November, 2017

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Saturday November 18. Road trip to Bellingham and B.C.

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

Monday I spent the day in Seattle to visit Frank Burns a 94 year young (old does not fit him) liberator. We came in contact through the Dutch ex-Dachau prisoner group. Frank served in the 42nd Rainbow Division, the liberators of the Dachau concentration camp on April 29, 1945. Our mother was liberated on May 1st., south of Dachau on her death march from the Dachau Agfa (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agfa-Commando) satellite camp, by the US 12th “Hellcats” armored division. Frank visited the Dachau memorial museum on the 70th anniversary of the liberation in 2015. He is still very active in the historical aspect of the Rainbow Division and their “Reveille” newsletter. As one of the last surviving 2nd world war members he is recruiting the next generations family members to continue the contacts. He has a blood line to the first solo circumnavigator, Joshua Slocum. 

Frank Burns

Frank Burns

Tuesday I picked up a rental car at Sea-Tac airport and met Dennis Minor for lunch in Bellingham. Dennis moved this year from Gig Harbor to Bellingham. He and Steve Essig, the cameraman, have been working on a documentary with me. From there to the “Rez”, the Lummi Indian reservation, where my long time friends Sid and Leslie live. Paul de Leeuw drove down from Mission, B.C. We have been friends since 1976, both from Holland and both in the wood products business. Sid and Leslie became friends on a ski charter flight to Europe in 1972. 

Sid decided that this was the occasion to open a 1971 Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon, I gave him on his 51st birthday in 1989. He probably figured that he might end up drinking it without me, considering my (w)reckless reputation. This year is also the first half century celebration of the in 1967 established winery. The below picture was taken years ago of his 1971 bottle. The second 1971 bottle is awaiting the proper occasion for my oldest son John in San Diego, born in 1971. The 1969 bottle is in Chesapeake, Va. with Jeannine, born in 1969. Note the $2.15 price tag; cheap drinkets. Except for a cork taste, the wine still had a very nice bouquet. 

DSC_0012 Ste.Michelle-2 IMG_0662 (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday I drove to Vancouver to meet Phil and Leilani who live downtown near the Cambie Street bridge. I met them on a three day tour from Saigon along the Mekong River to the Cambodian border, in January 2010. They are truly world travellers and sailors, they used to run a sail charter from Tortola. They came to Port Townsend last year September, from where I took off for the Panama Canal. We visited Leilani’s studio in the 100 year old Parker Street building,  a former mattress manufacturing company building. She shares studio 450 with her friend Suzi Baker. Both very accomplished artists, specializing in traditional handcrafted ethnic textiles. This weekend is the East End Culture Crawl. If you are lucky enough to head up to the fresh powder on Whistler for the Thanksgiving week, be sure to stop in. 

Leilani King and Phil Robson are flying to Malaysian Borneo in late January. This is an amazing story because, besides discovering new ethnic Dayak weaving techniques, Leilani is on a mission to retrace her father, Louey King’s, footsteps in the Sarawak jungle in the 2nd World War. Thirteen Chinese Canadian young men were trained in Canada by the British SOE (Special Forces Executive) on a special secret mission, “Operation Oblivion”, to be dropped behind the Japanese lines in Sarawak to sabotage the Japanese occupation and enlist local resistance. They were trained in the local Chinese dialect, in hand to hand combat, explosives and communications. Chinese immigrants into Canada did not have rights to citizenship until 1947 and were not permitted to serve in the Canadian military in the first and second world wars. Leilani’s father, (Louis or) Louey King was one of the leading voices to right this injustice.

Leilani King at Studio 450

Leilani King at Studio 450

I visited Sarawak in 1962 from Saigon for my employer a California hardwood importer. We purchased sawn lumber, Ramin and Meranti, from sawmills in Sibu and Kuching. And in 2002 I bought West African core veneer for Atlantic Coast plywood manufacturers from a Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysian timber company. 

1962 Sarawak. Top two in Dayak longhouse in Sibu. 2nd left from top, are headhunted Japanese skulls.

1962 Sarawak. Top two in Dayak longhouse in Sibu. 2nd left from top, are headhunted Japanese skulls.

 

 

 

Sunday November 5th. From the Virginia summer into a North West winter scene.

Sunday, November 5th, 2017

When I left Cape Charles, Va., with my daughter Jeannine, on Friday October 27th it was still in the seventies. Last Monday morning it had dropped to the forties when I got on the train in Newport News for the ride to Baltimore. This is a always a very pleasant and scenic ride a lot better that the 5 1/2 hour plane ride to Sea-Tac. Squeezed in the middle seat on a full Alaska flight, turbulence the whole way. The tow truck broke down and we sat at the departure gate for 20 minutes. Seat 31 E, two rows from the rear, by the time I got off the plane the first class passengers were home. I lost my last bus connection from Federal Way and had to call my daughter out of her sleep to pick me up.  Flying is on the very bottom of my preferred transportation modes, sailing beats it all. A camel ride is still on my “to experience” list. 

Quite a change here at the home of my daughter Rose Marie and her husband Donovan. They flew to Ixtapa on Friday and I am looking after three cats and sleeping in a warm comfortable bed. They will be back next Friday. I am waiting to hear from Vancouver to schedule my visits to Portland, Eugene, Bellingham and Vancouver. I will be house/cat sitting on Wollochet Bay from November 19th through the thirtieth. This Tuesday I have lunch with Liliane Gervais, a Weyerhauser colleague who I last saw in seventies. Liliane is from La Rochelle, France. She ran into Rose Marie, last Thursday, at their doctor’s office. Recognized Rose Marie by her last name and my daughter remembers her when she ran the Weyerhaeuser cafeteria in the nineties. 

Did you see the episode of “Home Alone” on the Discovery Channel, as I blogged in the previous post? I will post the link for the pot-cast when it comes on. I thought it was well done and very proud to have this brave woman as a friend. Ce Ce’s admonishment to and compassion for her attackers speaks of her values. Very much the opposite to our president’s reaction and many similar outcries to the deserter Bergdahl’s sentence. Last Sunday I visited my grandson in a Virginia prison, doing five years.  Something is very wrong with our penal system. Sentences that make an addict a hardened criminal and cost us a pile of money to satisfy our lust for revenge. 

Rose marie and Donovan chipped in om my early Christmas gift, a NIKON D-3200 DSLR camera, with an 18-55 and a 70-300 zoom-lense,  to replace my 2006 NIKON D-50, I ruined in the last shipwreck. It is a huuuuuuge (Trumphonian) step up from my $29.99 android phone and Akaso action camera. I still have to learn all its features.  This camera also has video and this will be an asset on the water. The Go-Pro/Akaso are only good for close ups. So, get ready to go to the “Fleetwood” movies…..

Here are a few samples:

cooking on a pro-chefs gas stove

cooking on a pro-chefs gas stove

In Federal Way

In Federal Way

Father Jean Pierre Kasongo at Ste. Theresa church Federal Way.

Father Jean Pierre Kasongo at Ste. Theresa church Federal Way.

Let it snow!

Let it snow!