Last Updated on July 9, 2014 by Roff Graves
I am an Idiot, at least that is what Arleney told me. It was in the 1980s. I had taken up parachuting and hung around the parachute center in Galt, California. A lot of Adrenaline Freaks like me hung out there.—I was working at Cal Trans as an Investigator. Suddenly a rash of crazy people like me were Bungee-Cord jumping off of State bridges. It created a real Civil-Liability for the State. State Attorney John Sullivan was assigned Lead Attorney to stop the jumpers. John asked for me to work with and for him. John told me, “Any recourse you need is available, just stop them!”—
Now how in the world am I going to do that!—-I started trying to find out anything I could about them or where they were going to jump next. I finally found the leader. I don’t remember his name. But strangely enough, some of them were Sky-Divers. That made contact simple. I talked with the leader and I told him that he must stop, that the State would stop at nothing to close his operation down.—-Graves he said, “I Know you parachute some. I will make a deal with you. We will jump the Tuolumne County bridge next Saturday. If you jump with us, we will no longer jump from State bridges”.
John Sullivan was a character, He loved action. We agreed that I would jump.–But the State could not back me. I was 100% on my own, even my own time.
Arleney told me I was an idiot. Saturday morning I took some of my family members (not Arlene) and we headed for Tuolumne County. There we met the Bungee Jumpers at the bridge. It was over a 100ft jump and because of my terrible ego I had to go first. (I also thought I was going to be the oldest Bungee Jumper known—I wasn’t, someone else beat me out )
Well they strapped 5 or 6 bungee Cords around me with a hook about chest high. They took me and helped me over the bridge and tsoon I was to meet God and the Devil at the same time—nothing in the world like it.–heavy fall down then shot like a rocket back up.—Well when I got back on the bridge, a professional football player and everyone yelled—Hell of a Jump! And all clambered for me to do it one more time. —Damn it, I did but this time the Bungee Cords tangled and I grabbed them with my left hand. I forgot to turn loose and the Bungee Cord ripped deep into my left hand.I hid the injured hand and told my son-in -law to get me to an Emergency Ward.—And that is another story about what happened next–too long to tell here.
I have no idea back in the Legal Office who all knew. I got no special attention but John Sullivan thought it was hilarious—And yes, the Bungee Jumpers kept their word. There was no more reports of them jumping off of State bridges again.–olRoff