Man goes skydiving for his 85th birthday
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | June 22,2013
Liz McMahon and her grandfather, Bruno Trahan, 84, are pictured Friday afternoon after their skydive from 12,000 feet in West Addison. It was to celebrate Trahan’s 85th birthday next month.
Bruno Trahan loves a thrill.
The Barre native has gone bungee jumping, reverse bungee jumping, paragliding, white-water rafting, scuba diving and water skiing, and he goes on a pontoon boat every chance he gets.
Anything for the thrill, the adventure, he said.
Friday afternoon, in a field off Route 17 in West Addison, Trahan had his latest adventure. Just a month shy of his 85th birthday, the Colchester resident jumped 12,000 feet from a plane.
“You are as young as you feel,” he said before the jump. “I saw George (H.W.) Bush do it four years ago and I said if he can do it, by God so can I.”
The retired customs officer continued: “I’ve done everything. There is nothing I have not done. I have always loved the thrill.”
“I just love it. It scares you but that’s a part of life,” Trahan said of all his adventures. ‘‘You know you are not going to die.”
Friday’s jump was not Trahan’s first. His first was in 1990 with several of his children, followed by a second jump just two years after.
On one of those occasions, Trahan said he was having so much fun free falling that he almost forgot to pull the cord to release the parachute.
“I was enjoying it so much and then I get a tap on the shoulder and I am thinking ‘What does this guy want,’” he explained. “He did it again and then went in front and pulled the cord. I would have plowed into the ground.”
He added, “The free fall is wonderful.”
For this latest jump Friday, Trahan was joined by his 35-year-old granddaughter, Liz McMahon, of Boston, and his niece, Diana Deller, of Naugatuck, Conn.
“As soon as I heard (the plan), I said, ‘Me too, me too, me too,’” McMahon said. It was her first jump.
They were also joined at Vermont Skydiving Adventures by Mike Lynch of Naugatuck, Conn., and Kathy Arcovitch of Essex Junction.
Waiting for Trahan on steady ground, as she has for more than six decades, was his wife, Marjorie. The couple celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary Thursday.
“She let’s me do anything,” he said. “She lines up the policies in case I don’t come back.”
Marjorie Trahan, 88, said when they first got married he would jump from some cliffs near their home and she never stopped him.
“I said, ‘don’t worry, I have all the policies out,’” she said while taking photos with an iPad. “If he’s happy, everyone is happy.”
Around 4 p.m. Friday afternoon Trahan and McMahon — the last ones in the group to go — loaded into a small propeller plane and flew up 12,000 feet. They said it took them about 20 minutes before the plane door opened.
“You are just sitting here on the plane and the wind is blowing and all of a sudden you are shoved out and you go really fast,” Trahan said.
McMahon said they got to go through a cloud, which was one of her favorite parts after the free fall.
“It was awesome,” she said.
“It was awesome with a capital A,” her grandfather said quickly after. “I may be back at 90 ... If the good Lord allows it.”