Thursday, 11 April 2024 13:00

Adventures of Wilton Resident Featured on TV Documentary April 24

Atop Cat Mountain overlooking Lake George: Joe Murphy (left), and Roy O’Conor (right) flank  Aviral Kapoor and Katera Noviello Kapoor. Photo provided. Atop Cat Mountain overlooking Lake George: Joe Murphy (left), and Roy O’Conor (right) flank Aviral Kapoor and Katera Noviello Kapoor. Photo provided.

WILTON — A man of many talents, it is his passion as an avid mountain climber for which Wilton resident Ray O’Conor will be featured in a documentary that will broadcastWednesday, April 24.

The film - “An Above Average Day” - tells the story of Ray O’Conor and Joe Murphy, two hikers who after a chance meeting forged a close and lasting friendship that has inspired them on a series of wilderness adventures. 

“My good buddy Joe and I have done a lot of hiking and climbing over the last 15 years. We hiked more than 400 different mountains, most of them together and more than 5,000 miles of trail,” told Saratoga TODAY as the film was nearing its completion last year. 

O’Conor was contacted several years ago by Veda Films company co-founder Katera Kapoor who told him she’d been following O’Conor’s adventures with his buddy and was interested in putting a documentary film together.  Katera and her husband Aviral subsequently began following O’Conor and Murphy on their hiking journeys capturing footage and conducting interviews. 

The film celebrated its debut screening last year at Saratoga Arts Center and on Wednesday, April 24 will be streamed into homes. The broadcast debut will take place at 5:30 p.m. on WMHT/ PBS. 

“If you had told me five years ago that the founders of Veda Films, Katera Noviello-Kapoor and Aviral Kapoor, would produce and direct a film in which my buddy Joe and I would co-star and that it would be broadcast on WMHT / PBS… I wouldn’t have believed it,” O’Conor said. 

“There are two sides to the story,” O’Conor explained. “One is the adventure side about hiking and mountain climbing. The other is about the relationship between Joe and I,” said O’Conor, whose lengthy  resume includes work as a financial consultant with a Wall Street investment firm,  a United States Border Patrol Agent and a Special Agent with the U.S. Department of Defense, local bank CEO, Wilton Town Councilmember, and author of the book ‘She Called Him Raymond.’

“One of the focal points is the relationship between these two guys who met by chance and spent a lot of time together over the past 15 years on mountains and on trails.”

O’Conor’s fondness for hiking was born during an early morning climb in the late 1980s at the urging of Roy McDonald when O’Conor decided to run for the town board in Wilton, and McDonald – who later would be elected to the state assembly and senate – was town supervisor. 

Since that time he has climbed the 46 high peaks of the Adirondacks, the 32 mountains between the Catskills and the Adirondacks that have fire towers on them, and journeyed to the Lake George 12ster, the Saranac Lake 6er and the Northeast 11, while working his way through the 50 highest points and peaks in the country all across the United States. 

The rewards are many. “It’s as good for the mind and the soul as it is for the body,” O’Conor said. “There’s something special about being out in the wilderness. The Japanese have a term they call it: Forest Bathing. Being out in the woods, on the trail, in isolation. Getting away from all the world’s troubles is magical.

“An Above Average Day,” a Veda Films documentary, will broadcast on WMHT/PBS at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24. 

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