Pioneers of Sport Parachuting Reunions were organized based on the dream of getting together with “jumping” friends of 1960-vintage. Since the first reunion in 1997, it has become one of the most important “get togethers” for those of who started jump in the 50s and 60s.
In 1997, Jill and Nate (D-69) Pond made that dream come to fruition (for all of us) by hosting the 1st Pioneers of Sport Parachuting Reunion, or POSPR – (name coined then), at their Beefalow Farm in VT.
In 2001, Ted Strong scouted out an affordable motel for us in Tampa, FL, for the 2nd gathering, organized by Elizabeth Foster.
2002 – Tee Taylor very nicely took over the reins for the 3rd in Tucson, AZ.
2003 — Jerry Bourquin hosted this reunion in Elsinore. About 85 old jumpers came out for this gathering and had a great time.
2004 and 2005 – Kim Emmons Knor (D-121) and B.T. (Bev) Galloway aptly orchestrated the 4th and 5th in Denver, CO
2006, Chris and Bill McCarthy graciously created a gourmet’s delight for the 6th reunion in Las Vegas. B.T. composed a new stanza to “I Want To Jump In The Huss-a-ler” for Jacques Istel (D2) first reunion.
2008 – Salt Lake City, organized and hosted by Elizabeth (Betty) Foster was a great event. Many of the pioneers who started jumping in the 50s are still jumping and free jumps donated by Skydive Utah gave this group another jump to add to their log books. The stories by Jack Guthrie (History of Jumping in Utah), Ted Strong (Development of the Tandem Rig) and Deke Sonnichsen (Early History of Parachuting) made the Saturday night banquet a rousing success.
2009 – Raeford – not necessarily the best but it was definitely the biggest with over 225 pioneers in attendance. With skydives at Raeford, lots of flying time in the Paraclete XP Wind Tunnel, good food, good friends, lots of smiles and laughs, it was a time to remember. There were lots of mini-reunions within this big reunion – the Marines, the Raeford Crew from the 70s, Pelican Skydivers just to name a few. Organized by Linda Miller with lots and lots of help.
2010 – Felicity, CA – At the Center of the World and hosted by Jacques and Felicia Istel, the 2010 reunion small and cozy. You had time to talk to everyone and tell long ago jump stories. Tandem jumps with Jay Stokes gave lots of pioneers the chance to “air it out”. So much fun!