Evening Magazine - Last Climb

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A KPIX-TV Evening Magazine segment from October 8th 1986 produced by Michael Hoff and narrated by Richard Hart, featuring scenes from the Horton family's summer climb up Yosemite National Park's 8839 ft. rock formation known as Half Dome. The eight Horton brothers and their father had never climbed Half Dome as a family and agreed to do this as a gesture of love, unity and tribute to family member William K. "Billy" Horton (1955-1988), a San Francisco State University alum who was diagnosed with Kaposi's sarcoma in 1985 (a cancer associated with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Includes views of: family, friends and Bill's partner Bob Holloway sitting around a campfire the night before their climb, where brothers John and Joey and their father - James - talk about how Bill's diagnosis affected them; preparing for the climb at 4:30am; trekking and riding up from the valley floor on mules; hiking up Quarter Dome and some of the family ascending to the summit of Half Dome, waving the family flag for Bill who is watching from below. At the time Bill Horton was dealing with the side effects of his first chemotherapy session and also with tumors in his legs. It should be noted that up until this broadcast, Evening Magazine's show format typically dealt with light-hearted subject matter, in 3-4 minute segments. This groundbreaking show for Evening Magazine was well received and the PM Magazine National Office evenutally aired 'Last Climb' on affiliate stations nationwide. Steve Parmley was the videographer and cameraman for this report and Mark Dwyer was the audio technician. The TV Archive would like to thank Bill's brother John Horton for preserving and graciously providing access to the media. Opening graphic designed by Carrie Hawks.


3/4-inch umatic videotape
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mp4 file
special interest report
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Thank you once again BATA for preserving our brother's memory in the archives. You folks and all of your hard work have made it really easy to get a "Shot of Bill" to make a "bad day" better or great day greater. I know my brother John had a lot to do with it too and I thank him as well, but you guys really came through for the Ultimate goal in preserving knowledge and lessons for generations to come.

In the 70's families were discarding gay family members like they were non-humans. Fortunately our father lead by example and said "He still is my son and He still is your brother. Respect ... " that simple. In the 80's mostly gay men were dying of AIDS. If your family and friends hadn't left you by then, AIDS was going to take away whatever you had left. Our Brother chose to fight the disease in hope that it would buy him some precious time, but greater things occurred! Billy was part of those early on brave souls that made it possible for other people to live today with the disease and control it through medication. I love you Bill! 

I miss my brother Bill, I loved him very much and forever will. Your memories are a blessing to me and to all the folks who lives  you touched. Thank you SFBATV for preserving this treasure, thank you Brother John for your  passion and love for our Bill. Blessings to all those families and friends who lost their loved ones due to AIDS.  

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