Jim Morrison’s Great Leap of Faith

Swimming Pool

When you measure it off, it’s an impressive leap that possesses a healthy danger. Water’s edge of the pool is nine feet away from the two story bungalow. The rail of the top floor balcony, where Jim Morrison planted a (likely) bare foot during his running takeoff, is twelve feet high over the pool patio. The math is daunting. Coming up short of the water meant broken bones. Leaping long enough but too far left meant wreckage on the concrete north edge of the pool.

In 1968, Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors, stayed in room 29 of the Movie Colony Hotel, in Palm Springs, California. From the open air balcony of the bungalow, he took his famous leap and, by all accounts, landed successfully in the pool.

The leap wasn’t a spur of the moment decision for Morrison, it was part of his life plan. Morrison was an erudite and well-read guy. A class discussion enthusiast, he delighted in challenging teachers and professors based on his independent reading. At Florida State he played a game where he challenged people to pick up any of the hundreds of paperback books in his room and read one sentence. He would identify the exact book. Morrison was a serious poet and a Dionysian who believed that the key to creativity was inebriation to overwhelm the conscious mind. “I am not mad. I am interested in freedom,” he once said in an interview.

I went to the Movie Colony Hotel to check out the mid-century architecture and to investigate this leap. The pool area is charming, intimate and relaxing in a Dean Martin, dry martini way. Don Draper and Pete Campbell, in plaid swim trunks, might hang there. Drunken, whooping Jim Morrison flying through the air to do a cannonball seems out of place. The leap is nothing I would ever attempt, not even in my most daring or reckless moment. It’s just too physically risky. It’s scary.

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Retrieved on 16 December 2018 from https://robbskidmore.com/2014/05/29/jim-morrisons-great-leap-of-faith/

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