Tuesday, July 17 , 2018, 1:32 am | Overcast 66º


Local News

Arroyo Grande Man Taking a Leap of the Century

Lorin Brown is marking his 100th birthday with a tandem skydive in Lompoc

For a guy who’s about to jump out of a plane at 10,000 feet, Arroyo Grande resident Lorin Brown is surprisingly relaxed.

“I’m not concerned a bit,” Brown said while sitting on his deck the other day, drinking in a view of rural Arroyo Grande.

Is he scared of heights? Nah.

Perhaps it helps that Brown has had a year to prepare for this day. The idea was hatched when Brown turned 99. Some friends suggested he skydive on his 100th birthday.

“As I thought and talked more about it, I thought that would be a nice way to spend my 100th birthday — if I got to it,” Brown said.

Well — he got to it.

Brown, who was born July 6, 1914, on a farm in central Kansas, turns 100 years old Sunday.

Growing up, Brown’s family farmed wheat and kept cows and chickens. Brown left Kansas at 22 years old to attend the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.

But marriage to Eunice Brown in 1936 interrupted those plans, and Lorin Brown eventually went to work for American Airlines as a flight dispatcher.

The couple lived in Indianapolis, Ind.; Fort Worth, Texas; and Los Angeles before he retired in 1972. The couple moved to Arroyo Grande, a town they discovered while camping at Lopez Lake.

Eunice Brown died 12 years ago; the couple was together for about 67 years, Lorin Brown said.

In past years, he kept busy with volunteer work at the library in Arroyo Grande and the Clark Center for the Performing Arts. He also bowls weekly in Pismo Beach as part of a senior league. With a chuckle, he shared the team’s name: Lorin’s Angels.

“There happens to be three ladies on my team, and there are only four team members,” he explained.

He met Arroyo Grande resident Rubi Degener while volunteering at the library. Over the past nine years, the couple traveled together, went on several cruises and saw many local plays. Degener died in April.

On Saturday, several dozen friends and family will gather at his home to celebrate his birthday. By 10 a.m. the next morning, he’ll be strapped into an aircraft, heading thousands of feet into the air before, as Brown put it, “they push me out.”

He chose a tandem jump with Skydive Santa Barbara in Lompoc.

Brown thanked his family for “going to so much trouble,” and added that they’re making the right call by holding the party first and the skydive second, “just in case it doesn’t go well.”

Brown seemed to downplay all the fuss being made over his celebratory jump.

“It’s not a big thing,” he said, adding, “It might be so much fun we might do it again.”

[Click here to read more stories from the San Luis Obispo Tribune]

Cynthia Lambert is a reporter for the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Contact her at [email protected]

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >