Skip to main content

tv   Book TV in Monterey California  CSPAN  December 5, 2015 12:00pm-1:46pm EST

12:00 pm
>> welcome to monterey on booktv, located along the central coast of california. this waterfront community was founded in 1770 and has a population of about 28,000. it was the capital of alta, california, when the state was part of mexico, and later it would become famous for its abundant fisheries serving as the inspiration for the novel "cannery row." for the next 90 minutes, we'll visit with the city's literary community beginning with the history and preservation of monterey bay. >> i'm a marine biologist. i go all over the world talking to people about the dangers the ocean is under right now, the threats from people, the overfishing and climate change, habitat destruction, pollution. and then i would come back here,
12:01 pm
and this bay was so stunningly gorgeous. and i'd feel a little guilty. and the question was, well, why is this place so special? how come it missed all those problems that almost every other place in the ocean has? and the answer as we dug into it, me and my co-author, it turns out that monterey bay had all those problems. it didn't miss them, it had them all. and 80 years ago this was a place you wouldn't want to be standing, right on this beach, doing anything because the water was polluted, the air was foul. the seals were gone, the whales were gone, the otters were gone, the abalone were gone, fishing was bad. sardines eventually were all taken as well. so all of that was happening 80 years ago, and the difference is that monterey bay got better. and the story of the revival of the bay from that 80 years ago is really the story in the book.
12:02 pm
250 years ago we had a very different business model for how we used the ocean. he's the business model -- here's the business model. it was find something in the ocean you could take and sell and make a profit, do that til it's gone, repeat. and that business model started with the sea otters. late 1700s the spanish and the french who had come in here realized that these were amazingly valuable animals, sea ott tokers were. the reason -- otters were. the reason is sea otters are tiny little animals that live in cold water. they have amazingly, stunningly beautiful fur. it's dense, it's thick, it makes great fur trimmings for all kinds of things. so an otter pelt, late 1700s, was worth about $30. okay? comparison, you could buy a house in san diego for $90 at that time. so these are very valuable if you can get the pelts to china
12:03 pm
where the biggest market was. so there immediately began a hunt of the otters. and here's the business model, you find out how to take them, you find out how to catch them, you find out how to ship them, you do it, come back, get another set, come back and get another set. so we figure about 100,000 sea otters were taken from the central coast of california. they lived all the way down through l.a., san diego and into mexico at first. not anymore. they were taken so that about by, i don't know, 50 years after the start of that hunt, there ty were basically gone. when the otters were beginning to decline in commercial abundance, those same ships shifted to whaling. by the 1890s, the gray whales -- which is what the hunt was for -- they were, too, just about commercially extricated. we figure there were main about a how -- maybe about a thousand
12:04 pm
left down from about 40,000. but you couldn't really sustain an industry on that. so otters first, hunt to commercial extinction. whales, second, hunt to commercial extinction. the seals were thrown into the pot too. sort of moving through the decades, by the early 1900s, a set of sardine canneries were built starting about 1908, 1910, and that ended up being a different kind of fishery because for the first time in monterey there was not only a fishery that was going full bore and ramping up, but there was an industry. and that was the canning industry. so that canning industry ended up being a double whammy for the fishing problem, because the canning industry was actually pretty pollutive. so by the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, the canning and the
12:05 pm
sardine industry had pushed out virtually every other industry in monterey. the tourism was gone, people didn't really want to live here unless they were working for the canneries. now, mind you, the canneries were a great business. lots of people were employed, but it was a one-horse town or a one-fish town because this business couldn't coexist with any other business all around it. along this way the people who had been living here got a very different idea of what it was that they should be, they should be doing. in particular, that pollution and that impact of the conditioning on every aspect of life in monterey and the town next door, pacific grove -- actually where we are right now -- the idea was why should our whole life be changed by this one industry. and people started fighting back. not just because of the overfishing, but actually because of the industrial pollution and the kind of changes that it demanded on everybody's life.
12:06 pm
and in particular a set of people began questioning whether or not some one industry had the right to control the fate and health of the entire bay. and in particular, a woman named julia plath was very instrumental in that. she was an amazing character. she had a ph.d. in marine soology. she got it -- doology. she got it in the 890s when you basically could not get a ph.d. if you were a woman in the united states. she had to go to germany to get her degree. she came back, settled into pacific grove. she couldn't get a job at a top-rated university like stanford or harvard or the university of chicago or princeton or yale because they didn't hire women faculty members at that point many time. in time. she settled here, became a civic activist and spent 10, 20, 30 years trying to use her knowledge of the oceans and make life better in pacific grove.
12:07 pm
and her conclusion was the pollution had to stop. she took the canneries to court a lot. she won every time, but nothing could ever be done because the canneries had such political and economic power. so finally she decided as a zoologist and a marine biologist that there was only one thing she could really do, and that's to protect some part of the coastline here so that when the pollution problem eventually was solved -- and she couldn't solve it, obviously -- that there would be some good part of the coastline that would be left to allow the recovery of the bay. this is a really stunningly different concept. it hadn't really been articulated before, and it had never been articulated by a community leader. the idea of, essentially, gardening the ocean, gardening the coastline. she set up right here where we
12:08 pm
are right now the very first community-adopted marine reserve. -- developed marine reserve. no fishing was allowed, no collecting, no trampling of any of the coastal life. she set it up for the marine station here, the hopkins marine lab of stanford university, that the scientists here could study the ocean life. ironically, it's right next door to the biggest cannery on the west coast. and so i think julia had a huge, a huge sense of humor and a sense of irony. so she set up this incredibly, highly-protected marine zone right next to the biggest cannery, the biggest thing she was fighting. and about the middle 1970s, the ecosystem is starting to recover. ott tokers are beginning --
12:09 pm
otters are beginning to come back, fish are beginning to come back. and at that point this whole bay with could have entered another cycle of exploitation. essentially, people could have started eating monterey bay again. but something different happened. a group of students and lecturers and faculty here at the hopkins marine station and students from other marine labs were on the bay, moss landing and uc santa cruz got together and began to think, you know, wouldn't it be absolutely cool if you could show this bay to people in ways that they saw and that they really knew it? so they had this idea of an aquarium. and they had an idea of a place, the very first offices of the monterey bay aquarium were up on the top floor of this building looking out in this direction on
12:10 pm
the derelict building that was the cannery. now, right there til about the 1960s the cannery was sputtering along canning scwild and doing whatever -- squid and doing whatever it can. fell into ruins. stanford university bought it because it was right next to the marine lab's property. they didn't know what to do with it. this group of students, though, and lecturers and community leaders thought maybe that was a place where you could actually put an aquarium. so they began thinking about it and planning it and turned it into an idea that had really never been tried before. but as they built through it, they realized the excitement about it, the potential of it and the ability of that kind of enterprise to not only rebuild
12:11 pm
the economy of monterey, but tie the economy to the ocean's health of the bay. the amazing thing about this idea was that, you know, these students were marine biologists. they knew what was in the kelp forest. they knew it, they'd seen it, they'd been there, but everybody could see the same things they saw if they brought them on land and built an aquarium that housed the amazing life of monterey bay. now, there are other aquariums that are wonderful aquariums like the boston aquarium, but most of those aquariums had marine life from all over. monterey bay aquarium really wanted to emphasize the incredible marine life here in monterey bay. well, you know, there were a lot of jobs lost when the canneries went away.
12:12 pm
and, you know, of course, no community really wants to have that happen. people adjusted, people found new kinds of jobs, but without a vibrant local economy, those jobs really weren't there. so part of the magic of the aquarium was the idea of bringing back tourism, bringing back a set of jobs that would allow people to live here and make a good living and still with tied to the ocean. we also have a fishing industry that's still here, and it was trying to fit itself into this new model of using the ocean. because remember that old business model i was talking about where you find something, and you exploit it, and you make a profit, and you keep doing that until it was gone, and then you repeat, find something else.
12:13 pm
well, that wasn't working anymore. so the fishermen here had to adopt a new strategy which was use the ocean, but in moderation. and that's probably the biggest change in the fishing industry that's happened in the last -- [inaudible] the shift from i can take whatever i want model to i'm a steward of the ocean model. and i think the fishermen here are a fabulous example of taking that onboard. now mind you, the fishing community and the conservation community sometimes have a little bit of an argument about what those limits are. but the main thing is that no one disagrees that there are limits. everyone believes, everyone knows there are limits to what you can take out of the ocean. and we're all looking for that balance. and that's what is just, i think, amazing about monterey bay and what has managed to keep it so incredible over the decades. as the concept of the aquarium
12:14 pm
began to build and as it was, as it was created, it really began to tie the local community and the local economy to the health of the bay. it provided a place where people could come and become inspired about the ocean and about the organisms and the critters that live in it. and it also became a place where tourism could be centrally, you know, anchored. the monterey we anyones be la is a fabulous -- peninsula is a fabulous place to live. plenty of things to do around here. but with the month ray bay as the -- monterey bay as the kind of centerpiece of that, the local economy really began to grow again. we're going the wander down that way and kind of walk along the beach. so one thing that the death and
12:15 pm
life of monterey bay is about, it's a story of revival. i think, you know, the ocean gets better is the main thing we've been able to watch. but when you look at the characters in the book, julia platt, for example, a guy named ed rickets who was a model in cannery row, these people made a huge difference in how people thought about the ocean here and what they thought they could protect. so unleashing the power of the ocean actually does depend on individuals. these people were passionate, they were stubborn. they were occasionally patient, though not always. and they made a big difference to how things happened. and it's that power of the individual and the power of passion that really connects with the ocean to have made things better here. i don't see any reason why that model can't be done everywhere.
12:16 pm
the ocean is powerful everywhere. people are passionate everywhere. and so putting that together is something that i think the message of the book says, yeah, put those together where you are and then maybe you can have this miracle happen in your bay like in monterey. >> and while on our trip to monterey, california, we toured the steinbeck center in nearby salinas, home of a collection of books and artifacts from the nobel prize-winning author john steinbeck. >> well, this swath of northern california is really steinbeck country because he really defined it. he wrote about the place in all of his books, and he really cared about the condition tours of place -- contours of place and how people live in place and how people are defined by the places that they live.
12:17 pm
and so these two places, salinas, monterey county, he set out to really define the valley for the rest of the world. because when he was writing, you know, the first part of the century california was a hinterland. it was a western -- he was a western writer, very much aware of being a western writer, and he really wanted to define the valley for the country, what it looked like, what it smelled like, the flowers that grew here, the weeds, the colors of the hills at various times of the year. all of that you can find in his fiction. all of his books, "the grapes of wrath," "cannery row," start out with a description of place. the titles are about place. the long valley, tortilla flats, east of eden. he really locates you. and his point in all this is to show how people are another, humans are another species living in place and so shaped by the history, the natural history, the diversity of the places that they lived. john steinbeck was born in
12:18 pm
salinas, california, in 1902. it's an agricultural town about 20 minutes -- 20 miles from the monterey peninsula. he lived here until 1918 when he went off to stanford university. his mother wanted him to be a banker or a lawyer, something reputable, but he wanted to be only a writer. he started writing stories about age 14, and that's all he wanted to do in life, was to be a storyteller, a writer. that's what he did every day for the rest of his life. he loved the salinas valley and said, always said he was going to write a book about it, his home valley, and make it the valley of the world. but it took him until 1952 to publish "east of eden." he thought salinas was a town of haves and have nots, very wealthy growers, planters and shippers, which it was, and then there was a lot of migrant workers, and he always empathized with those who had very little. so throughout his fiction he's
12:19 pm
writing about workers, he's writing about people who plant the crops, work the fields, about small farmers. and so that notion of have and have not really permeated his sense of salinas. certainly writing about this area is the books that i think are most important are east of eden, cannery row which is about monterey, newmont ray -- new monterey, the streets where the sardines were canned from the turn of the century until about 1948 when the industry really collapsed. so he really put that street on the map. it was renamed after he wrote the novel, actually was renamed after the novel. tortilla flats is about mexican-americans who lived in monterey. he wrote some beautiful stories this long valley, 1938, which are about ranchers and people kind of living lonely, cut-off
12:20 pm
lives often in the salinas valley. he wrote about people who were suffering, people who were lonely, people whose marriages might not be very good. so pastors of heaven is another really fine set of stories about this area, and it's about a little valley right off highway 68 which connects salinas with the possibility ray peninsula -- monterey peninsula. it's a lovely little valley, and he writes about it as a place where possibly could live these visionary lives, but they don't. they're disappointed in one way, or their dreams don't come to fruition. which is really steinbeck's story about the west. even though people look at california as a place where they have all these dreams, they want to start over in california, have a great life, build homes, etc., all of his characters are somewhat disappointed. they don't find the full fulfillment that they imagine in
12:21 pm
california, in the salinas valley. the national stein we can center is located -- steinbeck center is located in salinas, california, right at the end of main street. it sort of anchors main street. it opened in 1998. it was really the dream of several people in salinas who wanted there to be a center in sign beck's hometown orrin -- steinbeck's home talk about honoring the author, his connectionings to salinas, salinas valley, to northern california, to the world really. the museum really takes visitors through steinbeck's life. it's organized chronologically. you can revisit, really step inside his novels and think about context of each of his books from the early stories through the travels with charlie trips. so you can't come to salinas and the national steinbeck certain without going through the exhibits, so come on in. so here we start the tour of
12:22 pm
steinbeck's life, and we have all sorts of pictures of his family as you start. steinbeck's home and family. a good, firm, grounded family, permanent and successfully plant t in the salinas valley. now, although steinbeck was born in salinas and spent his childhood in salinas, his family also had a summer house in pacific grove. so he really spent much of the time going back and forth between salinas and pacific grove. and he loved pacific grove. he loved being by the ocean. throughout his life he said i have to be near water. i'm a water fiend, he said. and i think that came from his early years in pacific grove. of course, he wrote extensively about the monterey peninsula. in cannery row and tortilla flat, and those books are among his most popular. each is funny in its own way and really captures the cultural and
12:23 pm
his to have historic diversity of the monterey peninsula. here are the frogs croaking away. one of the people's favorite parts of cannery row is the frog hunt where mac and the boys go to the carmel river to hunt frogs and bring them back and use them as frog cash to plan a party. so it's a very funny scene, but also if you read it carefully, it kind of shadows some of the, some of what steinbeck had just experienced. he'd just been overseas in world war ii, so the frog hunt is a kind of very, it's a massacre as well in some ways. so that kind of conveyed his horror of war. here's tortilla flat with danny and the boys. it's about paisanos of monterey, and it is a very funny book about short stories about how the paisanos come together to create a kind of family, a very
12:24 pm
close-knit group of men living in a house, drinking, relaxing. some people say, oh, they're just lazy bums, but steinbeck's point is that they enjoy life fully. they do what they want to. they kind of drop out of the dominant culture and simply enjoy life. east of eden is one of my favorite steinbeck books and is one of my students' favorite books always because it's a great story. a story of the valley and a story of what he called a simple family that wrestled with big ideas, good and evil in nature, the nature of fathers and sons, the nature of responsibility, of forgiveness. so it takes on issues that people find compelling. my students love this book. this is indubious battle which was a strike novel that he wrote in the late 1930s when he became politicized. up to that point, he hadn't --
12:25 pm
he'd written about ranchers and farmers and place in california, but in three books, indubious battle, of mice and men and the grapes of wrath, he took on sort of the labor crisis in california in the late 1930s. and this is a book where migrants are canning for high -- asking for higher wages. wages were cut sometimes to 15 cents an hour, and workers wanted more. so it's a very sering book about a labor strike. one of the next exhibits is the bunkhouse in "of mice and men" where lenny and george, of course, are worried about bedbugs. right after they spend the night by the salinas river, which is very close to here off river road, lenny wants beans with ketchup, and so there ain't no ketchup but, yes, there is ketchup in our exhibit. so here's lenny's coat, and you can reach into lenny's pocket,
12:26 pm
and there's a mouse. lenny loved to pet soft things. and also hanging on the wall is a bindle. that meant traveling, working men, and they went from ranch to ranch where they got jobs plucking barley. this was probably a book set in the 1920s when single men were on the road, tramps moving from ranch to ranch. there was something called the dirty plate trail where plates were just scraped off, and another man was fed as the, you know, various workers wandered from ranch to ranch. this is one of the most popular parts of the national be steinbeck center -- national steinbeck center, the travels with charley truck. it's the name of his truck that he had painted on the side, this gmc truck in 1960 when he decided to take a trip around
12:27 pm
america. he named his truck after don quixote, so there are others who find this trip so quixotic that i am calling it operation windmill and have named my truck rocinante. it's kind of an iconic truck. it represents this urge to see america, his restlessness. writing another road book, trying to get to, as he said earlier in his career, i want to get to the marrow of the place. i want to hear people talk. e want to see what their doing. i want to eat what they're eating and see how they work. i want to touch base with americans, with my people so that i feel like i haven't lost touch with my country. and that's why he went on the travels with charley trip. as visitors exit the museum, they can realize two quotes from
12:28 pm
steinbeck. one of them is if the story is not about the here, he will not listen. and here i make a rule: a great and interesting story is about everyone or it will not last. that's driving steinbeck to connect with readers, top them participate in his prose. he used the word "participate" and "participation" over and over and over again to clarify how important it was for him to connect with readers, to make hem hear and see -- them hear and see and feel and care about the things he cared about. and i think that this museum is a tribute to that, that urge to connect with his readers and with the public. the second quote is, "i nearly always write, just as i nearly always breathe." that conveys the importance of words to steinbeck and the importance of his craft. a writer, he felt, connected with the public in very, very
12:29 pm
important ways and that it was the role of the writer to analyze and critique his country, not just celebrate, but really look closely at his country and his countrymen. i think steinbeck is an iconic 20th century writer. i mean, i teach steinbeck, i've taught him for 28 years at san jose state university, i'm a professor of english, and the class is always full. it always draws students. they love steinbeck. not only because he wrote about california, but also because he's accessible. i think he's just a writer who represents much of what people want to think around the world that america's about, ordinary people, working people, empathy, concern for people who have less, movement, restlessness, the west, the dreams, starting over, the road, diversity. and steinbeck contained all of
12:30 pm
that in his books, so i think to come to the steinbeck center is to kind of touch base with the history of california and a writer who made his career by putting that into his novels. >> during booktv's recent visit to monterey, california, author donald porter recounted the life of howard hughes and his contributions to helicopter aviation in "howard's whirlybirds." >> well, the emphasis of my book is to, basically, to document, to reveal, to show howard hughes' involvement in more than movie making and more than his dating actresses and more than his world flights. he actually started a company that produced helicopters, and it had a very tough go of it. but ultimately, the company that he started in the early pioneering work that his company and he did in helicopters resulted in the apache helicopter of today which is a world-renowned helicopter used
12:31 pm
by military forces and also many, many military forces around the world. and it's still produced today all these years after howard hughes has passed away. .. 50, 75 pilots, all these airplanes had to be fabricated to look like the real thing in
12:32 pm
world war i. they filmed massive things. a young man with no prior experience making movies yet he directed the entire production. they are ready to go, just bad the advent of talking motion pictures, this is a silent picture he shot so he had to issue the entire production over as the talky before he could release it. the extended about the million-dollar race which is a horrendous amount of money in 1930. however, going on to become a box office hit beyond belief it premiered in hollywood as well as grumman's chinese theater, the most elaborate premier ever. he even had biplanes flying over the theater showing stands to people down below, the most amazing thing. >> eliminated for miles in honor
12:33 pm
of the opening of hell's angels. for the first time, on hollywood boulevard, made way for two miles through the hearts of hollywood. the opening. for miles. 500,000 people crowding the streets. all tickets, 21 hours for the opening, you may have seen this before but you have never seen anything like this. this is the opening of hell's angels. >> so now he was successful as a moviemaker, and aviation. he went forward because he decided i want to do more than this.
12:34 pm
i want to build airplanes and a couple of the people that were involved in building some of these world war i replicas were available to help him design and build other kinds of airplanes. there was something called the razor, a single-engine airplane that could go very fast, single seater, low wing but the unique part, 1935, a unique part of this airplane was it had retractable landing gear and flush construction, very low drag, he took it. and he set a world speed record in los angeles of 352 miles an hour, unbelievable. this made headlines around the country so now he was not only a movie maker and aviation aficionado but was also a record
12:35 pm
setting pilots. he was so impressed with this airplane he decided to go to the air force and propose its use as a fighter plane in the 1930s. there was no world war ii yet. the military was interested in the possibility of airplanes for future con-or what not. he went back to right field in ohio and proposed a small raise it to be adapted into a fighter plane, turned it down. he didn't understand government procurement. approaching very carefully and methodically, he insulted officers there, so many of them that it was called hate howard hughes club out there because it was sell strong. meantime, he wanted to build
12:36 pm
airplanes. he wanted to build airplanes, his own design, the government had come forward since 1940 and they were interested in a new pursuits airplane. twin-engine airplane, fire weapons, have ordnance so he wanted to build an airplane rather than get on this, wanted to build the best airplane, he built an airplane which was what he thought they would want an he proposed it, it flew, not very long, there were problems with it but he got it in the air but again this goes back to the old heave howard hughes club, they were still leery of this guy and they came back and told him you might have an airplane i can fly
12:37 pm
and looks okay but you will never build it because you don't have an aircraft -- he had a pretty good size airport in los angeles but wasn't big enough to do anything. he lost the contract. what happened, lockheed aircraft got the contract and became the world-famous p 38 lightning fighter plane which they produced in the area of 10,000, an amazing thing but in 1942 there was -- you are in the war and there was a real -- german submarines were attacking merchant ships left and right, bringing all types of goods and what not to europe. the theory was gigantic sea planes could be built to take off from the united states with all this material and taken over to europe and eliminate the
12:38 pm
threat. in 1942 there was a guy named henry j. kaiser. some people remember is that name because there was a car built by that name, they got together in a partnership, got together and enormous seaplane, enormous capacity, 750, 800 troops in it or equivalent amount of cargo. to build this thing it was to be built on the culver city site where he bought all this land. in 1943 he erected the world's largest wooden hagar's and that was where the gigantic plane which becomes known as the spruce goose was fabricated. spruce goose was a interesting but it took a long time to design, develop and manufacture one airplane.
12:39 pm
there was a lot of trouble. howard had a habit, he hired a lot of folks that were holding overs, people he liked, combination of college, engineers, people aged gated with engineering degrees, carpenters, mechanics, but very poor leadership because howard always was -- he didn't spend time, he was all over the place. this project lagged for years and years. later in the war from german submarines attacking merchant vessels, went away, or at least way down. the government lost interests in awarding a protection contract with this aircraft. while this was going on he was still interested in the pursuit plane the military turned down. he was able to work the channels very well, you might say, in
12:40 pm
washington, franklin delano roosevelt was in charge of the reconnaissance division of the air force at the time and they were looking for a reconnaissance airplane to fly and to take pictures but ultimately came out was howard did get contract for a twin engine reconnaissance, based largely on the they 2 which was interesting because it is made of wood, and a very special process to strengthen it, like fiberglass you might say and the same process was used for what was called the spruce goose because it did not have wood in it. in the case of this modification, the government said we wanted made of metal. it was called the x f 11.
12:41 pm
it was a very powerful twin-engine reconnaissance airplane, a very large, 3,000 horsepower engine on each side and against the government's wishes howard decided to fly, make the first flight of this airplane at city airport. >> in california howard hughes, movie makers and aviator crashed while test flying his new x f 11, twin-engine photographic plane. a short time after his take of he radioed trouble, then trying to make a forced landing on a golf course he was gravely injured when he undershot and crashed into a residential area in beverly hills. >> one of the propellers on the airplane, the airplane had two engines and each had counterrotating propellers. one of the counterrotating propellers failed, completely
12:42 pm
out of control, went into this house. pour howard survived, all the ribs were broken, lacerations and a year later because there were two prototypes being made his successfully flew the second prototype, the x election, the second flight was satisfactory. the big difference is it did not have the counterrotating propellers. howard made that all so satisfactory. all is going well it seems. unfortunately a short time later near the end of world war ii, the government came for it and pulled back the x f 11 contract. so all there remained of that project was single prototype x f 11. the other one crashed and that was it. these were not good times for howard hughes or his aircraft. the spruce goose was in long
12:43 pm
beach, the government decided not to buy it. the submarine had minimize, gone away, in the x f 11 was no longer there at the end of the war so he had no defense contract at all. during the war, hughes aircraft co. which is what it was called got involved in a lot of other things, manufacturing ordnance equipment, that means things like ammunition, machine gun rounds, all kinds of things for wartime aircraft and also established a reputation as a pioneer in airborne electronics, things like auto pilot, earliest ones were radar and guided missiles which was big. howard had no interest in that. he had no interest in guided missiles. u.s. strictly an aviation type person but he had some capable
12:44 pm
people involved running that aspect of his business and that kept the whole thing alive during the war years. they were bought by the government actually. 1947 unfortunately war is over and the government wonders about the spruce goose, they say that was a lot of money we spend. then there was the x f 11 airplane, gave him a contract for 100 airplanes and the first prototype crashed, we spent a lot of money, we need to have some hearings. they conducted hearings in 1947 and howard made one of his last appearances and became a profound amount of testimony there and explain to it wasn't only government money involved but invested a fortune in the spruce goose and x f 11 project.
12:45 pm
>> i believe it does. >> may i ask a question? >> if you just wait until my issue a subpoena from mr. mars i will ask if you would produce and you said you didn't know. as i understand it. >> i don't remember. >> was iran's wikipedia >> i don't remember, get it off the record. >> i am asking what your answer was. we are not going to have this bickering back and forth. you are before this committee and you are going to answer the question. >> you asked me just now about a reply that i made. my answer is i don't remember. >> i will ask you again, will you bring mr. mars in at the 2:00 session. >> i don't think i will. >> will you try to bring him in?
12:46 pm
>> i don't think i will try. i put my sweat and my life into this thing and have my reputation rolled up in it and i stated several times if it is a failure i will leave this country and never come back and i mean it. >> he give a good performance, hearings were split in half, several months before the two sessions he went forward to long beach and made the first flight of the spruce goose, going only a mile, all his detractors said it will never fly, it will never work, it is crazy and he proved it would fly. second session the senate hearings convened, he was -- thought of as a hero. maybe a folk hero or what not because the public looked at him as someone who was willing to take on the government and try to do something and he did it and put a lot of his own money
12:47 pm
in and proved it by flying this airplane. the intensity was in his favor at the end of the hearing there was even a campaign to get him to run for president of the united states. hearings all over, he returns to cover city, returns to los angeles and still has no government contracts, no nothing. what he does own is twa than likes to fly airplanes around rocky consolations which he had a hand in developing. a lot of people wonder what happened to the spruce goose from 1947 to 1970s, howard had such interest in that aircraft he kept it in long beach and had it maintained by a group of 300 engineers and technicians, humidity controlled hagar. he also had this aircraft
12:48 pm
refitted with the latest electronics, had it painted, spent millions and millions, tens of millions over 20 years even though it never flew again because he wanted it available anytime, all these workers, if i show by want to make sure it is ready to go so he hired these workers all the time to get this thing in perfect condition. she went down there a lot, spent a lot of time not in meetings or anything but sitting in the airplane. i remember one time he had that date with them, went down there and one of the engineers said your date is in the car and wants you back, when i finish here i will go back down there and see her again. the date happened to be launched at turner. this is typical of how he operated. his work was so important, he dated a leading actresss of the
12:49 pm
day and lucky to get a date with him sitting in the back of an airplane when running of the engines on the edge of an airport because that is how he was. aviation was everything to him. as we approach the lead fors he had no contract. back to right field where they are a little happier with him now. they got used to him and he made some friends and asked for an aircraft contract, it is 1949, i need something to keep my people busy. the subsidize all these workers working on the spruce goose or culver city playing cards all day waiting for a new contract and he had something going, the air force -- six months later the general in charge calls up and says i have a contract you might be interested in. what is it? he said it is not an airplane, it is something else. it is a helicopter.
12:50 pm
helicopter? i don't do those you don't have any other contract, you might want to consider it. howard said yes, ok, i will take it look at it. the story is there was a company in pennsylvania called the calen aircraft company that developed a unique helicopter. a real unique helicopter. will be the world's largest helicopter and the company unfortunately had run into problems, financial trouble and the air force was leary of working with them anymore so it wanted to take the project away and the air force fought why not give it to howard, see what he can do with it? he has been deeply at space out there, a lot of engineers. he bought it for quarter million dollars, he hired a helicopter engine years to move to california.
12:51 pm
that was an interesting mix of people, helicoptered people, people who were covered this, mechanics, who worked in the spruce goose. the aircraft itself was called the x age 17, it was unique because it was the world's largest helicopter at the time. it's rollerblades with six feet wide, there were two rollerblades, 130 feet, the helicopter and like most helicopters didn't have a shaft spun it around, it had jets' engines at the tip of these rollerblades and through all kinds of flames, it was very noisy, used a lot of fuel and very unique if you will, it was totally experimental. all the bits and pieces went to culver city, helicopter engine years, his people, perfect time together, the thing flu but it
12:52 pm
never flew very far. it got a lot of publicity because it was the world's largest helicopter that could carry a lot of weight. there were a lot of media out there in the first flights of these things. the lot of pictures were taken of it but it never flew beyond the local airport, the one with a 10,000 ft -- never exceeded dimensions of that. there were no problems with it, did something no other helicopter could do but when he went down to in 1952, back to the air force, we were in the korean war then. the military was more interested at that point in a bunch of small helicopters for a given amount of money and a few big helicopters for the same amount of money. the interesting part, howard hughes never showed any interest in helicopters, he did this only
12:53 pm
for one reason, because he was unable to get an airplane development contract. he liked airplanes, helicopterss are something new, not that interesting, he had no personal interest in the. he did it to keep his business operating, during some very wheen times. it ended with that when and for lee helicopter ending on the scrap pile. this is not a good record for the man at this point. remember the h 1 racer, one of a kind, the spruce goose, 1-of-a-kind, the x f 11 fighter plane, one of a kind and now the x age 17 helicopter, one of a kind. more than anything in life howard news wanted to be a manufacturer, mass manufacture of aircraft, that is why he bought a 1300 acres site in culver city, and he has nothing
12:54 pm
again. what he does have, he has a cadre of people in culver city and experiencing helicopter design in that factory. he got these people from the east coast, pa. an aircraft, some short engineers and they educated his own people who knew nothing about helicopters on how they work and how to design them etc.. he is smart, he did a little market research and found out in the 50s, the early 50s there was a big need for a small helicopter. the reason the government told them they were not going to buy his big one is they wanted little ones. he found in the world of civilian aviation there was a need for two seat helicopters or flight training, transportation, whatever it might be, fairly good market. he says his people to work to design a small two seat helicopter.
12:55 pm
thought this would sell well. he had a particular need to do this because he really needed to get rolling, because in 1952 he had another little problem. it wasn't with congress this time. the problem was with the air force. use aircraft company in world war ii, as far as aircraft and electronics and guided missile manufacturing, it became the biggest customer of the u.s. military, the u.s. air force as far as all this very advanced electronic and ordnance equipment or what not and the company had problems, wasn't always delivering on time and the air force got concerned, you have everything in one basket, there is no competition, they were worried he was controlling in essence of lot of government actions because you could set the price on his equipment
12:56 pm
because his technology, technology of his company was so advanced, other people at the peak, when i say that, there was no interest in any of this, he had some sharp scientists and engineers working in the allied chronic area. he had two people in particular, anyone knows, heard of a company called trw inc. which is notorious for issuing credit reports, two of the people who started that company, dr. randall and dr. wolfowitz july and howard in the late 40s and they were credited with growing the company phenomenally because used aircraft ultimately developed directv, lasers, guided missiles, satellites due to the genius of these types of leaders. in 1952 the air force was
12:57 pm
concerned we are putting our eggs in one basket and this is dangerous. at the same time they got fed up because they needed more laboratory space and more space to expand. they met with howard at the hotel to ask him to authorise expansion of the culver city site dramatically. there was still a lot of vacant land, all this agriculture. howard said absolutely not, you have to build it in las vegas. i wanted in the desert. these are sophisticated well-known scientists who said absolutely not. if everything came to a head a short time later because these two scientists threatened to quit. the government knew if these guys quit this would be a big problem and this could affect the project. the answer to the whole thing was this. howard hughes took the used aircraft company that made all these electronics, took
12:58 pm
ownership of that, it became known as howard news medical institute foundation and that would be devoted to doing research for life-saving techniques for people because remember his father died of a heart attack at 18, his mother died while she was pregnant in surgery when he was 16. he had a sensitivity. 1968 howard hughes have a lot of dilemmas. he lived in a lot of places in the world and one place he lived happened to be in las vegas in 1968. he lives in a penthouse on top of the desert and hotels there and it was going to be a temporary stay, but went into a multi-year state because he bought a lot of real-estate. can't apart together day in 1968 he was upset because the government plans to do some underground bomb testing, he was upset that could scare the,
12:59 pm
guests and create havoc. decent a letter to president lyndon johnson telling him the testing should be postponed, it was unnecessary because it could cause great problems for all the properties in nevada. at the bottom of the letter to and johnson he happened to say i also developed a helicopter for the army, built about 700 of them and i lost one fourth of my entire finances in the world's and i wonder if you could help me, we could work together or something because the financial loss was something i could hardly bear. he was interested in lyndon johnson's stopping testing, lyndon johnson somehow getting the contractor helicopters or doing something, the president never answered the letter. what really happened here, a few years before that, once he
1:00 pm
developed a light observation helicopter, the name of the helicopter was the hughes bill 86 a helicopter. it goes back a ways because the u.s. army corps, at the time, the u.s. army, got to remember in world war ii the u.s. army also flew airplanes, late 40s the u.s. army was divided into the u.s. air force and the u.s. army, the air force took the airplane, the u.s. army state with troops. it was felt that the u.s. army that wanted this helicopter was not too skilled in evaluating new types of designs so in 1960 the army said we want to buy a new small light scout helicopter with a turban engine in it. not allowed to procure it themselves so they had to go through the air force or the navy to act as the procuring
1:01 pm
agency. they went to the navy, the navy sent requests for proposals to industry, got 17 proposals back from companies including howard hughes to build this helicopter and howard had built small helicopters earlier in the 50s so he felt pretty qualified to do this. this evaluated proposals and came back and decided they would award the contract of a company called heller aircraft will some a helicopters but not howard. howard was very upset at this. he said his executives back to talk about the navy people, he then went back, what happened was such noise over this that the army actually set up the procurement board because the navy thing wasn't working out to missing and to see if some of the other companies should be involved in this. the board set up by the army decided to open a competition to
1:02 pm
do companies, another company called helicopter co. in texas. began -- howard was left out. it did not happen this time. through various political means, friendships and what not, he was able to manipulate this very well in eventually the competition was open to pillar, bell and hughes to produce a small scout helicopter for the army. would find a lot of used in vietnam. that is how it unfolded. each company produced five prototypes and they were blown off against each other in a competitive fly off to find this one performer. they all actually felt pretty good. the army decided they want to go to the next stage to buy these helicopters, they want to buy a thousand of them.
1:03 pm
howard was very interested. a guy who never got a production contract said this is going to happen. so he got together and decided to do something in government circles which is called a buy in on a contract. he did $20,000 per air frame. sounds like nothing now but in the 60s it was something. the government would supply its engines and electronics, his costs would be $30,000 per aircraft. he was willing to take a hit of $10,000 for aircraft. because he was so intent on manufacturing aircraft, this was his dream. he came in and of little better. he won a contract for thousand aircraft. here is a company that never produced anything in production, did have that expertise that he has the contract and it was a mess. helicopters every month, culture city plant, never happened
1:04 pm
because he was way behind on time, some of them came off the line, some did, had to hire a lot of people, it was a very difficult thing. meantime the vietnam war was heating up, these helicopterss were used overs there. there was constant pressure to produce. to his credit and credit of the company, it worked out fine because he was able to get helicopters in combat zones. the risk out helicopters in vietnam. what that meant is they flew very vulnerable missions over the treetop where they got shot down a lot. they were almost disposable, but it was a very hazardous mission. the army came back later on saying we need more of these. they came back with a contract and said we need 166 of these. the bid went from 20,000 to
1:05 pm
$55,000. that is a lot of money, a big increase. the army wanted to keep this quiet. that information is the conference, a subcommittee in the house of representatives, cost 20,000 and now is 55, who knows what it will be next time, the army quietly stopped but that didn't stop and investigation. it was a big fight. there were major hearings on the part of the subcommittee, the house armed services committee, and a lot of dirty laundry came out during this hearing and it was found out that howard hughes had done a little industrial espionage and he found out what the bid price was for the hiller aircraft in that proposal, to bring that down below that level. this was all brought up. in the meantime, this is
1:06 pm
incredible, one of the best helicopters ever built, it was so durable, people crashed in it because it was survivable, there were many veterans walking around today, it is heralded as one of the most fabulous aircraft that ever went into combat because it was very simple, single turbine engine, it carried five people, very light weight, very simple to repair, it went on and on and on. all day long and all night long with maintenance. the biggest thing was crashworthiness because when it would crash which happened a lot not its fault, being shot down, people didn't get hurt, they walked away from it. there was tremendous demand for this aircraft. not like howard produced aircraft nobody wanted but the problem was these pricing issues. later in the war the government needed a lot more of these
1:07 pm
observations, they decided howard raise the price and so forth, we owe it to ourselves to go back to those other companies and see what they would charge if we bought 2200 of these things. that is how many they needed. they went to howard, bell helicopter, and said could you give us a price for these aircraft? not for 2200 of them. howard got personally involved in this penthouse in las vegas, totally in the pricing of this. howard decided to charge $4,000 per aircraft and that is where bell helicopter did. he bit $2,000 higher than that. telos the contract for 2200 of these light observation helicopters and bell helicopter walked away with 123 million
1:08 pm
helicopters, and that was it for the sixth a for howard hughes. the point is it was converted into a commercial helicopter called the use 500 which is still flying around today and still being manufactured today as a legacy to the early design. in 1972 they came back to bell helicopter and said can you develop an aircraft with ordnance, rockets to blowup tanks? the aircraft that evolved was called the advanced attack helicopter which is known today as the apache. helicopters developed in 1972, very sophisticated also. a lot of fancy electronics, really a challenge for the organization to oppose this and to produce prototypes of this.
1:09 pm
giving a rough idea what these helicopters cost, in those days, about $30 million apiece, 30 to $35 million. one roker later leon costs $140,000, talking about a gigantic job. this is phenomenal, this is big money. howard hughes by this time in 1972 was a link. howard hughes was living in hotels wherever he went around the world, living out of las vegas at that point and moved to mexico. howard didn't see anybody that sure use the phone a lot. he told his people keep moving on this. unfortunately howard never saw in his lifetime how far the advanced attack helicopter later called the apache would succeed. it was phenomenal, still bleeding attack helicopter in the world today not only in the united states but overseas. howard hughes died in 1976.
1:10 pm
the apache helicopter when john, served in the original desert storm war, it serves today in iraq and afghanistan. it has gone on and on and on. if anything this is a tremendous legacy of howard hughes. iffy had never got into the helicopter business in 1949, all little ones in between, there would be no apache helicopter today. there is the legacy. one thing he did say toward the end of his life, one thing i missed in life was to produce aircraft in volume. i wanted to be a major aircraft manufacturer and i never achieve that. despite all the successes in hollywood, successes in making flight records and owning twa he never achieved that but innocence after his death he did. >> you are watching booktv on
1:11 pm
c-span2 and this weekend we are visiting monterey, california to talk with local authors and tour the city's literary sites with the health of local cable partner comcast. next we speak with psychotherapist caroline haskell about "combined destinies" about the effect racism has had on white americans. >> my head her and i experienced shame when i think of my experience with the present behavior. the manager -- hotel at kennebunkport beach to an obviously jewish couple seeking a room for the night. there were rumors, a silent bellhop. this man is 70. it happened when he was a teenager. this is what i'm talking about.
1:12 pm
people crying on their phone, that gets in the way, gets in the way of activism, shame and guilt getting in the way. to get the story from white people who felt as though they were being personally heard in some way, whatever way by living in the united states, under racism. story started coming in, people were expressing grief about the way that person had expressed separation from childhood friends because if they felt separation in love
1:13 pm
relationships, experiencing shame, experiencing gilts about ways -- or guilt because they're carrying light guilt and also stories where people were talking about being silent and ways they feel and be humanity being hurt as well as resistance in which resisting racism would do that and there is an experience i wrote about in the book, which would tell a high school reunion, desegregated in 1950 in maryland, the woman came over to me, classmate in high
1:14 pm
school, came to me and said i'd to and really remember. something said to her in high school, altered her life, and she said she had not been in school with african-americans, became a junior. she made a racist statement, realize that he was there. that was part of a system, 60 years old, she didn't want to be
1:15 pm
part of its cauchy said that as a consequence you know, obviously. so when i heard that, i thought about how it is true sometimes that people who commit racist acts don't recognize the impact, don't get it. that was additional impetus for when i came back, that is when the story started coming. three months later i couldn't do it by myself, i really could not confront people in a way with out doing that. i needed a white person to work
1:16 pm
with me and realize i shouldn't do it alone. a system that through them all in to get there eventually and asked caroline to join me. i knew she had this idea and i also knew i was going to be writing some of my stories, but she invited me over one day, stop by after work, i would like to talk to you about something and she pitched the idea of being a person on this journey we took to get their and my first feeling more than a thought was both excitement and trepidation combined. i knew i needed to say yes to this effort because i also needed to continue to and learn my conditioning and nothing like being involved in something where you are examining your own material and other people to
1:17 pm
move you forward or me in this case and other people. i remember one day, we said how many people are you willing to get to make this viable and she said 50 people and ended that with 52, there are 53 stories, 52 writers and so we started collecting stories, started reading stories, trying to figure out what makes sense in terms of organizing stories, pretty much everything we did was done together. they share privilege -- goes from 21 to 76, men and women, straight and gay, some are published writers, most, many
1:18 pm
have not written anything, many live in california now but across the country, grew up in south alabama, the cradle of the american bible belt, a children would be seen, not heard. we lived in a world separate from adults for the most part, except for the babysitter, talk about race, religion, philosophy or politics, out of earshot because they have big years. and the secrecy that surrounded the activities that were related and our own family scandal, a nervous breakdown. my brothers reacted to this, in security and bread caused my
1:19 pm
intestines to telescope. psychosomatic condition caused me intense abdominal plane. southern families have been famous for their eccentric uncle or maven and thought locked in the attic where only confederate gray or antebellum gowns, mental disorder was scandalous and something to be ashamed of. obama nervous breakdown because he was a minister, teaching love on sunday and was a member of the clan. his grandfather also. after his father's mental breakdown, he writes about the sovereign journey. and after his nervous breakdown he left, nobody spoke after
1:20 pm
that. and left the klan and started working for martin luther king, into being a good klansman, and so bob talks about his gratitude that his father took and the journey they went on after that. i have no conscious memory of race ever being discussed or even mentioned that later in life i had flashes of memory of harold and racism. the memories consist of horrible screams of pain and allowed wickes like a telephone pole, when asked about these things mothers that i could be recalling self initiation, dad was involved in scouting. i remember names, events and
1:21 pm
places, whispers in -- apparently adults were unaware little ears perked up when voices dropped to a whisper. usually people spoke of franklin delano roosevelt openly and proudly but some times in hushed voices wielding claude, he writes about that. a column of shame descended over me when i learned it takes a village, an entire region to raise and maintain a system of economic exploitation based on race. he writes about feeling of shame as a white southerner. >> i think she is a great
1:22 pm
example of someone so clear at such a young age, how wrong what it was that both his dad and his grandparents, and that he was able, this is why we brought hoping people would get involved, what bob was able to do, a role model for other white people, when you get clear that you are living in a system that benefits you at the expense of other people, then it really is part of your responsibility to get involved and she talked-about white guilt, i think he let go of that pretty quickly and did not need to do so much work. >> also working with his father. >> his dad did a complete shift. >> modeling that commitment that
1:23 pm
impacted. >> we have done presentations like this for other people. a couple of them came in a confession way. don't need to say this out loud. the woman who broke this story was playing with two black boys when she was a little girl, they were different and they wrestle link with each other. when they in front of the house, her parents came home and went by them and went into house and said i don't want you to do that. play with them like that. so the child thought it was
1:24 pm
because they were african-american. and they were wrestling -- the friendship with the boys ended because of a parental intervention did she carried a great sense of loss into her adulthood, friendship with these two boys. she wrote a very long story actually. >> why did it take almost 20 years after my friendship ended refer me to grieve the impact? what was going on in my world that led me to suppress my feelings of grief about racism? and why when i did experience new feelings who cannot trust them? in retrospect i think there were
1:25 pm
is in my white world, no openings whatsoever to talk think or feel about race. i sent the first 14 years of my life in predominantly white suburbs in new jersey. our family then moved to a predominantly white rural town in ohio for two years and then a predominately white government -- in california for two years where i completed high school. i have no recollection of learning about the accomplishments or contributions of people of color to our nation. there was no discussion of race, race is more white dominance in my case-12 school experiences or my university experiences. the world i live in did not allow the possibility that a white girl or a white woman could feel sorrow about the loss of a friendship with two black boys and the existence of racism. winfrey's did surface in my conversations at family gatherings or with other people racism was talked about in terms
1:26 pm
of how it caused suffering for people of color. we did not consider how racism had gotten into our bodies and how we were perpetuating it. >> is she afraid at this point? >> she still struggles to some extent with grief about the loss of that. this is overconditioning. >> the issue of most of us get conditions is not a good thing. the only way to undo some of the conditioning, we don't know what we don't know. i believe many of the contributors and many white people, myself included continue to make an conscious mistakes in
1:27 pm
issues of racial identity all the time. part of the work in undoing conditioning is to recognize what you are doing before you do it. we do a lot of training to get there. those of us in the field, talk constantly about it because i will be spending the rest for of my life, to do enough work to be able to release the the part i need to play. a lot of white people are not there yet because they never had the opportunity. >> we continue our visit to monterey, california with a tour of the house for robert louis stevenson wrote his vocals
1:28 pm
pacific capital. michael green from the state historic park leads the tour. >> by this time california is no longer a mexican province, we became a state in 1850. we have been here quite a while. the essence of his essay was monterey had exceeded from the early days. whaling operations of the coast of california, there was not a lot of commercial fishing but there were chinese and japanese along the coast and in monterey. population of commercial fish g fishing. it really hadn't taken off as it
1:29 pm
would eventually. when robert louis stevenson is here monterey is a sleepy old mexican town in his eyes. that is the way he described it. this house when the authors state when he was arranging a rendezvous with a woman he was courting, really has a strong romantic connection. there is a lot to the building in its long history including as the french hotel, had many guests coming to monterey. stevenson among the most notable and so there is a memorial to the author, many of his artifacts, we like to tell the story of his romantic rendezvous with his future wife. the house is significant to stevenson because of the admirations of many people had of him. it is almost george washington slept here kind of situation. he was here so briefly is hard
1:30 pm
to say, there is a lot of debate which released a in. it was a not well documented visit but since the people who loaned the house, these were good friends and occupants of the house of. like a lot of them, these buildings had several uses overage did decades. when it became a private residence the two women fought with the best to preserve this house like so many others at the time. since stevenson stayed here and they had connections to his family, his stepdaughter in particular, isabel, they were able to negotiate for the acquisition of artifacts that belong to the author. one thing makes the museum authentic, to have items that actually belong to the person. there are many of those items
1:31 pm
inside the house. >> one of my favorite ways to begin a tour of the stevenson house is to talk about plead to young lovers, fanny was an art student studying art, she did a rendering of the author as a young man. was 30 when they met. here is a portrait that was done in 1877. pretty good portraits technique. >> another favorite of ours was another charge, when she was -- at the time she married robert louis stevenson, williams was a maid of honor at their wedding.
1:32 pm
that is what robert louis stevenson's house is all about, giving us a chance to tell the story of these two very interesting people, one that continues to affect our life and another that is not very well known except to admirers of stevenson. is really the story of the romance of fannie and louis. as far as we know this room would have been the lobby of the french hotel. over the years things changed. this is now the back of the museum if you want to think of it that way. the real artifacts and things that belong to the author are in the next room. this room had many purposes over time, even at one point as the design studio or carriage repair shop. when stevenson was here it would have had a lot of furniture. this is where the guests would have been gathering. the artifacts actually belong to the author including sixteenth century dutch cabinet done in the style of italian.
1:33 pm
is possible the new was carved by some journeymen from the netherlands. next to it, this is one of the more significant pieces of furniture, this is a desk the other used to write many of his stories. on either side of the steps are these two polynesian icons carved of wood. these would have been on the front porch of his estate. one of my favorites in the room was something quite personal because it was painted by a member of his family. the last known portrait of the audit taken toward the end of his life. died rather young of us read wrote a hemorrhage. she was in his mid 40s when he passed away. this was painted by joseph strom, that would have been his son in law. when you are talking about real
1:34 pm
artifacts you usually want to have something that belongs personally to the author that he touched for used and there are a lot of those. if we were to come in here we see a reproduction of the window treatment of his living room. we put together an exhibit case that looks like the front windows of his house. inside the cases that belonged to the author include his christening blankets that he played with, chess set, also a wind instrument he composed music on. there are two examples in the case and the actual jacket that the author war. these cream velvet jackets, he often is photographed wearing them. he made friends with the king of all ye who was someone who
1:35 pm
greeted the stevenson entourage during his travels to what we then called the sandwich islands. he presented the offer with a life mask as a gift. is really extraordinary the amount of sailing this man did during his lifetime. this was the principal mode of travel and he wanted to go around the world, you did so on a sailing ship that quite frequently this ailing ship was not one of the large passenger ships for freighter, sometimes it was just a coastal sailing ship, very small ship by comparison beloved sailing, he loved -- quite often historians depicted that. one of my favorite photographs of the family is a group shot taken on the front porch of the house he owned in some of. almost the entire entourage,
1:36 pm
robert louis stevenson in the center with annie, his wife and the polynesian tribal around him, joseph strom shown wearing a topless search and on his shoulder, his stepson and step daughter and said grandchild and even his mother is in the shot seated in black wearing a white veil. one of the things that startles the blues the amount of traveling he did during his lifetime. we have a shot of the young stevenson, the adventurer, he is by now making a declaration about his life, has a bohemian style of dress, his parents wanted him to be an engineer like his father, grandfather and other members of the family and he rejected that notion to become a writer. one thing he did a lot was to explore, this is something writer likes to do, learn about
1:37 pm
the world he is writing so we see him starting off in scotland and traveling across the atlantic on a ship to the east coast of the united states. this is what brought him here. fannie osborn, his future wife finds out she's still in monterey so he makes this voyage and a transcontinental railroad trip across the united states and in monterey he rendezvouss with fannie after she secures a divorce in san francisco and two travel floral. one of the first trips they make is back to scotland to meet the parents. this must have been an interesting meeting because here she was ten years old with children and recently divorced, meeting scottish parents, she is a midwestern american. they liked her almost immediately because she had a habit of taking good care of their son. as i mentioned earlier, had a
1:38 pm
chronic illness, family brought him back to his feet. he also served as an editor for his writing. they appreciate and all of the attention she gave the scottish author. then they leave scotland again and began traveling the world and follow the advice of the physicians of the time, take a trip to the south pacific because the life at sea will help the author restore his health according to physicians of the time so they go to french polynesia and up to the hawaiian islands with a meat the king and take several trips from hawaii down into west samoa to where they build their plantation and from their traveling north into south seas to the coast of australia. today when you think of this kind of world travel you think of going by plane, going
1:39 pm
quickly, very expensive travel. in this is getting under steam ship and heading out was an adventure and the trip itself was what they were interested in. it was the journey, not necessarily the destination that made for good storytelling. >> where did he end up in french samoa? >> eventually when fanny and flew the find this place in samoa and build a plantation they settled down and find a life together. it is in this place where the author eventually dies. apparently he wakes up one morning with a very severe a canned retires to bed and dies in his sleep of a cerebral hemorrhage in his mid 40s and passes away, there's a very touching ceremony similar natives give him. they regarded him very highly,
1:40 pm
giving him a special name which means storyteller. they had an elaborate funeral for the author and i am sure their grief was very deep. fannie outlived the author returning to the united states and setting up house in santa barbara where she has the way, but she insists her remains the taken back to some mullah to lie next to her husband's great and that is where they live today. we have seen a lot of the artifacts, what makes the museum special items -- one of the most significant parts of this collection were his works donated to the museum by family members, right over here. any collective of love to have a collection of these books. these are not books that belonged to him.
1:41 pm
many of the titles, the wrong box, collections of short stories, many things but live on today and have significance, the legacy of any offering is some they will be read and enjoy by future generations. is a good idea for instance to read aloud to children, we have discovered it helps intellectual pros and they did better in school when they use stories, reading stories by robert louis stevenson means they're getting an expanded vocabulary, new understanding and a different way of looking at the world. whenever you introduce that into a child's head you will affect them. i recommend reading aloud a robert louis stevenson's books to your children. many of them were written for that audience. that is a legacy of an author today and continues to live on. there is a very strong stevenson
1:42 pm
fan clubs all over the world. >> for more information on booktv's recent visit to monterey and then the other investigations under siege for go to whosetour. >> what is your most recent book about? >> the choice-it says zenith in the >> host: 60s and with the detroit gave america and you also see the shadows of its collapse in the 18 months i write about from october of 1962 to may of 64. >> was the joy like in 63? >> was booming, creatively and artistically and automotive lead. so many large characters, henry ford ii a la head of ford motor co. walter, head of united auto workers, barry gordon, a founding motown, aretha franklin's father, a leading
1:43 pm
civil rights rallies, great collection of characters in a vibrant city. >> one of the things in your books you talk about that is not very well known, is detroit went full blast for the summer olympics. >> in 1963 they were the nominee to get the summer olympics for 1968 and they thought they were going to get it. four times before that the choice had been the american nominee for the olympics, they had strong connections to the international olympic committee movement and went to west germany thinking they would be the choice and geopolitics got in the way with the soviet union but think about what detroit would have been like had they got the 68 olympics. the year before the riots in detroit disrupted this city's progress would they have happened if city leaders had been more sensitive to the problem is bubbling up in the city before that, could they have been prevented in some way? if the olympics had been held in
1:44 pm
68, and john carlos and black power in detroit, the vibrant part of black america would have had another power to it. >> were barry gordy and henry ford aware of each other? >> guest: good question. they were a completely different world but all the worlds of my book intersect, berry gordy worked on not mercury assembly line. he was a worker, the president wouldn't have known him but they connected that way. you find all these connections of great leaders of detroit during that period. berry gordy recorded the speech martin luther king gave. and the head of the uaw and aretha franklin's father and you find a lot of connections you might not expect. >> you worked for the washington post for years and you are known
1:45 pm
for being from wisconsin. why are you writing about detroit? >> i was born in detroit in 1949, my first seven years of life were in detroit, my primordial memories were there, ginger ale, hudson's department store, and it was actually the first chrysler commercial front detroit with eminem driving through the streets of detroit that sparked something in me. i choked up watching that billion commercial land it got me thinking about the place from which i came and i wanted to water in some way so i wrote this book. >> host: once in a great story, the detroit story is the book, booktv covers you in d flat at the beach with historical society. you can watch the full program at >> you are watching booktv on c-span2, a television for serious readers. here's a look at what is


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on