Sunday, April 24, 2005

why "airplanejayne?"

Well, it all started sometime around the year 19-seems-like-forever-ago, when I went to watch my bestfriend, Claire, jump from a perfectly good airplane. "Sounds like fun!" I said. I went out to the DZ (drop zone)and watched her go through the class, and jump. Awesome! Right there and then I decided that this was definitely something I had to try. But, being a starving college student and skydiving being an expensive hobby, I found myself in a predicament. What to do? How to do? As I spent the next few weeks hanging out at the drop zone, watching all the action (in air and on the ground...), I stumbled on a money-making opportunity: Skydivers would rather skydive than anything else, especially packing parachutes. They were willing to pay good money to almost anyone who would pack their chute. Ka-ching! One afternoon packing class was all it took - Within a few more weeks "Plain Jayne" was making money packing.
Yes, hated being called "plain" anything. But ya' see, at the time, the drop zone was populated with Ironworkers. These rough-and-tumble guys had nicknames for everyone: Red Baron, Captain Cut-away, the Reverend (note: not the altar boy type), White Boy, etc. I felt flattered (and a little nervous) that they gave me a nickname at all.
"Hey! Plain Jayne! Ya' done with my rig?"
"Hey, Plain Jayne! When ya' gonna jump with us?"
"Hey, Plain Jayne! Come on, ya' ever gonna jump, or what?"
After 2 1/2 long months of packing parachutes, eating only PBJ sandwiches (sometimes without the bread), and stealing T.P. from public bathrooms, I had saved enough money to jump. I made my reservation for the next Saturday class, and showed up at 7:00 AM
"Hey-hey, Plain Jayne! Hear ya'lls jumpin' today! Can I go on your load?"
"Hey, Plain Jayne! This here is the Red Baron! He's gonna be in class with you."
"Hey, Plain Jayne! Ya' scared?"
I just smiled at them, and breezed on by. Little did they know that I had been flying in my dreams all my life - this skydiving thing was gonna be a snap!
Class flew (pun intended) by and it was finally time to jump. I remember that Ray was my jumpmaster, and Red Baron was on the load, but I don't remember who the other jumper was. sorry, some memories aren't as clear as others. I do know that Ray was only supposed to snap one photo, but said my, "exit was so clean he snapped off the whole roll." Personally, I think he was just twitterpated with me....... :)
Jump was great - just like my dreams. Did a perfect landing, which at that time meant thudding non-gracefully on the ground and trying not to break body parts. Red Baron and I were jumping, screaming, hugging and hollering as everyone ran out to greet us.
"Plain Jayne! Plain Jayne! You looked awesome!"
"Plain Jayne! Plain--"
"Hold up!" interjected Red Baron. "She ain't 'Plain Jayne' no more. She's Airplane Jayne."
Twenty-plus years later, I'm still called Airplane Jayne. what can I say? sure beats "Plain Jayne" anyday.

13 comments:

Lelly said...

This is a great story APj! You have inspired me to write a piece on nicknames...although it won't involve anything nearly as exciting as sky-diving...!

airplanejayne said...

Omy-my! ...didn't think anyone would find me so quick -- but thanks! Ironworkers seemed to have great nicknames, but they told me you had to "earn 'em." Promise.....I did NOTHING but skydive.....really......

Lelly said...

Yeah?...sounds like the lady doth protest too much! ;-)
Ermmm...what the hecky-peck are 'Ironworkers'?

airplanejayne said...

Ironworkers....construction workers who work with iron. They're the ones who set and weld the iron beams for skyscrapers and other tall buildings. A pretty intense bunch of guys: fearless and kinda scary! In the 80's there was a big boom in construction around San Jose (Silicon Valley, computers, etc) and a lot of TALL buildings were being built. These guys made mucho money, and needed an outlet to spend it.

lecram sinun said...

Airplanejane, you totally rock, girl! Welcome to blogland!

Great story!

lecram sinun said...

p.s. You have now been linked to my blog.

airplanejayne said...

lecram,
I am totally honored and humbled to be linked to your site. Thanks for the support and all. If I can engage my brain cells, I will figure out this "linkage" thing and link likewise. But if cells fail, I may have to call you.
:)

kien lim said...

Nice one jayne. I remember when I first arrived in the UK, I lived on baked beans and bread for some months to pay for my guitar amplifier.

Oh, did you return the flamingos?

airplanejayne said...

ahh....the things we'll do for our passion. Good thing for YOU to remember, kien. Whatever you do, as long as it's for something you have a passion for, you must give it your all, and you WILL succeed.
Oh and the flamingoes...have not flown home yet. They were the grand marshals of the Clovis Parade, and went riding on Harley's last week. those birds have more fun then me!

kien lim said...

Thanks for the lecture on passion. It's something I don't know about. Succeed in what? Do you mean I haven't succeeded?

airplanejayne said...

ahhhh kien,
you DO know passion--it's evident in your music and your current pursuit...
and, as we have discussed, I think you have succeeded in many things...sometimes they just need to be pointed out to you: that whole forest/tree/wood thing.
but again, I do enjoy "lecturing" you :)

kien lim said...

For me, passion is not the issue. I sometimes think I have too much of it. The abstract has always been my world. My sacrifices in the past have been uncompromised and then things didn't add up. The "mathematics" is what I'm learning about now.

Genevieve Hinson said...

OH MY GAWD, I love this story and the reason for Airplane Jayne! Love meeting another blogger too :). This is fabulous!