Photograph: Werner Schmidt

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

John Fairfax Never Dies...

On 18 February, HTBS posted the news that John Fairfax, the first person to solo row across the Atlantic, had died on 3 February, 74 years old. A couple of obituaries had by then been published about this remarkable adventurer, who at 9 settled an argument with a fellow boy scout by firing a pistol at the hut where the boy and the rest of the scouts were sleeping; and at 13 was living in the Amazon jungle like Tarzan; and at 20 tried to commit suicide in the jungle by having a jaguar attacking him (the animal did attack, but then Fairfax had changed his mind and killed it with his gun); and became an apprentice to a pirate, etc, etc.

The story about John Fairfax seems to really have taken off - it went viral, as they say - after Margalit Fox's obituary in The New York Times last Sunday. It is a very well-written article, although I think that I prefer the one in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday.

There is actually an interview on YouTube with Fairfax from 1969, after he had completed his crossing over the pond. He seems very relaxed in this clip:

I managed to find some other film clips from 1969 with Fairfax before he sets out from the Canary Islands and during his voyage. Now, I have to warn you, the link will take you to an hour video with several film clips of news from 1969: media mogul Robert Maxwell loses News of the World to Rupert Murdoch, the war in Vietnam, Sophia Loren shows her new baby, Judy Garland gets married (again), Paul McCartney gets married (not with Garland!), housing problems in Northern Ireland, a plane crash, Harold Wilson goes to Nigeria, Richard Nixon goes to the U.K., etc, etc, etc.... I am afraid, you will not be able to fast-forward the film, but while waiting for the different clips about Fairfax - his girlfriend at the time, Sylvia Cook, is talking to him on the phone 'over...'; Fairfax shows his food; in the middle of the Ocean, he is filming a Russian tanker which he boards to take a shower and get some food; an interview where he explains his thoughts about fighting Nature even if it means that he will not survive (check out the foot stretchers) - you will brush up your knowledge about what happened in 1969!

Here is the link: John Fairfax continues Atlantic crossing Video - Watch ITN Videos

While I am writing this, I am sure there are already some writers in Hollywood working on banging out a script in a month, or two, for a movie about John Fairfax. Whom would you like to see as 'the lone wolf' who crossed an Ocean in a rowing boat?

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