The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

In the Spotlight

August 7, 2009

Going deep: Scuba diver utilizes hobby to repair leaky pools


“Johnstown is one of those cities that grow on you.”

Menna has a dream for his adopted city.

He would like to see the city embrace “Fire and Water,” an art project similar to one successfully done in Providence, R.I.

Menna envisions large flaming pots floating on downtown rivers. The pots would be sculpted by local artisans.

He thinks the sight of the flames reflected off riverwalls, combined with the sound of music playing and the smell of the burning hardwood, would create an unusual attraction.

He hopes Johnstown’s riverwalk project generates interest in his idea.

He knows it might be a hard sell, but Menna does not shrink from accepting challenges, nor does he hesitate to take risks.

In fact, he even attempted skydiving – despite his wife’s concerns.

It ended badly.

“I snapped the femur,” Menna said of his landing. “I looked down and I was missing a leg. I felt something in my back and it was my heel. I’ve never felt pain like that in my life.

“It was my first jump and last jump, and I’ll never do that again,” he said.

But he has no regrets.

“Everything except the last three seconds was a rush,” he said. “You take a risk in life and you have to live with the consequences.”

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