First – it wasn’t me. . . . .
Last Saturday, Donna, Lauren, Trent, Eve and I drove out to Rock Island, Illinois, for an Augustana College alumni event. On Sunday morning, we had brunch with friends and started our 3 hour drive home. One of us got very hungry along the way and we decided to stop at the Flight Deck Restaurant which is attached to the Rochelle Municipal Airport (Koritz Field) just off Interstate 88 at Route 251. Airport restaurants are known for good cuisine since pilots will often fly in for a meal and fly back out. Little did we know what adventure was in store.
We sat and ordered. Eve was hungry – and impatient. And she wanted to move. My granddaughter has one speed. Fast forward. So she and Trent walked outside – into a fenced buffer near the taxiway. And Eve took off running with Trent speed-walking alongside. I stayed inside – watching out the big window. And then it happened. Things started falling out of the sky. Mercy! They were sky divers – parachuting down. Using rectangular (“square ram“) parachutes. I dashed outside and watched another half dozen or float from the heavens and land — like they stepped off a curb — a sand wedge distance away. This was a first for Eve. And it was a first for me.
We learned that another “stick” of sky divers would be floating down in 20 minutes or so. It was easy to wait as our lunch arrived and my sandwich was the size of Rhode Island. We went back out and watched another dozen or more float down and land with precision in the field. Some were jumping tandem (2 on the parachute). In all, it was really an incredible experience. We learned that the airport is home to the Chicagoland Skydiving Center. Skydivers jump from 18,000 feet(!) and land with pinpoint precision right outside the window of the restaurant.
I told Donna it would be great to find a little B&B close by, drive out on a Friday and have dinner at the Flight Deck (recommended by the way) and maybe arrange a “jump” on Saturday morning. The first part was fine. The last part didn’t go over at all . . . . .