Short Non-Fiction: The Man Who Walks on the Sky by Shane Peacock
Photography by Kevin Kelly
from EQUINOX magazine, June, 1996, pg 32
As I'm going through the old magazines in the attic, reading the short stories, then sending them off to the thrift store, I really had no intention of reading the articles but when I saw this one by Canadian author Shane Peacock I had to make an exception. I am reading his complete works and this seemed like a nice addition to my reading.
Peacock wrote the non-fiction title "The Great Farini: The High-Wire Life of William Hunt" (1995) which 1) makes this article a familiar topic for him as a writer and 2) promoted his book. The article is about Jay Cochrane another Canadian high-wire artist and a particular day when he is performing in Florida's Silver Springs nature park. The article goes back and forth telling about the walk, from the author's point of view, to going back and giving a brief biography of Cochrane and also giving tips and techniques on the skill of high-wire walking. Peacock's voice is entertaining. He certainly does not have a reporter's attitude but more of someone conversationally telling you about a topic they find interesting. I had never heard of Jay Cochrane before and enjoyed the article as it was a timely read for me since just a few months ago in June, Nik Wallenda, walked over the Falls here in Niagara where I live. We were down there for the evenin, and the festivities; but watched the walk on one of the big screens at the casino rather than standing around in the crowd trying to get a glimpse.
I've just done a search on Jay Cochrane and found out I don't pay much attention to what is going on in the tourist area! Turns out Jay Cochrane is the guy who has been coming here, Niagara Falls, over the past decade, every few years or so and walking between tall buildings. We've often seen him in the distance as we've been out and about, though we've never gone to see him specifically and turns out he's been here this summer, too!, completing another one of 81 days. As I write this it is day 78 and he's cancelled at the last minute due to wind conditions. Now, I'm even more glad I read the article!!