Meadow Peak Hosts 52nd Annual Lost Prairie Boogie
By Rhonda Kaletz
The Lost Prairie Boogie is a time to tune out from the daily hustle and bustle of email and social media and tune in to yourself and those around you. It’s a time when 300-plus close friends journey to a small prairie in Montana for 10 days of adult summer camp, skydiving included. A time when a Cessna 182 drop zone—Meadow Peak Skydiving—turns into a multi-turbine operation with world-class organizers from all over. A time to set the cell phone down and have conversations with fellow jumpers on the packing mat, in the loading area and around the fire.
The wet Montana weather leading up to the August 4-12 event created one of the greenest prairies in recent memory. Planes provided by Skydive Arizona in Eloy kept everyone in the air. John Dobleman got each day started with his traditional morning loads. Then the rest of the enormous organizing staff got started. Sean Horton organized daily flag and banner jumps, Rich LaBarr took care of angle flyers and freeflyers, and Karen Woolem and Cindy Stroup put together beginner belly jumps. Erika Mundinger, Julie Kleinwort and Regan Tetlow put together belly-ways for the more-experienced crowd, and Maxine Tate held two Flight-1 canopy courses. Scott Callantine and Andrew Velasquez organized a skills camp and successful 5-way Montana Record for Largest Wingsuit Skydive, while Chazi Blacksher and Franck Eloffe organized a 5-way Montana Record for Largest Head-Up Formation Skydive and a 6-way Montana Record for Largest Head-Down Formation Skydive. Mark Kirschenbaum rounded out the crew by providing paparazzi services.
Jumpers had an opportunity to spin the prize wheel to win services and products. The sponsors—Advanced Aerospace Designs, Aerodyne Research, Alti-2, Bev Suits, Chuting Star, Cookie Helmets, Dekunu, Fly Sight, Icarus World, Mirage Systems, Para-Gear Equipment Co., Rigging Innovations, Rig Sleeve, SSK Industries, Skydive Arizona, SkyVenture Arizona, Square 2, Sun Path Products, Velocity Sports Equipment and Vertical Suits—went above and beyond with their support.
Sadly, longtime jumper Jerry Fischer passed away during a jump at the boogie. Details of the incident were not immediately available, and although obviously saddened, his family and friends are still grateful that he was doing something he enjoyed. Many expressed the sentiment “Fly free, Fish,” when hearing of his passing.
Veterans and newcomers alike upheld Lost Prairie traditions, such as the Lost Prairie Olympics and visits to the local fire tower. Once again, Team Suck It Mad John was at the top of the podium for the 10-way speedstar competition. Saturday’s live music, party and fireworks were a great way to celebrate the week. Everyone is already looking forward to the 53rd Annual Lost Prairie Boogie scheduled for August 1-9, 2020.
Rhonda Kaletz | C-36222