Noted documentarian Ken Burns had an emotional night while making “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” During his UCSB Arts & Lectures talk Oct. 2 at the Granada Theatre, he related the story of a sleepless night he had after wrapping up a long day shooting in Yosemite. A childhood memory returned about his first encounter with the beauty of a park, a place where nature is preserved and protected for the enjoyment, education and well-being of the public. The most important part for him was a rare connection with a distant father during a one-off weekend outing with just the two of them. He hadn’t thought about it for many years and the memory of that trip added another layer of meaning to the making of the wonderful documentary he was working on–how people and families connect and are enriched by our National Parks. It reminded me of the only weekend I spent alone with my father working on a small, old powerboat named “Chug-a-Lug” in the upper Chesapeake bay. During this brief time together I got to know him better, and the memory of it is etched in my mind. The two father/son weekends happened in the same year, 1959, when Ken was 6 and I was 10, and hearing Ken tell his story, my experience, even though it wasn’t in a park, made Ken’s talk all the more personal.