We had so many laughs from discussing our dad, who was quite the character, a rough around the edges seaman with amazing stories to tell. My brother dubbed him the original “Indiana Jones”. He spoke five languages and travelled the world many times, often in the grip of some danger or mystery.
He took on the riskiest missions while in The Canadian Navy during WW11, delivering sensitive intelligence to Allies on the cargo ships, with the boxes up on deck with ropes, and orders to dump it all in the ocean if they came under attack. He once captured a German prisoner in his submarine during WW11, clamping his injured artery together in his hands until they got to shore for medical help. After the war, he lived in a boat in Vancouver’s Coal Harbor for a while, and when I was young, he had some land jobs, like walking the high beams as an ironworker building bridges, and driving a gas truck and getting danger pay for it.
For this week’s optimizing yourself, I am going to write down some of his stories, so they are not lost, and I am going to find a Richard Halliburton book, as he was an important part of our childhood:
One of our dad’s heroes was travel writer and seaman Richard Halliburton, and my brother remembered the name of his book that was our family treasure. It was called “The Royal Road to Romance” and my Dad used to read it to us as kids. My favorite story was about The Taj Mahal.
Here is a write-up on Richard Halliburton. (Richard Halliburton was a great writer with columns in many newspapers, including The Toronto Star).
He had a reckless love of life and romance.
Writer, Lecturer, and World Traveler, Richard Halliburton published numerous books during his short lifetime. During his world travels, he visited exotic locales such as the Taj Mahal in India, climbed the Matterhorn, flew across the Sahara desert in a bi-winged plane, and swam the entire length of the Panama Canal. He also roamed the Mediterranean Sea retracing the route followed by Ulysses in Homer’s Odyssey and crossed the Swiss Alps on the back of an elephant in a recreation of Hannibal’s expedition. Halliburton died in March 1939 as he and his crew attempted to sail a Chinese junk, the Sea Dragon, from Hong Kong to San Francisco as a publicity stunt. The vessel was unseaworthy and went down in a storm around March 23-24, 1939. His body was never recovered.
I will let you know how my family history recording goes next week.
Photo: photopin/flickr/creative commons