Detail View: RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive: Theatre in the sky

Filename: 
ds_0027_braggperformance_cap_01.mp4
Identifier: 
ds_0027_braggperformance_cap_01.mp4
Title: 
Theatre in the sky
Creator: 
Bragg, Bernard, 1928-2018
Subject: 
American Sign Language literature
Subject: 
Deaf, Theater for the
Subject: 
Pantomime
Subject: 
Deaf Poetry
Subject: 
Deaf, Writings of the, American
Subject: 
ASL poetry
Summary: 
Bragg performs a pantomime 'Theater in the Sky', a story of his famed life on wings, traveling the world though acting with The National Theatre of the Deaf, being a 'good will ambassador' and conducting fund-raising activities. He dedicated the performance to his first Deaf teacher, Dr. Robert F. Panara, and mime artist Marcel Marceau.
Publisher: 
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Digital Publisher: 
Rochester Institute of Technology - RIT Libraries - RIT Archive Collections
Date of Original: 
2007
Date of Digitization: 
2018
Broad Type: 
moving image
Digital File Format: 
mp4
Physical Format: 
VHS
Dimensions of Original: 
99 minutes
Language: 
American Sign Language
Language: 
English
Original Item Location: 
RITDSA.0027
Library Collection: 
Sculptures in the Air: An Accessible Online Video Repository of the American Sign Language (ASL) Poetry and Literature Collections
Library Collection: 
Karen Christie ASL Literature Collection
Digital Project: 
2018-2019 CLIR Grant-ASL Poetry and Literature
Catalog Record: 
https://albert.rit.edu/record=b3955768
Catalog Record: 
https://twcarchivesspace.rit.edu/repositories/2/resources/815
Place: 
New York - Rochester
RIT Spaces and Places: 
Henrietta Campus
Rights: 
RIT Libraries makes materials from its collections available for educational and research purposes pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. It is your responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.
Rights: 
CC BY-NC-ND: Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Transcript: 
BERNARD IS PANTOMIMING GETTING ON AN AIRPLANE. WELCOME TO FLYING WITH DRAMA; "THEATER IN THE SKY;" FLYING AGAINST THE HEADWINDS OR FLYING WITH THE TAILWINDS; FLYING INTO A STORM; FLYING FAR ABOVE THE EARTH; FLYING INTO THE SUNSHINE; FLYING INTO THE DEEP, DARK NIGHT; FLYING INTO THE WHITE CLOUDS; FLYING; FLYING. IT IS "THEATER IN THE SKY," THE STORY OF MY LIFE, YES, MY LIFE ON WINGS, FULL OF SURPRISES, THRILLS, ENJOYMENT, HOPES, FEARS, FRUSTRATIONS, HAPPINESS, LAUGHTER. YES. THAT IS "THEATER IN THE SKY," WHITE CLOUDS LIKE A STAGE CURTAIN OPENING UP FOR ME, STARS SHINING UPON ME, ANGELS MY AUDIENCE SMILING FROM FAR ABOVE ASTRIDE THE PLANE, MY STAGE... PASSENGERS MY FELLOW ACTORS, FLIGHT ATTENDANTS MY USHERS HANDING OUT PROGRAM BOOKS. THAT IS "THEATER IN THE SKY," THE STORY OF MY LIFE, YEAH, MY LIFE ON WINGS... A LIFETIME OF MEMORIES TO SHARE WITH YOU ALL-- YOU, YOU, AND YOU. BUCKLE UP AND ENJOY THE RIDE. YOU GUYS HAVE INSPIRED ME THROUGH YOUR APPLAUSE, AND I WANT TO GIVE YOU IT RIGHT BACK, GIVE YOU SUCH INSPIRATION, GIVE YOU THAT ENERGY. THAT'S GREAT. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THIS EVENING'S SHOW... "THEATER IN THE SKY," IS DEDICATED TO TWO OF THE MOST IMPORTANT INFLUENCES IN MY LIFE. FIRST PERSON IS ROBERT F. PANARA, WHO WAS MY FIRST DEAF TEACHER. I MET HIM WHEN I WAS 16. HE INTRODUCED ME TO THE WORLD OF ASL LIT., POETRY, AND THEATER, AND IT'S A HONOR FOR ME TO PERFORM HERE, A THEATER NAMED AFTER HIM-- ROBERT F. PANARA. HE SENDS HIS REGRETS. HE COULD NOT BE WITH US THIS EVENING. HE'S HAVING SOME BACK PAINS, BUT I KNOW THAT HE'S WITH US IN SPIRIT. NOW, THE SECOND PERSON WAS ALSO A BIG INFLUENCE IN MY LIFE, THAT BEING MARCEL MARCEAU. HE WAS MY TEACHER, MY MENTOR. HE PASSED AWAY JUST TWO WEEKS AGO, AND PART OF ME DIED WITH HIM, YES, BUT I KNOW IN MY HEART HIS SPIRIT WILL ALWAYS REMAIN WITH ME. SO WELCOME TO "THEATER IN THE SKY." WELL... I ACTUALLY USED TO FLY WITH BOB HOPE, TRUE STORY, WELL, NOT EXACTLY SITTING IN THE SAME ROW. HE SAT IN FIRST CLASS, AND I SAT BACK IN COACH, BUT IMAGINE THE TWO OF US ON THE SAME PLANE. WOW, BOB HOPE, WHO HAS TRAVELED FAR AND WIDE. I ALSO HAVE TRAVELED FAR AND WIDE. INTERESTING. BOB'S FAMOUS QUOTE WHEN PEOPLE WOULD APPROACH HIM AND ASK HIM TO PUT ON A SHOW, HIS RESPONSE WAS, "HAVE TUX, WILL TRAVEL." MY RESPONSE WOULD BE WHEN PEOPLE WOULD ASK ME THE SAME, IF I WOULD GIVE A PERFORMANCE, I WOULD SAY, "HAVE INTERPRETER, WILL TRAVEL." SO THIS EVENING, WE HAVE TWO YOUNG MEN HERE WITH US TO PROVIDE VOICE INTERPRETING FOR THE SHOW. FIRST, WE HAVE ED WING. "WING"? DID YOU SAY "WING" LIKE "WING IT"? HOW APPROPRIATE FOR THIS SHOW TO BE THE INTERPRETER AT "THEATER IN THE SKY," ED WING, AND ALSO-- ALSO WE HAVE A YOUNG MAN HERE. HIS NAME IS BRENT BOCIAN. NOW, I JUST FOUND OUT THAT BRENT HAS ONLY FLOWN A COUPLE TIMES IN HIS LIFE-- WELL, HE'S YOUNG-- BUT HE RECENTLY PURCHASED A NEW CAR, A MUSTANG, 2007. I BELIEVE THAT CAR IS SUPER FAST, FASTER THAN A PLANE. NOW, BRENT, DON'T GET AHEAD OF ME THIS EVENING. MAKE SURE YOU'RE FOLLOWING ME. DON'T GET AHEAD, OK? LET'S HAVE A GOOD TIME. PEOPLE HAVE OFTEN ASKED ME, "DO YOU KNOW THAT BOB LIVED TO BE A HUNDRED YEARS OLD?" AND I SAY, "SO?" AND THEY SAY, "WELL, YOU'RE GETTING PRETTY CLOSE TO BEING A HUNDRED." I SAY, "LISTEN. DON'T RUSH ME." IT'S INTERESTING. I FIND THAT INTERESTING. WHEN I GIVE SHOWS LIKE THIS, YOU KNOW, I TRAVEL TO CITY TO CITY, AND I'VE BEEN RAISING MONEY, FUNDRAISING FOR THE WFD, THE WORLD FEDERATION OF THE DEAF, AND THE NAD, THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF, AND I'M PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT I'VE RAISED SO FAR-- IN THE 7 CITIES I'VE BEEN TO WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO COLLECT $25,000 WHICH WILL BE GIVEN TO THE MADRID WORLD FEDERATION OF THE DEAF CONGRESS, AND SO I PROVIDED THEM WITH A BIG CHECK, $25,000, TO HELP THEM, THE WFD, DO THEIR WORK IN HELPING YOUNG, DEAF CHILDREN EXCEL IN DEVELOPING WORLDS... SO I FEEL GOOD ABOUT THAT, AND I'M HOPING THAT THROUGH MY FUTURE TRAVELS, I'LL BE ABLE TO MATCH THAT $25,000 AND GIVE THAT TO THE NAD. THEY'RE HAVING THEIR SUMMER CONFERENCE IN NEW ORLEANS, SO THAT'S THE PLAN, AND I HAVE A WONDERFUL TEAM THAT'S WORKING WITH ME ON THESE SHOWS. FIRST, I'D LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE SPRINT, ALSO DAWNSIGNPRESS, AND YOU CAN SEE SOME OF THE OTHER SPONSORS LISTED IN THE PROGRAM BOOKLET, PLEASE. IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT, BUT ALSO I WANT TO RECOGNIZE YOU FOR COMING HERE THIS EVENING AND GIVING YOUR SUPPORT FOR THESE TWO IMPORTANT ORGANIZATIONS. THANK YOU FOR ALL OF THAT. BOB HOPE AND I HAVE BOTH TRAVELED EXTENSIVELY. WELL, THROUGH MY TRAVELS TO THE DIFFERENT COUNTRIES IN EUROPE, THE FAR EAST, DO YOU KNOW THAT I'VE LEARNED A LOT OF SIGN NAMES FOR DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AND DIFFERENT CITIES LOCALLY, YOU KNOW, AND ABROAD, AND I WROTE A SONG CALLED "FLYING," AND I WROTE IT ESPECIALLY FOR THE EYE, NOT FOR THE EAR. I MEAN, YOU CAN SING ALONG IF YOU LIKE, BUT IT'S FOR THE EYE, SO HERE WE GO. FLYING TO EUROPE, FLYING TO AFRICA, FLYING TO ASIA, FLYING, FLYING ALL AROUND THE WORLD. FLYING. FLYING TO MOSCOW, FLYING TO TOKYO, HONG KONG, LONDON, PARIS, STOCKHOLM. FLYING, FLYING ALL AROUND THE WORLD. FLYING TO SAN FRANCISCO, FLYING TO OKLAHOMA, PHILADELPHIA, ROCHESTER, CHICAGO, ALBANY, BOSTON, DETROIT. FLYING, FLYING ALL AROUND THE WORLD. SEATTLE, PHOENIX, NORTH CAROLINA, SOUTH CAROLINA, GEORGIA, PENNSYLVANIA, MARYLAND. FLYING, FLYING, ALL AROUND THE WORLD. NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, NEW ORLEANS, AND FINALLY ARRIVING HOME TO LOS ANGELES. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. MY PARENTS WERE BORN IN THE YEAR 1904, THE SAME YEAR OF THE WRIGHT BROTHERS' FIRST SUCCESSFUL FLIGHT. CAN YOU IMAGINE... THE FIRST FLIGHT? 58 SECONDS, BARELY OFF THE GROUND. MY PARENTS LIVED TO SEE MAN ARRIVE ON THE MOON. WOW, IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE... A FLEETING MOMENT, INDEED. CAN YOU IMAGINE A CHILD BORN TODAY, WHAT THEY WILL SEE IN THE NEXT 80 YEARS? INCREDULOUS. IT REMINDS ME OF A SHAKESPEARE PLAY ENTITLED "7 AGES OF MAN." ALLOW ME TO PERFORM IT. ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE, ALL THE MEN AND WOMEN MERELY PLAYERS; THEY HAVE THE EXITS AND THEIR ENTRANCE, AND ONE MAN IN HIS TIME PLAYS MANY PARTS... HIS ACTS BEING 7 AGES. AT FIRST, THE INFANT, MEWLING AND PUKING IN THE NURSE'S ARM. AND THEN THE WHINING SCHOOLBOY, WITH HIS SATCHEL AND SHINING MORNING FACE, CREEPING LIKE THE SNAIL UNWILLING TO SCHOOL. AND THEN THE LOVER, SIGHING LIKE A FURNACE, WITH A WOEFUL BALLAD MADE TO HIS MISTRESS' EYEBROW. THEN A SOLDIER, FULL OF STRANGE OATHS AND BEARDED LIKE THE PARD, JEALOUS IN HONOR, SUDDEN AND QUICK IN QUARREL, SEEKING THE BUBBLE REPUTATION EVEN IN THE CANNON'S MOUTH. AND THEN THE JUSTICE, IN FAIR ROUND BELLY WITH GOOD CAPON LINED, WITH EYES SEVERE AND BEARD OF FORMAL CUT, FULL OF WISE SAWS AND MODERN INSTANCES... AND SO HE PLAYS HIS PART. THE SIXTH AGE SHIFTS INTO THE LEAN AND SLIPPERED PANTALOON, WITH SPECTACLES ON NOSE AND POUCH ON SIDE; HIS YOUTHFUL HOSE, WELL SAVED, A WORLD TOO WIDE FOR HIS SHRUNK SHANK, AND HIS BIG MANLY VOICE, TURNING AGAIN TOWARD CHILDISH TREBLE, PIPES AND WHISTLES IN HIS SOUND. LAST SCENE OF ALL, THAT ENDS THIS STRANGE EVENTFUL HISTORY, IS SECOND CHILDISHNESS AND MERE OBLIVION, SANS TEETH, SANS EYES, SANS TASTE, SANS EVERYTHING. DO YOU NEED SOME WATER? I DO. CAN WE PUT THINGS ON HOLD, AND LET'S QUENCH OUR THIRST? ARE YOU ALL RIGHT? BOTH OF YOU DOING GOOD? OK. NOW... THINK I SHOULD GET A SPECIAL AWARD, A PIN, FOR ONLY MISSING 3 FLIGHTS IN MY LIFE, 3 TIMES. HOW MANY FLIGHTS HAVE YOU MISSED IN YOUR LIFE? HOW MANY TIMES YOU MISSED A FLIGHT? 4? ZERO? ONE. TWO. ZERO. ONE. TWO. OH. I'VE MISSED ONLY 3, AND YOU KNOW WHAT? LET ME TELL YOU A STORY. THE FIRST TIME WAS THIS. HERE'S MY TICKET. WHAT? THE TIME? I CAN'T HEAR YOU. I'M DEAF. CAN YOU WRITE IT DOWN? PLEASE WRITE IT DOWN. WHAT ARE YOU SAYING? I DON'T READ LIPS. WHAT ARE YOU TELLING ME? MY FLIGHT LEFT AN HOUR AGO? HA HA HA! NO. NO. CAN'T BE. I STILL HAVE TIME. ME? WHAT ARE YOU SAYING? DST? WHAT IS THAT? DST. DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME? NOW, THE SECOND TIME I MISSED A FLIGHT... HERE'S MY TICKET. WHAT? YEAH? WHAT ARE YOU SAYING? THIS IS MY ELECTRONIC TICKET. YOU SENT ME THAT. HERE IT IS. THIS IS NOT ELECTRONIC TICKET? WHAT IS IT? WHAT IS THIS? AN ITINERARY OF PLACES WHERE I'M GOING? BUT THIS-- WELL, WHAT IS IT? IT'S ONLY A LIST OF THE ITINERARY? I SHOULD HAVE CALLED YOU TO CONFIRM? I DIDN'T? NOW, THE THIRD TIME AND THE FINAL TIME THAT I MISSED MY FLIGHT... GOT 20 MINUTES, PLENTY OF TIME. WE'LL GET THERE. LET'S SEE. HERE'S MY TICKET. NO, NO, NO. WAIT. WAIT A SECOND. BETTER IF-- LET ME GO PURCHASE SOME FOOD IN THE TERMINAL. I KNOW THAT YOU'RE GOING TO FRANKFURT, GERMANY, AND THEN WE'LL FLY ON TO OSLO, NORWAY, AND THE FOOD WON'T BE SUFFICIENT, SO I NEED TO BRING SOME FOOD ON BOARD. LET ME GO PURCHASE SOME FOOD. I HAVE PLENTY OF TIME. OK. LET'S SEE. I'LL TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF THIS, A LITTLE BIT OF THAT. LET'S SEE. OH, YEAH. TAKE SOME MORE OF THIS. OH, WHAT'S THAT, A DRINK? WELL, YEAH. YEAH. I'LL TAKE THIS. WHAT ELSE I NEED? OK. THAT'S IT. OH, I'M IN LINE. LET ME WAIT A FEW SECONDS. OH, I'M UP. HERE'S MY CREDIT CARD. OK. I'LL SIGN. I HAVE 10 MINUTES BEFORE MY FLIGHT. LET ME GET BACK TO THE GATE. WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? WHERE IS EVERYBODY? WHAT HAPPENED? OH, THERE'S--OH, EMPLOYEE. LET ME GO UP TO AN EMPLOYEE. THEY'RE CLOSING THE DOORS, AND, HEY, THAT'S MY FLIGHT. THAT'S MY FLIGHT. NO, NO. I HAVE TIME. I'M TOLD, "NO. YOU'RE TOO LATE." WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? LOOK. LOOK. I HAVE TIME. I HAVE PLENTY OF TIME. "NOPE. IT'S TOO LATE." I'M SORRY. I'M DEAF. I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU'RE SAYING. CAN YOU WRITE IT DOWN? WHAT ARE YOU TELLING ME? THERE'S NEW SECURITY RULES? THE GATE CLOSES 10 MINUTES BEFORE DEPARTURE? BUT THAT'S MY FLIGHT. THAT'S MY...FLIGHT. AND I'M STILL LEARNING WHEN I FLY. THINGS HAPPEN, YOU KNOW? OK. LET'S SEE. NEXT, WE HAVE-- LET ME CHECK. I HAVE RE-ARRANGED THINGS A LITTLE BIT. OK. GET BACK ON TRACK. YOU GUYS DOING OK? THIS IS THE "THEATER IN THE SKY," THE STORY OF MY LIFE, MY LIFE ON WINGS. OK. I HAVE TRAVELED AND FLOWN MANY TIMES IN MY LIFETIME. THE MOST IMPORTANT FLIGHT I EVER TOOK IN MY ENTIRE LIFE WAS A TIME A REMEMBER QUITE WELL. I WAS 26 YEARS OLD. IT WAS 1956. I WAS VERY EXCITED. MY PARENTS BROUGHT ME TO THE SAN FRANCISCO AIRPORT. THEY WERE GONNA SEE ME OFF, SO I GAVE MY MOM A HUG WHEN I WAS THERE, AND SHE'S, "TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. MAKE SURE YOU DROP ME A LINE NOW AND THEN." I SAID, "I WILL," AND MOM SAID, "NOW LISTEN. HAVE FUN," SO I GAVE HER A HUG, AND THEN THERE'S MY DAD STANDING TALL WITH HIS MUSTACHE. SAID, "BYE, FATHER," AND I KISSED HIM. MY FATHER SAID, "WHERE ARE YOU GOING? WHAT'S THIS FLIGHT FOR? WHATEVER YOU DO, HAVE FUN." I SAID, "WELL, I DON'T KNOW, NO IDEA, BUT I STILL WANT TO GO," AND MY FATHER PROCEEDED TO SAY, "YES. GOOD LUCK," SO I SHOOK HIS HAND, AND I SAID MY FINAL GOOD-BYE, AND WE TOOK OFF. WE FLEW TO NEW YORK. I WAS VISITING MY AUNT THERE... AND SHE HOSTED A PARTY IN MY HONOR, INVITED MANY OF HER FRIENDS, MY FRIENDS. WE HAD QUITE THE CROWD, INCLUDING BOB DAVILA-- HE WAS ONE OF THE HONORED GUESTS-- AND SOME OTHER PEOPLE. WE ALL CAME TOGETHER, HAD A GREAT TIME EATING, DRINKING, SOCIALIZING. THE NEXT DAY, I WENT BACK TO THE AIRPORT, AND I SAW THIS BIG AIRPLANE, AND ON THE SIDE OF IT, IT SAID, "AIR FRANCE," SO I BOARDED MY FLIGHT. I LOOKED OUT THE WINDOW, AND I SAW THE MOON SETTING... AND THEN THE PLANE STARTED UP ITS ENGINES, AND OFF WE WENT. I WAS SERVED A MEAL IN FLIGHT... AND UPON FINISHING MY MEAL... I SETTLED DOWN, CLOSED THE SHADE, SET MY SEAT BACK, AND FELL ASLEEP, AND IT WAS SUCH AN EXCITING TIME IN MY LIFE, BUT HOW IT ALL BEGAN WAS THIS. I'LL SHARE THIS MEMORY WITH YOU. I RECALL A TIME WHEN I WAS LOOKING IN A NEWSPAPER AND I SAW THIS ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE WORLD'S FAMOUS MIME MARCEL MARCEAU, AND I READ THROUGH THE ADVERTISEMENT, AND I SAID, "OH, INTERESTING, THIS WORLD'S FAMOUS MIME," AND THIS IS ON HIS FIRST AMERICAN TOUR, AND IT WAS THE YEAR 1956, AND HE WAS GONNA PERFORM IN SAN FRANCISCO. AT THAT TIME, I WAS A TEACHER AT THE CALIFORNIA SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF IN BERKELEY. I THOUGHT, "GREAT. WHAT A THRILL," SO IT WAS A WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. SCHOOL FINISHED EARLY. I GOT IN MY CAR. I DROVE ACROSS THE BAY BRIDGE, AND I DROVE INTO SAN FRANCISCO. IT WAS POURING DOWN RAIN THAT DAY. I PARKED AND GOT INTO THE THEATER. IT WAS CALLED THE GALLERY, AND I HAD A SEAT IN THE BACK IN THE BALCONY. IT WAS A FULL HOUSE, AND THEN THE CURTAINS WERE RAISED, AND OUT WALKED THIS MAN WALKING IN PLACE, WALKING AGAINST A WIND, STAYING IN ONE LOCATION. IT WAS AN AMAZING PERFORMANCE. HE PERFORMED FOR... TWO HOURS TO MUCH APPLAUSE, AND IN THE END WHEN HIS SHOW WAS DONE, HE RECEIVED A STANDING OVATION. HE HAD A COUPLE OF ENCORES, AND THEN THE SHOW WAS OVER, AND PEOPLE LEFT, AND I STAYED THERE IN MY SEAT IN THE BALCONY CONTEMPLATING WHAT A WONDERFUL SHOW. THIS MAN, HE DIDN'T SPEAK ONE WORD, BUT HE HELD THE AUDIENCE CAPTIVE. HE WAS EXCELLENT, BUT I RECALL THAT I USED TO DO SOME MIME WHEN I WAS YOUNG-- I DID--AND I THOUGHT, "WELL..." IT WAS TIME FOR ME TO HEAD HOME, SO I MADE MY WAY OUT OF THE THEATER, AND IT WAS STILL POURING DOWN, SO I STAYED UNDER THE EAVE... WAITING THE CHANCE TO WALK 3 BLOCKS TO MY PARKED CAR AND HEAD HOME, AND I WAS THINKING, "OH, I GOT TO GET TO BERKELEY," BUT THERE WAS TRAFFIC BACK AND FORTH, BACK AND FORTH, SO I WALKED OVER TO THE SIDE OF THE THEATER AND DISCOVERED THERE WAS AN ALLEY ADJACENT TO THE THEATER. I THOUGHT, "WHERE DOES THAT LEAD TO?" I THOUGHT, "MAYBE THE BACKSTAGE. "HMM, THERE'S MIGHT BE A DOOR BACKSTAGE. IS IT LOCKED? IS THERE SECURITY?" I DIDN'T KNOW, AND IT WAS STILL RAINING. THERE I WAS, JUST STANDING ALL BY MYSELF. I THOUGHT, "SHOULD I GO HOME, OR SHOULD I "EXPLORE THIS ALLEY AND GO BACKSTAGE? WHO KNOWS? MAYBE I'LL GET A CHANCE TO MEET MARCEL MARCEAU," AND AT THAT POINT, I WAS FACING TWO DIFFERENT ROADS. REMEMBER ROBERT FROST'S PIECE, THE POEM ENTITLED "THE ROAD NOT TAKEN"? THERE I WAS. I HAD A CHOICE, AND GUESS WHAT I CHOSE. YES, INDEED. I CHOSE THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED, SO I MADE MY WAY DOWN THE ALLEY... FOUND THE BACK DOOR, DISCOVERED IT WAS UNLOCKED. I THOUGHT, "GREAT." THERE WAS NO SECURITY GUARD. I THOUGHT, "THIS IS GREAT," PROCEEDED TO MAKE MY WAY IN. JUST LIKE THE SIDE OF THIS STAGE, IT WAS KIND OF DARK. THERE WAS A WORK LIGHT THAT WAS PROVIDING VERY LITTLE ILLUMINATION, AND I SAW ACROSS THE STAGE WAS MARCEL MARCEAU BY HIMSELF JUST WALKING ON THE STAGE IN THIS MANNER. HE LOOKED UP TO THE CEILING. THERE WAS A SMALL WATER LEAK HITTING THE STAGE BECAUSE OF THE TERRIBLE RAIN, AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN, HE SAW ME IN THE DARK, AND HE SPOKE TO ME, "YOU," AND I GESTURED TO HIM, "I CAN'T HEAR. CAN WE COMMUNICATE BY WRITING ON A PIECE OF PAPER? HE SAW THAT I WAS DEAF AND WHAT I WAS GESTURING, SO HE INDICATED FOR ME TO WALK UP ON THE STAGE, AND I WALKED UP THERE TO HIM, AND I WROTE HIM A NOTE, AND HE READ THE NOTE, AND WHAT I SAID TO HIM WAS, "I'M A SCHOOLTEACHER. "I TEACH DEAF CHILDREN IN BERKELEY. "I REALLY ENJOYED YOUR SHOW. "I WAS WONDERING-- "I DO SOME MIME MYSELF. "WHERE AM I ABLE TO GET SOME FURTHER TRAINING IN THE ART OF MIME?" HE LOOKED AT ME AFTER READING THE NOTE. HE SAYS, "WELL, LET ME SEE YOU PERFORM NOW." I SAID, "ME? NO." I THOUGHT, "OK. WHY NOT?" SO I TOOK OFF MY JACKET, TOOK OFF MY NECKTIE. MARCEL TOOK A SEAT ON STAGE, AND YOU WANT TO SEE WHAT I DID FOR HIM? YES? YES? OK. THIS PIECE I CALL "NOAH'S ARK." HERE IT IS. WHAT ARE YOU TELLING ME TO DO? WHAT? OH. ME BUILD AN ARK? OH? YES. I WILL, MY LORD. AND I PERFORMED A COUPLE OTHER PIECES FOR HIM, AND HERE'S ANOTHER ONE THAT I DID WHEN I WAS A LITTLE BOY. IT'S CALLED "ONE MAN'S ORCHESTRA." I'LL PERFORM THIS ONE FOR YOU. UPON SEEING THIS, MARCEL MARCEAU WROTE A NOTE AND HANDED IT TO ME, AND I GRABBED THE NOTE AND LOOKED AT IT, AND IT SAID-- WELL, THIS WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF PAPER I EVER GOT. I'LL CHERISH IT FOREVER. I PLAN TO DONATE IT TO THE GALLAUDET ARCHIVES, BUT WAIT A SECOND. I WILL MAKE A COPY AND PROVIDE A COPY TO THE NTID ARCHIVES, AS WELL, OK? SO HE WROTE TO ME SAYING, "I LIKE WHAT I SAW." "I'M INVITING YOU TO PARIS TO STUDY ALONG MY SIDE FREE OF CHARGE"... AND TO THAT, I SHOOK HIS HAND IN BEWILDERMENT, AND THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN, I WOKE UP. I WAS BACK ON THE PLANE FROM MY NAP... RECALLING THAT TIME AND ARRIVING INTO PARIS, AND SO I OPENED THE SHADE AND SAW THAT THE SUN HAD COME UP. I HAD JUST LEFT THE U.S., AND NOW I WAS FLYING INTO PARIS AND THE SUNRISE, AND SO WE GOT TO PARIS, AND I STUDIED WITH MARCEL MARCEAU, AND I'D LIKE TO ADD A FEW OTHER STORIES, ESPECIALLY WHAT I LEARNED FROM MARCEL. HE TAUGHT ME HOW TO BREATHE APPROPRIATELY ON STAGE. YOU MAY SAY, "BREATHE? WHAT DO YOU MEAN?" HE SAYS, "WELL, YOU MUST BREATHE TO THE POINT WHERE PEOPLE CAN HEAR YOU IN THE BACK, IN THE BALCONY." I HAD NO IDEA WHAT THAT WAS LIKE, BUT MARCEL WAS VERY EXACT IN CONTROLLED BREATHING. YOU KNOW, SUPPOSE YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT A BIRD THAT YOU FOUND AND THE BIRD WAS SICK AND DYING AND YOU WERE TRYING TO CONSOLE THE BIRD AND YOU ARE BREATHING ON THE BIRD TO TRY TO MAKE THAT CONNECTION ON THAT LITTLE BIRD. YOU WOULD HAVE TO CONTROL YOUR BREATHING. BREATHE LIKE THE BIRD. BREATHE. EXHALE ON THE BIRD, AND SO THROUGH THOSE TECHNIQUES, I LEARNED FROM MARCEL. ANOTHER STORY, ONE MORE STORY I'LL SHARE WITH YOU, LOOKING BACK, I REMEMBER THIS OTHER TIME WITH MARCEL. I TRAVELED A LOT. ONE TIME, I FLEW INTO CHICAGO. I RAN INTO HIM. ANOTHER TIME, I FLEW INTO PARIS. I RAN INTO MARCEL. I'VE MET HIM IN LONDON. IT WAS SUCH A COINCIDENCE TIME AND TIME AGAIN, AND WHENEVER WE MET, WE'D ALWAYS GO OUT TO EAT AT A RESTAURANT, AND I WAS ALLOWED TO BRING MY FRIEND. I EVEN BROUGHT A REALLY GOOD FRIEND OF MINE NAMED MICHAEL SCHWARTZ, WHO IS NOW A LAW PROFESSOR AT SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY. I SEE HE'S SITTING IN THE FRONT ROW-- HEY, MICHAEL-- AND HE LOVED MARCEL AS I DID, TOO. HE WORSHIPPED HIM, SO HE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO JOIN ME TO SEE MARCEL AND THEN MEET HIM BACKSTAGE AND TO SHAKE HIS HAND. IT WAS, YOU KNOW, A THRILL OF A LIFETIME FOR MICHAEL. YES. LET'S SEE. AND, UM--HMM. OH, YES. SO THAT-- ONE TIME, I RAN INTO MARCEL IN MOSCOW. I WAS PERFORMING WITH THE RUSSIAN GROUP. I WAS THERE FOR A WEEK FOR REHEARSALS, AND WE WERE PUTTING ON A GREEK PLAY, AND I WAS TOLD THAT MARCEL WAS IN TOWN. I SAID, "WHAT, AGAIN? WHAT A COINCIDENCE. "WE'VE MET IN ALL THESE OTHER CITIES AND NOW MOSCOW, MOSCOW, RUSSIA," SO I FOUND OUT WHAT HOTEL HE WAS STAYING AT. I GOT TO THAT HOTEL, AND I RAN INTO HIM, GAVE HIM A BIG HUG, SO HAPPY TO SEE HIM, AND HE SAID, HE'S HERE FOR JUST TWO PERFORMANCES... AND THE MOSCOW MIME GROUP INVITED HIM WITH THIS PURPOSE. THEY WERE GONNA GO GRAB A NICE MEAL THAT NIGHT, SO HE INVITED ME TO JOIN THEM FOR THE DINNER AFTER THE SHOW, SO WE GOT INTO THIS FINE LIMOUSINE IN MOSCOW AFTER THE SHOW. OH, I HAD THE CHANCE TO SEE HIS PERFORMANCE, AND ONCE THAT WAS DONE, WE WENT TO THIS FINE RESTAURANT, AND I SAT AT A BIG, LONG TABLE WHERE PEOPLE WERE SITTING ACROSS FROM ONE ANOTHER, AND THESE WERE ALL MEMBERS OF THIS MOSCOW MIME GROUP, AND NOW, MARCEL WAS SITTING A COUPLE CHAIRS AWAY FROM ME. WE HAD AN INTERPRETER, A SPOKEN RUSSIAN-FRENCH INTERPRETER. NOW, THIS INTERPRETER ALSO ASSISTED ME WRITING ENGLISH WORDS ON A PIECE OF PAPER SO I HAD ACCESS TO THE CONVERSATION, AND I JUST NEEDED ONE OR TWO WORDS, AND I KNEW WHAT WAS BEING SAID, SO THERE, SOMEBODY PROCEEDED TO POUR LITTLE SHOTS OF VODKA, WHICH THE RUSSIANS ARE WELL-KNOWN FOR... AND THEN WE PROCEEDED TO TAKE TURNS GIVING SPEECHES, AND UPON THE COMPLETION OF EACH SPEECH, YOU TOOK A SHOT OF VODKA, SO SPEECH AFTER SPEECH, WE DOWNED THE VODKA, AND EVERYONE AT THE TABLE TOOK THEIR TURN, WHETHER IT WAS SPEAKING OR DRINKING VODKA. THEN IT CAME TO MARCEL'S TURN, AND HE GAVE THE LONGEST SPEECH OF ALL. HE'S A MAN OF MANY WORDS, DESPITE BEING A MIME, SO HE WENT ON TO SAY A FEW WORDS HERE AND THERE, AND THE INTERPRETER WROTE A COUPLE WORDS TO ME SO I KNEW WHAT HE WAS SAYING DURING THAT TIME, AND HE KEPT GOING, GOING, AND THEN HE RAISED HIS SHOT OF VODKA, AND HE DRANK IT, AND THEN THE SHOT GLASSES WERE FILLED AGAIN, AND MARCEL POINTED AT ME AND SAID, "IT'S YOUR TURN." I SAID, "ME?" HE SAYS, "YEAH. "YOU WRITE SOMETHING DOWN AND GIVE IT TO THE INTERPRETER, "AND THE INTERPRETER CAN TRANSLATE IT INTO SPOKEN RUSSIAN," AND MARCEL KNEW THAT HE COULD READ THE PAPER BECAUSE HE COULD READ ENGLISH, SO HE PROCEEDED TO TELL ME, "GO AHEAD," SO I TOOK THE SHEET OF PAPER FROM THE INTERPRETER, AND I THOUGHT ABOUT IT. EVERYBODY WAS LOOKING AT ME. I SET THAT PIECE OF PAPER DOWN, AND I GAVE MY SPEECH. HERE IT IS. AND MARCEL AT THAT MOMENT SAID THAT WAS THE MOST AMAZING SPEECH HE HAD EVER SEEN IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE, THAT I WAS TRUE TO ARMS TO THE MIME, SO EVERY TIME I WOULD RUN INTO MARCEL HERE AND THERE, HE STILL TALKS ABOUT THAT SPEECH. HE SAYS, "YOU ARE ONE HECK OF A SPEECHWRITER, AND HE WOULD ALWAYS GIVE ME A HUG. HE ALWAYS GAVE ME PRAISE. HE EVEN AT ONE POINT RAISED MY ARM. HE SAID, "BERNARD BRAGG, THE CHAMP OF SPEECH." ACTUALLY HURT MY SHOULDER, BUT I THANKED HIM AT THE SAME TIME, AND NOW HE'S GONE. LOVE YOU, MARCEL. OK. THIS IS THE WORST BLUNDER I EVER MADE IN MY FLYING CAREER. I WAS FLYING TO ENGLAND, TO LONDON. I WAS GONNA APPEAR ON A BBC TV PROGRAM. I GAVE MY PERFORMANCE. LET'S SEE. THAT WAS IN THE 1960s, FLEW TO, YES, PARIS, WAS THERE FOR THE 150th CELEBRATION HONORING L'EPEE, THE FOUNDER OF THE FIRST SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF IN PARIS, SO MANY WERE GATHERED, AND I PERFORMED FOR ABOUT AN HOUR, AND UPON COMPLETION OF MY PERFORMANCE, I HAD A CHANCE TO MEET SEVERAL PEOPLE. THEN I MET THIS ONE INDIVIDUAL WHO SAID, "MY NAME IS DRAGO VUKOTIC," AND THIS WAS HIS SIGN NAME. HE WAS PRESIDENT OF THE WFD, AND SO NOW YOU SEE HOW I HAVE BEEN CONNECTED WITH THE WFD FOR MANY YEARS BECAUSE OF DRAGO, WHO'S WORKED LONG AND HARD TO HELP ESTABLISH THE WFD AND THEIR WORKS ALL ACROSS THE WORLD. ANYWAY, HE INTRODUCED HIMSELF TO ME AND SAID, "LISTEN. I WANT YOU TO FLY TO YUGOSLAVIA," WHICH WAS HIS HOME. THIS IS A SIGN FOR YUGOSLAVIA... BUT NOW THAT COUNTRY IS NO LONGER UNITED, BUT I HAD A CHANCE TO GO TO YUGOSLAVIA WHEN IT WAS ONE UNITED COUNTRY. HE WANTED ME TO GO TO THEIR NATIONAL TV PROGRAM WITH OTHER DEAF MIMES JUST LIKE MYSELF... AND IT WAS IN ZAGREB, WHERE HE LIVED, AND I SAID, "SURE. CERTAINLY." I ACCEPTED HIS INVITATION. YOU KNOW, IN THAT DAY AND AGE, YOU COULD MAKE RESERVATIONS LAST MINUTE. THERE WAS NOTHING TO IT. YOU KNOW, I HAD THE OPEN DATE, AND SO THAT WAS OK, BUT, COMPARED TO TODAY, YOU HAVE TO PLAN WELL IN ADVANCE, AND, YOU KNOW, YOU CAN'T MAKE ANY MISTAKES. ANYWAY, BACK THEN, THINGS WERE SO MUCH EASIER. ANYWAY, SO I BOOKED MY FLIGHT, AND I FLEW TO THE WRONG CITY. I SHOULD'VE FLOWN TO BELGRADE, THE CAPITAL, WHERE DRAGO LIVED. HE WAS EXPECTING ME AT THE AIRPORT, AND HE HAD MY VISA ALL READY TO HAND ME, BUT I DIDN'T KNOW THAT, SO INSTEAD, I FLEW TO ANOTHER CITY 400 MILES OFF COURSE--ZAGREB... SO I FLEW INTO ZAGREB, GRABBED MY BAG, WALKED UP TO THE CUSTOMS OFFICIAL, GAVE HIM MY PASSPORT, AND WAS ASKED WHERE MY VISA WAS, AND I SAID, "VISA? I DON'T HAVE A VISA," AND THEY SAID, "SORRY. YOU HAVE TO GO BACK FROM WHERE YOU FLEW IN." I SAID, "I'M SUPPOSED TO MEET SOMEBODY HERE," BUT THEY WOULDN'T LET ME ENTER THE COUNTRY OF YUGOSLAVIA BECAUSE I DID NOT HAVE A VISA. I THOUGHT, "WELL, DRAGO DIDN'T TELL ME ABOUT A VISA." I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT I DIDN'T KNOW, BUT DRAGO HAD PLANNED TO GIVE ME A VISA WHEN HE MET ME AT THE AIRPORT... SO I CALLED HIM, AND I SAID, "OH, I DIDN'T KNOW THAT," AND SO DRAGO CONTACTED THIS OTHER VERY SMART MAN, A NEWSPAPER EDITOR OF A DEAF MAGAZINE, AND HE HAD A PICTURE OF ME FROM A PRIOR PIECE ON THE FRONT OF A MAGAZINE, SO DRAGO ASKED HIM TO COME PICK ME UP AT THE AIRPORT, SO THERE I WAS, STANDING, WAITING, AND I EXPLAINED TO THE SECURITY THAT I'M MEETING A FRIEND WHO'S GONNA HELP ASSIST ME GET THROUGH CUSTOMS, AND THEY SAID, "NO. YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED TO DO THAT," AND THESE BIG TWO UGLY SECURITY GUARDS WERE PREVENTING ME FROM LEAVING. THEY POINTED TO A ROOM WHERE I HAD TO STAY AND WAIT, AND SO THERE I WAS, UNSURE WHAT TO DO, AND THEN I NOTICED A SECURITY GUARD HAVING A CIGARETTE AND TALKING TO THE OTHER GUARD, AND I THOUGHT, "HERE'S MY CHANCE." I BOLTED OUT THE DOORS, RAN TO THE OUTSIDE, AND SAW THE PEOPLE AND WAS TRYING TO FIND MY FRIEND WHO WAS GONNA HELP ME GET THROUGH CUSTOMS, AND I SAW HIM. I SAID, "YEAH. HERE I AM. HERE I AM," AND THE SECURITY GUARDS RAN OVER, GRABBED ME, PICKED ME UP, AND PROCEEDED TO BRING ME BACK INTO THE ROOM AND SHUT THE DOOR, AND I SAID, "WELL, HE WAS MY FRIEND," AND THEN THE PERSON KNOCKED AT THE DOOR, AND THE SECURITY GUARD TALKED TO THE GENTLEMAN, WHO WAS HARD-OF-HEARING, AND EXPLAINED THAT THEY WERE THERE TO PICK ME UP, AND THEN A CONVERSATION ENSUED, AND THEY CALLED DRAGO, WHO WAS WELL-KNOWN. HE WAS AN ADMINISTRATOR IN A VOCATION REHAB IN YUGOSLAVIA, SO AS A RESULT OF SOME BACK AND FORTH... I WAS ALLOWED TO GET A VISA STAMPED, AND I MADE MY WAY OUT OF THE AIRPORT, AND THE SECURITY GUARD WAS STANDING THERE. AS I PROCEEDED TO LEAVE, I SAID, "THANK YOU VERY MUCH," AND I TIPPY-TOED AND GOT OUT AND ENJOYED MY TIME IN YUGOSLAVIA. LET'S SEE, SO NEXT-- LET ME SEE WHAT'S NEXT. HERE'S AN EXPERIENCE THAT I HAD THAT WAS LIKE RIDING IN A PLANE THAT WAS ON AN OCEAN... RIDING THE WAVES OF AN OCEAN. WELL, IT WAS MY EXPERIENCE, SO LET ME SHARE. WHEN I WAS A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL THEATRE OF THE DEAF, WE TRAVELED A LOT, FAR AND WIDE, TO MANY DIFFERENT CITIES, MANY DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. WE FLEW TO EUROPE, AND WE WOULD VISIT MANY CITIES. FOR EXAMPLE, WE OFTEN WOULD STOP AND VISIT PARIS, AND I HAD A CHANCE TO GO TO PARIS, AND WE WERE SUPPOSED TO THEN GO ON TO ISRAEL FOR A TOUR. IT WAS A VERY EXCITING TIME, SO THAT NIGHT, WE GOT TOGETHER, AND WE WENT TO THIS FINE FRENCH RESTAURANT; HAD A NICE MEAL; DRANK SOME FINE, FRENCH WINE; HAD A GOOD TIME. AT THE END OF OUR EVENING, WE WENT OUT TO THE STREET AND ENJOYED SEEING THE LIGHTS OF PARIS... AND, AS IT TURNED OUT, I WASN'T FEELING GOOD AFTER SUCH A LARGE MEAL. THERE WAS SOMETHING WRONG WITH MY STOMACH, AND I WAS FEELING KIND OF WHEEZY AND DIZZY, AND MY FRIEND SAID, "YOU LOOK WHITE AS A GHOST. WHAT'S WRONG?" I SAID, "I DON'T KNOW. I'M HAVING SOME DISCOMFORT. IT'S A BURNING SENSATION RIGHT HERE." I VOMITED, BUT THEN MY FRIEND SAID, "UGH. WE BETTER GET YOU TO THE HOSPITAL," AND SO THEY HURRIEDLY TOOK ME TO THE HOSPITAL, AND THE PAIN WAS EVEN GETTING MORE SEVERE. FORTUNATELY, WE FOUND AN AMERICAN HOSPITAL IN PARIS. I LAID DOWN ON A HOSPITAL BENCH. I WAS SCREAMING. FINALLY, TWO DOCTORS CAME OUT TO ME AND SAID, "OK. WHAT'S WRONG?" AND WE HAD THIS WOMAN INTERPRETER WHO WAS A REALLY SWEET INTERPRETER, SAYS, "GET TO HIM. GET TO HIM. COME OVER HERE. HELP HIM. HELP HIM," YOU KNOW. "WHAT'S WRONG WITH HIM?" AND SO THE DOCTORS CHECKED ME OUT, AND THEY DIAGNOSED ME AS HAVING A KIDNEY STONE ATTACK. THOUGHT, "ME? KIDNEY STONE ATTACK? THAT EXPLAINS IT," AND THE DOCTOR SAID, "YOU NEED TO BE GIVEN A SHOT OF MORPHINE"... AND YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT WAS LIKE. I HAD THIS PAIN. IT'S WORSE THAN CHILDBIRTH, SO I'VE BEEN TOLD. DO YOU BELIEVE ME? YOU'RE LAUGHING. YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME? WELL, I HAVE A GOOD FRIEND. SHE'S A WOMAN. SHE'S HAD 3 CHILDREN, AND SHE'S ALSO EXPERIENCED A KIDNEY STONE ONCE, AND SHE SAID THE WORST PAIN WAS THE KIDNEY STONE OVER THE CHILDBIRTH, SO THERE YOU HAVE IT, SO IT'S NOT JUST ME SPEAKING... SO THEY GAVE ME THE SHOT OF MORPHINE, AND YOU HAVE NO IDEA. I WOKE UP AT 3:00 IN THE MORNING... FEELING LIGHTHEADED. I WAS LIKE, IT WAS LIKE HEAVEN, AND A NURSE CAME IN, AND SHE LOOKED LIKE AN ANGEL, A BEAUTIFUL ANGEL, TO ME... AND I DIDN'T WANT TO GET ANOTHER SHOT BECAUSE I'D BE HOOKED FOR LIFE, BUT ANYWAY, IN THE MORNING, THE SAME NURSE CAME IN, AND, WELL, SHE WASN'T SO PRETTY THEN. SHE WAS QUITE UGLY AND FEELING AROUND AND TAKING CARE OF ME, SO CLEARLY, THE MORPHINE HAD WORN OFF, BUY ANYWAY, SO I HAD THE KIDNEY STONE, AND IT WAS PASSING THROUGH ME, AND I WAS OK, BUT THE DOCTOR SAID, "WE NEED TO WATCH YOU FOR A COUPLE DAYS JUST FOR OBSERVATION PURPOSES," AND I THOUGHT, "OH, NO." THAT NIGHT, DAVID HAYES, THE PERSON WHO HELPED ME ESTABLISH NT of D, CAME TO MY ROOM WITH HIS WIFE. THEY SAID, "YOU KNOW WHAT? WE HAVE TO FLY TO ISRAEL TOMORROW," AND I SAID, "I KNOW THAT." "YOU HAVE A LEADING ROLE, TOO," DAVID SAID. "WE NEED YOU. WE'RE VISITING 6 CITIES IN ISRAEL. WITHOUT YOU, WE HAVE TO CANCEL ALL THESE SHOWS." I SAID, "I KNOW THAT, BUT-- I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TELLING ME." DAVID SAID, "WHY DON'T YOU SIGN A RELEASE SO YOU CAN BE DISCHARGED FROM THE HOSPITAL?" I WAS OK WITH THAT, YOU KNOW? I WANT TO SAVE NT of D AND HAVE THE SHOW GO ON. I WAS WILLING TO SIGN A RELEASE... AND THEY SAID, "DON'T WORRY," THAT IN ISRAEL, THEY HAVE MANY, MANY DOCTORS. JEWISH PEOPLE LOVE THEIR DOCTORS, SO I WAS OK WITH THAT, AND I WENT AHEAD TO SIGN THE RELEASE BECAUSE THEY SAID I WOULD BE IN GOOD HANDS IN ISRAEL, SO WE WERE ABLE TO GET DISCHARGED FROM THE HOSPITAL LATER THAT EVENING. THE FOLLOWING MORNING, WE BOARDED A FLIGHT, AND TOGETHER, WE WERE FLYING TO ISRAEL. NOW, IN FLIGHT, I SAT ON ONE SIDE OF THE PLANE IN THE FRONT BY MYSELF. WHEN WE TOOK OFF, IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL, QUIET DAY, AND DAVID WALKED UP TO ME AT ONE POINT AND SAID, "HERE. HERE'S SOME WATER. DRINK IT. YOU NEED TO DRINK PLENTY OF WATER," SO I DRANK THE WATER, AND AFTER A WHILE, DAVID'S WIFE LENORA ALSO BROUGHT ME A GLASS OF WATER, SAID, "YOU MUST DRINK THIS." I SAID, "I JUST DRANK A CUP." "NO. DRINK MORE," SO I PROCEEDED TO DRINK THAT CUP, AND THEN ANOTHER ACTOR BROUGHT ME ANOTHER CUP. BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, I HAD A GALLON OF WATER IN ME, SO GUESS WHAT I HAD TO DO-- GO TO THE REAR OF THE PLANE AND RELIEVE MYSELF. AND THAT HAPPENED ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION. THEY KEPT BRINGING THE WATER OVER AND OVER AGAIN, AND AGAIN I'D GO TO THE BACK OF THE PLANE TO RELIEVE MYSELF, AND WHAT HAPPENED, THE PLANE WAS RIDING ON WAVES. THAT'S WHAT IT FELT LIKE. NOW, MY VERSION OF MIME I CALL VISUAL VERNACULAR, OR, BETTER YET, VV. IT'S A FORM OF MIME, BUT IT'S DIFFERENT THAN TRADITIONAL MIME. ALL THE ACTION IS DONE IN PLACE, AND YOU USE FILM TECHNIQUES THROUGH EDITING, THROUGH CLOSE-UPS, DISTANCE SHOTS. THAT'S VV. TWO JETS FLYING OVER. TWO PILOTS TALKING TO EACH OTHER. YOUNG KIDS PLAYING JUMP ROPE. A TRUCK DRIVER DRIVING DOWN A DIRT ROAD. THERE'S HOUSES AND TREES, KIDS PLAYING SOCCER. MORE JUMP ROPES, AND THE PLANES GET CLOSER AND CLOSER. THE PILOTS TALK TO EACH OTHER. THE BOMBARDIER LOOKS DOWN AND TARGETS THE BOMBING AREA. THE TRUCK DRIVER CONTINUES TO DRIVE HIS TRUCK DOWN THE ROCKY DIRT ROAD. THE KIDS ENJOYING SOME JUMP ROPE... OR SOCCER PLAYING HAPPENING... MORE HOUSES AND TREES THROUGHOUT THE AREA, AND AS THE TWO JETS APPROACH THE TARGETED AREA, THEY OPEN THE BOMB BAY DOORS, AND THE BOMBS FALL OUT AND MAKE THEIR WAY DOWN TO THE EARTH NEAR THE HOUSES, THE TREES, THE KIDS JUMP-ROPING, THE TRUCK DRIVER... THE SOCCER GAME, THE TREES, THE HOUSE. ALL OF A SUDDEN, DESTRUCTION, EXPLOSIONS, FIRE EVERYWHERE... AND YOU SEE A BIRD PERCHED ON A TREE, WITH ITS BEAK REACHES OVER FOR A BRANCH AND PULLS APART... THE OLIVE BRANCH, AND IT FLIES UP INTO THE SKY. FUNNY, WHILE I WAS REHEARSING THIS PIECE WHILE FLYING TO SPAIN, I WAS PRACTICING USING MY HANDS AS A BEAK AND GRABBING THE OLIVE BRANCH OFF THE TREE. PEOPLE SITTING IN MY SAME ROW WERE LOOKING AT ME, SAYING, "WHAT IS THIS GUY DOING WITH HIS HANDS? MAYBE HE HAS PARKINSON'S DISEASE." OH, WELL. IT WAS A GOOD TIME... AND JUST FOR YOUR KNOWLEDGE, I DEVELOPED THAT FORM OF MIME MANY YEARS AGO, AND I TAUGHT IT FOR YEARS, TRAVELED QUITE A BIT... INTERNATIONALLY, DOMESTICALLY. YOU KNOW, IT'S A GREAT FILM TECHNIQUE, THAT. THE VISUAL VERNACULAR IS PART OF OUR LANGUAGE. IT'S A FOUNDATION OF WHAT WE'RE REALLY GOOD AT, THE MOVIEMAKING TECHNIQUE, THE EYE, THE FILM, SHOOTING, HOW WE SEE THINGS, HOW WE MAKE ACTION WITH OUR HANDS, THE HANDSHAPES THE VISUALIZATION, AND I FEEL THAT VV IS A PART OF THAT, AND I WANTED TO SHARE THAT WITH YOU THIS EVENING, SO NOW LET'S SEE WHAT I HAVE NEXT. OH, YES. I DID A WORLD TOUR BACK IN 1977. I TRAVELED AS A GOODWILL AMBASSADOR... TRAVELED EXTENSIVELY TO DIFFERENT CITIES, 25 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES GIVING PRESENTATIONS, WORKSHOPS, INTERVIEWS FOR THE PRESS... SEVERAL INTERVIEWS, AS WELL AS TV APPEARANCES, SHORT PERFORMANCES. I MEAN, IT WAS A LOT OF WORK. I'D SPEND A WEEK HERE, A WEEK THERE, TRAVELING ALL OVER THE WORLD. I RECALL WHEN WE WERE IN--LET'S SEE--MADRID. YES. I WAS THERE FOR A FULL WEEK OF WORK DOING INTERVIEWS FOR THE PRESS, AND THEN I HAD A CHANCE TO FLY TO LISBON... PORTUGAL. THIS IS THE WRONG SIGN FOR PORTUGAL. THEIR SIGN IS THIS-- PORTUGAL. SO I WAS THERE IN LISBON ANOTHER WEEK DOING THE SAME THING-- GIVING WORKSHOPS, PRESENTATIONS, PERFORMANCES, INTERVIEWS FOR THE PRESS, AND AFTER THAT WEEK WAS DONE, I RECALL, I HAD TO GO TO FRANCE FROM LISBON. I REMEMBER GETTING TO THE AIRPORT, AND I WAS ON THE TARMAC, AND I SAW ALL THESE PLANES IN A LINE, AND I WAS WONDERING TO MYSELF, "WHICH ONE IS MY PLANE?" NOBODY GAVE ME ANY KIND OF INSTRUCTION. I LOOKED AROUND I WAS A LITTLE CONFUSED, SO I HAD TO GO TO THE ATTENDANT AND SAY, "WHERE'S MY PLANE?" AND THEY DIRECTED ME TO MY PLANE. THEY SAID, "DON'T GET ON THAT ONE. "THAT ONE'S GOING TO BRAZIL. THE ONE NEXT TO IT IS GOING TO FRANCE." I'M GLAD I DIDN'T GET ON THE WRONG PLANE AND GO TO BRAZIL. ANYWAY, SO KNOWING WHERE MY PLANE WAS AT, I WALKED OVER, AND I APPROACHED THE STAIRCASE, AND IT HAPPENED THAT THERE WAS THIS TAP ON MY SHOULDER. I TURNED MY HEAD, AND, LO AND BEHOLD, IT WAS THIS NICE, YOUNG WOMAN WITH HER SON, A LITTLE BOY. SHE LOOKED AT ME. SHE SAYS, "ARE YOU DEAF?" AND I SAID, "OH, SURE. YEAH. YEAH. I'M DEAF. CAN I HELP YOU?" SHE SAYS, "WELL, I SAW YOU TALKING WITH THE ATTENDANT. DO YOU READ LIPS?" AND I RESPONDED, "A LITTLE BIT, NOT MUCH," AND THEN SHE SAID, "WELL, THIS IS MY SON, AND HE'S DEAF," AND I SAID, "REALLY? JUST LIKE ME," THIS LITTLE, CUTE BOY HOLDING HIS MOTHER'S HAND. I LOOKED DOWN AT HIM, AND I SQUATTED TO SIGN AND CONVERSE WITH HIM, AND I SAID, "I'M DEAF LIKE YOU," BUT THE MOTHER GRABBED MY WRIST. I LOOKED UP AT HER. SHE SAID, "PLEASE DO NOT SIGN TO HIM," AND I SAT, BAFFLED. "DON'T SIGN?" SHE SAYS, "NO. I WANT HIM TO LEARN HOW TO SPEAK." SEEING THAT, I SAW PEOPLE GETTING ON THE PLANE, AND I SAID, "WELL, I HAVE TO LEAVE." I GOT MY CARRY-ON, AND I DECIDED TO WISH THEM WELL. I PROCEEDED UP THE STAIRCASE TO THE ENTRANCE OF THE PLANE. I TURNED, AND I WAVED, AND THE LITTLE BOY JUST STARED AT ME. I SAID, "BYE," AND THEN I WENT ON AND GOT ON THE PLANE, FOUND MY SEAT. I HAD A WINDOW SEAT, SO THEN I JUST SAT THERE. "WELL," I THOUGHT, "OH, WELL"... AND THEN WE HAPPENED TO LAND IN MADRID FROM THERE, AND I THOUGHT, "OH, WE'RE REFUELING"... AND SOME OTHERS BOARDED THE PLANE IN MADRID, SO AS IT TURNED OUT, ONCE THE PEOPLE BOARDED, THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT BROUGHT A STACK OF NEWSPAPERS. IT WAS A SPANISH-LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER, SO A WOMAN SITTING NEXT TO ME GRABBED ONE, AND THEY OFFERED ME A SPANISH-LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER. I SAID, "I DON'T KNOW SPANISH, SO NO, THANK YOU," AND SO THEN I WAS JUST SITTING THERE, AND IT WAS TIME TO TAKE OFF, SO WHILE WE'RE IN FLIGHT, I'M LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW, AND I CAN SEE THE EARTH BELOW ME, SEE THE BLUE SKY, THE WHITE CLOUDS. I TURNED TO LOOK AT THE WOMAN SITTING NEXT TO ME. WELL, SHE HAS HER NEWSPAPER SPREAD, AND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NEWSPAPER WAS THIS MAGAZINE. IT'S LIKE THE AMERICAN "PARADE" MAGAZINE YOU GET ON SUNDAY'S NEWSPAPER, SO I SAW THERE WAS A CENTERFOLD, AND IT WAS ONE OF ME, MY PICTURE, PERFORMING, AND THERE WAS AN INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT OF SOME OF MY TRAVELS AS A GOODWILL AMBASSADOR. ALL OF THAT WAS LAID OUT THERE IN THE CENTERFOLD. I WAS SURPRISED. THE WOMAN LOOKED OVER AT ME AS I STARED AT HER, AND SHE STARTED WONDERING, "HMM." FINALLY, SHE TAPPED ME ON MY WRIST. I LOOKED OVER AT HER, AND SHE SAID, "IS THIS YOU?" I SAID, "WELL, I THINK SO," AND SHE WAS AGHAST, AND SHE CALLED THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT OVER. SHE SAYS, "LOOK. LOOK. THIS IS HIM IN THE NEWSPAPER." ANYWAY, BEFORE I KNOW IT, EVERYONE ON THE PLANE KNEW THAT IT WAS ME IN THAT CENTERFOLD PIECE. PEOPLE WERE ASKING ME FOR MY AUTOGRAPH. AS A RESULT, I WAS ALL OF A SUDDEN A CELEBRITY ON THIS PLANE. SOME PEOPLE WOULD GO TO THE BATHROOM. THEY WOULD WALK BY AND JUST STARE AT ME AND THEN RETURN TO THEIR SEATS. THEY WOULD CONTINUE LOOKING AT ME. SEVERAL PEOPLE AGAIN ASKED ME FOR MY AUTOGRAPHS. I FOUND IT KIND OF COMICAL, AND THEN I LOOKED OUT THE WINDOW, AND ALL I SAW WAS NOT THE BLUE SKY, NOT THE WHITE CLOUDS, BUT I SAW A PICTURE OF THAT LITTLE BOY HOLDING HIS MOTHER'S HAND. IF ONLY THE MOTHER AND THAT LITTLE BOY WAS ON THIS PLANE WITH US... AND THEN WE MADE OUR WAY TO FRANCE. ANYWAY, THAT IS "THEATER IN THE SKY," THE STORY OF MY LIFE, MY LIFE ON WINGS. I HAVE 4 MEMORIES I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU OF PAST TRAVELS, SOME NOT SO GOOD, SOME OK. THERE WAS THIS ONE TIME WHEN I WAS ON A PLANE, AND IT WAS WITH ALLEGHENY AIRLINES, A SMALL AIRLINE, AND I WAS FLYING OUT OF NEW YORK, GOING TO MY DESTINATION, AND SO I WAS WITH A FRIEND, A FELLOW ACTOR, AND HE WAS A MUCH BIGGER GUY, SO WE WERE SITTING TOGETHER, AND WE HAPPENED TO SEE THESE TWO SEATS IN THIS SMALL PLANE THAT WE COULD SIT FACING EACH OTHER. WE THOUGHT, "THIS IS GREAT. WE CAN CONVERSE WHILE WE'RE FLYING," BUT THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT WALKED OVER AND SAID, "I'M SORRY. YOU CAN'T SIT HERE. LOOK WHAT IT SAYS," AND IT SAID, "EXIT DOOR." SHE SAYS, "YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE BACK OF THE PLANE. I'M SORRY." I SAID, "WELL, WE'RE PRETTY STRONG, "AND WE CAN VISUALLY HANDLE, YOU KNOW, AN EMERGENCY EVENT WAS TO HAPPEN," AND THEN SHE SAID, "NOPE," AND SHE SHOWED US THE MATERIAL THAT SAID WE COULD NOT SIT THERE, SO WE GAVE UP OUR SEATS, AND WE WALKED BACK TO THE REAR OF THE PLANE, LOOKED OVER TO EACH OTHER, AND SAID, "OH, WELL." THEN WE SAW THIS OLD WOMAN WALKING GINGERLY, AND SHE SAT IN THE SEAT THAT WE WERE AT... AND INSTEAD OF ALLEGHENY AIR, I CALL IT AGONY AIR BECAUSE WE AGONIZED OVER THAT SITUATION. ANY PROBLEMS WITH THAT? HA! SO THE NEXT TIME I'LL SHARE WITH YOU WAS A FLIGHT TO EUROPE, A VERY EXCITING TIME. IT WAS AN OVERNIGHT FLIGHT, AND IT'S A CHANCE FOR ME TO DO A LOT OF READING, SO I BROUGHT ALL MY MATERIALS WITH ME, GOT EVERYTHING SITUATED. WE TOOK OFF, AND SO THERE I WAS. I HIT THE LIGHT TO ALLOW ME TO READ, THE READING LAMP, AND MINE DIDN'T WORK. EVERYONE ELSE'S ON THE PLANE WORKED EXCEPT MINE, AND, UNFORTUNATELY, I SAT IN THIS ONE SEAT THAT DOESN'T HAVE A FUNCTIONING LIGHT, AND I'M THERE IN THE DARK. I WASN'T GONNA STAY ALL NIGHT IN THIS SEAT BECAUSE I COULDN'T SLEEP, SO I CALLED THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT AND EXPLAINED TO HIM THAT THE LIGHT WASN'T WORKING. WELL, THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT TRIED TO GET IT TO WORK, AND AFTER A COUPLE FAILED ATTEMPTS, NOTHING WORKED, AND SO I ASKED, "COULD WE SWITCH SEATS "WITH A PASSENGER WHO MAY NOT USE THE LIGHTS? "MAYBE THEY WANT TO LISTEN TO THEIR MUSIC AND SLEEP WHILE I CAN READ," AND THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT SAID, "LISTEN. BE QUIET. LET ME GO FIND OUT WHAT I CAN DO." I THOUGHT, "WELL, MAYBE I'LL GO SIT IN THE TOILET AND USE THAT LIGHT ALL NIGHT LONG," SO I SAT THERE WAITING AND WAITING. ALL OF A SUDDEN, THE CAPTAIN APPROACHED ME, SAID, "GRAB YOUR CARRY-ON AND COME WITH ME," SO I GOT MY CARRY-ON FROM THE OVERHEAD BIN, GOT ALL MY STUFF, MY READING MATERIAL, AND FOLLOWED THE CAPTAIN. WE WALKED THROUGH THE BUSINESS CLASS, AND WE KEPT GOING. THEN WE ARRIVED IN FIRST CLASS, AND THE CAPTAIN GESTURED, "YOU HAVE THIS SEAT," AND I THOUGHT, "ME?" AND I CHECKED THE LIGHT TO MAKE SURE IT WORKED, AND INDEED IT DID WORK, AND THE CAPTAIN SAYS, "WELL, THERE YOU HAVE IT," AND I SAID, "WAIT A SECOND, CAPTAIN." I WROTE ON THIS SHEET OF PAPER, "THANK YOU. YOU ARE MY ANGEL OF LIGHT," AND THE CAPTAIN LEFT, AND I CONTINUED ON THE FLIGHT. GREAT STORY, HUH? LET'S SEE. THE THIRD MEMORY-- HMM, LET ME THINK BACK. OH, YES. YES. I HAD MY CARRY-ON, AND I BOARDED A FLIGHT, AND I WAS SITTING IN THE LAST ROW OF THE PLANE, AND I WAS OK WITH THAT BECAUSE I HAD A MIDDLE SEAT THAT THERE WAS NOBODY SEATED IN, SO I HAD PLENTY OF ROOM. I GOT MY READING MATERIALS. I THOUGHT, "OH, THEY MUST HAVE CLOSED THE DOORS, "NO MORE PASSENGERS. THAT MEANS I'LL BE VERY COMFORTABLE ON THIS FLIGHT," BUT THEN ALL OF A SUDDEN, THIS HUGE MAN WADDLED DOWN THE AISLE, AND I SAID, "ARE YOU IN THIS ROW?" AND HE SAID, "YES," AND SO I HAD TO MOVE OVER, SIT IN THE MIDDLE SEAT, AND THIS BIG GUY TOOK THE SEAT ON THE AISLE AND LITERALLY SQUISHED ME UP AGAINST THE OTHER PASSENGER, AND I SAID, "I'M SORRY. I CAN'T MOVE. I GOT THIS BIG GUY," AND I CALLED THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT AND WROTE THEM A NOTE. ON THE NOTE, IT SAID, "I HAVE A TERRIBLE CASE "OF CLAUSTROPHOBIA, "AND I WILL DIE IF I CAN'T BREATHE. PLEASE HELP ME"... AND SO THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT LEFT AND CAME BACK AND SAID, "COME WITH ME." I THOUGHT, "OK. GREAT," SO THE BIG GENTLEMAN GOT UP. I WAS ABLE TO GET OUT OF MY SEAT, GATHER MY THINGS ONCE AGAIN, AND NOW THIS BIG GENTLEMAN HAD TWO SEATS, SO HE WAS HAPPY, AS WELL. I FOLLOWED THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT, AND WE PROCEEDED TO GO UP THE PLANE, AND I HAD A FRONT SEAT, BUT IT WAS A MIDDLE SEAT, AND I WAS SITTING BETWEEN THESE TWO MOTHERS WITH LITTLE CHILDREN--OH, WELL-- BUT I WAS SO MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE THAN I HAD BEEN, HAD A CHANCE TO DO MY READING, SO WHILE I WAS READING, THE MOTHER SITTING NEXT TO ME WAS TRYING TO MANEUVER THINGS, AND SHE ASKED ME IF I WOULD HOLD HER CHILD, SO I GRABBED THE CHILD IN MY ARMS ASSISTING THAT MOTHER, AND I TRIED TO MAKE FUN WITH THE BABY, MAKING A VARIETY OF FACES AND DIDN'T DO SO WELL THERE, SO ONCE I HANDED THE MOTHER THE CHILD, THE NEXT MOTHER SAID, "CAN YOU HELP ME? MY SON IS THROWING HIS TOYS ALL ON THE FLOOR," SO I WAS PICKING UP ALL THESE TOYS. WELL, LONG AND SHORT OF IT, I BECAME A BABYSITTER. OH, WELL, AND THE FINAL ONE I'LL SHARE WITH YOU WAS PRETTY TERRIBLE. LET'S SEE. OK. DAVID HAYES, WHO WAS THE GENTLEMAN I WORKED WITH-- WE FOUNDED THE NTD-- HAPPENED TO FLY TO LONDON... FOR THE PURPOSE OF HAVING A MEETING WITH A CELEBRITY ACTOR NAMED RICHARD BURTON. YEAH. YOU KNOW HIM. HE WAS MARRIED TO ELIZABETH TAYLOR NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE, SO WE'RE ALL FAMILIAR WITH HIS STORY. WELL, WE WERE GONNA MEET JUST FOR THIS ONE TIME SO HE COULD WORK WITH ME IN MAKING ARRANGEMENTS FOR A FILM FOR THE CBS TV SHOW. IT WAS CALLED "A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES," SO WE WERE MAKING PLANS FOR THAT, AND RICHARD WAS GONNA BE MY VOICE. THEY FELT IT WAS A GOOD MATCH. I WAS SURPRISED AT THAT. HE IS A MATCH FOR ME? OH, WELL. SO WE WERE GONNA WORK TOGETHER GETTING OUR RHYTHM, OUR PACE, OUR BREATHING ALL DOWN. THEY FELT, AGAIN, HE WAS THE PERFECT VOICE TO MY SIGNING, AND WE WERE GONNA WORK SIDE BY SIDE. IT WAS QUITE AN HONOR. I WAS THRILLED. WE WERE JUST GONNA FLY TO THE AIRPORT, MEET IN A PRIVATE ROOM, AND THEN FLY BACK TO NEW YORK. I SAID, "WELL, WHY DOESN'T HE JUST COME TO NEW YORK OR I SEND HIM THE TAPES?" AND THEY SAID, "NO. THE DIRECTOR WANTS YOU TO MEET IN PERSON. IT'S A REQUIREMENT BY THE MANAGEMENT," SO WE TOOK THIS LONG FLIGHT FROM NEW YORK TO LONDON. WE GET TO LONDON, AND WE WERE IN THIS SMALL, PRIVATE ROOM, SO WE SAT DOWN AND WAITED AND WAITED, AND THEN WE HAD TO MAKE A COUPLE PHONE CALLS, AND WE CONTINUED TO WAIT AND WAIT, AND THEN I SAW THE DIRECTOR TAKE THE PHONE AND SLAM IT DOWN, AND SAID, "DAMN IT. HE CAN'T MAKE IT TODAY." I SAID, "HE CAN'T COME?" "NO. HE'S BEEN CALLED AWAY TO SOME OTHER IMPORTANT MEETING, SO HE'S UNABLE TO COME," SO WE WERE STUCK. I SAID, "WILL WE JUST PUT IT OFF TILL A COUPLE HOURS?" THEY SAID, "NOPE. IT'S BEEN CANCELLED," SO THEN WE HAD TO FLY BACK, SO ALL THE TROUBLE AND EXPENSE FOR NADA. PLEASE. I WAS A LITTLE UPSET, SO ANYWAY, WE GOT BACK ON OUR FLIGHT TO GO BACK TO NEW YORK, BUT ABOUT HALFWAY INTO THE FLIGHT, I WAS SITTING THERE BY THE WINDOW. DAVID WAS SITTING ACROSS THE WAY ON THE OTHER SIDE-- HE HAD A WINDOW SEAT, TOO-- SO I WAS DOING MY USUAL READING, AND THEN I GOT A LITTLE TAP, AND A PERSON GAVE ME A SHEET OF PAPER WITH WRITING ON IT, AND SO I GRABBED THE SHEET OF PAPER. I LOOKED AT IT, AND IT WAS INFORMING ME-- THEY KNEW THAT I WAS DEAF. THEY SAW THAT I HAD TALKED WITH A FLIGHT ATTENDANT USING SIGN LANGUAGE. THEY SAID, THEY JUST HEARD THE PILOT ANNOUNCE THAT WE WERE GOING BACK TO LONDON BECAUSE OF MECHANICAL PROBLEMS, MECHANICAL PROBLEMS, AND THEY HAD TO DUMP FUEL... ON THEIR WAY BACK TO LONDON, AND THERE I WAS. I THOUGHT, "HMM." I THANKED THE PERSON FOR LETTING ME KNOW THAT. I WALKED OVER TO DAVID. HE'S READING HIS MAGAZINE. I SAID, "DAVID..." HE SAID, "YES, BERNARD?" I SAID, "DID YOU HEAR THE PILOT MAKE THE ANNOUNCEMENT "ABOUT THE PLANE HAVING MECHANICAL ISSUES AND WE'RE GOING BACK TO LONDON?" AND DAVID SAID, "YEAH. I KNEW ALL ABOUT THIS." I SAID, "WELL, WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME?" AND HE SAYS, "WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW WON'T HURT YOU"... SO I WENT BACK TO MY SEAT. I SAT DOWN. I WAS WORRIED. THERE'S MECHANICAL ISSUES. "ARE WE GONNA MAKE IT? MAYBE DAVID WAS RIGHT. "MAYBE IT'S BETTER OFF NOT KNOWING, ALL THIS WORRYING ALL THE WAY BACK TO LONDON." HMM. I MEAN, THAT'S A FAIR QUESTION. DO YOU THINK IT'S FAIR? DO DEAF PEOPLE NEED TO BE SAVED? NO. WE'RE EQUALS. WE SHOULD'VE HAD ACCESS TO THAT INFORMATION. REMINDED ME OF A TIME WHEN I WAS IN MY OFFICE BACK HOME AND THEN I GOT A CALL ON MY VIDEOPHONE, SO I ANSWERED THE CALL, AND IT WAS THIS OLD LADY. SHE SAID, "HELLO." I SAID, "HELLO. I DON'T BELIEVE I KNOW YOU," AND SHE SAYS, "LOOK. I'VE BEEN SICK WITH TERRIBLE PAINS, NAUSEA." I SAID, "WAIT A SECOND. PLEASE TELL ME, WHO ARE YOU? I DON'T RECOGNIZE YOU," AND SHE SAYS, "LOOK. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT. I'VE BEEN SICK FOR A LONG TIME. "I FINALLY FOUND A MIRACLE CURE CALLED USEWEL, "AND I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER. "MY PAIN'S GONE. MY NAUSEA'S ALL GONE. "I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER," AND I ASKED HER, "WHY ARE YOU SHARING THIS WITH ME?" AND SHE SAYS, "WELL, YOU SEE, USEWEL, YOU SHOULD TRY IT." I SAID, "WAIT. ARE YOU JUST A TELEMARKETER? IS THIS A PROMOTIONAL THING?" AND SHE SAID, "YES," A PROMOTIONAL THING BEING SHARED WITH ME. I THOUGHT, YOU KNOW, "I KNOW HOW HEARING PEOPLE PUT UP WITH THAT, SAME AS DEAF PEOPLE, AND I TOLD HER, "WELL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. "I'M DOING JUST FINE, PRETTY HEALTHY. "I DON'T NEED THAT USEWEL. THANK YOU. DON'T BOTHER ME AGAIN. THANK YOU VERY MUCH," AND I TURNED THE PHONE OFF. OK. I FEEL I CAN'T VERY WELL LEAVE WITHOUT SHOWING YOU ONE SONG I WROTE CALLED "AN ANTHEM TO ASL" HONORING AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE, AND I WANT TO SHARE THAT WITH YOU THIS EVENING. OK, SO... THE FIRST LETTER OF THIS TITLE IS "ANTHEM" AND "ASL," "A" AND "A," VERY INTERESTING. YOU THINK ABOUT THE HANDSHAPES, THE "A" HANDSHAPE, THE "A" HANDSHAPE, LOOK AT IT. IT'S SO IMPORTANT TO OUR LIVES, YOU KNOW, HOW IT'S USED. IT HAS 5 DIFFERENT SIGNS THAT I'LL SHARE WITH YOU IN THIS PIECE. IT'S SUCH A CRITICAL PART OF OUR DEAF ESSENCE... OUR SIGN LANGUAGE, 4 IMPORTANT COMPONENTS OF THAT ESSENCE. ONE IS LANGUAGE, CULTURE, HERITAGE, AND THE ARTS, AND I KEEP THEM CLOSE TO MY HEART, SO... WITH THAT IN MIND, LET ME PUT THIS PERFORMANCE ON FOR YOU... AND I'LL DO EACH ONE TWO TIMES, OK, SO HERE YOU GO. "A"--LIVE, LIVE. "A"-- LOVE, LOVE. "A"--PRIDE, PRIDE. "A"-- SPORTS, SPORTS. "A"--THEATER, THEATER. "A"-- AGGRESSIVE, AGGRESSIVE. "A"--PATIENCE, PATIENCE. "A"-- ATTITUDE, ATTITUDE. "A"--CHALLENGE, CHALLENGE. "A"-- EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT. "A"--SOCIALIZATION, SOCIALIZATION. CONTINUE. "A"--REMEMBER, REMEMBER. "A"-- TOGETHER, TOGETHER. "A"--UP, UP. THERE YOU HAVE IT. THANK YOU. WE'RE GETTING NEAR THE END NOW, AND MY FATHER, HE WAS A WONDERFUL STORYTELLER. HE TOLD MANY STORIES. HE LOVED TO SHARE STORIES WITH MYSELF AND MY FRIENDS. HE TALKED ABOUT A TIME WHEN MY PARENTS WERE DATING, BACK WHEN THEY WERE SWEETHEARTS. THEY WENT TO MY FATHER'S FATHER'S FARM IN CONNECTICUT. ON THIS ONE AFTERNOON, MY FATHER TOOK MY MOTHER TO A LOCAL AIRPORT-- AN AIRFIELD, IF YOU WILL-- AND IT ONLY COST A DOLLAR FOR A SHORT, 5-MINUTE PLANE RIDE, AND MY FATHER HAD BEEN UP ON THE PLANE SEVERAL TIMES, SO HE INVITED MY MOTHER TO TRY IT OUT. MY MOTHER SAID, "NO. I DON'T WANT TO. NO," AND HE IMPLORED MY MOM, "PLEASE COME. YOU'LL ENJOY," AND SHE WAS RELUCTANT, DID NOT WANT TO, SAID NO, FLAT NO, BUT THEN THE PILOT WAS WALKING UP, AND HE WAS THIS NICE-LOOKING MAN WITH A GROOMED MUSTACHE, AND SO HE WALKED OVER. HE SAID, "ARE YOU READY TO TAKE A FLIGHT?" MY MOTHER LOOKED OVER HIM, AND SHE CAUGHT HIS EYE, AND HE CAUGHT HERS, AND SHE SAID, "OK. I'LL TRY IT," SO SHE GOT ON THE PLANE, AND THEY TOOK OFF AND DID CIRCLES AROUND THE AIRFIELD. MY FATHER WAS A LITTLE WORRIED ABOUT MY MOTHER, WHETHER SHE'D GET SICK, WAS SHE SCARED, WAS IT A BIG MISTAKE, AND WHEN SHE LANDED, MY MOTHER GOT OUT OF THE PLANE AND SAID, "I WANT MORE. I WANT MORE. I WANT ANOTHER RIDE." WELL, MY MOTHER FLEW A LOT OVER THE YEARS, FLEW HERE, FLEW THERE, AND WHEN MY FATHER PASSED AWAY, MY MOTHER CONTINUED TO TRAVEL BY PLANE UNTIL SHE WAS 83 YEARS OLD... AND SHE SUFFERED A STROKE AND SHE WAS PARALYZED ON HER LEFT SIDE, SO WE HAD TO PLACE HER IN A NURSING HOME, WHERE SHE GOT CARE, AND I FLEW FROM WASHINGTON. SEE, I WAS TEACHING AT GALLAUDET, SO I FLEW TO VISIT HER, SEE MY MOM, WANTED TO SEE WHAT I COULD DO FOR HER BECAUSE NOW GALLAUDET HAD THAT PROTEST BACK IN 1988... BUT I WAS HERE HELPING MY MOM OUT WHILE THE PROTEST WAS GOING ON. WELL, ONE MORNING, I CAME IN TO SEE MY MOM, AND I SAW HER SITTING IN A WHEELCHAIR WITH HER HEAD COCKED TO HER LEFT SIDE. SHE COULDN'T RIGHT HERSELF, AND ON HER ARM, SHE WROTE IN PEN... SHE WROTE, "I WANT WATER. PLEASE GIVE ME WATER," ALL UP AND DOWN HER ARM, "I AM THIRSTY," AND I SAW THAT, AND I THOUGHT, "WHAT? "WHERE'S THE PITCHER OF WATER? WHERE IS THERE WATER IN HER ROOM?" I WALKED OUT IN THE HALL, AND I SCREAMED AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS, "I NEED HELP. SOMEBODY COME HERE," AND PEOPLE HEARD IT, AND THEY WERE SCARED. THE NURSE WALKED OVER. I SAID, "LOOK. LOOK AT MY MOTHER. LOOK HOW SHE WROTE ON HER ARM. LOOK AT THIS," AND THE NURSE WAS AGHAST. SHE'S SAYS, "WHERE IS THE WATER?" AND THERE WAS ON HER CHART LISTED, "SHE NEEDS PLENTY OF FLUIDS," SO I SAID, "WHERE IS HER WATER?" AND THE NURSE ASKED ME, "PLEASE DON'T SCREAM." I SAID, "WELL, I'M NOT GONNA SMILE. "LOOKS WHAT'S HAPPENED. SHE'S SUFFERED. WHERE'S HER CARE?" SO THEY CALLED THE SOCIAL WORKER OVER, THE HEAD NURSE, AND WE MET, AND I SAID TO THESE PEOPLE, "YOU CAN'T IGNORE MY MOTHER JUST BECAUSE SHE'S DEAF. "SHE'S HELPLESS. SHE CAN'T FEND FOR HERSELF. ARE YOU UNCARING?" AND THEY EXPLAINED TO ME THAT THEY'RE UNDERSTAFFED AND THAT I NEEDED TO CALM DOWN, SO I DID, AND I SAID, "OK." THEY ASKED ME NOT TO WORRY. THEY'RE TRYING THEIR BEST, SO THAT THAT TIME, I CHECKED ON MY MOM, AND SHE WAS, YOU KNOW, GIVEN THE WATER AND COMFORTED, AND SHE GOT THE CARE SHE NEEDED, SO THEN, YOU KNOW, IT WAS A DAILY ROUTINE, GOING BACK AND FORTH. I HAD TO DO SOME WORK WITH MY GALLAUDET PEOPLE DURING THE PROTEST. THE "DEAF PRESIDENT NOW" MOVEMENT WAS HAPPENING, SO I WAS DISTANTLY INVOLVED WITH THAT, AND I REMEMBER DRIVING TO SEE MY MOM AFTER THIS ONE DAY, AND THERE WAS A PHYSICAL THERAPIST-- A LITTLE , SHORT WOMAN, MAYBE ABOUT 40 YEARS OLD-- WITH MY MOTHER'S CHART, AND SO I SAW HER. SHE SAW ME. I SAID, "THAT'S MY MOTHER'S CHART?" "YEP." THE PHYSICAL THERAPIST SAID, "YEP." I SAID, "WELL, I'M DEAF," AND SHE SAYS, "OH, I KNOW. I CAN SEE IT ON THE CHART." "OH, OK," AND SHE SAYS, "WELL, YOU KNOW, I HAVE A DEAF COUSIN, SO I KNOW HOW TO TALK WITH DEAF PEOPLE." I THOUGHT, "OH, REALLY? GREAT." THEN SHE WALKED OVER TO MY MOTHER, AND MY MOTHER COULDN'T SEE HER BECAUSE OF THE STROKE AND THAT PARALYZATION ON HER LEFT SIDE, SO THE PHYSICAL THERAPIST WAS DOING THAT, WALKING AROUND, LOOKING AT MY MOM, AND SHE TAPPED MY MOTHER ON HER LEFT SIDE, WHERE SHE CAN'T FEEL ANYTHING. IT'S TOTALLY NUMB. I SAID, "WELL, SHE CAN'T FEEL. SHE'S NUMB ON THAT SIDE," AND THE PHYSICAL THERAPIST SAYS, "DON'T TELL ME. I KNOW WHAT I'M DOING," AND I THOUGHT, "OK." WELL, I SAID, "WHY DON'T YOU GO OVER TO THE SIDE WHERE SHE CAN SEE YOU?" SHE SAID, "IT DOESN'T MATTER," AND THEN SHE WROTE A NOTE. I LOOKED OVER AT WHAT SHE WAS WRITING DOWN. SHE WROTE HER NAME ON A PIECE OF PAPER, AND THEN SHE TOOK IT AND JUST PUT IT IN FRONT OF MY MOM'S FACE, AND ALL MY MOM COULD SEE WAS THIS SHEET OF PAPER. IT WAS KIND OF STARTLING TO HER. SHE DIDN'T SEE THIS PHYSICAL THERAPIST, AND I SAID, "BUT--BUT SHE NEEDS TO BE ABLE TO SEE YOU. "WHY DON'T YOU GET ON THE OTHER SIDE SO SHE CAN SEE YOU AND THE PIECE OF PAPER?" THAT PHYSICAL THERAPIST SAID, "JUST LEAVE ME ALONE. I KNOW WHAT I'M DOING." I SAID, "NO, YOU DON'T." I SAID, "YOU ARE THE PROBLEM." SHE SAID, "NO. YOUR MOTHER'S A PROBLEM." I SAID, "NO. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM, AND I SCREAMED, AND, I GOT TO TELL YOU, MY SPEECH DOESN'T HAVE MUCH THERE, BUT WHEN I AM ANGRY, MY SPEECH IS PERFECT. DO YOU BELIEVE ME? HEH. AND I TOLD HER, "YOU GET THE HELL OUT OF THIS ROOM"... AND THE PHYSICAL THERAPIST WAS STUNNED AND LEFT THE ROOM, SO THERE I WAS A SECOND TIME, SO NOW AGAIN, WE HAD TO MEET WITH THE SOCIAL WORKER, THE HEAD NURSE, THIS PHYSICAL THERAPIST. WE GOT TOGETHER TO DISCUSS MY MOTHER'S CARE, AND I SAID, "SHE IS NOT READY TO WORK HERE." I EXPLAINED TO HER HOW THIS PHYSICAL THERAPIST DIDN'T KNOW WHAT SHE WAS DOING. THEY WERE TELLING ME TO CALM DOWN. I SAID, "I'M NOT GONNA CALM DOWN. I'M NOT VERY HAPPY. YOU KNOW, WHAT KIND OF PLACE IS THIS?" SO WE TALKED, AND THEY SAID, "WELL, WE'RE TRYING TO DO OUR BEST, AND THE SOCIAL WORKED TOLD ME, SAID, "PLEASE, PLEASE CALM DOWN." I SAID, "THIS IS THE SECOND INCIDENT. HOW MANY DO WE HAVE TO WAIT FOR, THE THIRD OR FOURTH?" SO I WENT TO MY MOTHER'S ROOM. I SAID, "MOM, I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. I THINK WE NEED TO MOVE YOU TO ANOTHER NURSING HOME," AND MY MOM SAID, "YES." SHE KNEW WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT. WE WERE GONNA MOVE HER TO THE CCEC-- THE COLUMBUS COLONY ELDERLY CARE FACILITY THAT WAS IN COLUMBUS, OHIO. MY AUNT WAS THERE, ALSO. AND THEY ALSO HAVE OTHER DEAF PATIENTS, AND THE NURSING STAFF CAN SIGN AT THE CCEC. EVEN THOUGH IT WAS FARTHER AWAY, MY MOTHER WAS WILLING TO BE MOVED, SO I CALLED A WOMAN NAMED JESSICA-- THE NURSING FACILITY ADMINISTRATOR, A VERY NICE WOMAN-- AND I SAID, "CAN WE-- DO YOU HAVE A BED AVAILABLE FOR MY MOM?" THEY SAID, "WELL, WE HAVE A WAITING LIST. IT'S RATHER LONG, SO JUST WAIT." I THOUGHT, "OK. WHAT AM I GONNA DO?" AND A COUPLE DAYS LATER, I GOT A CALL. YES. THEY HAD FOUND A BED FOR MY MOM, SO I WAS GONNA FLY MY MOM, FLY HER TO COLUMBUS, WHICH MEANT WE'RE GONNA GET AN AMBULANCE, AS MERCY FLIGHT OF SORTS, WHO WOULD TRANSPORT MY MOM WITH AN RN FROM ONE PLACE TO THE OTHER. I ASKED HOW MUCH IT COSTS. THEY SAID $5,000, AND I WAS OK WITH THAT, ANYTHING FOR MOM. LET'S MAKE IT HAPPEN, SO WE ARRANGED FOR MY MOM TO BE FLOWN TO THE CCEC. I WAS THERE FOR HER. I MADE ARRANGEMENTS FOR MYSELF, AND IT'S A GREAT PLACE. MY MOM FLEW IN. THEY BROUGHT HER INTO HER ROOM, GOT HER ALL SETTLED. I WENT AND CHECKED ON HER, AND SHE SAID, "I WANT TO SEE MY FRIEND FRIEDA." I SAID, "WELL, FRIEDA IS NOT HERE. THIS IS COLUMBUS. SHE'S DOWN IN FLORIDA." MOM SAYS, "NO. SHE'S HERE." I SAID, "MOM, WE FLEW YOU HERE," AND MY MOM SAID, "I FLEW HERE?" I SAID, "WELL, LET ME EXPLAIN TO YOU. "WE GOT YOU ON THIS MERCY FLIGHT AND BROUGHT YOU HERE VIA FLIGHT. WE GAVE YOU SOME MEDICINE THAT MADE YOU SLEEP." SHE SAYS, "I SLEPT? I MUST HAVE MISSED MY FLIGHT"... SO SHE WAS MUCH MORE CARED FOR THERE, AND I STAYED FOR ABOUT A WEEK, YOU KNOW, BOUGHT HER SOME NEW STUFF AND GOT HER SETTLED IN. I WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT I WAS VERY COMFORTABLE WITH, YOU KNOW, HOW SHE WAS SET UP THERE. I ASKED THEM TO MAKE SURE THEY LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON BECAUSE THAT'S HER CONTACT WITH THE WORLD, AND FINALLY, JESSICA, THE ADMINISTRATOR, CALLED ME ASIDE AND SAID... "YOU DON'T WANT US TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR MOM FOR YOU?" I SAID, "WELL, THAT'S NOT TRUE." SHE SAYS, "WELL, WHY DON'T YOU GO HOME?" I SAID, "GO HOME? WHAT'S GOING ON?" SHE SAYS, "WELL, YOU DON'T KNOW, BUT YOU MIGHT COLLAPSE IF YOU KEEP UP THIS." I SAID, "NO. NO. I WON'T COLLAPSE." SHE'S, "WELL, YOU MIGHT. IT'S COMING. "BEST IF YOU GO HOME. PLEASE, WE'LL TAKE CARE OF YOUR MOM FOR YOU." I SAID, "OK. SURE. SURE. SURE," SO IT WAS TIME FOR ME TO SAY GOOD-BYE TO MY MOM. I SAID, "MOM, I'M LEAVING SOON," AND SHE SAYS, "YEAH, RIGHT," YOU KNOW, AND SO GAVE HER, YOU KNOW, A KISS AND MADE SURE THAT SHE HAD ALL THE FOOD SHE WANTED, MAKE SURE SHE DIDN'T HAVE THE FOOD SHE DIDN'T WANT, TOOK CARE OF A FEW OTHER ITEMS, AND I SAID, "SHE HAS A GOOD FRIEND SARAH, WHO WILL VISIT HER "AND MAYBE INTERPRET FOR HER FROM TIME AND TIME, "MAKE SURE SHE HAS HER NEWSPAPER, AND WRITE LETTERS FOR HER." YOU KNOW, SHE'S WELL-TAKEN-CARE-OF. MY MOM WAS QUIET AT THAT POINT, AND I SAID, YOU KNOW, "REMEMBER, I'M GOING BACK TO WASHINGTON, DC, BUT I WILL COME BACK AND SEE YOU FROM TIME AND TIME"... AND SHE SAID, "BERNARD, YOU NEED TO GO HOME." SAID, "ME? I'M A PEST? AM I BOTHERING YOU?" SHE SAYS, "COME GIVE ME A KISS." WELL, I GAVE HER A LITTLE PECK. I SAID, "BYE-BYE," AND I PROCEEDED TO LEAD, AND I CAME OUT IN THE HALLWAY. I SAID, "LET ME GO CHECK ON HER ONE MORE TIME." I LOOKED IN, AND HER EYES WERE CLOSING, BUT SHE KNEW I'D BE CHECKING ON HER. WE WERE PLAYING THIS GAME WHICH SHE KNOWS ALL TOO WELL HOW TO PLAY, SO I CHECKED ON HER A COUPLE, TWO, 3 TIMES. I KNEW AT THAT POINT, SHE WANTED ME TO GO AND LIVE MY LIFE. I FLEW HOME, AND ABOUT TWO WEEKS LATER, SHE PASSED AWAY. I WENT TO TAKE CARE OF HER. I SAW HER BODY, AND AT ONE POINT, I TOLD JESSICA, "CAN YOU LET ME BE ALONE WITH MY MOM?" AND SHE WAS SO QUIET AND AT PEACE, AND I READ PSALM 23-- "LORD, TAKE CARE OF HER." AND SO I FINISHED THE PSALM, AND IT'S MY MOM. SHE'S ALWAYS BEEN THERE FOR ME. I'M SO GRATEFUL TO HAVE SUCH A BEAUTIFUL MOTHER. I GAVE HER ONE LAST PECK, AND THEN I LEFT. ABOUT TWO WEEKS LATER, I RECEIVED THE URN WITH MY MOTHER'S ASHES CONTAINED WITHIN. I REMEMBER ASKING MY MOTHER SOME TIME AGO-- I THINK IT WAS ABOUT 4 YEARS, WHEN MY FATHER PASSED AWAY-- I SAID, "DO YOU WANT YOUR ASHES SPREAD OVER THE OCEAN "AS MY FATHER'S WISHES WERE? DO YOU WANT TO JOIN YOUR HUSBAND OUT OVER THE OCEAN?" AND YOU KNOW WHAT MY MOTHER SAID? "NO. IT'S GONNA BE TOO COLD"... SO TO ABIDE BY HER WISHES, I WAS GONNA SPREAD HER ASHES AT MY GRANDFATHER'S FARM IN CONNECTICUT-- SHARON VALLEY, BEAUTIFUL VALLEY IN THE CORNER OF CONNECTICUT. WE USED TO SPEND MANY A FOND SUMMER THERE, SO IT WAS TIME TO ME TO COLLECT THE ASHES AND SPREAD THEM. I DROVE TO NEW YORK. I PICKED UP MY GOOD FRIEND MICHAEL, WHO'S IN THE AUDIENCE, SO HE ACCOMPANIED ME, AND WE DROVE QUITE A WAYS UP TO SHARON, CONNECTICUT, AND WE FOUND THE FARM, AND WE LOOKED FOR A PLACE TO SPREAD HER ASHES. WE DROVE UP THIS OLD ROAD, AND WE LOOKED UP THIS HILL, AND THERE WAS A BIG TREE, AND BELOW THE TREE WAS THE VALLEY SPREAD BEFORE IT, AND THERE WAS A LAKE OFF IN THE DISTANCE, AND IT WAS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL SCENE. IT WAS A VERY QUIET, BALMY DAY, NO WIND TO SPEAK OF, SO I GAVE THE URN TO MICHAEL, AND I SAID, "COULD YOU DO THIS FOR ME, PLEASE?" MICHAEL SAYS, "SURE," SO HE WALKED OVER AND FOUND A SPOT TO SPREAD THE ASHES. HE KNELT DOWN, TOOK THE COVER OFF THE URN, TOOK OUT THE PLASTIC BAG FULL OF WHITE ASHES, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN, A GUST OF WIND BLEW IN, AND AS MICHAEL SPREAD THE ASHES, THE ASHES SPREAD ONTO THIS WHITE PLANE INTO THE SKY, AND I LOOKED AT IT, AND I WAS IN AWE. MY MOTHER FLEW AGAIN. THAT WOULD BE HER FINAL FLIGHT, AND I BET SHE REALLY ENJOYED THIS ONE. BYE, MOM. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. I WANT TO CLOSE TONIGHT'S SHOW WITH A POEM THAT WAS WRITTEN FOR ME BY A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE-- JOHN BASINGER. THIS IS ENTITLED "I HAVE WINGS." IT WAS WRITTEN FOR ME BY JOHN BECAUSE HE LOVED MY SIGNING, AND HE SAID IT WAS LIKE I HAD WINGS ATTACHED TO ME, SO IT WAS WRITTEN SPECIALLY FOR ME, BUT I'D LIKE TO THINK THAT THIS POEM WAS REALLY WRITTEN FOR ALL OF US HERE THIS EVENING, ALL OF US DEAF PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE WHO WOULD LIKE NOTHING BETTER THAN TO HAVE A PLACE IN THE SUN TO FLY FAR ABOVE THE EARTH, TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT OURSELVES, DEAF PEOPLE HAVING OUR OWN LIVES, OUR OWN LANGUAGE, OUR OWN HERITAGE, AND OUR OWN CULTURE. HERE IT IS. I HAVE WINGS.
Notes: 
"This project is supported by a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation."