Whether Jan was in the air or on the ground she was in the midst of some of
our most fun times spent with each other.
Not often photographed herself, she made many of our trips into memories we
could revisit and share with others. We have lost a good friend that left
much with us to remember her by.
I know her absence is felt by all of us the flew with her.
When I look above the formation for her little red bat suit I'll still smile
into the sun and wink. She will be part of our flights, in our memory, for a
long time to come.
God's Bluest and Brightest Skies to you Jan.
Her web page captured some of the greates images of the NG. I hope someone with
skills and equipment quickly captures it for us. It is her legacy to us all.
I will miss her.
I'm going to miss you teasing me about my walking like a crippled bear.
I'm going to miss teasing you about your walking like a penguin.
I'm going to miss how you said we gimps should stick together.
I'm going to miss your wonderful smile, under all that gruff exterior.
I'm going to miss sitting in your travel trailer drinking your beer.
I'm going to miss your great video.
Most of all Jan, I'm going to miss the opportunity to be as good a friend to
you, as you were to me.
Damn, this is too hard..........................
I was looking at birdwalk, checking the photos of the recdot boogie just
past. There I was imortalized in several shots, as others were
birdwalk...jan sorta walked like a bird, teased her about it. double fake
hips will do that to a person. many would retire from any activity, not jan.
it was colder than expected in florida and I loaned jan a sweat suit, she
laughed when I offered it to her.
anything you can get over your skinny butt won't fit me she said. great
materials these things are made of, she returned it before we parted, said
see ya next year, don't forget the boogie @ lodi.
i remember the constant ear to ear grin she had while framing jimbo's pie
brigade the year past, she really enjoyed that
i remember she couldn't talk her way out of a traffic ticket...we all
laughed about that over dinner..
i remember her organizing the @ sign jump this year..dirt it again, get it
right... I think she took lessons from jerry on organizing
blue ones lady
This is just unbelievable.
Jan was one of my 'poobahs' - coach-dives and critiques, always
there, a rock of Gibraltar, my bestest videographer at Quincy
and Sebastian. The KDFC at-sign. It's hard to imagine the DZ
'home' without her.
Still in shock, I'm going to free-associate to my known and yet-to-meet
I first met Jan Davis at Peanut's Drunk/Pie Fest, in Crawfordsville,
Indiana. I hadn't met Peanut yet, but his antics on the NG (as well as
having a boogie named after him) intrigued me. Peanut introduced me to Jan,
a woman with great spirit, and a mouth to match.
Initially, I wasn't totally enamoured with her, to say the least. I'm sure
people say the same about me; I have been known to be brash and sarcastic.
Qualities that cover up scars and hurt from the past.
I most recently saw her at the RecDot boogie in Sebastian. I playfully
nudged her as she was sitting on the ground, back turned, and she seemed
genuinely glad to see me. She offered to lend me some money: I was in a bit
of a snit, financially. Fortunately, it worked out that I didn't need to
borrow any, and for whatever reason, we really "bonded" at that boogie.
Jan filmed my 400th jump that weekend; a "Magic Carpet Ride" with Johnny
Muff, Grrr, Peanut, and a host of others.
Jan was invincible, having survived similar tragedies to mine in her life...
tragedies that made mine look small in comparison. I never talked with her
about it... she wasn't that close of a friend, until recently. But I
would. We were going to hang out with each other when I would be in
California for a month. We were going out on the town, the two head-strong,
I've heard some of the laments on the NG about "I was gonna write..." and
I'm afraid that I'm in that league, too. I was gonna write her about her
rec dot photos; I was gonna write her about my upcoming trip to CA; I was
gonna write her about her impending surgery; I was gonna write.......
And so, Jan: I read the news today, oh boy.
And I'm over 6000 miles away. I feel so helpless.
All I could do was go down to the hotel bar and ask if they had anything
with the word, 'Canadian' on the bottle. I was numb until that point, but
since the hotel bartender and I were the only two in the place, I offered
him a drink on me, and toasted to you. And cried.
Fearless, big-hearted, rapier-witted, sweet, lover of life, Jan.
I will truly miss you, my dear sister.
May you fly free forever...
...and she's with her beloved dad!
I just had the impression that she's smiling at us and is saying "Git
over it, I'm just fine, and those darn fake hip bones don't bother me
anymore either!" Now that makes me feel better right now.
I remember when the rec.boogie article was published ... I was reading my issue at work that
night ... left it laying on the table. One of my friends picked it up ...
'is this the boogie you went to?' I told him yeah. He reads the blurb
about the boogie ... looks at the photo ... I haven't even noticed. "Who's
Jan Meyer?" he asks. "No, that's Jan Davis," I assured him ... not even
thinking ... "Noooooooo ... it says ... right here ... under the photo ...
someone named Jan Meyer ..." Oh, sweet Jesus! I never even noticed that ...
I knew Jan would be madder than hell. What a stupid mistake!
I emailed Bozo ... I don't have "balls," I told him. "Will you tell her?"
I hated like hell to be on the receiving end of Jan's wrath. I hated like
hell to be the bearer of bad news. Lord knows, Jan did have a hot temper.
"I pity the poor person answering USPA's phones on Monday morning," was
Bozo's response when I asked him how Jan had taken the news. "Her reaction?
Ummmm, does the word Nuclear seem an appropriate description?"
Of course, Jan just called USPA ... made her displeasure known ... and got a
nice apology ... both in print and in person. "Rita says you should give me
a cover in compensation ... " she informed the hapless publications
director. I think they would have done it too ... the first chance they
got. I sure wish they would find a way to do it now ... it would be a
fitting memorial to a wonderfully talented person ...
I love you Jan ... and I will always hold you in my heart ... and in my
soul. Until we meet again one day ... on another plane ... in another realm
... fly high ... and blue ... blue skies to you always!
Fly free on the wind forever.
We'll miss you.
This is so incredibly sad.
You will be missed Jan, even by those of us who never got a chance to
meet you in real life.
I'll have a beer in her memory. Hoping she would be happy with that.
I finally met Jan this past year at Quincy, she shot some video and stills of
my Friend and I out of the DC-4....I am truly saddened, she was a true
character in the best of ways
I remember when she sent me her bio. It was snail mail, she wasn't
I read it and was absolutely amazed at what this woman had done. Later
she started doing camera & came out to Skydance & shot some of the
training camp loads I organized. Then over at Lodi she did just fun
camera for awhile, then did the tandem vids. By this time, everyone knew
of the Devil lady. She had an incredible voice. She sang at a memorial
for another fallen jumper.
Most recently Jan toured the country to all the Boogies, meeting bunches
Jan was amazing. Incredible energy.
My wife and I have known Jan pretty much from the time we started in the sport.
I don't post much to the newsgroup, but knew Jan personally from jumping with
her. She shot video on a number of my jumps, and was there on a number of them
I consider to be special. I wrote this in her memory.
The Lady and the Bird
in memory of Jan Davis
A lady sat with her bird
She listened, and she heard
A wonderous tale, of flying high
Floating free in the sky
Above the earth, on a wing
The bird taught the lady how to sing
They sang of life, and of love so true
Of flying free in a sky so blue
The bird and the lady would spend the day
Dancing up there, a time to play
The bird had feathers for his flight
The lady had silk, to fall so light
The lady returned to earth with the song
Which to her friends she passed along
She took them with her so they could see
What it was like to be truly free
The song still grows like a raging fire
Though one less voice is in the choir
With her passing, the song doesn't end
It remembers her, the lady our friend
jan insires on a number of levels but "guts" is something old timers can really
appreciate and new timers can learn from. if you skydive often enough you will
deal with decisions and situations that affect your existence. take it
seriously. don't ever give up.
jan battled it out to the very end.
the absolute highest possible compliment that i can personally pay to someone
is that they have "indominable spirit."
even old timers can learn from jan davis.
I speak for a LOT of jumpers at Byron in saying that Jan will be
missed. when I recieved word from Alan C. at Byron on Saturday just
before I went up on a load, I didn't believe it. I asked for a moment
of silence on jumprun of that load...
Until now I have been speechless. Thinking about the confusion on the
newsgroup back when the other Jan Davis went in at El Cap and how
everyone was concerned about which one it was. Jan posted, hoping to
relieve those worried about her. Now there is no confusion, sadly.
Jan filmed my first (and only, to this day) @-sign dive at Lodi, last
year at KDFC. I'll never forget how she put the pressure on me to do
well (making the experienced RW flyer to freeflyer comments about being
on an upcoming RW skydive), then did the tough thing of posititively
commenting this young, punk kid, freeflyer's job on the skydive
afterwords. That was one of my most favorite videos, and one of the
skydives that I felt I accomplished the most and felt the best about.
She filmed it.
May Jan rest while in the skies above.
Fly on, fly well, fly free...
I just heard about Jan a few minutes ago from Peanut. First time I have
cried since 1990. Just have to say a few words here in the NG, it's the
only place I know of, where everyone will understand.
I was supposed to jump with Jan Davis last summer, while she was here is
the Cincinnati area. Due to reason that neither of us could control, we
never got to make that jump, but I spent at least 4 or 5 hours on the
phone every night, during the entire week she was here. When I had to go
to the bathroom, my fiancee talked with her, the really hit it off.
Since then we spent a couple of hundred hours IM'ing each other.
We wanted to do a camera jump together because, as far as we knew, we
were the only two total hip joint replacement skydivers in the world. I
have finally gotten my medical problems solved and was looking forward
to making a POPS meet this summer and jumping with her.
She was always messing with me saying that she was "better", because she
had her hips replaced before I did and that made her the world's "first"
hip joint replacement skydiver. We had a lot of fun playing "one
upmanship" on the hip joint thing. I guess it made us feel like we were
still in the game, even after some segments of society had written us
I never got to meet Jan, but I feel like I have known her all my life.
She got deep into a lot of us, emotionally and a lot of people are going
to miss her. I am proud to be one of those who will. What makes me a
little better, is that, I took the time to tell her that, when she was
I am having those feelings, that all of us "old-timers" have, when a
friend goes in, those feeling that say, "maybe it's time to hang it up,
maybe the odds are building up against me, maybe I should listen to the
neighbors and quit acting like a young kid." Then again, maybe I should
think about what Jan Devil would say, "Screw em George, never let age
interfere with a happy childhood, go for it."
Gonna miss that cranky old bird lady, A WHOLE LOT ! I know I'm not alone
in that one.
Thanks for lending an ear folks.
Save me a slot, just incase.
This is the second time I've posted my thoughts about Jan dying. The first
time, I was wondering what the hell she was doing BASE jumping El Cap with 2
fake hips. Obviously, it was the other Jan Davis, but this Jan Davis was truly
touched by the outpouring of emotions she saw when people thought she was
dead...for about 3 days, then she got pissed off about it, cuz' customers were
sending messages regretting her death and the fact that they could no longer
order from her.
Jan was a hard woman on the outside. She called a spade a spade, and I
respected that about her, even when I didn't think it was a spade. Remember
the idiot who got on her and Jimbo a couple months ago, posting their addresses
and phone numbers? I talked to Jan on the phone one of those nights, I think
her words were something along the lines of "He just fucked with the wrong
Jan was actually a softie. Speaking to her about matters of the heart revealed
her feminine side in an instant.
Jan was a joker. Hands up - who's been on the brunt of those jokes? Or pies
for that matter.
Jan was tough. Anyone who's seen her land, then get up and walk inside knows
it. Making 500+ jumps a year with her physical problems was enough to garner
respect from just about anyone.
I've seen Jan pissed off, I've seen her sad, I've seen her cackle, belly laugh,
and cry. I'm sure she'd give the shirt off her back to a friend in an instant.
She was truly independent, something we don't see often. She was happier than
the vast majority of us, despite the less than perfect cards life dealt her.
In short, Jan lived her life well.
Despite the health problems (recently worsening), Jan kept living life more
than the vast majority of people. She was a skydiver.
She deployed her main and it didn't work.
She chopped it.
She deployed her reserve and it entangled her camera helmet.
She chopped the helmet.
She worked the problem into the ground.
In short, Jan died well.
When I get to my other computer, I'll find that poem Paul Joseph posted a
couple years ago...it seems relevant. If I can, I'll post on the web the last
video I've got that Jan shot...I took Spurgeon on a tandem, and like this one,
we were last out. Jan got great video of the Otter diving behind us, then came
in and docked and spun us around, grinning the whole time. When I get to Lodi
next month for the KDFC boogie that Jan started a couple years ago, at least a
few of us will make a jump in her memory. If folks are lazy and her trailer's
still there, Jimbo and I will break in and drink her beer.
These things won't make it better, but they're things to do. I'll still miss
my friend. I'll still regret turning down the Sebastian boogie every time she
tried to talk me into it. I'll still regret not jumping with her in Nevada
last December. I'll still look for her online once in awhile, and I'm sure
I'll look for her at Lodi occasionally. Despite these things, I'll also do the
same thing Jan did every day of her life. Keep on keepin' on.
Blue skies, black death,
aka "live-in-a-cave", "liverdave", and several other unsavory terms...and sad
that I won't see more of them from Jan.
I remember that thread. Jan wasn't taking any crap off of that guy!
Another thing that I remember about that time is that Jan knew she could
count on her friends. I received an email from her reassuring me that she
had rec.skydiving friends who would help that guy understand that it would
be very unwise of him to continue his harrassment of her. Not long after
that, he changed his tune and went away. Those friends know who they are.
I'm sure it meant a lot to her to have their support.
I first ran into Jan Davis about 6 months ago in a dating chat room. She
was loud and brash and was scaring the bejesus out of anything male. I
took to her immediately. She extended her standard offer that I should
drive out to Lodi and take a jump with her. I gave my standard answer
"no thanks, I ride motorcycles, that's danger enough for me." This hit a
nerve with her, since she'd recently lost her father on a motorcycle
accident and we got to talking in more depth.
After working on me through November and December, she finally got me
out to Lodi for a jump in January. I did a tandem with Cloudbuster, and
she flew camera. I was hooked. I did another tandem a week later, and
the week after that I was going to do it again -- only she pulled a fast
one and scheduled me for S/L training instead.
When they moved me up to AFF for the last few dives she flew camera. And
when I graduated she flew my first jump with me. That was in February.
Since then she's always done a few jumps with me every weekend. She told
me she felt responsible since I was the only person she'd ever talked
into diving who stuck with it. She even arranged for me to be pied when
I came off student status (and got it on film). She wanted me to love
the sport the same way she did.
Saturday morning I made my 50th jump. The DZ was so busy that I didn't
get a chance to say anthing to her before her final dive.
She was constantly lecturing me on how to do things well, I'd even taken
to calling her Mom occasionally (and got away with it without comment
from her). If I left the DZ early on a Saturday for a party, she'd give
me a hard time. She and I would be on IM from the moment I got into the
office until I left in the evening. Sometimes we'd be talking during the
evening as well. We probably chatted everyday she wasn't at a a boogie
since January. I crashed down at her place once in a while, and when she
needed to fly out to a boogie, she'd crash at mine, and then I'd take
her to the airport and pick her up afterwards. She cried on my shoulder
about her romances, and sent me pictures and asked my opinions of people
she was considering dating.
She could seem so hard and caloused on the outside sometime, but she had
a knack for accepting people as they were. Her views and mine would
never agree on many subjects, that didn't keep us from talking about
them and it didn't keep us from being close friends. That's something
that puts her miles beyond most people. She was a wonderful person.
We talked a lot about her hips, she worried about getting through the
jump season before surgery. She'd seen her surgeon Thursday, and he'd
told her that it was fine to jump until something broke, and if nothing
broke through the summer, she could schedule her surgery for next
winter. She was so damned happy about that. She'd been in some pain, but
got ahold of medication for it and was really enjoying diving for the
first time in a couple months (she said). Last Sunday she even jumped
with her old team and was gleeful at how nice it was to jump again with
people on that level. She was even considering getting back into
competition after surgery...
Saturday morning her right hip came out of its socket at the DZ. It's
happened a couple other times and she and I had rehearsed what to do.
After we got everyone's panic under control it only took me a moment to
get it back in. The didn't want her to fly after that, she was
devistated. It was only after she talked to the DZ owner (Bill Dause)
that she got the go ahead to continue flying (I need to emphasise that
this had nothing to do with her accident). Her reaction to not being
allowed to jump was just incredible. Her love for the sport was intense.
Over the past couple weeks she and I had talked a lot about malfunctions
and she'd become increasingly worried about snags on her camera. She
forwarded me a report on the death of a camera flier back east just last
Sunday. We'd even talked about what could be done to change designs to
make things safer. She also had started practicing getting her helmet
off fast in case it happened. She was definitely worried and wary. I
can't help wonder if this worry contributed to the accident, but I don't
pretend to know.
Her friend and packer Yvonne and I jumped together Sunday morning.
I cried all the way to 14,000 ft and she took over when we landed. But
we jumped. We did our best to duplicate the jump we'd made with Jan last
week, and I think we managed.
The last jump I had with her was last Sunday. She'd wanted to do
something fun. It was late afternoon, the skies had clouded a bit (with
a high ceiling) and the tandems had all gone away. She'd told me she
wanted to do something fun. She had me crouch in the doorway of the
Otter, straddled my lap put her arms around me and we fell out
backwards, tumbling end over end as she made faces at me. She swears she
could hear me screaming, but I truly enjoyed it. We broke that at about
10k and then hooked up again and she spun me around in circles until
I couldn't hold on to her any more. When we got to the ground she
announced "See? It isn't all work. We do have fun."
The staff at Lodi did a jump for her on Sunday. They invited me along
(bless them). Bill Dause and I and someone I don't know formed the base
for about a 20-way jump. It was my first large jump (yes, I bought
beer). It was an utter zoo. Bodies flying everywhere, no one quite
linking up. As I watched it all happen I thought, "Jan would have loved
it". I think she'd have been disappointed if we all got it right.
Last week I took over the maintenance on her website. We'd started to
rework a lot of things. I'd gotten the rec.skydive pictures up, but
I don't know if she ever announced it. I'm at a loss about what to do
with it now, best to just let it sit, I guess.
I will keep jumping, but there will always be a hole in my heart where
Hey Jan - I'd like to think I made you smile every now and then (like
you made us smile ever so often) and that we can go on and on and on -
talking stupid shit on the newsgroup.
From recent posts I gather that we cant.
(Needless to say I wrote & send it & then downloaded the 242 assorted
post and heard the news I didn't want to hear)
Maybe I should tattoo STUPID on MY forehead.
I liked your posts and your emails.
I will miss you - Devil woman.
Like I said - removable white board marker ink... with the stupid
thing being of course that you are not there anymore - can we undo
that please, God?
Well maybe the smart thing is you still are as you believed you would
be. (Brand new hips of course - the genuine thing, no artificial steel
As long as we miss you and remember you - you are.
Shouldn't be too hard...(Remember the trouble we had exchanging
pictures through the mail where my jpg was obviously something else
than your jpg? How smart we felt when we finally got to 'see' each
other? The difference between 'lebians' and 'lesbans'?)
This is where I'm supposed to write the condolences to the family.
Condolences to all of us.
(And special thanks to George Rabe for the 'dont let old age interfere
with a happy childhood' quote... I think I will make another skydive.
Well, maybe two..)
something we all can remember as we think of Jan...
What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us;
what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
Jan, I will never..ever forget you..I loved your sence of humor.
you will leave a big, empty space behind you...
Thank you for the jumps we made together.. you will always be my
cameradude..on every single jump I will make...
Enjoy your eternal freefall.. you are forever beautiful!
My condoleances to the family.....
Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers
but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain
but for the heart to conquer it.
Ya know,, except for the times when she was bitching me out for just about
everything i did wrong and naughty,,, You could always tell when any one made
her happy,, that " laugh" she had was soooo much fun. When she chased me into
the shower at madia grass,,, we need to make a sound file from that film.. She
was so happy to be at a rained out boogie, hehehehe,, When Jan laughed,,
Jan gave really great hugs
Laugh on Jan,,,
I never met Jan, I only knew her through the ng. In a way, I am lucky
because my sense of loss pales compared to those who met and jumped with
her. You, her family, and all who knew her have my condolences.
Alan Binnebose D17868
Oh, I'm so sad. I'm going to buy something red! Flyincamra wasn't just a name
on the buddy list. She was a friend from that first tandem jump in Hollister.
Always painfully honiest. What heart and soul she has. You cannot miss what
you carry in your heart. You did what they said you couldn't girly. You
ROCK! I would Blue sky ya but you can pick the color. You own it now!
after just getting home today from the rodriquez bros boogie today i was
saddened to hear of the death of jan davis aka flyincamera i only met jan at
the rec.skydiving boogie and we were on 4 jumps together and chatted and in
general had a good time at the boogie with all the croud from the news group
she was a fun person to meet and will surely be missed in the sport
I was watching some vids Sunday night one of them was a sunset jump at Monterey that Jan had done the vid for... I was thinking about how much fun it was to jump with her. I remember seeing her climb way out on that otters vid step... I could not believe that such a short person could get so far back. I remember that when I offered to climb out to the rear slot she said "No thanks, just give me a bit more time to get there."
I respect her heart. She was a gentile soul who was eager to help others. Her total lack of patience for bullshit is what gave her a rep as a tough person... but we all know she was a caring and wonderful woman.
I am heartbroken that she is gone, the world is less joyful place without her in it...
Biography of Jan Davis
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