This Month: November
by Laura Sampson, SAM Marketing Chair
November 5, 1967 is a milestone date in the history of Rocky Mountain PBS. On this date, KRMA-TV expanded its telecasting week to include Sundays, from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
One of the programs that aired that evening was a beautiful 30-minute KRMA production, “Soaring Over the Rockies.” There are two reasons that make this production an important part of the history of Rocky Mountain PBS:
1. "Soaring" premiered on the first Sunday that KRMA offered Sunday evening broadcasting
2. "Soaring" was the very first color show produced by KRMA for national release
The KRMA production was one of six award programs selected from over 100 program ideas submitted to the Educational Television Stations Program Service (ETS-PS), a wing of the National Association of Educational Broadcasters. KRMA was the recipient of a $1,000 grant from the Reader’s Digest Foundation.
Conceived by KRMA Station Director, Jack Schlaefle, the program was produced and directed by Walt Scheuneman. The staff researcher and scriptwriter was Bill Thorn. Carlos Seegmiller and Dick Siceloff were the talented KRMA videographers who filmed the aerial and ground footage at the Black Forest Gliderport near Colorado Springs.
The program was about “sailplanes,” better known as gliders. In 1967, flying in sailplanes was a fast-growing sport in Colorado. Producer, Walt Scheuneman, was quoted in a 1967 article in the Rocky Mountain News stating, “Most of us were pretty apprehensive about flying in a sailplane, but after that first silent and enjoyable ride, we were looking forward to the next trip.”
The 1967 KRMA-TV PROMO touted the first color production for national release: “Creative aerial sequences take full advantage of the color medium as bird-like sailplanes skirt past the clouds, then above them, until spread below lies a grand display of blues, browns and greens” and “a silent and open sky that brings man closest to living his oldest dream – to fly.”
Thanks to the work being done by the dedicated volunteers of Station’s Archived Memories, you can view the production & browse numerous archived photographs and memorabilia items to appreciate why “Soaring Over the Rockies” was truly a milestone production in the history of Rocky Mountain PBS.
To view the production, click on the image below:
In 2007, these gentlemen visited an Open House of the archives at Rocky Mountain PBS. The three men in the front row participated in the 1967 production of "Soaring Over The Rockies." Pictured are Carlos Seegmiller (left), Bill Thorn (center), Dick Siceloff (right). They enjoyed reminiscing about their time working on the production -- great memories!
Rocky Mountain News article about the innovative production by KRMA-TV, Channel Six.
PROMO, Nov 1967 announcing "Regular Sunday Telecasts Begin Nov 5"
Article within the November 1967 PROMO about "Soaring Over the Rockies."
Due to the popularity of "Soaring," the program was repeated in 1968. This is from the 1968 PROMO.
Photographs taken during the filming of "Soaring Over the Rockies."
We hope you've enjoyed this month's look back into the "History of Rocky Mountain PBS," made possible by the volunteers of Station's Archived Memories (SAM).
Station’s Archived Memories (SAM) is a volunteer-driven project to preserve the history of Rocky Mountain PBS. If you would like to know more about the archives, please contact the SAM office at 303-620-5734 or email SAM@rmpbs.org.