Being whisked from my comfortable old couch, coffee cup in hand and a mouth full of toast, I have found myself hiking alongside Dr. Louis Gates, Jr. of ancestry of the famous folks of today fame, as he led his audiences along the rocky coasts of Africa, narrating a history of the civilization of that country as I had never heard it before. There were four segments to this documentary and I believe I have now traveled through them twice, perhaps three times for at least a couple of them, because I wanted to really feel that I had absorbed at least a general idea of the material he covered.
Sometimes I find myself climbing and hiking with a couple of young fellows through the National Park system of the U.S.A. Of course in these ventures I am also about twenty-five and just as agile and trim as the actual adventurers. Even more exhilarating are the exotic photography trips with Art Wolf and company.
There are Space Exploration programs explaining why Pluto was demoted from planet status and has been reconsidered as a full-fledged, though small planet, with information gleaned from a quick fly-by of Pluto from a NASA craft. An asteroid named Sirius was discovered to have all the makings of a real planet.
It doesn’t always have to be real, I find myself intrigued by the animated Wild Krats as they are educating children about critters – usually small and usually ones I’ve never heard of.
Ah, and there is music – from a Tavis Smiley show I learned about a child prodigy jazz pianist, who just wants to be considered a jazz musician, not a prodigy, though he is only thirteen years old. Joey Alexander touches the piano keys and it is easy to blank out the youngster at the keyboard who sounds like he’s been playing for decades.
Yesterday I heard the piano playing of Malcolm Frager (January 15, 1935 – June 20, 1991) for the first time and my heart was swept away as he practiced in his studio where his children played quietly on the shaggy rug covered floor.
Not only am I entertained by these programs, I feel as if my life has been enriched.