- What’s a memory you have of a nearby stream?
When I was in high school, a friend and I went down the stairs (which are no longer there) from School Street to the spot where Nuuanu Stream crosses beneath it, at the bottom of Queen Liliuokalani Park. We hiked upstream to where it passes through my high-school alma mater. It took a lot longer than either of us expected, and it was fun and fascinating, but there were parts where there were no hikable banks, so we had to get right in the stream, which was gross.
- What’s a good film scene or song lyric involving a river?
My second-favorite film of all time is The African Queen with Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. I like the scene where Bogey gets drunk and yells a few unkind things in Katharine’s direction before falling asleep. When he wakes up hung over, the first thing he sees is Hepburn pouring his whiskey, one bottle at a time, into the river. There is a trail of empty, floating bottles bobbing in water in the boat’s wake.
- What fond memory do you have of a lake?
I spent a summer with R and her father on a lake in northern New York, where he owns a cabin. It was a terrific lake, with an island in the middle, about a mile across at its longest point, and it had a homeowners’ agreement that forbade motor vehicles on the water. So, no jetskis or motor boats. You wanted to get on the water (or across it to get to the mini mart), you had to row or paddle. It was wonderful.
- What’s the most fascinating sea creature?
I’ve been fascinated by the bioluminescent fish of the very deep ocean. The hatchetfish has been a favorite since I first saw photos of it in second grade.
- What’s something that caused you to cry tears of laughter?
This isn’t going to make much sense, I’m afraid, but sometimes the most intense laughter does emerge from unexplained, illogical places. When I was a senior in high school, our class took a trip to the island of Hawaii (where I would, a few years later, transfer colleges and finally graduate), and we made an unplanned stop at a small convenience store. While we waited in our van (I don’t remember what for), someone said “Stanley da Boss,” reading the words on an old man’s hat. The old man was sitting on a bench in front of the store, alone and perfectly at ease. Someone else said, “I wonder if that’s a hat he got for himself, or if someone got it for him.” Someone else said, “I wonder if that’s Stanley.” There were giggles as we tried to imagine the scenario that led to a guy having a hat like this, and each time someone asked a question about it, the laughter got a little louder. Finally, we were all laughing so hard we were in tears, ten high-school seniors who’d known each other for six years or more (it’s a K-12 school), having an unexpected laugh together about a stupid thing just a few weeks before graduation.