I Have Never Been Convinced There's Anything Inherently Wrong With Having Fun - George Plimpton

Merriman's59 use this.jpg

If there ever was anyone who epitomized those words, in our opinion here at HILT, it would be Peter Merriman. The restaurateur, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and all-around-great-guy, has been an important part of the HILT ohana for a long time. His commitment to land conservation and Hawaii’s sustainability will be honored on September 22nd at HILT’s E Malama Aina Kakou benefit event where he will be named our 2018 Kahu o ka Aina. We look forward to celebrating Peter and his contributions to Hawaii. In preparing for the event, Peter shared with us one of the reasons he’s a HILT fan.

George Plimpton has always been one of my idols. Plimpton was a “participating journalist.” He conducted orchestras, played for a few weeks in the NFL and did a few acting stints so that he could write about the experience.

Not only does that sound fun, but Plimpton got to be in proximity to the elite in their field, as they practiced their craft. (He even pitched in a baseball game with the teams managed by Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays!)

These are special moments for me, when I see the best of the best, engrossed in their passion.

This was my feeling recently upon entering the HILT Maui office in Iao. Parked on the kitchen counter were four PVC tubes, about 3” in diameter and 5 feet long, closed at each end. Upon inquiring with Dr. Scott Fisher, HILT’s Associate Executive Director of Conservation, I was treated to an in-depth explanation of the intricacies of core samples! This is the bomb!

Weeks later, I ran into The Good Doctor again and asked how his trip to England had been. Little did I know, the purpose of that trip was to analyze those same core samples taken from HILT’s Nuu and Waihee properties. From these samples, Scott was able to learn: that man arrived in Waihee over 1,000 years ago; that slash-and-burn agriculture was used; and it’s quite possible that large flocks of waterbirds co-existed with those early Hawaiians

Above from left to right: James Crowe, HILT’s Land Steward, extracting the sediment samples; the sediment collected; and a slide image of pollen collected from one of the sediment samples from Waihee. The pollen is from Pritchardia (Loulu) probably dating to before humans arrived on Maui.

That’s my version of George Plimpton. Getting to hear Scott wax on the history of Hawaii, her people and ecosystems, and how he applies science to these areas of interest.

The HILT website has the schedule for Talk Story on the Land. Whether you were born here or have just arrived, you’ll be certain to learn something. You’ll feel more connected to the land as well.

Do your own George Plimpton thing and be certain to attend a “Talk Story on the Land”.  Even if you have already been to the Waihee Preserve or Nuu, go again. This time you’ll get to tag along with HILT’s Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays as he expounds the beautiful surroundings in a way that can be found no where else.

See you at Waihee!

Aloha, Peter