Sunday, January 25, 2009

Unknown Greats


Click on photos to enlarge!

"If you make it plain you like people, it's hard for them to resist liking you back."
Lois McMaster Bujold


If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come." Trad. Chinese



"I find that he is happiest of whom the world says least, good or bad."
Thomas Jefferson
Cloudia’s Gallery of Unknown Greats: There are folks in any community who the “public” (that’s us!) will never get to know, and that’s too bad. We pass them on the street never realizing the amazing stories we will never get to hear. I think of them as “Unknown Greats.” They are celebrities in a certain circle: a profession, hobby or neighborhood; great people like my friend, pilot Gene W. Gene flies those “ambulance planes” around the islands. I know that they are lucky to have him. Though he never discusses it, “Gino” was a copter pilot in Viet Nam pulling our wounded folks out of firefights. No wonder nothing gets him rattled today. There’s no one I’d feel safer flying with; and you’ll never be bored either! Even with my famously bad memory I’ll never forget one story Gene told me about his flying days in Africa. Jobs were very precious commodities to the Africans that he worked with. One day the big boss called one of the local mechanics into his office and fired the fellow with a loud flourish. The man, who had seen much of life, looked back at the boss calmly, and in a soft voice said: “What? You are not going to cut my hand off, kill my family or poison our well? It’s just a job.” Then he walked away with a dignity that I think about whenever I’m upset about some “big problem.” There aren’t many mechanical problems (big or small) that Gino can’t figure out and calmly repair. A longtime Kama`aina with his own rented hanger on the outskirts of HONO airport, he fixes and even BUILDS airplanes! Every pilot in town has borrowed Gene’s time, wisdom, and tools at one time or another. He knows every gaily-painted little private plane at the Lagoon Drive hangars personally. So here’s to Gene W – our first unknown great – who also built my 1973 BMW motorcycle from the frame up. But that’s another story. . .

. . . Got a sec? Save the World! We are all so busy that our “to do” lists seem to get longer instead of shorter. Believe me, I know! But if you could save over 12 feet of genuine Amazon Rain forest (our Earth’s lungs) just by clicking over to a web site would you? I love the feeling of tangible accomplishment every day, just knowing that I’ve made at least ONE good thing happen. And the Rain Forest Site sponsors offer cool fair-trade stuff so shop till your clicking finger hurts!

21 comments:

the walking man said...

The beautiful weather *shrug. The boat you live on *shrug*. But that vertically opposed horizontal engine Beemer...now I'm jealous.

Is there a link somewhere for that website Cloudia, my old eyes couldn't see it.

Dave King said...

The sort of post we should see more often, I think. Excellent.

Charles Gramlich said...

Yeah, that bike made me salivate

Brother Tobias said...

Oh, that bike, Cloudia.

Akelamalu said...

What? You are not going to cut my hand off, kill my family or poison our well? It’s just a job.” Then he walked away with a dignity that I think about whenever I’m upset about some “big problem.”

I will so remember this when I have problems at work! Thankyou honey. x

Deborah Godin said...

Love how you sing the praises of the unsung!!

Travis Erwin said...

I linked to this one for My Town Monday.

David Cranmer said...

I never get tired of your part of the country.

magiceye said...

very true!

namaste and aloha!

debra said...

oh, the blue skies and warmth.....
it is now 4 degrees in my neck of the woods and very very white.

Junosmom said...

"Be strong enough to be the gentle one."

I am reading Cloudia's book. Soon, I will share it with(send it to)one of the readers of Comfort Spiral, after I review it on my blog. The catch is that after reading, you'll likewise write a review and send it to another blogger, and so on. I'll let you know when this is posted.

Barbara Martin said...

Its very true one does not know that the person they meet or pass by one the street may have an extraordinary story to tell.

Barrie said...

Why oh why have I never been to Hawaii? And I wouldn't even need a passport!

Cloudia said...

Walking Man: Shoots, I'm not tryin` to impress anyone, but yeah, that is a beautiful machine. Oh yeah! www.therainforestsite.com

Dave King: wow, thanks!

Charles: Thank you, conniseur. Actually I'm selling one!

Brother T: So nice to see you! Thanks.

Ake: Thanks for that ;->

Deborah G: I appreciate your cool
comment! Thank You.

Travis: Thanks! So glad your blog is back.

David: I'm honored that you find the time to stop and comment!

MagicEye: Namaste Friend!

Debra: Brrrrr! Got down to 58 degrees recently and I froze all night!!

Junosmom: What an amazing idea! I'm humbled and grateful. Thanks you lovely Gal!!

Barbara: First I thought you were a 20-something. But you are more seasoned than that! Thanks for walking along with me.
Aloha Dear Friends-

Robin said...

Thanks for the RainForest linkage..and the reminder that everyone has a story...

As a writer, I am a horrible person to introduce to others! If I find some person remotely interesting...I pillage and plunder, The more "ordnary" or odd the person? The nore I'm attracted to the possible story! The "suits" and "succesful" don't interest me...but you introduce a guy with coffe stains on his shirt, eyebrows three inches long...I'll corner him! (did that...he was great! A literary professor at NYU! Who knew?!)

We have a morality, no, a tendency to look at other's in the grocery store line as "just" people...but everyone, absolutely everyone has a story....and I'm one of those that really wants to hear it...and you'd be suprised at the people who are ready to tell it....

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i found the photo with the apartment blocks interesting - we don't have such high-rise buildings here on our island. the largest structures would be the hotels...

Mary said...

Thanks for the view into your town again.

What a gorgeous bike!

Kristina said...

Oh my gosh. I am sitting here drooling over that bike and wishing I had the weather to ride it in. Excellent post.

Fida said...

Oh, what to say. I am obviously too late to say something new (and my originality… oh well). I am with The walking man, Dave King, Charles Gramilch, Brother Tobias, Akelamalu, Deborah Godin, David Cranmer, Magiceye, Debrah (except we’ve got minus 16 Celcius), Junosmom (and she will do what I will do:-)), Barbara Martin, Barrie (except, I need one), Robin, (and yes, thanks for the link), Mary, Kristina!

Cloudia said...

Robin: Thanks for sharing those cool thoughts! Please return often.

Med Kiwi: I love visiting your isldand through your blog.

Mary,
Kristina: Thanks for your visits and comments. Hope to see you again soon!

Fida: Welcome Back & aloha!!

Travis Erwin said...

I truly do enjoy meeting and talking to people and my habit to get in lengthy conversations with so-called strangers often bugs my wife.