Saturday Morning TV

During the first year of the Covid pandemic I eschewed being connected to the collective while returning to the basics, as in watching television. Being born in 1950 means I am a so-called “baby boomer.” It may have been better to have called we boomers “TV watchers,” as the tube was our pacifier. There was no school on Saturday. There were, though, many child oriented programs emanating from the box. One of my favorites was Sky King.

“From out of the clear blue of the western sky comes Sky King” was the familiar opening to television’s premier aviation program. Operating from his Flying Crown Ranch in Arizona, Sky King, his niece Penny and their Cessna 310 airplane “Songbird” were constantly involved in one adventure after another.


I must have had a crush on Penny before I knew what was a crush…

Fast forward about six decades or so and there was I once again sitting in front of the telly, as the Brits say, watching Saturday morning programs with my coffee. Only now the women with bright smiles are scientists, or at least report on science on the program, Exploration Station. (

After purchasing the Dude (it’s a Dell) I vowed to continuing watching the Saturday morning science shows with my first cuppa java at least until my eyes focused. That did not happen. So this morning I decided to turn on the TV and watch an episode of Exploration Station: Nature Knows Best.
Danni Washington
Host of Xploration Nature Knows Best

Host Danni Washington is a marine biologist and co-founder of the non-profit, Big Blue & You which engages youth in marine conservation through the arts and media.

Then came Exploration Station: Outer Space,
Emily Calandrelli
Host of Xploration Outer Space

Host Emily Calandrelli, MIT Engineer and astronautics expert takes viewers on incredible journeys through space. She visits various NASA facilities, private space companies, and interviews space experts in search of answers about our universe.

which was followed by Exploration Station: Awesome Planet…
Philippe Cousteau
Host of Xploration Awesome Planet

Philippe Cousteau, grandson of the legendary Jacques Cousteau, explores the most spectacular places – on the Earth, inside the Earth, and above the Earth – in this riveting earth science series.

The coffee was followed by cereal and that hour and a half may be the best part of the day. Granted, the programs are for children, but what am I other than an old child? I’m too old to have a crush, so it must be a thing I have for Dani and Emily…they each have such a nice smile.

I mention this because during the Outer space episode one of the astronauts mentioned how thin is the layer of atmosphere that allows us to exist. I read a couple of things about atmosphere this week that remained in my brain, so I did some research and found them:

“The view of Earth is absolutely spectacular, and the feeling of looking back and seeing your planet as a planet is just an amazing feeling. It’s a totally different perspective, and it makes you appreciate, actually, how fragile our existence is. You can look at Earth’s horizon and see this really, really thin royal blue line right along the horizon, and at first you don’t really quite internalize what that is, and then you realize that it’s Earth’s atmosphere, and that that’s all there is of it, and it’s about as thick as the fuzz on a tennis ball, and it’s everything that separates us from the vacuum of space.” – Sally Ride (


by Tim Nolan

Down the block a garage band plays
“Isn’t She Lovely” —here’s a kind of wealth

even if the song is fractured—and listening
tonight to the sequence of birds—I mean

their unintended consequences—is wealth—
and today I followed all the plays—each

count around the baseball diamond—no one
expected their due—the outs were out

and some of the runners were safe—there was
sense in the blue sky—it could all go

beyond nine innings—whatever—I mean
everyone agreed and understood this passing—

this endless passing of time—was a kind of wealth—
and our atmosphere would be enough—the trees

would frame the sky and the sky would be
beyond belief—so blue—as in Mediterranean Blue—

and Odysseus would come home—as he was
compelled to—sunburned, vagrant—and wealthy.

Tim Nolan, “Wealth” from The Sound of It. Copyright © 2008 by Tim Nolan. Used by permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of New Rivers Press, (