These are the days you remember.
My son asked me yesterday: “Dad, what would 12-year-old Dan say if he knew that he’d get to ride in the original Batcopter when he was 48?”
It’s a question Sam asks all the time on various subjects. He’s funny like that.
My answer was: “He would never believe it.”
But it’s true.
Yesterday, at the State Fair at the Meadowlands in N.J., I rode in the original Batman ’66 Batcopter. It was — Holy Understatement! — a highlight of my life.
Capt. Eugene Nock, the proud owner of the Batcopter — serial no. N3079G — took me, then Sam, high above the Meadowlands, within sight on the real Gotham City skyline.
This wasn’t the first time I’ve seen the Batcopter, or even the first time I’ve sat in the cockpit shared by Adam West and Burt Ward — and, later, fellow Bat-celebs including Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether and Yvonne Craig — but this is the first time I’ve flown in it.
I have to tell you, I’m kind of afraid of heights. But Gene knows every inch of this craft and has flown so many flights that I was able to relax and enjoy the ride, open sides and all.
We lifted off smoothly, made a right turn and peered over the rim of MetLife Stadium, where the Giants and Jets play in the fall. On the horizon, through the fog, we could see the Empire State Building.
Around and around we went, Sam and my wife Wendy, and Gene‘s dedicated showbiz family (and grounds crew) waiting for us below.
In my mind, I heard the Batcopter music from the 1966 movie (later used in the show — and what I’m listening to as I write this).
We came in for a soft landing, I got out, and Sam got in. Up, up and away he went. (Oops, wrong superhero.)
Did I take video? No. I preferred to live in the moment. But I was able to snap some shots I will cherish forever.
As I mentioned the other day, you can ride in it too. If you’re in the New York/New Jersey metro area, the Batcopter will be at the State Fair through July 5. (It also travels, so keep your eyes open in case it’s coming to an event near you.)