I’ve been busy…that’s my excuse. And in truth, I have been busy and it’s going to continue for another month…then I get my life back.
Recently I’ve been on the mainland visiting some great friends and doing some really fun things. That’s kind of put a hold on my Borneo project. This doesn’t mean I’m not going to do it, just that I’ve had to put it on hold through August and September…and…October.
But I haven’t been idle. I attended a conference in San Jose and gave a presentation there that went over rather well if I do say so photography myself. Other people said it too…so…
I also got to visit Mammoth and Yosemite. I had my Bike Friday pakiT with me, so I got to do a bit of cycling as well.
I also go to visit Mono Lake and see the tufas!!!
All in all, it was whole bunches of fun. But now I’m off to Hawaii Island, then Maui, the home, but off to Molokai shortly after that.
So, if you are waiting for my Borneo stuff…it’s still in the works…it’ll just have to wait for my life to catch up to it.
Posted on July 30, 2018
I’m not quite sure what my friend and I were watching…it looks important and more than a bit astonishing. No clue after fifty-five years I’m afraid.
I’d love to go back and see if the young gentleman with me in this shot from sometime in 1963 is still around. I’m not sure I’ll get a chance to do that, but…well…it was possible to get there in 1962, it’s possible today. We’ll see.
It’s kind of hard to believe that the kid in that photo is sitting at a keyboard in Honolulu all these years later. Wow.
The only thing that hasn’t changed is that I still wear those sorts of shirts. These days they’d probably have hula dancers on them instead of oriental dancers, but really…not much has changed. I still look out at the world and wonder…what the heck?
This will end up as part of another set of slides I’m digitizing, but I’d been remiss this weekend in getting anything done and when I saw this I knew I had to say something about it.
Here’s the thing. For me, living in Borneo was not, at the time, something special. When you are four, five, and six years old, the world is just the world. Yes it was different from where I’d been before (New York City – 110th and Amsterdam in fact), but I was with my parents and I didn’t really have a sense that other kids didn’t get to do this. I certainly got that sense when I got back, but at the time, it was just my life.
Perhaps I’ll have more stories to tell as memories come back to me, it’s hard to know. I will continue to write them down here as I recall them though. I’ve sort of made an agreement to do that.
You might recall I said I would contact the Borneo Research Council and offer the slides to them. Well I’ve heard back and…you know…I’m going to save that for another story. Suffice it to say they were as happy to hear from me as I from them. It does mean, however, I keep doing this.
Till next time!
Much of the farming in our area of Borneo was ; slash and burn. It sounds terrible, but careful rotation made it a viable lifestyle. There’s been much written about this kind of farming and I’m not going to rehash it here. It was simply a fact of life back in the day.
My father took a lot of pictures over our time in Borneo, and sure enough many of them were of this sort of farming, clearing the land, and more. Here’s a selection from a set of slide processed in November 1962. They had no other marking, but I’ve grouped them by their process date and the style of the font on the slide. Neat, eh?
Warning, don’t look any further if you don’t want to see a pig butchered and dressed.
This was a very normal occurrence when I was a child in Borneo. There were no grocery stores and if you ate animal you saw them butchered and prepared. I have to say that I think this probably healthier overall for everyone. I’m not arguing for or against eating meat…though I do eat it myself. I am, however, suggesting that seeing that something died so that you could eat it is probably a much better way of understanding just what is involved, especially if you helped raise that animal, than buying anonymous meat products at a grocery.
Later, as a teen, I’d work on a cattle ranch for summer and that was pretty much the same when it came to a relationship with animals destined for slaughter. We were grateful for their meat, and for the money they brought.
You’ll note in these images the progression of skills. There’s an older man, though he’s probably much younger than I am today, in charge. A younger man, a teen, doing a lot of the work. And then there are children of all ages watching and participating to one degree or another. It’s serious business and everyone seems to recognize that. Yes, there’ll be feasting, but first there’s work, and death.
Every bit of the pig will be used for something in the long run. The intestines that are pulled out won’t be discarded, they’ll be cleaned and used. I’m sure the pig was not happy about it’s outcome, but none of it will be wasted. No comfort to the pig perhaps, but some to those doing the killing and preparation.
I’m not at all sure what KC4 meant to my dad so I’m not sure why these photos are grouped together. The first is a streamed, the second shows animal husbandry, and the last two are of a valley with dwellings.
Here’s what I think though…
The stream is similar to many mountain streams I recall. As you can see by the debris a lot of water comes down this bed when rain strikes. I recall my dad talking about water barreling out of the mountains down stream beds that sounded like freight trains.
The next slide shows folks taking care of animals. While I saw a lot of water buffalo (carabao), I don’t recall many other large animals, though dogs, chickens, and pigs could be found.
The next two seem to be off more or less the same valley. The last image is a bit out of focus, but I’m including it because it’s part of the set.
I don’t have a real explanation for these shots, though I do recall walking to school each day (yes, I went to school while there along with all the other kids) and the school was on flat land. I learned long division at age five as I recall and had a very hard time when I got back to the U.S.A. because I wasn’t supposed to know it in the grade I entered into…they didn’t know what to do with me.
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