Moments after County Executive Mark Hackel safely hit the ground from his sky dive at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, he was on the telephone to his top deputy, Mark Deldin.
“He said, ‘You must be OK. I was praying your chute would open,’” Hackel laughed.
But Hackel was suspicious about Deldin’s intent. Deldin was sitting in his Hackel’s office, apparently ready to take over Macomb County government if Hackel’s dive failed.
“I said, ‘Yeah, now get out of my office,’” the executive smirked.
Hackel was among several notables to participate in a tandem parachute jump with members of the of the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights, which operates out of Fort Bragg, N.C. Others include Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard and Ron English, the Eastern Michigan University football coach.
A video of Hackel’s jump can be found on youtube.com. In the video, Hackel seems about as stressed as the Insider gets while heading to a favorite watering hole. That's to say he was relaxed.
“Everyone kept asking me, ‘Are you nervous,’” he said. “I said, ‘no,’ but then I started wondering, ‘Should I be nervous?’
“I’ve never had a fear of heights or anything like that. The only thing like that that bothers me is needles and shots. I hate getting a shot.”
Regarding the dive itself, Hackel called it “incredible” and “loud.”
“You could see for miles.”
With a good view of the Lake St. Clair shores, the Insider speculates that he sure went extremes to scout potential new locations for a lake shore casino or hotel.