Above: Rose Tucker (left) and Nesie Summers prepare for their 14,000-foot jump out of a plane.
Huntcliff Summit resident Rose Tucker has always loved planes, so to celebrate her 90th birthday she jumped out of one with friend and neighbor Nesie Summers.
Tucker, who turned 90 on July 20, was inspired by former President George H.W. Bush’s 2014 skydiving jump to celebrate his 90th birthday.
“I’m not scared of heights,” Tucker said. “I learned to fly a number of years ago with my husband, who was a Navy pilot. When I was a kid, I used to play with toy airplanes instead of dolls, and Amelia Earhart was my heroine.”
Tucker and Summers, who is a sprightly 84, each tandem-jumped from 14,000 feet at Skydive Spaceland in Rockmart on July 30. Tucker said it wasn’t that hard to persuade her friend to jump with her.
“I just kept talking about going, and she got excited,” Tucker said.
“I wasn’t afraid at all,” Summers said. “It was fantastic.”
Their adventure was not without its critics. Tucker’s son Robert was worried about his mother jumping out of an airplane but eventually gave his blessing and drove her to the jump site. Summers’ daughter Lesli Schwartz was also concerned but supportive of her mom.
“I think it’s great,” Tucker’s grandson Evan said. “She’s been wanting to do this for a long time.”
The two friends have each lived at Huntcliff Summit the past few years and take pride in staying active. Summers is an avid swimmer and works out at Huntcliff’s gym regularly, while Tucker enjoys going to movies and dressing up in costumes.
If skydiving is on your bucket list, Tucker has a bit of advice.
“Try it,” she said. “You only live once. There’s nothing to be afraid of — at least I don’t think so.”