Sunday, June 24, 2012

Blue Star jumpers calm on eve of parachute debut


Blue Star Mothers Marjorie Bryan (left) and Marianna Sherman (center) greet Sara Rickhard (second to left), Linda Humphrey (second to right) and Virginia Clark (right) at the fish fry fundraiser at the American Legion. Bryan and Sherman are skydiving Saturday morning to raise money for charity. Lindsay Brown/Lima News.

LIMA — For a couple of octogenarians about to take a two-mile plunge from an airplane, Marjorie Bryan and Marianna Sherman seemed remarkably calm Friday evening.

Blue Star Moms triumph in parachute plunge

LIMA — Retired Sgt. 1st Class Michael “Big Mike” Elliott waited patiently on the tarmac Saturday afternoon while Marjorie Bryan posed with her longtime friend, Marianna Sherman, for a crowd of friends and relatives snapping a few last photos.

Then in a loud voice, Elliot called out the all-important question:

“Well, Margie, are you ready to skin this cat?”

A brief plane ride later, Elliott was guiding Bryan, an 83-year-old Blue Star Mother from Lima, back to earth in a tandem parachute jump from more than 10,000 feet up.

About an hour later, Sherman, 82, of Kenton, completed her own jump.

The great-grandmothers parachuted Saturday at Allen County Airport to raise funds for the local Blue Star Mothers chapter and its Lima Veterans Food Pantry. They jumped in tandem with Elliott and a team of six other members of the Ranger Group, a band of retired Army Ranger paratroopers with loads of training and experience.