Monday, May 08, 2006

Billabog Blog

As you read this the wild men of the Michigan Parachute Club are meeting for their annual reunion at founding member and bat-wing jumper Art Lussier's cabin in the woods, known as "The Billabog." Next year's reunion will mark the club's 50th anniversary, so I'm sure you can imagine how many times these pilots and jumpers have told the stories of how they escaped the claws, jaws, and clutches of death (and I won't spoil them for you, just in case you intend on reading the book). Rehash, hash, and rehash again is the order of the day. And yet new details emerge. The story of the time Lussier (shown then and now in the photos above) deliberately flew through a set of power lines in Alaska, knocking out power for a fairly large region for a fairly long time, it turns out, has never been fully told. After the cables snapped it seems Lussier continued flying at low altitude for some time—his plane whipped up a wind that tore some shingles off the roof of a house, as well as the man who was working on them. In another incident Lussier attempted to do a loop with a stolen PT-19. Going into the loop with the plane was easy, coming out of it was another story. He didn't manage it till just above the ground—the altitude could be measured by looking at the now shorn flag on the top of the hanger he passed over.

If you want to live a long life, don't worry yourself too much about the antioxidants, the red wine or the fish oil. Head up to Michigan and have a little of whatever the Michigan Parachute Club's been eating.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I loved this peice. I hope these men are fearless as they face old age. I like to think of them still enjoying their exploits and getting pleasure from them. Lulu

Sar said...

That is inspiring. I almost feel old by comparison!

Btw, thanks for commenting on my site, Michael. :)

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