Saturday, November 24, 2007

Bigun History Day

With the discovery of the Sprite Commercial tape I was able to relive some old memories and share them with my peeps. That was cool for me. Moms (Mama Bigun to you) was here and brought another old tape...this one from the late 90's...of some even cooler old Bigun stuff. This is Bigun and Mrs. Bigun (Di to you) history, from way back in '96.

I had just gotten out of Special Forces, and was wondering what to do with myself. I had thought it would be cool to open up a rock climbing gym and guiding business, as I had started climbing pretty heavily with my guys on my SF Team and when I was off-duty up at Ft. Devons, MA. Why not, right?



Sorry about all the dead space in the youtube vid...I'm still not very good at editing and getting youtube to accept what I do.

So, not being the shrewd business man, I decided to open this place in the tiny military town of Columbus, GA...home town of Ft. Benning - the home of the Infantry. This is where things like "Jump School" (Airborne School, or parachuting out of perfectly good airplanes...) and Officer Candidate School, or OCS (think Richard Gere in "An Officer and a Gentleman" without the beach or ocean) are located, plus some Army units like Rangers and what-not.

Turns out the military community, while a fine bunch of individuals, had a difficult time, logistically, supporting The Crux - and with the transient nature of military folks, getting repeat business was hit and miss; mostly miss. Live and learn. We had fun.

The little girl climbing barefoot is Jackie, she's in college now (good grief...) and her dad is belaying for Di - he came out on his nights off and helped me build the walls. We might not have been great (or even good) carpenters, but no part of that structure ever failed, and in the years we were open, no one got hurt climbing. How, I'll never know. Oh, and yes, in the climbing biz, the wall is affectionately known as a "woodie"...



Di and I closed The Crux after about 3 years in business to move on to some other crazy stuff, but not until we had completely expanded the climbing walls with 2 more structures that filled up the entire warehouse. We took groups to Cheahaw State Park in Alabama on climbing tours three or four times a year, and hosted climbing competitions in our tiny gym a couple times as well. I even taught a PE class for the local community college! Professor Bigun. Go figure.

The Bigun got a little skinnier over the course of 3 years of climbing in this gym, and got to where I (and a small group of regular climbers) would do laps up the inverted walls and the overhang wall (that I'm struggling mightily with in the video) for workouts before heading out to the rock on the weekends. Di and I miss our climbing days something fierce! Since closing the gym, we haven't been climbing since. Florida just is not that conducive to vertical endeavors.

12 comments:

TriBoomer said...

If you're ever up Dallas way I'll take you to my gym. They have a killer rock climbing set up.

Stay tuned...

Spokane Al said...

That was a nice trip down memory lane - or up memory wall.

Andra Sue said...

Can't see the video links! Awwww... :(

Fe-lady said...

Hubby wants to know what years you went through all your training. He was in the 10th and 2/75th in the early 80s and is familiar with places you are talking about- you will have lots to talk about when you meet up this summer!

Kevin said...

Ahhhh, the memories of Fort Benning!! Running, Jumping, then breaking my leg jumping!! The good ole days. :)

luke said...

Sweet climbing footage. I've tried that inverted stuff to no avail.

Brent Buckner said...

Thanks for chronicling!

S. Baboo said...

A jack of all trades indeed, pretty cool.

ShirleyPerly said...

That was one mean overhang you had there. Belay ON!!

TRI-ROB said...

I knew there was a reason I liked you Bigun! I served with ODA 142, B Co., 2nd Bn, 1st SFG (A) from '92 to '96! What a small freakin world!

Green Eyed Lady (aka GEL) said...

Can't believe no one has said it yet - rock on! ;)

blink140pnt6 said...

Sweet vid thanks for sharing.

One question though, are you making the jump to exterra?