I sadly report that Jon Davis passed away in his sleep on Monday night. Most remember Jon as a great FreeFlighter, and I believe the youngest open USA FF Team member at 18 years of age. His gregarious smile was contagious and his pranks were hilarious. I’ll share more at a later time. Jon had been fighting a mysteryious health issue – doctor’s never really had a diagnosis. During it all, Jon continued to love to be on the field, flying models and being with free flighters. He will surely be missed. He was a good friend.
Jon was known for his written wit as well and I believe he was the author of the single best SEN article. From April 3, 2000, I share in memory of Jon Davis.
Puff Daddy Baggy Rapper Pants
In the spirit of a new (and lighter) topic for the SCAT e-zine here is a
recent contest experience of mine. It’s pretty much a true story.
After successfully recovering from the latest Max Men 14 rounder I was
reflecting on my FAI contest performance to see what I could learn. I
intended to go to the contest and have my competitors trembling in their
running shoes rather than the more likely situation of my presence earning a
healthy yawn and the occasional “oh great, now that your here I don’t have
to worry about being last” comments. Being the manly man that I am I don’t
let those kind of comments bother me, I just let them fade away like
fluffies in the wind and I moved forward knowing that I was walking onto the
flying field in high style and current fashion. Yes, for those of you not
hip to current fashion and too old to be part of the ³Generation X² goings
on let me tell you that I was pioneering new ground in the fashion area of
FAI sports wear.
My son Evan is convinced I am an incurable dork so to to prove him wrong I
went to the Max Men contest with my brand new, very hip, very cool, and very
comfortable “Puff Daddy Baggy Rapper Pants”. For those of you that are not
as cool as I am and simply out of the scene let me tell you that Puff Daddy
is the king of Rap music which is very much the rage these days. You know,
the rappers are those “artists” who gyrate all around and sing songs in a
simple ump-pah, ump-pah, ump-pah beat with simple words and a stupid rhyme
kind of thing with bass notes so loud that you can’t hear anything else! I
see and hear them when I drive through any hip and cool city like L.A., New
York, San Francisco and Wasco. It may be everywhere in the U.S. but I’m the
first on the flying field with these hip new clothes. In case you aren¹t
clear about what Puff Daddy Baggy Rapper Pants they are those pants that are
5 sizes too large in all directions and they have to hang on your hips and
look like they are about to fall off (which is true) and they drag the
ground so much that the bottoms are all tattered and easily tripped over
(which is also true and oh so cool) and when the wind blows they flap like
sails around your legs and scratch off what few leg hairs you have left. My
supportive wife calls me the butt-less wonder so I had to resort to using my
slowly developing love handles to hold the pants up as my hips were not up
to the task. Bad move, very dorkish, as Evan succinctly said” Dad, nobody
wears baggy pants half way up there chest, it’s sooooo not cool” . Well, for
me it was either that or have them falling down around my ankles for the
entire contest. Clearly I was not off to a good start in my quest to be the
coolest of the cool in FAI.
I actually had what I thought was a very practical reason for wearing Rapper
Baggy pants while flying my F1A Gliders. Besides the obvious need to keep
warm in those early morning February California rounds I was looking for
some kind of alternative to my normal Levi Blue Jeans which have a tendency
to be too tight in strategic places and give me a bad case of “Ohhh Pinche
Huevos² whenever I execute my not so graceful trip, fall and bunt maneuvers.
In addition to being a loose and comfortable fit rapper baggy pants also
have lots of pockets all over them. Who needs those goofy plastic organizer
boxes to keep all your modeling parts sorted out when you can have a whole
bunch of pockets for them? I had my cat tails fluffies in one pocket, extra
towline in another, stopwatch in a little pocket, tools in a big one, I was
a walking hobby shop, I felt so cool. The one problem is that none of the
pockets were big enough to hold my tow reel while I was sprinting around the
tissue ripping stalks of Lost Hills. Just as with my trusty levi jeans I
had to resort to tucking the tow reel into my waist band behind my back so I
could tow with the utmost agility and freedom. I felt like I was in hog
heaven at the contest knowing that all my gear was up to speed and I was
ready, willing and able to kick some serious FAI butt while being so hip and
fashionable. What a free flight stud!
I won¹t go into all the unusual things that happened to me in the contest
and the ³clearly not my fault² reasons for my less than stellar performance
of my contest scores but there was one particular round that really caught
my attention. I think it was a mid morning round when I was really feeling
in the groove and I was towing like Victor Stamov with long legs when I felt
this great big cold metal thing in my pants competing for space with my
little bitty warm thing that I realized that “oh captain, I think we have a
problem”. I don’t know why I insist on using my Bob Wilder made all metal
aluminum tow reel when I could use a nice light plastic one but I have a
thing for metal gadgets and it overcomes my better judgment once in awhile.
Well, sure enough as I was circle towing like a pro and feeling real cocky
(no pun intended) when I noticed that my tow reel had managed to slip
between my love handle and the elastic band of my rapper baggy pants and was
slowing making it’s way down my pants. As any F1A aficionado will attest
there are all kind of nasty things sticking out of a tow reel; wire line
guide, crank handle, tow ring, reel edges, you know, all the kinds of
things that would give any man pause when putting them into your pants along
with the sacred cargo (aka Mr. Happy). In addition to all that my “all metal
tow reel” was really cold and that’s what really made me perk up and take
notice. Never being very good at rubbing my tummy, slapping my head and
chewing gum at the same time I found myself in a once in a lifetime
predicament and to make matters worse I had my model in the air and on the
No way was I going to let this slow me down. Using my ultra-fast and highly
caffeinated early morning intellect I quickly surmised that the best
solution was to work with nature and just let that tow reel slip down my
pant leg and slide out the bottom. Pretty good idea huh?…………….
Wrong! Wrong! triple Wrong! Rapper pants are baggy but when the pockets
are crammed full of stuff they create this constriction in the pant leg that
is just big enough to let your tow reel get half way down your left thigh
but not as far as your knee. The good news was that my manhood was intact,
the bad news was that the tow reel was in my pant leg on the inside so I
kind of had to do the old ³squat & waddle² routine while towing. Being the
fierce competitor that I am I made lemonade out of lemons and I psyched out
the guy flying next to me by telling him that I got extra push from my legs
when configured this way for the final launch & bunt. With such quick
thinking I felt so smug, so cool, and so stupid. Clearly the living
definition and example of a dork in action. How was I to salvage my pride
after this embarrassing spectacle?
As someone famous once said “all’s well that ends well” and in my case I was
finally able to “shake a leg” and get that tow reel down my pant leg and out
the bottom with only a few scratches to my leg and a few bruises to my ego.
I was in the clear now, lift was all around me, full steam ahead, feeling
like a caged Gazelle broken out of the zoo I began to hear the music from
³chariots of fire² playing ……….and my brain went into slow motion
………and I was running as hard as I could…………sprinting towards
the most graceful launch I’ve ever done, and as I looked to sky feeling that
burst of freedom only known to free flight FAI flyers
…………………………………………….I was able to see my
inboard wing tip fold up like the leaf on a dining room table and watch my
new model do a slow but graceful corkscrew into the dust of Lost Hill, the
longest 40 second flight of my life, one I’ll never forget!
Damn I love this sport!
Jon Davis, Mac the Bigot.