BESSEMER CITY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — “I just love to look at everything.”
Shuffling between the tables, there’s a common topic of conversation at Edgewood Grill in Bessemer City.
“I even had to get my reserve out once.”
A lunchtime chat at one table pulls people in.
And like a law of nature, they have no choice but to want to talk to Dale Bragg.
“Man, you’re crazy. Yup, might be, but I have fun,” said Bragg.
He’s been called crazy before.
“Out of a hot air balloon, three of them,” said Bragg.
But it doesn’t bother him one bit.
“Hang glider with a motor under it. I even jumped off it,” Bragg said.
When you’ve jumped out of 792 planes, or other air-bound objects, you get a new perspective on life.
“I know people who had no sense of humor and they didn’t enjoy nothing,” said Bragg. “I said I’m not going to be like that. I’m going to enjoy my life 100 percent.”
He remembers every jump.
“Jump number 13, I still got a 4-inch plate and 8 screws in my left ankle,” said Bragg.
Specifically, number 647.
“I reach around there at 3,000 feet and got a hold of that thing it wouldn’t come out. I pulled my reserve,” Bragg said. “Didn’t call it my reserve until the end. Best looking blue you ever seen, prettiest thing you’ve ever seen.”
There’s also the one jump he did with his son Andy.
“I was so proud to see him out there,” said Bragg.
A shoulder injury has kept him earthbound for a bit.
“Finally got this shoulder back to where I trust it. For a while, I had trouble reaching up and you’ve got to reach up here,” Bragg said.
Every day, he feels that upward pull to the sky.
“It’s hard to explain,” Bragg laughed.
Here’s the thing- he’s terrified of heights.
“I’ve never conquered that fear yet,” said Bragg.
It may keep everyone and everything else down, but not Bragg. He’s a man whose feet don’t belong on the ground.