Saturday, July 31, 2004

Brunswick to Paris

Day Two of the Environmental Law Summer Seminar seemed like more of a distraction than not to what I perceived as the real event of the day: getting cranberry juice to L. She had called me late last night (she's in Milan and calling me on European time) and said she was suffering from a bladder infection. She didn't have any medication with her and was attempting to coordinate a doctor's appointment through the hotel concierge, but wasn't optimistic she'd be able to get a prescription filled. So, as a backup, she requested that I stop at an Atlanta store called "Arden's Garden" and pick up two bottles of pure organic cranberry juice as a homeopathic backup cure.

No problem, said I, although I was still at the Conference on Saint Simons Island and five or so hours away from Atlanta until at least noon, and I had to catch a 9:00 p.m. flight to meet her. Now, nine hours should be plenty of time to drive to Atlanta, buy the juice, and get to the airport, but since the conference didn't end until high noon, I didn't get on the road until about 12:30, and needed to be at the airport by around 7:00 p.m. to clear security and pre-board for an international flight. So nine hours was pretty quickly reduced down to 6 1/2 hours, at least five of which would be spent driving on I-95 to I-16 to I-75 to Atlanta. Still it shouldn't be much of a challenge as long as there were no problems, no traffic and my car held up.

Which is what had me concerned. My back tires were pretty bald (I should have replaced them months ago) and I was concerned that five hours of straight 75-mph driving on them might lead to a blow out. Even so, as I was heading out of Brunswick in a pouring rain, I wasn't thinking about traction until I hit my brakes as I was approaching a red light. The car tried to stop but the bald tires couldn't get any traction on the wet road, and I could only stare over the dashboard in horror as the car skidded into the middle of the intersection of two four-lane roads as the traffic light went from yellow to red and traffic began moving on the cross street.

Fortunately, I was able to come to a stop about halfway through the first lane without colliding with any oncoming traffic, and I quickly threw the Jeep into reverse and backed up to my side of the traffic light. My heart was still pounding from the adrenaline rush but I thought I had avoided trouble, when suddenly, from the opposite lane, a cop car pulled into the middle of the intersection, stopped, and threw on his flashers. "Just what I needed" I thought, "a damn ticket!" But as the cop car stayed there in the middle of the road, effectively stopping any traffic on the cross street, another cop came down the opposite lane, lights flashing, and then another, and finally a big old limousine. It turns out that the cop in the middle of the road was merely providing a barricade for a passing convoy, which was coincidentally passing just after I had skidded into the middle of the road. After the limo passed and the light on my side turned green, the cop in the middle of the road took off, as did I in the opposite direction, shaken and quite unconvinced of my tires, but relieved that I just neither got in a collision nor received a ticket (or both).

One o'clock. Six hours to go. The rain started to let up as I got on I-16 and headed away from the Georgia coast, and I started making up some of the lost time by cruising around 80 mph. Although I did hit some of the inevitable traffic just south of the City, I was able to get to Atlanta around 5:00 p.m. I had called ahead to Arden's Garden to make sure they still had at least two bottles of cranberry juice in stock. I'm pretty sure the clerk didn't believe me when I told her I was coming up from Saint Simons to take the juice to my girlfriend in Budapest, but she assured me that they had plenty of juice in stock, which they did when I got there at around 5:15. I also got myself a big old smoothie while I was there (my only real meal of the day since breakfast), and still was able to stop by the condo for a quick shower before leaving for the airport.

I made it to the excessively named Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport by 7:30 and was easily able to make the flight to Paris, the first of two legs of my trip to Budapest.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Saint Simons

This morning marked the first day of "the trip:" Saint Simons Friday and Saturday, Budapest Sunday throuh the next Friday. Getting here was no problem after the cat rodeo, which went about as expected - after flushing the cat out from under the bed, I ran around to the other side of the room to catch him, only to see him run back under the bed again. On the second flush, he ran into the closet, where I was able to nab him and put him into the cat carrier for his ride to Midtown. After that, the drive from Atlanta to Saint Simons only took about four or five hours.

I woke up this morning in the King & Prince Beach Resort on the southern tip of Saint Simons. Not bad, but not nearly as nice as The Cloister at Sea Island on the north side where L. and I spent the Fourth of July weekend. But I can think of far worse places to wake up.

The morning was spent in day one of the two-day Georgia Environmental Law Seminar - a junket, basically, for Atlanta's legal community. Three of us went and had lunch (blackened grouper sandwiches all around) in Saint Simons Village. The afternoon was spent in conference calls with the office, a couple miles run and a quick dip in the ocean.

The Irish novelist James Joyce used the terms "snot green" and "scrotum clenching" to describe the ocean, which says a lot about the Irish attitude toward the sea. The ocean here at Saint Simons, to maintain Joyce's vernacular, was "piss warm."

Dinner consisted, once again, of blackened grouper, but this time at a different restaurant with different company.

So that's the first of two days here at Saint Simons. Tomorrow is Day Two of the Conference and the beginning of my journey to Budapest.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Last We Spoke . . .

I'm not sure how this blog got so far off base, but somehow it did.  I started off trying to create a diary-style journal of my life, thoughts and spiritual journey, and somehow I let it morph into a cut-and-paste collection of amusing press clippings, matched with appropriate or ironic pictures.

"Appropriate or ironic" was the catch-all phrase I learned in a course on cinema criticism.  Any association, cutaway or edit in a film that wasn't "appropriate" could be called "ironic" to the approval of the professor.  If it wasn't "appropriate," it wasn't "inappropriate" or "wrong" or just plain "dumb;" the prof insisted that it was "ironic."  I've gotten a lot of mileage from that lesson since then. 

But as I was saying, this blog has hardly become the tell-all confessional I had thought.  Turns out I'm too shy or too reticent to talk openly about everything that's going on.  It's not like my life hasn't been interesting since I started this blog: I've bought a house, celebrated my 50th birthday, met and let go of one girlfriend, and reunited, in a sense, with another since I posted the first entry into the blog.  And today, I leave for the beginning of a 10-day trip to Saint Simons Island, Georgia and Budapest, Hungary.

And none of this got recorded in the damn blog.

So, as I was saying, this blog ain't what it set out to be.  Sort of has a mind of its own.  So let me try to find an autobiographical voice here, and relay at least today's events to get this thing back on track.

Last evening, after dropping the former-ex-but-now-somewhat-current girlfriend off at the airport (she's flying to Milan on business while I'm at Saint Simons, and we'll meet up in Budapest), I went for a hilly, four-mile run and then packed for the trip.  I went to the office this morning to take care of a few odds and ends, and soon I have to run back to my condo to allow a realtor to show it to a potential buyer (even though I haven't yet sold the condo, I've already closed on a house, and have had a few sleepless nights worried about the financial effects of paying two mortgages if I can't unload the condo).  After the showing, I have to move the former-ex. etc.'s two cats, which I've been pet-sitting since Sunday, back to her apartment in Midtown, and then drive the four to five hours from Atlanta to Saint Simons.  Saturday, I drive back from Saint Simons to the Atlanta Airport and catch a flight to Budapest by way of Paris.  

But the thing I'm thinking about most is the cats.  For some reason, one's terrified of me (I love animals, so cruelty on my part isn't the reason).  Anyway, he cowers under the bed all day and only slinks out to eat, so I'm going to have to first flush him out from under the bed, then chase him all over the condo until I can catch him, restrain him, fit him into the kitty carrying case, and drive him over to Midtown.  It's a lot harder than it sounds and, worse, it makes me the "bad guy" in his feline eyes cause now I'm the hunter and he's the prey, which does nothing about the whole scared-of-me issue.

So there, I've said it.  That's my day.  Let's see if I can write about Saint Simons and Budapest over the next several days.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Mongolian Golfing

Andre Tolme has just finished a round of golf with an eagle on the 18th hole.  But his score was 506.  That's because Tolme's course is the entire length of Mongolia, where each "hole'' is up to 196,000 yards long.   After nine months of traversing the Mongolian steppe with nothing but a Jeep, a tent and a 3-iron, Tolme has completed his journey of golfing across the land once ruled by Genghis Khan.

Tolme, 35, is a civil engineer from New Hampshire. Dividing the Mongolian countryside into 18 holes, he has completed an expedition of 1,234 miles -- a course he estimated with a par of 11,880. His final scorecard shows a total of 290 over par -- and 509 lost balls.

"It was a pretty exhausting round of golf,'' Tolme told The Associated Press by phone Monday from Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. 

With his caddy, Khatanbaatar, driving the Jeep and supplying water, Tolme slept in a tent along the way.  He fended off bubonic plague-carrying marmots, constant heat and 40 mph gusts of wind that, fittingly, "never blow from behind you.''

While Tiger Woods may complain of camera shutters going off during his backswing, Tolme encountered slightly different distractions: "The sound of howling wolves is a little unsettling.''

Why did he do this?  "Because I wanted to,'' says the adventure-golfer.  But he does have other reasons in mind: to raise awareness of Mongolia, to pioneer the sport of "extreme golf'' and to "expand the artistic imagination.''

Soon to return to America, Tolme now plans to take it easy, write a book about his unique experience and study world maps searching for another suitable landscape to golf across.

"There may be another great golf adventure in my future,'' he says.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

Illinois Jacquet, a legendary tenor saxophonist who played with nearly every jazz and blues luminary of his time and whose standout solo on Lionel Hampton's "Flying Home'' became a rhythm and blues standard, has died.  He was 81.

Jacquet died of a heart attack Thursday at his New York City home, said longtime friend and collaborator Dan Frank.

During a career spanning eight decades, Jacquet played with such music greats as Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Jo Jones, Buddy Rich, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and Gene Krupa.

When he was 19, he played the tenor saxophone solo on "Flying Home'' with Hampton.  He likened the performance to a religious experience.  "Something was with me at that moment,'' he said.  "It all came together for some reason.''

Jacquet, who defined the jazz style called screeching, was known as much for his trademark pork pie hat as the innovative playing style.

He played tenor sax in the Count Basie and Cab Calloway bands and since 1981 performed with his own band, the Illinois Jacquet Big Band.

Jacquet played "C-Jam Blues'' with former President Bill Clinton, an amateur saxophonist, on the White House lawn during Clinton's inaugural ball in January 1993.  He also performed for Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

During his heyday in the 1940s and 1950s, Jacquet recorded more than 300 original compositions, including three of his biggest hits, "Black Velvet,'' "Robbins' Nest'' and "Port of Rico.''

Born Jean-Baptiste Jacquet in Broussard, La., his mother was a Sioux Indian and his father, Gilbert Jacquet, a French-Creole railroad worker and part-time musician.  The nickname Illinois came from the Indian word "Illiniwek,'' which means superior men.  He dropped the name Jean-Baptiste when the family moved from Louisiana to Houston because there were so few French-speaking people there.

Jacquet, one of six children, began performing at age 3, tap dancing to the sounds of the Gilbert Jacquet band.  He later played the drums in his father's band but discovered his true talent when a music teacher introduced him to the saxophone.  After graduating from high school, Jacquet moved to California where he soon earned a reputation as a little guy who played a lot of sax.

His first exposure was a command performance by Cole, who lined up bass player Jimmy Blanton, Sid Catlett on drums and guitarist Charlie Christian from the Benny Goodman Orchestra and told Jacquet he wanted to hear what he could do.  Years later, Jacquet told an interviewer that playing in that jam session "was like playing with God, St. Peter and Moses,'' yet he wasn't nervous because "when you play with the greatest you play even better.''

Jacquet appeared with Calloway's band in the Lena Horne movie "Stormy Weather'' and in the Academy Award-nominated short film "Jammin' the Blues'' with Billie Holiday and Lester Young.  He replaced Young in the Count Basie Orchestra in 1946 and was given the nickname "The King'' by Basie.

During the 1960s and 1970s, he toured extensively in Europe.  In 1983, he became the first jazz musician to become artist-in-residence at Harvard University.  His stint as guest lecturer at the Ivy League school caused him more angst than any performance of his life, said Carol Sherick, his longtime companion and manager of more than 20 years.  "When he's on stage with a horn in his hand, he's comfortable, but put him in front of a class, just talking ... that's a whole different thing,'' she said.

Despite his fame, Jacquet lived quietly in New York City's borough of Queens.  His wife said he followed Basie to Queens in 1947 but stayed because "the cost of parking his car in Manhattan was more than the rent on his apartment.''

Monday, July 19, 2004

The Old Nest

The old nest is what we are always going back to.  A kind of frame we are unable to get out of, that is, the tendancy or the system of values formed by our upbringing, experiences, and so on.  Karmic (or conditioned) self.
Dogen also said, "Now if you wish to practice the Way of the buddhas and patriarchs, you should practice the Way of the previous sages as well as the conduct of the patriarchs with no expectation of profit; expect nothing, seek nothing, gain nothing.
Although you should quit seeking and give up expectations of buddhahood, if you stop practicing and continue engaging in your former evil deeds, you will still be guilty of seeking and will fall back into the old nest.
Without having the slightest expectation, maintain the prescribed manner of conduct.  Think of acting to save and benefit living beings, earnestly carry out all good deeds, and give up former evil ones, solely for the sake of becoming the foundation of happiness for human and heavenly beings.  Without stagnating in the good deeds of the present, continue practicing your whole lifetime.  An ancient called this 'breaking the lacquer pail.'  The Way of the life of the buddhas and patriarchs is like this." - Shobogenzo Zuimonki, 3-10
A lacquer pail is so black that you cannot distinguish between things.  This is a metaphor for delusions, ignorance, ego-attachment.  Breaking the lacquer pail means to get free from conditioned human sentiments.  

Friday, July 16, 2004

Here There Be Dragons

RIODEVA, Spain - Farmers here have cleared stones from their almond orchards for generations, never dreaming they were tossing aside dinosaur bones -- and laying a trail for one of Spain's greatest fossil finds. But when two palaeontologists stumbled across a field scattered with the fragments they knew they had probably found a valuable cache, and when digging began in early 2003 it revealed a horde beyond their wildest hopes.

The remains of the largest dinosaur found in Europe, including an upper limb bone as big as a person -- 5.8 feet -- were nestling just below the surface in this remote corner of the central Spanish region of Aragon. The huge reptile, which weighed an estimated 40 to 50 tonnes, the same as six or seven elephants, probably roamed the region up to 130 million years ago when it was a tropical "dinosaur paradise," criss-crossed with rivers and streams.

Huge, perfectly preserved toe bone fossils and even a single curved nail, larger than a human hand, were found with a rib and leg and possibly pelvic bones. The herbivore's bones were jumbled with remains from other, smaller animals -- including teeth from carnivores that may have feasted on its flesh.

Up to 114-feet long, the dinosaur could represent a new species, although the team uncovering it is wary of jumping to conclusions -- but its size alone is enough to put Riodeva firmly on the map. The largest known dinosaurs have been found in Latin America and the new Spanish dinosaur claims the record for Europe.

The province of Teruel, where Riodeva is located, was already well known to Spanish dinosaur lovers. Its hills, dramatically layered with red and white striped layers of rock, are a treasure trove for fossil-hunters. They yielded Spain's first dinosaur in 1872, and then just over a century later the first new species was discovered in the country, Aragosaurus.

But the latest find is the most exciting yet -- and its discoverers hope it will boost interest and funds, partly through raising the profile of Teruel's dinosaur theme park, Dinopolis. The park seems to be succeeding in helping boost Teruel's economy by capitalizing on the region's unusual assets. Hotel capacity in the town is expected to climb 70 percent by 2006, five years after the park opened, and it has attracted 500,000 visitors, at 17 euros ($21) an adult ticket, over three years.

The laboratory where the team take their fossils for painstaking cleaning -- restoring a single bone can take months -- is a key part of the Dinopolis complex, with a glass wall so visitors can watch the experts at work. As well as an attraction, it is a reminder that the park's future depends on these paleontologists' devotion, as their finds help drum up the publicity that keeps visitors coming.

Teruel Palaeontology Foundation Director Luis Alcala says he has no problems recruiting new staff and has identified nearly 20 other sites that could hold remains. But the latest giant discovery is likely to keep them busy for a while. Alacala says cheerfully they could still be combing the field where they found it, millimeter by slow millimeter, in 20 years' time.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

The Love Watch

After being hospitalized in New York on Friday, Courtney Love was released Monday night, only to be transferred to another facility. A diagnosis of her ailment has yet to be disclosed, and a warrant remains outstanding for her arrest.

On Friday, police were called to Love's apartment in SoHo after receiving complaints that she was throwing bottles from her window. A police officer at the scene told reporters that the singer had told him she had an abortion the previous day (Love herself had told reporters at her last New York court date that she was pregnant). Later that same day, emergency medical personnel arrived at Love's apartment after receiving a 911 call reporting that a woman at that location had had a miscarriage. As she was placed in the ambulance, she cried, "Why?" and "Help!" to people standing nearby. She was handcuffed to her stretcher, police said, because she refused medical attention and was acting in an irrational manner.

At the hospital, Love's pregnancy test turned up negative, and it was determined that there had been no miscarriage, according to a source close to the situation. A separate source close to the singer said that Love had been kept in the hospital for a 72-hour watch, to see if she was a danger to herself or others, and to make sure that the effect of any drugs that could be in her system were dissipated before she was evaluated. Love was then released Monday night from Bellevue hospital and transferred to an undisclosed facility, according to her spokesperson.

The singer's lawyer Michael Rosenstein said that his client was dealing with "a gynecological medical condition," and noted that it was "not a suicide attempt, not drug-related, not drug-overdose-related." He told reporters that Love is afraid that she'll be arrested while she's in New York, and that she "wants to defend [herself against] the charges, and what she is looking to do now is get back into [California] without going through an arrest, which would be stressful on anyone, much less someone just out of the hospital."

The bench warrant issued for Love's arrest stems from her failure to appear in a Los Angeles court on Friday for her scheduled arraignment on a felony assault charge. No arrangements have been made for the singer to turn herself in, to hold the warrant or to postpone her upcoming court hearing on Thursday on a separate felony drug-possession charge, according to the Los Angeles district attorney's office. "We have received nothing in writing or orally," said Jane Robison, a spokesperson for the district attorney's office. "It stands exactly as it is."

Love is also due in court in Los Angeles on Friday, for sentencing on a misdemeanor drug charge stemming from October, to which she pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement that could send her to rehab instead of jail. Love also has an assault case waiting for her in New York, for charges of assault and reckless endangerment for allegedly hitting a fan with a microphone stand. She's due back in court on that charge on September 7.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Matsuoka Roshi

Soyu Matsuoka was born in Japan in 1912, in Yamaguchi Prefecture near Hiroshima. His family has a history of Zen Buddhist priests dating back over six hundred years. After the he graduated from Komazawa University, he spent several years in Sojiji Monastery. He then was assigned a mission of establishing a temple at Karfuto, in the northern part of Japan. Matsuoka Roshi later received a special assignment to the United States.

Matsuoka came to the United States in the 1930s, and served as a Zen priest in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Zen Temples. He furthered his extensive graduate work at Columbia University with Dr. D. T. Suzuki, and spent time in the Japanese-American internment camps during World War II. In 1949, he founded the Zen Buddhist Temple of Chicago, the first Zen Temple in the Midwestern states. At the time, Matsuoka was a gondaikyoshi (the equivalent of a bishop) in Soto Zen Buddhism, responsible for Soto Zen activities across all of North America. Matsuoka’s dharma successor, Kongo Langlois Roshi, assumed direction of the center until he passed away on October 28th, 1999. The Zen Buddhist Temple of Chicago is the oldest, practicing Zen meditation center in the United States, and is still in operation.

Besides managing the temple in Chicago, the Reverend undertook many various activities. He conducted Zazen for the students of the Chicago Judo-Karate School, and was registered at the Chicago Central YMCA as a special instructor in Japanese culture and its relation to Zen Buddhism.

In addition, Matsuoka Roshi lectured intensively throughout the United States and abroad, including an eight month tour of Japan, which was sponsored by the American Embassy to Japan. On this tour he spoke about the "Unknown America" to groups all over Japan. In the United States, Matsuaka Roshi spoke to hundreds of religious, professional and social groups, and at martial arts schools and penitentiaries.

In 1970, Matsuoka Roshi left Chicago and in August of 1971 he established the Zen Center of Long Beach where he served as the superintendent until ill health forced his retirement in 1995. The Long Beach Temple was headquarters to Zen Centers in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Everett (Washington) and Orange Country (California).
During his career, Matsuoka Roshi helped thousands of people find their first faltering steps on the Dharma path. He is registered in the book of national treasures of Japan. Matsuoka Roshi passed away in 1997.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Rock 'n' Roll

Courtney Love could find herself in jail as early as today (Monday). Love is reportedly cuffed to her bed in a New York hospital and could be formally arrested today in accordance with an arrest warrant issued by a Los Angeles judge after Love missed a court date.

Love celebrated her 40th birthday on Friday in a hospital, where she was treated for a "gynecological medical condition," according to her lawyer, Michael Rosenstein. Some reports said Love was pregnant, and others said she had an abortion, but neither reports were confirmed.

Her lawyer told a New York newspaper that Love is scared that the moment she is discharged from the hospital, she will be thrown in jail. She still faces assault charges in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, David Bowie underwent emergency heart surgery for a blocked artery last month but is now recovering and hopes to return to work in August. Bowie, 57, sought treatment in a German hospital on June 25 after complaining of a pinched nerve during a European concert tour. Only two days before the surgery, Bowie had been forced to cut short a concert in Prague after playing for an hour and telling fans he had nerve problems in is shoulder.

He underwent an angioplasty operation for an acutely blocked artery and was able to leave the clinic earlier this week. He is now convalescing at home with his family and hopes to start work next month.

"I'm so pissed off because the last 10 months of this tour have been so ... fantastic. Can't wait to be fully recovered and get back to work again. I tell you what, though, I won't be writing a song about this one," Bowie said.

London-born Bowie has been one of Britain's most enduring and fascinating rock stars since his break-out hit "Space Oddity" in the early 1970s. He has reinvented himself as many times as Madonna, changing from the glam-rock androgynous "Ziggy Stardust" persona in 1972 to "Aladdin Sane" in 1973 and on to the elegant Thin White Duke in the late 1970s. Songs like "Golden Years," "Changes" and "Let's Dance" made him a hit in both Britain and the United States. In 1992, he married Somalian supermodel Iman and the couple has a young child.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004


BERLIN - Armin Meiwes, the German cannibal who gained global notoriety for eating a willing victim, is being immortalized in a movie by a gay filmmaker, and hardly surprisingly, the project is already running into controversy. The film, whose working title is "Your Heart in My Brain," has received nearly $25,000 in public funding from a regional film foundation in North Rhine-Westphalia, the western state ruled by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats.

Mr. Meiwes was sentenced in January to eight and a half years in jail for manslaughter after a trial whose gory details riveted Germany. He admitted killing a Berlin computer specialist he met via the Internet, but was spared a murder verdict as the victim had asked to be eaten in a startling case of sexual fetishism. Mr Meiwes recorded the deed on video tape and shocked the court with his matter-of-fact account of how he severed the man's penis at the latter's request, and how they both tried to eat it, first raw and then fried in a saucepan.

Billed as a mix of "grotesqueness, thriller and documentary," the film by critically acclaimed filmmaker Rosa von Praunheim is stirring up political arguments even before its completion, set for December. Mr. Von Praunheim, a 61-year-old gay activist who has made over 50 films, including an erotic comedy entitled "Can I Be Your Bratwurst, Please?," said the case intrigued him as he had been studying cannibalism for the last 20 years.

"What interests me is the gay aspect, and that it's also about sadomasochistic experiences," said Mr. von Praunheim, who teaches directing at the Film and Television Academy at Babelsberg in Potsdam near Berlin. In von Praunheim's film, Mr. Meiwes is confronted in jail by his victim's head, which encourages him to be proud of what he has done and to carry on killing.

"I don't know if it will shock people. People tend to react with disgust on the one hand and curiosity on the other. We always say I love you so much I could eat you," said Mr. von Praunheim, adding the movie would be laced with black humor.

The film is not strictly biographical and has fictional elements because Mr. von Praunheim has not acquired the rights to the cannibal's story. After the trial, which attracted worldwide media interest, Mr. Meiwes had received several inquiries from film companies interested in his story.

"I think it's arguable whether a film like this will glorify him, it all depends how it's done," said Reinhard Boeckh, spokesman for the North Rhine-Westphalia government.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Adventuring News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Climbers poking around a high-elevation camp on Mount McKinley discovered a human foot sticking out of the snow. Rangers dug out the frozen corpse of a man who died 35 years ago. The body was that of Gary Cole, 32, of Cody, Wyoming, who died of acute mountain sickness June 19, 1969. Identification was made by his wedding band and a watch with a calendar dated June 1969. The grim discovery was made Friday.

While looking for supplies at a storage area at the camp site, climbers noticed what looked like climbing gear in the snow. A closer look revealed it was a foot in a sock.
At that elevation, the mountain is perpetually frozen, and Cole's body was fairly well-preserved after it was dug out. He will be buried on the mountain as requested by his family.

Cole was one of six climbers who had set out to stash supplies at the 17,200 foot-high camp before returning to a lower camp, where the men were to launch their ascent to the 20,320-foot summit. But a storm forced the party to remain at the high-elevation camp.
"When the storm broke the next day, we went for the summit," said Walter Vennum, 63, of Sebastopol, California.

Cole, however, was vomiting and decided to stay back with another climber. After making the ascent, the other climbers returned to the camp and slept for six hours. They awoke to find Cole unconscious, his lungs filling with fluid. An oxygen bottle revived Cole for a time, Vennum said. "But the oxygen ran out, and that was the end of him," he said.

An Army helicopter failed to reach the men June 18, according to a newspaper account. It returned the next day but never landed after the crew learned Cole had died.

"He had passed away and we had left him in a cave that was at 17,200 feet, and some of the other climbers went back up and buried him," said Henry Noldan, 74, of Wilmington, N.C. "We were all so exhausted, we couldn't take him down the mountain."

Of 93 people who have died on Mount McKinley since 1932, the bodies of 35 are still on the mountain, Park Service records show. The only one known to have been buried in the area of Friday's discovery was Cole.