Category Archives: people

Gypsy Hiker in Kathmandu

The Gypsy Hiker is now in Nepal. Since the name Kathmandu always stirs up images, I wanted to share his blogpost on his visit there. In a previous post, the Gypsy Hiker was invited to a local wedding in Kathmandu. The best times come about unexpectedly, when traveling, and I have also been shown incredible hospitality, by complete strangers, when on the road.

via Spending two days with local Nepalese! #Kathmandu — A boy around the world


Bruce Brown

Documentary filmmaker, Bruce Brown passed away on Sunday. Brown was one of several young filmmakers in the 1960’s who made low budget documentaries on surfing and the beach life style. His classic, was the 1966 movie The Endless Summer. The film cost $50,000 to make, as Brown traveled the globe with two surfers, following summer as it passed from one hemisphere to the other.

There was just something magical about that film. Distributors wanted nothing to do with it, but Brown rented a movie house to show the film for a week. It played for 18 months.

The Endless Summer had a profound effect on me, and my deep seated wanderlust. It wasn’t the surfing that drove my interest, but the world travel, and the idea of following summer from country to country. I saw the film long after its debut, but like the millions before me, I absolutely loved it.

Brown, who surfed and rode a motorcycle most of his life, earned an Academy Award nomination for his 1971 documentary On Any Sunday, a film about the life of motorcycle racers. Steve McQueen was a producer on the film.


Brown, McQueen, and cast/crew On Any Sunday

Brown’s son, Dana, is also a documentary filmmaker, having Dust to Glory in his credits.

Bruce Brown was 80.


The King of Gold King


Don Robertson

From all accounts, Don Robertson was the heart and soul of the Gold King Mine in Jerome, AZ. Robertson, along with his wife Terry, spent 30 years building the mine to the collection that exists today.

One of the highlights of the collection, is the 1928 Studebaker Indy race car, built by Robertson himself. Don raced the car in vintage races around the west.

My Kiwi friend visited the Gold King Mine a few years ago, and Don started up the old Studebaker for him.

“He was a big-hearted soul with a side of orneriness,” said Jerome Police Chief Alan Muma. “He had this Indian motorcycle with a really loud motor. To stay out of trouble, he’d ask me, ‘Get your sound meter out and check me’ and as long as he kept his hand off the throttle, he would stay out of trouble.”

Don Robertson passed away in October of 2016. He was 73.


Fats

Pioneer rock & roller, Antoine “Fats” Domino Jr has died. From 1950 through the early 1960’s, Domino had over three dozen Top 40 hits, 23 gold records, and sold over 65 million singles.
The New Orleans artist, with his Cajun accent and boogie-woogie piano, had a style all his own. Elvis Presley once said, ” …Rock ’n’ roll was here a long time before I came along. Let’s face it: I can’t sing it like Fats Domino can. I know that.”

Domino was 89.


Fats playing the Carib Theatre, Kingston in 1961


“Well the good ol’ days may not return…

And the rocks might melt and the sea may burn.”

RIP Traveling Poet


The Bronx Bull


Jake LaMotta in 1949 after beating Marcel Cerdan for the World Middleweight title

Giacobbe “Jake” LaMotta, the former middleweight boxing champion, died on Tuesday at the age of 95. LaMotta, was a brawler in the ring (and out), stalking opponents close up, taking blow after blow, in order to deliver an explosion of his own punches.

My father would often mention that he listened to all six of LaMotta’s fights against Sugar Ray Robinson on the radio. One day, my Dad came to my bedroom door, and asked if I’d go see a movie with him. It was slightly out of character, so I was a little surprised. When I asked, “What movie?” He replied, “The one about LaMotta”. The movie, of course, was “Raging Bull” with Robert DeNiro.

The LaMotta/Robinson fights were epic battles. LaMotta only won one of the six meetings, their second fight. In the eighth round of that fight, LaMotta sent Robinson through the ropes and out of the ring. It was Robinson’s first loss of his boxing career. Their fight in Chicago Stadium on 14 February 1951 became known as the Second Valentine’s Day Massacre. The fight was stopped in the 13th Round, with LaMotta a bloody mess.

LaMotta later said about Robinson: “The three toughest fighters I ever fought were Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Robinson. I fought Sugar so many times, I’m surprised I’m not diabetic.”


LaMotta vs Robinson 1943

LaMotta had a professional record of 83 wins (30 by KO), 19 losses, and 4 draws.


RIP Sam

The actor, and Pulitzer winning playwright, Sam Shepard died on Thursday. Shepard wrote over 55 plays, winning the Pulitzer for “Buried Child”; and acted in over 50 films, getting an Oscar nomination for his role as Chuck Yeager in “The Right Stuff”.

Shepard died of complications from ALS. He was 73.