National Geographic : 1960 Jul
BASE TO PEAK, SEA LEVEL TO PEAK, 33,476 FEET 29,028 FEET . .. .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . . .. .. . .. . .. . .. . .. . .. .. . .. . . ..- ---- ----- ---- close early, and people gather at the soda fountain to pick up the latest gossip. And while Hilo teems with tourists, its residents live an unsophisticated life, preferring to fish for lobster along the near-by shoreline rather than frequent its night clubs. One-man Crusade Saves the Nene Herbert Shipman, head of a ranching and landowning clan, has a deep regard for tradi tion. Every land lease he writes stipulates that no breadfruit trees are to be harmed, in deference to the old Hawaiian belief that breadfruit must be spared as a source of food. Any Hawaiian artifacts found on Shipman land must be returned to him. Excavating for his own home, he unearthed an old burial cave. Respecting native custom, he changed the building plans to avoid molest ing the ancient bones. So his basement play room has a boxlike intrusion that is in fact a mausoleum. I first encountered a Hawaiian goose, the nene (pronounced nay-nay), when I visited my friend Shipman at his home. From him I learned that these gray-brown birds, some what smaller than turkeys, were close to ex tinction. The birds I watched-11 specimens-were among the few survivors. The nenes were native to the island, but as civilization encroached on them, they re treated to the dry uplands and rapidly dwin dled in numbers.