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Norwin's sky-diving Santa identified

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By Barbara Flynn
Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, 8:56 p.m.

I love when readers reminisce with me.

In my last column, I mentioned the sky-diving Santa who used to parachute into Norwin Towne Square.

And now, with thanks to Joe Mochar of North Irwin, who was nice enough to fill me in, now I know who he was.

He was Charles “Chuck” Bryant, who flew out of Bouquet Airport, outside of Jeannette and worked at the Elliott Co.

Chuck sadly died in June 2003 when the plane he was in crashed shortly after take off.

Several others were killed in this Father's Day tragedy.

Chuck's son, Rodney, was kind enough to talk to me.

His father had flown for more than 30 years at the time of his death, had made more than 3,000 jumps and had operated Chuck Bryant's Skydive Bouquet in Greensburg for about 10 years.

Although Chuck jumped into the shopping center for many years, Rodney thinks it was in the late 1970s when his father made the jump that left him slightly injured.

Although it was widely reported that his dad broke his leg, it turns out he merely sprained an ankle.

In fact, Rodney said, he and his dad had jumped together years ago in the Lockhaven area with his Dad as Santa and Rodney as an elf.

His son is in the process of returning to a family tradition of offering sky-diving Santas.

Watch the skies next Christmas!

Barbara Flynn is the children's librarian at the Norwin Public Library.

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