a terrifying experience, and when the "something" was handed to me, I always woke up in a cold sweat.

Fast forward to one night in my late teens, when I found myself in an unfamiliar nightclub. I was sitting with several other people at a long table with a red tablecloth. There were red drapes on the walls, and the section in which I was sitting featured red carpeting. Under cover of the tabletop, something was being passed from person to person. It was a very intense and scary experience, because I was on the verge of a major turning point in my life ... about to enter the "dark side."

At the very moment when the "something" was finally handed to me, I experienced true déjà vu. I recalled my recurring nightmare from so many years ago. The reality of the scene: the room, the colors, the table, the people, the emotions, the situation ... everything was exactly like in my childhood dreams!
Arthur Stead
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slowkneenuh
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Hi Arthur, thanks for contributing again. Hope we can keep this thread going for awhile again.

Dare I ask what that something was or should I just let my mind keep wandering all over the place?
John

"A poor workman always blames his tools"
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