Thursday, June 26, 2014

Young at Heart

OGDEN -- The sunlight is nearly blinding as it floods through the door frame. The adventurer crosses his arms over his chest as he edges closer, looks out before him and leaps. Immediately the rush of air is at his face, hands and body. It drowns out all the other sounds as his speeds are gaining up to 120 mph. The white Grand Caravan 208B looks more like a model plane as it appears smaller and smaller above him. This is a view of the mountains that not everyone has seen. In a small burst the adventurer is pulled back as his free fall is interrupted. Ogden Skydiving Center tandem instructor Keegan Colton has released the Ram-air parachute and the two glide in the air, spinning, circling, taking in the view as they slowly descend at 15 mph. They touch ground. Despite what you might think, this adventurer isn’t a daredevil youth, raised on Red Bull and Mountain Dew, looking for the next life-risking activity to scare his parents. No, this adventurer is Richard Farr, of Roy, who just turned 90 years old on March 1. It was on his bucket list, said Farr, who served in the Pacific as a U.S. Army infantryman in World War II. Two of his granddaughters and a friend jumped with him Saturday at the Ogden-Hinckley Airport as his kids, his kids’ kids and their kids cheered for them safely on ground. "You just fly in space,“ Farr described this first time skydiving. ”You feel nothing and nothing is holding you back. Maybe it is something like Heaven,“ he says with a laugh. "You could tell he was really excited the whole way up,” Colton, a veteran skydiver of 13 years, said. “He made the jump and did everything perfect. As soon as the parachute opened he was almost like a little kid. It was a great experience.” With the parachute packed back up, the gear off and Farr’s family dwindling out of questions for their thrill-seeking role-model, Farr looked back at Colton and said, “You did great.” "You did awesome, too,“ Colton replied. Farr plans to jump again on July 26 with his son, Denis Farr, who will turn 60 this year, and Denis’ daughter, Shay Lange, who turns 40 this year. ”All three generations will skydive at once,” Denis said.

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