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Jones Family Celebrates 65th Wedding Anniversary by Hang Gliding

Photo by Lydia Berglar – Jan and her instructor are pulled up to the skies the morning of June 12.

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Photo by Lydia Berglar – Jan and her instructor are ready to take to the skies as the plane prepares to pull them up.

In celebration of Paul and Jan Jones’ 65th wedding anniversary (as well as Paul’s 90th birthday), Jan and family members from three generations went tandem hang gliding at the Lookout Mountain Flight Park.

Having moved to the Fairyland area of Lookout Mountain about four years ago, Jan and Paul had planned to hang glide the previous two years, but unfavorable weather conditions canceled their plans. Due to his age, Paul opted out this year, but he proudly watched his bride and family enjoy the experience. Jan said, “I was so glad that the weather held up for us this time.” 

On the morning of June 12, the 86-year-old was all smiles before take off, saying, “I’m excited. I’m ready to go.” Jan’s sister, a daughter and son-in-law, two granddaughters and a grandson-in-law also took the opportunity to go hang gliding.

Photo by Lydia Berglar – The Jones family celebrated Paul and Jan’s 65th wedding anniversary as well as Paul’s 90th birthday the week of June 12. Here, the couple poses before Jan takes off at the Lookout Mountain Flight Park.

Afterwards, Jan described the experience. “We went up to 1,500 feet. It was sort of cold at first, because we were going so fast with the airplane. Then, once the plane let us go, it was just wonderful. We were going slow, and I could steer it, left and right and up and down.”

Jan continued, “The instructor flew me over their office on Lookout and the ramp where they launch. We had a couple of friends who were watching for me up there, and I waved. The instructor I had was very supportive. I’m just glad I did it.”

Other festivities for the Jones family included an anniversary dinner on June 14 (the anniversary date). Over 30 guests attended, including all grandkids and great-grandkids from both the west and east coast. At the dinner, Jan wore her wedding dress from 65 years earlier.

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