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Delta mayor to take the plunge from 7,500 feet

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Weather permitting, Delta Mayor Ed Sisson will be jumping into Confluence Park Saturday to herald the opening of the kids' activities and Vendor Village. His estimated time of arrival is between 11 a.m. and noon.

Sisson took a practice run with Ben Lowe, owner of USA Ultimate Skydiving Adventures, last week. Although he served in the military for 20 years, he says he never had an opportunity to parachute from a plane. "I always wanted to do it; now I have the perfect opportunity, right in my back yard."

Sisson lives in North Delta; the tandem jumps originate from Blake Field, which is also in North Delta.

Sisson said he yelled "Geronimo" as he grabbed Lowe's halter and pitched forward out of the airplane.

Though the drop lasted just 15 seconds, it seemed a lot longer. Sisson said he had time to enjoy a 360° view of the countryside. "I could see Grand Junction, Paonia ... even Ouray," he said.

There was a small jerk when the parachute popped open, but otherwise the jump went smooth as silk.

To avoid getting their legs tangled, the duo slid onto terra firma on their butts. Although Sisson was having the time of his life, Sharon, his wife, admitted her knees were shaking the entire time. She greeted him with a big hug.

Delta's jumps begin at about 7,500 feet above ground. For Saturday, Lowe is looking for dry, cooler air and winds around five knots. Rain and/or gusty winds would force the jump to be cancelled.

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