National Geographic : 1982 May
On Assignment H IS FIRST STORY for the GEOGRAPHIC 1 was an essay on tranquillity, Tangier Island in Chesapeake Bay. Nine years later photographer David Alan Harvey was riding in a cyclo taxi in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. Next stop: Kampuchea, once known as Cambodia, a country muti lated by genocidal war, where the shooting hasn't yet stopped. His colleagues, Editor Wilbur E. Garrett and senior writer Peter T. White, were old hands under fire. They first went to South east Asia together in 1961. They covered Laos, Vietnam (three times), and the Me kong River-and separately wrote other sto ries on the region. When they began this trip, Harvey says, "I remember thinking those two must be a little crazy. I was the reluctant part of the WILBURE. GARRETT(ABOVE);DAVIDALANHARVEY trio. I think I had reason to be. They just forged ahead." When the three got to the great complex of temples at Angkor in Kampuchea, they were in territory partially controlled by govern ment troops-at least in daylight. "This may be the only picture of us that doesn't have armed soldiers in it," says Gar rett of them at the Bayon temple, he with tri pod at shoulder arms, White in a jungle hat given him years before by the Tanzania Peo ple's Defense Forces. White's assignments have taken him into situations he "would not face again for a mil lion dollars-for any amount of money. Nev er." He has found himself with U. S. troops sweeping through a tangle of swamp and Viet Cong, or inching his way across a sheer mountain face with an Austrian rescue team. "And I can't be up ten feet without getting dizzy," he says. Why, then, do such things? "You're there for your reader, for this final small product of all the sweat, work, money spent, time away from home." The once reluctant Harvey now says, "I learned those guys weren't crazy. They know how to operate in that part of the world and really have a passion for it. They want to go back to Angkor. So do I."