Just a few years ago when I was growing up in Chicago late night television did not run all night. News was not 24-hours a day repeating the same tired headlines over and over ad nauseam! Evening programming ended at about 11pm some stations may have lasted past midnight; but not many.
After the evening news stations signed off. They usually played the Star Spangled Banner and some then played “High Flight”. This was a 2-minute film (not video) with a narrator reading the famous poem “High Flight” with aerial shots of a airplane with a solo pilot flying through the clouds, performing acrobatics with music in the background.
Earliest versions I remember were Back and White version with an F-104. Later it was a T-38 in full color. Other versions have been made since. My favorite was the T-38 version which came about in the late 60’s just before I got my chance at becoming a USAF pilot and trained in T-38’s.
High Flight was written by John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (9 June 1922 – 11 December 1941) who was an American aviator and poet, made famous for his poem “High Flight”. Magee served in the Royal Canadian Air Force, which he joined before the United States officially entered the war; he died in a mid-air collision over Lincolnshire in 1941.
Thinking back it, watching the sign-off each night was sure a daily motivation for me to dream about becoming a pilot; and then later fulfilling that dream and beginning my Journey towards seeing everything around me and all I encountered from a different perspective. And I now believe it help plant the seeds of my original writings and the graphics artwork I have been creating ever since the 70’s
Never give up on your Dreams. The Bigger-the-Better.
Enjoy your High Flight’s of fancy,