The Odd Side – May 16, 2017

British WWII Veteran, 101, Breaks Skydiving Record

LONDON (AP) – A 101-year-old D-Day veteran has become the oldest person in the world to skydive.

Bryson William Verdun Hayes completed a tandem skydive from 15,000 feet with members of his extended family on Sunday at an airfield in Honiton, southwestern England.

Among those jumping were Hayes’ son, grandson, great-grandson and great-granddaughter.

At the age of 101 years, 38 days, Hayes broke the Guinness World Record held by Canada’s Armand Gendreau, who jumped in 2013 at 101 years, three days.

When he landed, Hayes said he was “absolutely over the moon” at the achievement. The jump raised money for the Royal British Legion, a veterans’ organization.

Hayes said he had wanted to try skydiving when he was 90, but was talked out of it at the time by his late wife. He jumped for the first time last year at 100.

Hayes served in the British Army during World War II, and was awarded France’s Legion of Honor for his heroic actions.

12-year-old wins third straight California State Spelling Bee

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) – Dipsomaniac was the winning word for a 12-year-old girl from Central California who won the State Spelling Bee for the third year in a row.

Ananya Vinay, who attends Fugman Elementary in Clovis, told the Fresno Bee she’s no longer as nervous on stage as she used to be because she’s improved so much over the years.

Vinay clinched the victory Saturday at the competition in Stockton.

She describes the experience as a “journey” and now looks forward to the Scripps National Spelling Bee near Washington, D.C. She first competed there last year after qualifying out of a Fresno County competition.

Ananya said she wants to do well in the Scripps competition, aiming for the top ten and eventually a championship.

Pizza delivery man takes pie to stalled Amtrak train

NEWPORT, Del. (AP) – A pizza delivery man in Delaware got an order from an unusual address: a stalled Amtrak train from New York on its way to Washington.

Passenger Mitchell Katz& posted a video& of delivery man Jim Leary walking up to the train Sunday evening as it sat on the tracks. People on board were getting restless after being left without access to food or water during the long delay and eventually some passengers came up with the idea of ordering a pizza, Katz said.

Leary, a driver for Dom’s Pizza in Newport, Delaware, tells The Associated Press he cut through a backyard, navigated a steep embankment and jumped over a water-filled ditch all while balancing the two pies in order to make the delivery.

Leary was rewarded with a cheering crowd of passengers and a total of $32 in tips for his effort. Leary’s pizza delivery career has brought him to addresses in 32 counties across 18 states, but he said the broken down train is one of the strangest.

“I do whatever it takes,” he said.

Amtrak said that a mechanical issue was to blame for the delay. Eventually, another train was brought in to take the passengers to Washington, Katz said. Amtrak’s website shows that the passengers arrived more than three hours late.