I’ve been thinking about what Chris would have wanted me to say today. The advice he’d give me, which’d be something like, “Know what, babe? Fuck it. These guys know all about me. Tell them about someone else.” So I thought I’d tell you about a hero of Chris’s: a man called Captain Joe Kittinger. In 1960, climbing into a foil balloon, Captain Joe ascended 32 kilometres into the stratosphere. And then, armed only with a parachute, he jumped out. He fell for four minutes and thirty-six seconds, reaching seven hundred and forty miles per hour before opening his parachute five kilometres above the Earth. It had never been done before, and it’s never been done since. He did it just because he could. And that’s why Chris loved him; because the thing about Chris was, he said yes. He said yes to everything. He loved everyone. And he was the bravest boy— man—I knew. And that was—he flung himself out of a foil balloon every day. Because he could. Because he was. And that’s why—and that’s why we loved him.

I’ve been thinking about what Chris would have wanted me to say today. The advice he’d give me, which’d be something like, “Know what, babe? Fuck it. These guys know all about me. Tell them about someone else.” So I thought I’d tell you about a hero of Chris’s: a man called Captain Joe Kittinger. In 1960, climbing into a foil balloon, Captain Joe ascended 32 kilometres into the stratosphere. And then, armed only with a parachute, he jumped out. He fell for four minutes and thirty-six seconds, reaching seven hundred and forty miles per hour before opening his parachute five kilometres above the Earth. It had never been done before, and it’s never been done since. He did it just because he could. And that’s why Chris loved him; because the thing about Chris was, he said yes. He said yes to everything. He loved everyone. And he was the bravest boy— man—I knew. And that was—he flung himself out of a foil balloon every day. Because he could. Because he was. And that’s why—and that’s why we loved him.

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