One of the blessings that I get from being a contributor to this paper is that I am not bound to columns that are prioritized, like politics or sports (such as my nephew Austyn handles). But hey, he is doing a bang-up job (and the family is proud of him and his work)! I get my inspiration from many places, which (a majority of the time) comes from experiences and memories accumulated over the road (and 40-plus years of what that entailed).
This story stems from the incidents that came about from the “9/11/01” chapter of my life. In one of my past posts, I shared my feelings on seeing the towers crumble that fateful morning and further expounded on it regarding how I felt “Gazing across the waters” (the title story I did for the Sept. 16-22nd, 2022 issue). What I had not mentioned regarding that period in my life was how this perilous time period affected many parts of both my days and nights (as it did to the majority of the concerned citizens of this United States of America). One thing that stuck hard in my memory was the T.V. clips of the jumpers and fallers that met their quick demise in real time for all to see.
One of the “quirks” of mine that my family (and especially my wife) knows about me is that I try to be a “fixer.” I drove old trucks for the majority of the million-plus miles and NEVER went ANYWHERE without a toolbox. (Getting back to the 9/11 thoughts), It made me very upset thinking that many people perished that day that could have stood a chance if only they had some way of escaping those deadly towers. I would lay in bed the next couple of nights thinking about the ordeal and would dream of what I might have tried to do if I were in their shoes (so to speak). I had thoughts of ripping the carpet up and making a parachute with it (and that got the ball rolling)!
As I had “experiences” from military jumps (with the 82nd Airborne Division), as well as a dozen free fall skydive jumps on the side, the idea of having a “parachute of last resort” started to form in my dreams. Years later, I mentioned this idea to friends and coworkers, but as they did not have the “experiences” that I had, the idea came off (to most of them) as non-sensical. But in my defense of logic, I can say that in the early ‘90s, I presented an idea of a mobile office with multiple bunks and temporary living space for up to a half dozen individuals. I presented my idea to a staff worker at a mobile office company (that our trucking company contracted with), and it was brushed off as something that would be a “difficult sell” to their corporate officials. Lo and behold, less than ten years later, I see a transport truck hauling one of what I had dreamed up going in the opposite direction on I-75! (Go figure!)
This got me thinking back to my idea for a lifesaving parachute system and the thoughts of me mentioning it to someone who has the will (and the ways) to make a million bucks off of it. This was not the correct thought process for something that could save tens (if not hundreds) of lives. So, now that I have this platform, I will throw my idea out to the “cyber-winds” and let it go where it wants (and/or needs) to go. My idea involved not only personal parachutes but furniture (like personal desks) that could store them away. These “chutes” would be no ordinary product that a skydiver would get used to, but a product that had an automatic opening airbag system (similar to what is built into most American vehicles). When I watch those Ford and Chevy commercials (regarding their crash test results), the first thing I notice is the speed at which those bags safely deploy. I am thinking that if they (the airbags) can be built to accommodate the multitude of different-sized vehicles, then a product “enhancement” could be outfitted for something on the idea of saving lives in a different manner. Again, this could be a hard sell (and the conversation of “supply and demand” could be a deciding factor).
Now let me throw some other variables into the conversation. If they had “rigs” as I had envisioned on that fateful day, I GUARANTEE that people that had them (theoretically) WOULD HAVE USED THEM!
Let’s go down some other avenues of possibility. There is a race in the world architectural community to build ever-increasing “record-breaking” skyscrapers. And some of these “megastructures” will be condominium-style units as well. Many of these behemoths will be built in what we not too long ago considered places to be “third world” nations. (Can anybody say, Burj Khalifa?) Now, I realize that many important ideas and products have been invented and made many men (and women) rich. When you take a tour of the different island residences in the Bahamas, the biggest thing that can be derived from it is how many people have bungalows that came about by patenting and mass producing something similar to “the better mousetrap” (it`s the American Dream). But I digress! The point I am laying out today is that there may be a way of rescuing people in near-impossible scenarios.
Here is another thought- We very easily could be “coerced” into World War #3, and the saying, “All is fair in love and war,” lends to the imagining of giant bulls eyes on buildings such as these. All I need to say regarding that is; Remember 9/11. So, if anyone has an inventor relative that is looking for a patent idea for the next generation of superstructure amenities, have them consider inventing an escape system (like a slide built on alternating floors of a building to assist jumpers), to augment my idea of the parachute that would be saving lives in the future! I may have thought up the main idea, but if somebody out there can make it happen, they are more than welcome to my share of the profits from their patents. (‘Nuff said). Have a blessed week!