A great 20th century poet once proclaimed “butterfly in the skyyyyyyyyyyyyy, I can fly twice as hiiiiiiiiiiiigh…” For me, this clip represents the highest of highs, in more ways than one. For those of us who are past the age of so-and-so, we remember when television networks would begin and end their broadcast day with inspirational adages set to music, accompanied by stock footage of rolling rivers or a gentle breeze swaying a field of buttercups. Of those clips, this one was hands-down my absolute favorite.
Though the video is titled Sign-Off, I specifically remember it starting the broadcast day of either WJLA Channel 7 or WDVM Channel 9 in DC. I was first exposed to it on Saturday mornings in the mid-80’s at 5:30am. Who knows, perhaps it was used for a sign-off in other markets outside DC. Years after I had last viewed it, the clip continued to haunt and inspire me. The rich, commanding voice of late actor William Conrad reading a poem titled High Flight, accompanied by a heavenly, and very dated, analogue synthesizer. The somewhat grainy footage of a fighter jet soaring through the clouds completed the package. At that stage in my life, I woke up early on Saturday mornings to catch my favorite cartoons. I loved this short film so much, I’d wake up a half hour early just to watch it. Fast forward to 2005 and the launch of YouTube. For years, I searched the video sharing site trying to track it down, never sure of what words to enter for the search criteria. Then, one glorious day (or was it night?), there it was, in all its rustic glory. I must have watched it several times back to back, even pausing long enough to convert the YouTube clip into an mp3 file so I could listen to it on my iPod. Who knows, I may have even shed a tear after this re-discovery. When you reunite with long lost acquaintances, you tend to get, you know, emo lol.
As bizarre as it sounds, this short film is my favorite thing in life. If it could be categorized as a song, it would be my favorite song of all time. For starters, it transports me out of the darkness of adulthood and into the sun shiny days of my mid-80’s youth. It gives me a high greater than any weed I’ve ever smoked or alcoholic beverage I’ve consumed. No matter where I’m at in life, no matter what mood I’m in, I can throw this on and the clouds immediately dissipate to reveal the warmth and glow of eternal sunshine (of a spotted mind). What better way to kick off my blog than with this perfect representation of me (and my passion for analogue synths).
Good Morning Friends. You are loved.