Ten years ago this week I wrote two full columns: the regular one, and one on the breaking scandal with President Bill “I Did Not Have Sex With That Woman” Clinton. I (and many others) dubbed it Fornigate, and it led to his impeachment.
Me, I think he was simply stupid: why he didn’t just say “This is between me and my wife” and refuse to say anything else, I just don’t know, but he forced it into being An Issue. (And can you believe it’s been 10 years already?!)
I mentioned last week that I was on the road again. I gave the clue that I had just visited Charles Lindbergh’s grave; just a few readers correctly figured out that I was in Hawaii — I was attending a conference for once, rather than speaking at one. Lindbergh’s grave is in a remote corner of Maui.
Out of the Way
The most interesting response was from a French filmmaker who wrote, “We are doing a major documentary about Charles Lindbergh and I was wondering why you went so far out of the way to visit his grave?”
Well, we didn’t really go “out of the way” to visit it, we were in the area and thought we’d stop at the tiny church where he is buried at the top of a cliff overlooking the Pacific. But sure: Lindbergh is a fascinating figure, and I look forward to the new documentary.
Marc in Illinois said he was…
…surprised by your taking the time to visit Lindbergh’s grave. While his solo Transatlantic flight was heroic, it was hardly in the same class as Columbus’ voyage since the feat had been accomplished at least 14 times before by pairs of pilots. And, his heroism was forever tainted by his later embrace of Hitler and Nazism and his blatant anti-semitism.
I think it’s way overstating things to say he “embraced Hitler,” and my reading of history doesn’t support anti-Semitism, either. Lindbergh was an isolationist to be sure, taking after his father, a U.S. Congressman, who was an isolationist in World War I. For much more on the subject, his Wikipedia entry looks pretty objective.
Anyway, I had never been to Hawaii before. We started on Oahu, staying in Honolulu for a few days, then to Maui, and then to the Big Island.
After landing in Hilo, we jumped on a helicopter for an aerial tour of the Kilauea volcano. One of my personal “must see before I die” items is flowing molten lava. Check!
Absolutely amazing to see — the photo below of course doesn’t really capture the feeling. Then we went to Volcano National Park to see things more close-up (but, alas, not flowing lava).
Kilauea has been erupting continuously since 1983. I’ve also posted some details on another interesting activity the conference group did together: we went on an ocean night dive, which was fantastic.
How is the photo so clear? We asked them to take the doors off the chopper! Yes, we could feel the heat from the lava — it felt pretty good, in fact, since it was a bit rainy that day. The flow is to the left, from the lava pool in the crater at the upper right.
We’re not quite home yet, though: as soon as we arrived back at our home airport we drove the opposite direction — to a medical conference to get some “continuing education” for our EMT certifications. A full weekend conference goes a long way toward our renewal requirements. The things you have to do to volunteer! 🙂