Local News

Lutz Celebrates 80th With a Wild Ride

Posted June 3, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Have you ever thought about how you'd celebrate your 80th birthday? With the family? Maybe some cake? Not one granny. Laura Lutz of Franklin County decided to take the ultimate birthday plunge.

"This is what I want to do," Lutz told a captive audience of friends before she went on the ride of her life. "This is my thing."

Relative Kelly Whitehead watched as the 80-year-old bundle of energy got suited up for her first skydiving adventure.

"She's always wanting to do what she's wanting to do," Whitehead joked, "and now she's doing it."

With a kiss and well-wishes, Lutz was off. "Be careful," said an unidentified gentleman.

"They didn't think I would have the guts to do it," Lutz laughed. "Grandma is going on the ride of her life. I'll do it for myself mostly, and to show my grandchildren what a grandmother they have. They think I'm the greatest, and I've got to prove it."

A group of friends watched as the small plane ascended into the clouds. Was the pilot taking Lutz behind the clouds to get her nerve up, wondered a pair of female friends. With an eye to the sky, they suddenly saw her falling. Could they hear her scream if they quieted down?

"I was okay when I finally got out that door," Lutz said. "I just saw patches of blue."

With cheers and delight, Lutz and her tandem diving partner gently landed on target. "You go girl," echoed from the group. "Whoooa!"

"It feels wonderful," Lutz revelled. "It was beautiful up there. It was like I always thought it would be."

Lutz didn't tell her whole family about her plans. She says they wouldn't have believed her. She's going to send them a tape and let them see for themselves. Some Video Courtesy: Highway Production