From : Herb Veeh - To : - Subject : Remembrance of things past - Date : Sun, 15 Dec 2002 13:14:47 +1000
Hi Ben,
Good to hear from you again. I had not heard from you so long (your last email is dated 25/12/02) that I feared you had kicked the proverbial bucket or lost your mind. Speaking of the latter, I also suffer from occasional memory loss, at least I cannot remember us driving around Lanaii, or staying anywhere overnight. Since I have color slides from all the other islands we visited but none from Lanaii, I suspect we never did go there during the first period (March-June 1962) of the shoreline project, so you must have gone there at some later stage.
But I can help you with the cute litte white church (your picture with Anne, Fran and Gary in the foreground) - it's on the northeast coast of Maui, along the road to Hana. The picture with Gary aiming his bulky underwater camera was taken on the northcoast of Maui, I believe. I am not quite sure about the one showing Anne's posterior, undoubtedly I was distracted by the foreground.
Which girls to which islands? Anne came along with us to Maui, she was good company, even though she hit me over the head once when I suggested 'camp follower' as a suitable job classification for her on the shoreline project. By the way, we did visit La Perouse Bay on this occasion and even dived there. We did not bring any girls to the Big Island but managed to find local talent (including a married German woman) near Kona with whom we spend a delightful, though inconsequentual afternoon. Same on Kauai, where you insisted that you had to have a girl on every island, just for the record (future autobiography in mind?), and you ended up, apparently in desperation, with a most unappealing woman (alcoholic and chain smoker) on our last night in a forgettable place somewhere on the remote east coast - I ditched my date for that night at first opportunity on the way home, while you stayed behind and consummated your conquest even though you admitted afterwards that 'it wasn't worth it'. I cannot remember any girls on Molokai, but do recall paying hommage to the giant phallic stone near the place where we stayed.
As for the place we stayed in Waikiki, it was the Annex of the Royal Grove Hotel on Uluniu Ave. It was quite nice, with straw matting on the floor, quite spacious and very suitable for treating corals with chlorax, and I was delighted to find an abandonend surf board on the premises which I used occasionally first thing in the morning before work. The messy, nailed-up place you mention doesn't ring a bell, it must have been on your subsequent visit.
Putting together an autobiography is a commendable effort for someone with such an interesting and varied life as yours. Since you appear to suffer from memory problems, you would probably benefit from reading Marcel Proust's "In Search of Lost Time" ('A la recherche du temps perdue'), which is one man's effort of total recall and a milestone in world literature. But be warned, its voluminous (7 volumes) and very long winded, one sentence requires 17 lines.
I will try to find some suitable pictures for your tomb and send them to you, either as an email attachment or hard copy.
I still travel to Germany each southern winter to visit my mother, with convenient stopovers, always Hawaii and LaJolla, last year also Port Angeles (near Seattle) to visit my ex and to explore the Olympic Peninsula.
I also go to French Polynesia almost every year (courtesy frequent flyer points), picking a different island each time, last time (September 2001) the atoll Tikehau which in spite of its remoteness had satellite TV so I could not prevent being made aware of a world gone mad.
I am amazed and impressed that Ted Foster still drives across the US every year, I would find it too tiring - I guess I just don't like to drive long distances any more.
Well, that would cover it, I guess. Until next time,
Auf Wiederschreiben,

BLO fecit 20021215