In this week’s edition of 27Speaks, the editors are joined by Sag Harbor Express Publisher Emeritus Bryan Boyhan to discuss an article he wrote on the 50th anniversary of the tragic flight of The Free Life, a hot air balloon that was launched from Springs in an unsuccessful attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
They would float up the coast to Maine. There, they would catch the westerlies that would blow them the 2,500 miles to Europe. Up there, in the beauty and the silence, you hear the true noise of the sea coming up at you. There was plenty of food on board, stocked with salamis and cheeses — fatty food to keep them warm and filled — water, Champagne for celebrating, of course, plus some emergency supplies. But it turns out the crew of The Free Life, a seven-story high Roziére balloon that lifted off from a field in Springs 50 years ago this week, would not need it.
At the age of 15, when Jackson Foo Wong came out and told his parents that he was gay, his father, Richie Jackson, a TV and theater producer based in New York City, couldn’t have been more delighted. That’s because for Jackson, being gay had long been an important defining feature of his own life.