Skydiving coincidence defies logic, description
Mike Brown

I f you read detective stories the smarter-than-we-are guy or girl who solves the murder usually says something like “there’s no such thing as a coincidence.”

Uh, no. Yes there is.

Coincidences happen and one of the most amazing ones in the 39 years I’ve been doing this job—or trying to do it—unreeled Thursday.

I’m always on the lookout for photos and the City of Rockdale is a good generator of such. They do a lot of maintenance and always have some projects going on that make photos. To that end, I’ve asked City Manager Kelvin Knauf to give me a heads up when there are projects going on.

Which he did about noon Thursday. “I don’t know if you know it, Mike, but they’re drilling the new water well at the airport.” I didn’t know it and so I headed out there. When I got to Coffield Regional, there seemed to be a fair amount of activity going on. A truck was being loaded and a little yellow and blue airplane was in the midst of refueling.

I looked over to see Kelvin pull up right beside me. We got out and h eaded d own t he fl ight l ine to see what was going on.

As we circled around the little plane I started telling him that seeing the plane being refueled reminded me of my son, Mark, who works at the San Marcos Airport and refuels planes as part of his duties.

I looked back over the plane and saw a bunch of glittering white dots in the sky.

Since I don’t watch television channels with “Discovery”, ‘Learning” or “History” in their names, I did not immediately jump to the conclusion it was an invading armada from Epsilon Auriga, post it on You Tube and call a gullible TV anchorperson.

It didn’t take long to figure out it was a large flock of birds. White birds. When their wings turned at just the right angle the sun glittered off them brilliantly.

Art by Ashtyn Simank, a sophomore at Rockdale High School. Art by Ashtyn Simank, a sophomore at Rockdale High School. I raised my camera to shoot..... and a dazzling blue-and-white parachute sailed into my field of view.

We—Myself, Kelvin and everyone else at the surprisingly busy little airport—watched in awe as the chute came down directly over our heads and gently glided down into the grass at the side of the runway.

It was beautiful. A ballet in the air, if you will. Wow.

We went over to find the “tandem chute” contained three people, David Moore, skydiving instructor at the Texas Skydiving Center near Lexington, and his clients for the day, Neel and Sonali Gupta of Austin.

It turned out the previous week’s rains had made their usual facilities in Lee County so muddy they were forced to divert to Rockdale’s.

And the five minutes it took them to f loat down just happened to be the five minutes I was there. Out of the blue. Okay, pun intended.

Then it got downright spooky. Turns out David had jumped out of a plane two months ago with my son (!). It was Mark’s big graduation gift the day after he got his degree at Texas State.

(I knew he was going to do it but made him promise not to tell me what day it was going to be, so I could actually get some sleep the previous night.)

David, the Guptas, Kelvin and I visited. Turns out this was Neel and Sonali’s very first trip to Rockdale.

It occurred to me. Not many people come to Rockdale for the first time the way they did!

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2013-10-24 digital edition

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