SHENANDOAH, Iowa — Mark Twain once said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.”
It seems that Twain had the same view of getting older as Blaine Barton of Shenandoah, who just made his first skydive at age 83.
Barton's dive took place on July 20 at the Plattsmouth Municipal Airport as part of Lincoln Sport Parachute Club's annual Redemption Boogie.
“The most terrifying part of it is before you jump,” Barton recalled.
Barton was told to sit on the tandem instructor's lap to be fastened together; then it was time to bail out.
“It is terrifying at first,” Barton said. “Once you bail out, you free-fall for thousands of feet and they tell you to keep your head up. It's exciting.”
After a 60-second free fall, the instructor pulled the cord.
“There's a sudden jerk and then everything gets real quiet. You can see for miles and miles — it was awesome. It was more than what I expected.”
A professional photographer, Barton said he wished he would have had his camera with him.
“I love things like this ... I guess I'm an adrenaline junkie.”
And as for making his first skydive at the age of 83, Barton said age is just a number.
“I don't think about how old I am,” he said. “I was born in 1930 ... so let's go with 25.”