When it comes to adventure, New York transplant Vinnie Germann sets no boundaries.
At 93, his recent jump from 8,000 feet skydiving was definitely one of his most memorable.
During a recent trip to visit his children on Long Island and New Jersey to celebrate his birthday, Germann had the opportunity to join his 22-year-old grandson Bailey and experience the skydiving adventure that took place above Long Island Sound.
“I began free falling after 20 seconds, and the glide was something that brought back memories of when I was a soldier in the Army when I did this in training while stationed at Fort Bragg,” Germann said.
“It was very cold, and the wind was blowing in my face, but when the parachute opened it was a wonderful experience, one that I intend to do again,” he said.
Germann, who lives not far from the Wickham Park Senior Center in Melbourne, is known to many who attend events and participate in activities there as “the guy who is very young at heart.”
“Our very own Vinnie is bold and adventurous for sure, but little did we know he was such a daredevil,” said Maureen Reeder, a volunteer at the center. “He always dresses to the nines, smiling and ready to help and make all of us laugh. He’s full of energy.”
He is known as a fun-loving person.
“He is extremely active and loves to dance and can be the life of the party, encouraging others to have fun,” his best friend, companion and Friday night dance partner, 83-year-old Shelby Kruse said.
Kruse, whose husband passed away nine years ago, met Germann at the center.
“I thought he was much younger, around my age, and he is very nice looking,” she said. “I really enjoy his enthusiasm when it comes to adventure.”
They have since participated together in yoga classes, poker and bunko, and often enjoy swinging at the playground like two children at Wickham Park.
“We even dress up for Halloween, and, yes we tend to act a little bit crazy for our age,” she said.
A native of Queens, Germann grew up in Brooklyn and moved to Melbourne in 1999. A widower, he began volunteering at the senior center 10 years ago. He has been awarded volunteer of the year several times.
“I even have my own parking place,” he said.
Germann, who is one of three males who participate in the yoga classes, said he finds the classes very fulfilling.
“It has helped me stay fit and agile,” he said“ I love staying active and healthy, and plan to keep it that way.”
As for skydiving, he is determined to jump again, next year, this time with Bailey’s twin, Colby.