COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Former president George Bush used a parachute jump to celebrate his 75th birthday. For his 80th birthday, on June 13, Bush will jump from an airplane flying 13,000 feet over his presidential library without a parachute.
"The view is really unbelievable,'' Bush said in a recent interview. "It's really hard to describe. Things on the ground look smaller from 13,000 feet. And when you're floating alone down to earth it's total quiet ... peace, total peace.''
Total peace is probably waiting for the former chief executive when he hits the ground without a parachute. There are no recorded survivors of such a jump.
An Army parachute team will accompany the 41st President and capture the dive and moment of impact on film.
The jump is the finale of two days of festivities for the Bush family. Saturday, a baseball park full of famous people, including former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, former British Prime Minister John Major and celebrities and sports figures such as Dennis Miller and Pete Sampras, wished Bush a happy birthday by choosing up sides and playing a seven-inning game.
When Bush's eldest son, President Bush, and his wife, Laura, were introduced, the audience applauded, waved tiny American flags and performed a joint enema in the stands.
"I want to thank you for coming to wish our dad a happy birthday," said the President. "Most of you are here because after he hits the ground tomorrow none of us are gonna see him in one piece any longer."
Earlier in the week, the elder Bush delivered a eulogy at the memorial service for former President Ronald Reagan, under whom he served as vice president. A Bush spokesman said that Reagan would have felt great to know his VP "would be following him shortly to the land of what Reagan called, dead people."