The mood across the dropzone was somber, and hundreds of friends, family & well wishers, gathered to pay their last respects to Gus. It
was easy to see how many lives he had touched in his short time here on Earth, and most were onsite to offer their love & support to Lydia as well as each other.
The Dirt Dive began around 5:30 p.m. and included a full run through of the Memorial Jump. It provided the guests with an up close
view of what was about to happen at altitude. When they were satisfied with the flow, a Porter & Otter arrived to carry the group to their destination, approximately 13,000 ft AGL.
As the planes flew together to altitude, the masses of people took positions all over the dropzone. Most gathered in the grassy area
next to the landing area near the packing tent.. others remained in their seats on the upper & lower decks overlooking Skydive Deland. We watched the planes fly their pattern working their way up, when I
noticed a commotion in the crowd. Feeling like I had missed something important I tuned in to what they were saying and where they were looking.
And in the sky, above the Packing Hanger, shining down on all of us and central Florida, was Gus. Not in his human form, but in the most beautiful form of a rainbow on a cloud. The cloud prism shone so brightly over our heads, smiling in colors of red, orange, yellow, & blue. Thankful to have seen such a sign from the heavens, I returned to watching the planes ready themselves to drop the most important load of this year.
Dropzone owner *Bob Hallett and good friend & fellow skydiver *Mark Procos, wore wrist mounted Ash Bags that would disperse Gus into the
The plan was to build the large formation after exit and then while in formation, at 8,000 feet, Mark & Bob were to release Gus's ashes. The first bag was released on schedule at approximately 8 grand, and the second bag, slightly delayed, was opened at approximately 6.5 grand. The subsequent cloud in the sky remained for several minutes, sparkling and shifting in the upper winds. Even after the last jumper had touched down safely on Earth again, Gus was still in the skies, overseeing every last landing, and only leaving our sight, when all of his friends were down safely once again.