Edgar: I’m no chicken, I will jump

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Some are calling it “crazy”or saying, “he’s lost his mind,” but Opp Mayor H.D. Edgar said, “it’s an opportunity of a lifetime,” to jump from an airplane as part of the airshow planned for the South Alabama Regional Airport in November.

Edgar will jump tandem jump with a member of the U.S. Army Silver Wings Parachute Team during the air show planned for Nov. 13.

Skydiving and parachuting have been dreams of Edgar’s for years. In fact, he almost made a career out of it.

“When I was 17, I almost went into the Army,” he said. “I wanted to be a paratrooper, but my family talked me out of it.”

Edgar said he has even considered going to skydiving school, but the timing has never worked out.

Although Edgar never got the opportunity to participate, he never gave up hope. So when the opportunity came up at a South Alabama Regional Airport meeting, he “jumped” at it.

“Jed Blackwell (co-manager of the SARA) brought up the fact that in doing (this air show), they would let someone jump out of an airplane,” he said. “I told them I wanted to do it and that’s how I got to do this.”

Edgar said he always thought it would provide a “great rush” to jump out of an airplane.

Edgar said he thinks his airplane escapade will bring publicity to Opp.

“I just hope it won’t make the national news,” he said. “These guys are professionals. They have made hundreds of jumps. The Army wouldn’t allow them to do this if it wasn’t safe.

“This is just a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he said.

“When I was little, I thought it was neat to see guys with wings.”

Edgar said a lot of people think he’s crazy, but that’s not stopping him.

“I’m not going to chicken out,” he said. “I’m in good health; I have a strong heart.

“I want my legacy as mayor to be said that the mayor of Opp would seize any opportunity to promote Opp.”

Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson also was invited to tandem jump.

“There’s no way I’m jumping out of a perfectly good airplane,” he said.

Instead, Johnson will fly with one of the military precision teams.

The SARA airshow is scheduled the same weekend as Andalusia’s Homecoming 2010 events. The show is free to the public.