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Now that you’ve turned 90, what are you going to do? Skydive

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Now that you’ve turned 90, what are you going  to do? Skydive

Andrea Guin, 18, and her great-grandfather Archie Shields talked about their planned skydiving on Saturday. Shields praised his granddaughter for graduating from Calla High School at 17 last Decem...

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin


POSTED July 31, 2009 2:03 a.m.
The thrill of a lifetime awaits an 18-year-old Manteca grad when she jumps out of an airplane two miles above Highway 99 north of Lodi with her 90-year-old great-grandfather jumping behind her on Saturday.

Archie Shields celebrates his birthday today, Friday, saying he put off his third skydiving jump until Saturday when family members could join him and his great-granddaughter Andrea Guin for their jump above the Acampo Airport on Highway 99.

Shields said he enjoys visits from Andrea at his Manteca home and wanted to give her something special for her graduation gift.  He was impressed that she graduated from Calla High School in December at the age of 17 and is now attending Delta College where she hopes to become a medical assistant.

“She likes to go to Great America and takes the worst rides ever,” he said.  “The good people don’t get the rewards they deserve,” he added.

Andrea agreed with her grandfather’s perception of her love for excitement at Great America saying, “I like the Drop Zone – it’s crazy.”

She has two sisters and a brother who will probably be at the airport – along with her parents – to watch the two skydiving Saturday: two sisters, Karley, 7, and Paige 13 along with brother Chase, 4.

The two Mantecans expect to arrive at the Acampo field about 1 p.m. and wait their turn to board the airplane that will take them to about 10,000 feet, Shields said.

He remembers his first jump at the same airport on his birthday in 1991.  He enjoyed it so much he jumped again a year later on his birthday.

Shields said he will jump alone but his granddaughter will drop in tandem with an instructor.  He said he hopes she will have a colored chute that he can identify from the air as he is on his way down.

He remembers that first jump well when he was seated in the open door of the aircraft.  As he rolled out of the door he said he yelled, “What the h--- am I doing anyway?”
That first jump was made from a 1940 vintage DC-3 that took forever to gain altitude.  His second jump was from a smaller but much faster airplane, he said.

Shields said he will have a good breakfast before he heads for the airport with a planned lunch with his granddaughter and family members after the two of them are back on the ground.

He noted that when windy conditions develop the drop zone is moved farther to the west controlling the landing area at the airport next to Highway 99.

Shields served in the U.S. Army during World War II and later worked for the San Joaquin County Department of Agriculture for nearly 20 years.
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