Yours truly and NO, not photo shopped. Also, I was not the closest one to the Kodiak brown bear. Our Plan A included a getaway pick up truck nearby. Our Plan B – for me to know.
Subject: The Adventurer
In 1917 Charlie Chaplin appeared in a film called “The Adventurer”. The Adventurer begins and ends with a chase; a famous moment in the film is where Charlie is seen spilling ice cream down the front of his over sized trousers.
Charlie said about that scene, ” in all my pictures scenes are built around the idea of getting me into trouble and so giving me the chance to be deperately serious in my attempt to appear as a normal little gentlemen.
No matter how desperate the predicament is, he is seen forever clutching his little cane, straigthening his little derby hat and even fixing his tie.
In the Adventurer he finds himself on a balcony, eating ice cream with a girl. On the floor directly underneath the balcony, is a well dignified well dressed woman sitting at a table. While eating the ice cream a piece falls off his spoon, and drops from the balcony onto the woman’s neck; suddenly she shrieks and starts to dance around.
In this incident two people are now in trouble. One of the things Charlie learned quickly is we all like seeing rich people getting the worse of things, i.e. the poor resenting the rich. If this ice cream were dropped onto a working woman’s neck then perhaps sympathy may have occurred more in favor of for the woman and therefore may not have been so funny. Humor, haha!
So why is this movie called “The Adventurer”? This post today was prompted by a phone call today with a friend (Jerry) who served in Bosnia with me; after 25 years earlier this year we reconnected.
Jerry asked me what my qualifications were to having joined the Los Angeles Adventurers club? He likes to think of himself as an adventurer and thought that all his overseas military experience automatically qualified him as “an adventurer”.
I quickly summed it all up with a box of (printed) photos like the kind we all used to use before the digital age. In this one box of pictures I quickly found the answer.
Pictures. Pictures of me jumping out of large airplanes; one of hiking the Grand Canyon at age 17, on my month long trip across the USA before reporting for boot camp, running out of $$ in Flagstaff, AZ and talking my way into a busboy job for two weeks.
Travels with the military to different countries. Perhaps the single most important reason why I was voted on as a certified “Adventurer” is because of two things; bears and jet ski’s.
The Alaskan Wet Dog race is my good Alaskan friend John Langs baby. He has nurtured this 2000 mile PWC endurance race for quite some time now. Early on I signed on to help him lay the course (Paving the Way) as he called it. Petr, Ron and Gina were also on the trip and as every bit certifiable an “Adventurer” as anyone else in the Los Angeles Adventurers club. But, their from Alaska and I like to think that Adventurers and living in Alaska are two in the same. So you decide. Riding a jet ski from the Port of Alaska (with a media sendoff – Todd Palin and others) even Martin Buser (Iditarod most winner joined us on the first leg) down the Kenai Peninsula, around Kodiak Island, through the Shelikoff straits and attempting island hopping down the Aleutian islands. I say attempted because we were turned back and eventually for our survival ended up holed up in tents for three days. Running out of time (most of us were working for a living back then) we ditched all but one ski; jumped on the film crew boat and headed back to Larsen Bay, Kodiak, Alaska. This 1,000 or so mile trip qualified me as it darn well should but, living an Adventurous life also has to go along with it. These days as recently commented at our club; anyone (most) can qualify just by going on a great credit card “adventure”.
Mike was the expedition leader for this Arctic Jeep expedition trip we took of over 10,000 miles by Jeep to the farthest road in Alaska and Canada. Modern day adventure!
Recently met this guy on sailing hobie on the way to Catalina Island. Adventurer? In my book YES.
Met these two on their way to Catalina Island from the mainland just in time for Bucaneer days! Young adventurers!
My friend Tim and his Cambodian born wife certainly qualify as adventurers. Tim, AKA: Raptor Man has saved numerous eagles and other wildlife; Samonia was one of the fortunate that made it past the “killing fields” but her parents didn’t.
I met this Frenchman on the docks, he flew from Tahiti to San Diego to purchase a boat. He bought a 10 speed bike thinking he could just bike to Los Angeles to see the boat he was buying, a 1971 41 ft Newport. In two weeks time he quickly assessed what the boat needed, got it ready and sailed it to Tahiti.
Perhaps no greater Adventurer than John Goddard, first person to kayak the white Nile from its source in a canvas kayak. John came up with a “life list” of things he wanted to do before he died at the age of 15. He did many more things but most of all he gave back till his dying days. He gave back throughout the years by visiting any school auditorium and classroom that would have him; teaching children the value of what we call “goal setting”. Many over the years have shown up at our club, crediting John for instilling in them the desire to reach for more in life and for unleashing their inner spirit of adventurism.
Adventurer – a person willing to take risks; one who seeks out unusual uncommon situations; long distance most anything; skydiving, mountain climbing, river rafting or any other extreme sports i.e. sailing around the world or the NW Passage.
“Life is either a daring Adventure or nothing”