At one time or another, almost every person will have the desire to fly. The Superman-like power is nearly universally wished for. While no human outside a comic book has shown the ability, skydiver Jack Guthrie has come as close as anybody.
"When I was in grade school, I remember looking up at the sky, seeing a plane and wanting to jump out of it," Guthrie said. "That desire never left."
Guthrie, who lives in the small Tooele County town of Erda, made his first jump 44 years ago. Since then, he has likely jumped out of an airplane more than anyone else in Utah. He remembers every one of those dives.
"10,298 dives, but who's counting?" Guthrie said.
For almost three decades, Guthrie, 65, has shared his love for skydiving with others. About 27 years ago, he started Skydive Utah. The instructional company gives students an opportunity to learn about the sport, and then lets them dive in tandem with an instructor. Veteran divers can also participate in the jumps offered by Guthrie and his staff.
Kathie Evans, 23, was one such student. Evans was instructed by Guthrie when she made her first jump on her 16th birthday. After taking a break from skydiving, she came back for more. Guthrie's life of diving has made an impression on her.
"It was great to see a friendly face in Jack when I came back. He was there with me the first time around, and he is still here now," Evans said. "I will be in graduate school, so I want to get certified now so that I can live the dream."
Guthrie has helped many students like Evans to go from novice to expert. He doesn't plan on getting rich from Skydive Utah. He started the company, and continues to run it, because of his love for skydiving. Guthrie does something he loves for a living, which is everybody's dream.
Living that dream has helped him to recognize what is important in life.
"Happiness is living within your means," he said. "Once I stopped worrying about becoming a millionaire, everything worked out. I'm not a millionaire, but I have a million dollars worth of health."
With no signs of slowing down, Guthrie will probably be seen plummeting through the sky for another 44 years.
At a glance
Tooele County skydiver Jack Guthrie has recorded more than 10,000 jumps in his life.
Since his first dive 44 years ago, Guthrie has jumped out of an airplane an average of 234 times per year.
Guthrie started Skydive Utah 27 years ago.