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Sunday, October 1, 2017


The 15 Craigside Photography Club meets today for lunch and critiques of photos we submit for discussion.  We are given a theme, which today is "a picture is worth a thousand words."  My difficulty with that  assignment is you are supposed to show in each photo a story with little, or no, explanation.  Further, we are told, ask yourself:  who, what, where, when and why?

Some things in life are so obvious that anyone should be able to imagine those 1000 words.  Frankly, I could not find one in my archives with that characteristic.  I guess a shot that evokes totally different reactions from the viewers, each with vivid imaginations, might qualify for that theme.  For example, on a photo I used yesterday, Tiger Eating Toyota, might evoke the same interpretation.

My three photos would fail those tests, because only I know the true story.  It might be remotely possible that my clubmates and mentor could be inspired to create their own fantasy, but they wouldn't be close to the reality.  Anyway, I'll tell them the true story to sear in their memory why I took those photos:

1.  There was a time when I must have owned a hundred ties.  Now why would anyone from Hawaii have this collection?  I might have worn a tie once or twice on the Manoa Campus in my now 45 years here.  Well, blame my travels for this fetish.  Back in those old days, through the streets of Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taipei and Itaewon, vendors sold ties for $1 each.  However, within the bunch is a Jim Thompson (an American with quite a life) silk tie from Thailand for around $150.    (If you guessed the right one as the more expensive, you would be wrong.)  Also, many of them have yet to be used.

I just looked at eBay, and there is a bunch of Jim Thompson's.  Hey, that gives me an idea about what to do with mine.  I'll keep one, for I'm going through my LAST of everything, including my final major speech, to MENSA in a week, and now plan to actually wear a tie and handkerchief (yes, most of them are accompanied by an identical handkerchief, also costing a buck each) at a retirement dinner for a colleague in Tokyo in a couple of weeks.  Boy, will they be surprised.  What hurts is that I once had more than a hundred, and donated to Goodwill at least 50 of them.  After all, I still haven't seen a homeless person here wearing one my ties, or any tie at all.

2.  The top of this blog shows me with Diamond Head.  That photo was taken from House Without a Key at the Halekulani Hotel.  Well, two months ago I was enjoying a martini at HWaK, and all of a sudden, a magnificent rainbow appeared over Diamond Head.  In all my years over half a century of being entertained by Hawaiian troupes and Miss Hawaii hula dancers here, I had never seen a rainbow over Diamond Head.  Appropriate too was that La Mer, a second story adjacent restaurant, was Pearl's favorite, and her ashes are at the base of the historic kiawe tree which not too long ago fell in a storm, but a sprout re-grew into what will be their new symbol.

3.  Last year I went on a two-month around the world trip.  I asked Daryl, the maintenance manager, if he could arrange for the person cleaning my room to each Friday add two inches of water to three tubs where I placed a few herb plants and several orchids.  When I returned, there were ten buds of cattleya orchids in two pots and a blooming sunburst (below, which was not submitted but inserted here for you).

I might add that this sunburst plant was not in those tubs.  It went without water for two months.  Here is my theory:  certain plants bloom when they are threatened.  Their reaction to a lack of water or too much water is to do anything to survive.

In my entire life I have bought maybe a hundred cattleyas.  After the bloom goes, we are told to water the plant, but keep the root dry.  Every one of them in the past died.  This was the first time I ever got cattleyas to bloom.  Maybe it's a trade secret to drown the plant for two months to scare it into blooming, but I'll need to try this again.  I leave on a ten-day trip next week.

The sunbursts are different.  I first bought a sunburst flower to give to Pearl in 1982 when she was recovering from an operation.  She brought it home, and green leaves began to sprout.  After the leaves turned brown, she saw that there were two bulbs.  She dried them out and a few months later, planted them, but read that they should not be watered.  A few months later each plant began to bloom, later sending out these leaves.  She must have grown 25 plants over time, many she gave away to friends.  I brought three to 15 Craigside, and one surprised me on my birthday last month (above right) by blooming outside my lanai railing.

Happy to report that on this first day of October there is no ocean storm on Planet Earth:


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