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The real Dr. Funk
TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 675
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-03-29 11:52 am   Permalink

Why, thank you, Surfacabra. Stay tuned, as there’s still a bit of telling in this tale. Though the cheery, booming voice of our bold medico no longer reverberates through the villages of Western Samoa, there remain many traces of Dr. Funk still to be found for those willing to dig, though they be scattered like the ashes of his cigar in a gale...

------------

Whenever Dr. Funk made an appearance, he filled the room with his ebullient presence. In the example cited below from Our Samoan Adventure, Fanny Stevenson wished he could have restrained it a bit...

April 23, 1891



Dr. Funk and his wife were regular attendees at the fancy dress balls hosted by the Stevenson family. At one of these, Dr. Funk managed to create a spectacle by starting an argument with Wilhelm Ahrens, a local German clerk, as delightedly related by Louis in The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson – Volume 8...


June 18, 1893 (Louis writing to Maggie Stevenson)



Leilani Bargoyne in “Going ‘Troppo’ in the South Pacific: Dr. Bernhard Funk of Samoa 1844–1911” cited Otto Riedel, a German plantation owner, as recalling “that Funk was well-known in Apia for parties he hosted in his two Samoan huts (fale) at the back of his house.” In Sven Mönter’s PhD thesis, “Dr. Augustin Krämer: A German Ethnologist in the Pacific,” he states “Krämer, as his diaries illustrate, was also a guest on numerous parties and Bierabende (“Beer Nights”) organized by Dr. Bernhard Funk." Louis recounts his intention of attending one (of many) in The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson – Volume 8...

July 17, 1894 (Louis writing to Sidney Colvin)



Samoan fale under construction, from Lewella Pierce Churchill’s Samoa `Uma, where life is different...




Architectural diagrams from Te`o Tuvale’s
An Account of Samoan History up to 1918...






------------

Robert Louis Stevenson's birthday party, at Vailima, ca 1893
Reference Number: PA1-o-546-25

Robert Louis Stevenson's birthday party, at Vailima, taken ca 1893 by an unknown photographer



The photo caption above, from the National Library of New Zealand archives, is actually mislabeled according to the “Image Library of Edinburgh City Libraries and Museums and Galleries “: The correct caption should be Feast at Vailima for the opening of the “Road of the Loving Hearts” (7 October 1894). The description is ”People line either side of the veranda at Vailima on Samoa. On the house side as well as native Samoans sit Fanny and Robert Louis Stevenson; Lloyd Osbourne; Austin Strong and Margaret Stevenson. Some Samoan women on the right have kava bowls in front of them.” The photo from the RLS web site is clearer...



------------

This photo shows RLS sitting at a table flanked by two native women in the Sans Souci bar room on Butaritari in the Gilbert Islands; Lloyd Osbourne, his step-son, is at the bar wearing a stripy jacket and holding a small glass, from the RLS web site...




This was taken during the Stevenson’s 1889 voyage of the South Seas on the Equator. In Chapter 24 of his posthumously published 1896 book, In the South Seas, Louis describes the San Souci bar...

Quote:
It was small, but neatly fitted, and at night (when the lamp was lit) sparkled with glass and glowed with coloured pictures like a theatre at Christmas. The pictures were advertisements, the glass coarse enough, the carpentry amateur; but the effect, in that incongruous isle, was of unbridled luxury and inestimable expense. Here songs were sung, tales told, tricks performed, games played. The Ricks, ourselves, Norwegian Tom the bar-keeper, a captain or two from the ships, and perhaps three or four traders come down the island in their boats or by the road on foot, made up the usual company.



------------

RLS (left, back) is honored at a Hawaiian luau given by His Majesty King Kalakaua (center, back) of the Hawaiian Islands at Waikiki in 1889, also from the RLS web site...




To be continued...

-Tom

Edit Note: Corrected RLS Sans Souci bar photo origin as his voyage to Butaritari on the Equator, not the later voyage on the Janet Nicol. Added RLS quote about the bar.

[ This Message was edited by: TikiTomD 2012-03-30 19:25 ]


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11159
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-03-29 4:26 pm   Permalink

Tom, great stuff. I was thinking of using that Butaritari bar photo in the exhibit. How many photos of South Sea novelists sitting in a South Seas bar are there!? Now if he only would be drinking a Dr. Funk...

I am also interested in if you have a different theory than my Dr. Fu Man Chu one of how the mug became a Chinese face.


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 675
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-03-30 09:00 am   Permalink

Sven, see my edit on the prior post regarding the Sans Souci bar photo. I’ve added an RLS quote about it from his 1896 book, In the South Seas, as well as correcting the photo origin as his 1889 voyage on the Equator, not the later one on the Janet Nicol.

To be honest, I haven’t yet given much thought or research into the Fu Manchu mug association with the Dr. Funk cocktail. Perhaps some of our other TC members can, in the meantime, track down the origins of the Fu Manchu mug and its earliest appearance in association with that cocktail on a menu.

I have been exploring a bit on the drink’s ingredient mutation between the early recipe appearing in Frederick O’Brien books and that in the Trader Vic’s book about a quarter century later. To that end, I ran across this 1941 newspaper article published before the Pearl Harbor attack about a guy finding a dark rum and absinthe based Dr. Funk cocktail in Honolulu and sending back the recipe, along with several others, to his yachting buddies in Vancouver...

The Vancouver Sun August 9, 1941 (page 28)







So, given that some of the accompanying drinks are of Don the Beachcomber or Trader Vic origin, does this mean that the Dr. Funk recipe mutated in California and then migrated to Honolulu before the War in the Pacific got underway in earnest, or is that a coincidence? Or alternately, could it have mutated into a rum and absinthe drink by the preference of sailors and traders in remote ports of the South Seas and then migrated to Honolulu and onto the mainland? Insufficient data... but the presence of those other drinks on the list makes me lean to a mainland origin.

-Tom


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 675
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-03-30 09:42 am   Permalink

But for a drunken tramp steamer captain, Dr. Funk might have made the acquaintance of Rudyard Kipling, who intended to visit Robert Louis Stevenson in Apia, Samoa. The two famous authors had never met in person, but had exchanged letters, as RLS thought the young Kipling had tremendous potential. Here’s the story as recounted from newspaper archives...

The Auckland Star October 19, 1891





The Wanganui Chronicle December 4, 1891






Kipling gave a more complete version of why “the steamer did not connect” in this excerpt from Rudyard Kipling - Something of Myself and Other Autobiographical Writings edited by Thomas Pinney (1990)...




So, a drunken fruit boat captain destined that Kipling and RLS were never to meet, but remain as purely epistolatory friends.

------------

Stephenson, M S - Photograph of Rudyard Kipling and "Grandad", [ca 1930]
Reference Number: PAColl-0070

Rudyard Kipling in conversation with (probably) N F Kennedy at (also probably) 11 Budock Road. Auckland. Caption on photograph says - `a chat with Rudyard Kipling in New Zealand'.



-Tom


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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11159
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-03-30 10:23 am   Permalink

Great finds, Tom. There was one name which sounded familiar:


Here are some web finds.....

The December 1947 issue of Paradise of the Pacific, predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine, said,
“Manager of the Islander hotel and the Edgewater on Waikiki beach is Gwynne Austin, an experienced hotel man, well-known to thousands of visitors who have come to the islands. Rates (European Plan) are: Guest room for one person: $5 per day and up. Guest room for two persons: $3 per day [per person] and up. Suite of living room and bedroom: $4.50 and up. A ‘budget vacation’ is the specialty of the Islander and Edgewater…”

Also:

From the Danton Burroughs Tarzana Archive
Edgar Rice Burroughs' Wartime Autograph Book Series
Started in Sydney, Australia
1943: September-December

....but most importantly to Polynesian pop and Tiki history, Gwynne used his cocktail know-how to open the Kalua Room in Seattle!:

"You Can't Eat Mt. Rainier", 1955 Seattle restaurant guide:
One of the great delights of dining out is dining just as far away as possible from the humdrum of our daily lives. And when you step through the doors of the Kalua Room you've entered the portals of a Polynesia paradise. Gwynne Austin, a young man with verve and imagination, who served long and well as a restaurateur in the Hawaiian Islands, has brought a completely authentic bit of the lush South Seas to Seattle.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11159
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2012-03-30 12:51 pm   Permalink

Answered the question as to the origin of those drinks (with a little help from the Bum and TC):

Quote:

On 2009-12-16 18:30, Mo-Eye wrote:
I have a book called "The Companies We Keep", which is a history of Hawaiian companies. It states that this (Trader Vic's) Hawaii location opened in December 1940. Four months later, he sold his interest to the co-owner, Granville Abbott. Spencecliff then bought the franchise in 1967, but it doesn't give any info on when it moved to the International Marketplace.



The cocktail menu mailer as posted by DC:


Well and doesn't this sound familiar - that's not Bert's list, it's half of Vic's menu!:



 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 675
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-03-30 6:10 pm   Permalink

Awesome, Sven... case of the mystery drink list conclusively and satisfyingly closed!

Never knew Trader Vic had a 1940 footprint in Hawaii. I really like that cocktail menu cover design.

My suspicions were that Trader Vic was involved when I read "...dirty stinker," practically a trademark phrase for Vic, one that is a common refrain in his bartending guide.

-Tom


 
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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 675
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-03-31 09:46 am   Permalink

While we’re on an intermission in the RLS story in the “Tale of the Funk,” I thought I’d share another interest of our quirky medico, botany. Dr. Augustin Krämer extensively cited Dr. Funk over a whole range of subjects in his volume, The Samoa Islands: Material Culture, but especially on the subjects of native medicinal plants and meteorology. Krämer’s book was translated by Theodore Verhaaren and published by the University of Hawai`i Press in 1995. Here are but a couple of many citations...








Okay, that Krämer photo above has nothing to do with Dr. Funk and our topic of botany. It was included for purely ethnographic interest.

The "Reinecke" cited by Krämer was Franz Reinecke, a German botanist who conducted field research in the Samoan archipelago from 1893 to 1895.

For his botanical contributions, Reinecke named a rare flowering Samoan plant after Dr. Funk, Cyrtandra funkii. In his most recent compilation of rare Samoan plants for Conservation International, Art Whistler includes Dr. Funk’s namesake plant in a list of rare, endangered species that he recommends for the IUCN “Red List.” The
IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) is the main international agency concerned with endangered and rare botanicals and is headquartered in Switzerland. Cyrtandra funkii is on the bottom row of the lists shown in part below...

The Rare Plants of Samoa January 2011









Should anyone come across Cyrtandra funkii in the wild, please take a photo, notify IUCN (phone: +41 (22) 999-0000) and leave it unharmed.

-Tom


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 675
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-01 06:59 am   Permalink

Continuing with the tale of Dr. Funk and his friend, Robert Louis Stevenson (RLS, or Louis to friends and family), here are some great photos from the National Library of New Zealand...

Robert Louis Stevenson, his family and Samoans, and the band of HMS Tauranga at Vailima, ca 1890
Reference Number: PA1-q-223-32

Robert Louis Stevenson, his family and Samoans, and the band of HMS Tauranga at Vailima photographed by Alfred Tattersall

(Louis standing with Fanny in the back center of the photo, wearing a dark blazer)


Robert Louis Stevenson with Tuimalealufano at Vailima, Samoa, between 1889 and 1894
Reference Number: 1/2-002523-F

Robert Louis Stevenson with Tuimalealufano at Vailima, Samoa; photographed by Alfred John Tattersall between 1889 and 1894



Robert Louis Stevenson, shortly before his death, ca 1894
Reference Number: 1/2-015876-F

Photographer unidentified



On December 3, 1894, Louis was at the dinner table making a salad dressing when he fell unconscious from an apparent cerebral hemorrhage (stroke). Lloyd Osbourne, his step-son, immediately went for his friend, Dr. Funk, but initially encountered Dr. Anderson, the naval surgeon of HMS Wallaroo, who arrived first at the scene. Dr. Funk, with a lame foot, arrived next, all within an hour. But nothing could be done. Robert Louis Stevenson breathed his last at ten minutes past eight, dying at 44 years of age. Belle (Isobel Strong), Louis’ step-daughter, wrote this in her journal on December 4 or 5, 1894, published in The Letters of Robert Louis Stevenson – Volume 8...






To be continued...

-Tom


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 675
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-01 10:25 am   Permalink

RLS lying in state at Vailima...




Robert Louis Stevenson’s burial took place at the top of Vaea Mountain, in accordance with his wishes, on December 4, 1894, the day following his death. In tropical climates, these things cannot be delayed. The native Samoans literally hacked a pathway up the steep mountainside from Vailima, and even so, it was a difficult climb, as explained in a December 9, 1894 letter from Maggie Stevenson, Louis’ mother, to Jane Balfour, recorded in Our Samoan Adventure...







As Maggie noted, only a few near and good friends were invited to attend. I’d have thought that Dr. Funk would be among those on that basis, except that with his lame foot and the extreme difficulty of the climb, I figured the 50-year old portly medico wouldn’t have been able to make it. Even Fanny, Louis’ wife, and Maggie, his mother, didn’t attend because of this. But I figured wrong, for the lengthy newspaper article below lists every attendee, and among them was our good Dr. Funk, who probably felt as if he’d lost a brother. The native Samoans must have literally carried him up...

Boston Evening Transcript December 28, 1894 (page 28)


































RLS grave, after the burial...




A concrete memorial was later constructed over Louis’ grave...










1935 postage stamps honoring RLS...






Collection of vintage "Tusitala" editions of RLS works; recall that Tusitala was the Samoan name given to Louis, meaning "writer of tales" or "teller of tales"...




-Tom


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 675
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-01 6:52 pm   Permalink

So, what became of Fanny Stevenson after Louis’s death? This New York Times article published right after her death in Santa Barbara, California on February 18, 1914 recounts her life before and after Samoa. The irony is that she died of the same thing that killed Louis, a cerebral hemorrhage...

New York Times February 20, 1914









(photo from Our Samoan Adventure)


Belle (Isobel Strong), Fanny’s daughter, made plans to return to Samoa with her brother, Lloyd Osbourne, in order to inter Fanny’s ashes at the top of Vaea Mountain alongside her husband...

The Oxnard Daily Courier June 10, 1914 (page 2)





After Fanny’s death, Belle married Ned Field, Fanny’s personal secretary and companion, becoming Mrs. Isobel Field. She and her new husband carried out her promise to Fanny. On June 22, 1915, Fanny Stevenson joined her late husband, Robert Louis Stevenson, at the top of Vaea Mountain...

Poverty Bay Herald July 22, 1915





(photo from Some Recollections of Early Samoa by HJ Moors)





Aolele is Fanny’s Samoan name, meaning “flying cloud.”

-Tom


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 675
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-02 08:52 am   Permalink

You might be quite surprised, as I was, to learn that Dr. Funk is a major character in a work of contemporary fiction.

It seems a Yorkshire physician, Dr. Richard Woodhead, had doubts about the prevailing assumption that the frail health of Robert Louis Stevenson was due to pulmonary tuberculosis (consumption). When he retired from his hospital post in 1997, Dr. Woodhead pursued all the available medical evidence and concluded that he couldn’t prove the issue one way or the other. So he decided to write a book that explored it through the first-person fictional narratives of the principal five doctors who treated Robert Louis Stevenson in real life. Dr. Woodhead explains his interesting approach on this
web page, excerpted in part here...

Quote:
As so much of this was conjecture, I decided that fiction would be the best and most interesting way of releasing speculation. I began to write the story through the eyes of five physicians - real people - who treated Stevenson in various parts of the world. Their fictional first-person narratives allowed me to imagine how these doctors would have seen and influenced Stevenson, and how he would have influenced them. The fiction had to be based on a matrix of factual information in such a way that everything described was possible and believable... Information about Bernard Funk was more limited but the staff of the Apia Public Library kindly sent me a photograph and short biography from the 1907 edition of The Cyclopedia of Samoa.

.

The resulting book was The Strange Case of R.L. Stevenson, published by Luath Press Limited in 2001...




I purchased a copy and found it an interesting read. The book is in five sections, each section containing in multiple chapters the first person account of one of RLS’s physicians. Dr. Funk’s section is last as is chronologically appropriate. From all that I have learned about Dr. Funk and his relationship with RLS, Dr. Funk’s narrative is quite believable. For a sense of the book, here is Dr. Funk at home one evening, making a cocktail...



Even the Bum should be impressed by Dr. Funk painstakingly measuring each of his cocktail ingredients...

The book is available new or used at Amazon.com, used from Barnes & Noble, and new directly from the publisher at Luath Press Limited.

-Tom


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 675
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-03 3:17 pm   Permalink

I was fortunate to locate a copy of Some Recollections of Early Samoa by H. J. Moors at the World of Rare Books in Goring by Sea, West Sussex, United Kingdom. This book is a compilation of weekly articles originally written by Moors for the Samoa Times from 1924 to 1926. It was published by the Western Samoa Historical and Cultural Trust in 1986. Recall that Moors, an old time resident of Apia, Samoa, was the American merchant who had befriended Robert Louis Stevenson. It was Moors who purchased land on behalf of Louis and then built his Samoan home, Vailima. Here are photos of the man in his youth and from later in life, both from this book...







Moors passed away in 1926...

The Sydney Morning Herald March 16, 1926



In an October 17, 1924 Samoa Times article, Moors listed from memory the early colonial settlers of Samoa...




Dr. Funk was included on the list, as seen from this excerpt...




Moors went on to say, in part...







-Tom


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 675
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-03 3:43 pm   Permalink

The following is an excerpt of an article from the September 12, 1924 edition of the Samoa Times by H. J. Moors, republished in Some Recollections of Early Samoa. The last line appears to be stating that Dr. Funk, as Apia Municipal Council medical officer, was charged with performing health inspections of the Samoan madams who provided evening entertainment to visiting sailors and traders...




Here are views of the Apia waterfront from Some Recollections of Early Samoa...






And a view of Mainstreet Apia, also from Some Recollections of Early Samoa...




Here are a few Apia street scenes from the National Library of New Zealand...

Samoa. Street scene, Apia, ca 1900
Reference Number: PAColl-3062-1-09

View down a street in Apia which includes the Club Hotel photographed by Alfred John Tattersall



Samoa. The Casino Hotel, Apia, ca 1900
Reference Number: PAColl-3062-2-02

Exterior view of the street front of the Casino Hotel, Apia photographed by Alfred John Tattersall in about 1900.



-Tom


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TikiTomD
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Sep 20, 2009
Posts: 675
From: Flagler Beach, FL
Posted: 2012-04-05 11:49 am   Permalink

A Samoan mystery: How did the goldfish get into Lake Lanoto`o, also known as Goldfish Lake?




Lake Lanoto`o (archaic spelling, Lanu-to`o or Lanutoo) occupies the crater of an extinct volcano in the central highlands of Upolu, south of Apia. It is at an elevation of approximately 2500 feet above sea level and is the largest lake in Western Samoa. Most rivers and tributaries on Upolu are fed from it. It’s been designated a national park, the second largest in Western Samoa. According to a Western Samoa Department of Lands and Environment
document, “Goldfish (Carassius auratus) were introduced into Lake Lanoto'o in about 1900 and are thriving.”




Lonely Planet describes the lake thusly...

Quote:
Also known as Goldfish Lake, Lake Lanoto'o is an eerie, pea-green crater lake full of wild goldfish (and leeches). It's a great place for a swim, but a little spooky because of alternating warm and cold currents, and the fact that the bottom of the lake has never been found. Very few visitors ever see this lovely and unusual spot.

During the German occupation of Samoa it was a popular picnicking spot. Cavalcades of parasol-shaded young women were escorted to Lake Lanoto'o by German soldiers or courtly Europeans doing the wooing thing.



Samoan tradition is that the lake has no bottom (apparently the source for the Lonely Planet observation), but an American geologist, James Dana, from the United States Exploring Expedition of 1838 to 1842 determined the deepest point of the lake to be about 60 feet...






The trail to the lake is obscure (local guide recommended) and the climb is steep and strenuous...




On the trail, if fortunate, one might encounter the Tooth Billed Pigeon (Manumea), Crimson Crowned Fruit Dove (Manutagi) or Red Headed Parrot Finch (Manu Ai Pa`u La`au), all endangered birds endemic to the area. If less fortunate, the encounter may be with leeches, perhaps a certainty if not wearing long pants.

Leilani Burgoyne’s paper, “Going ‘Troppo’ in the South Pacific: Dr. Bernhard Funk of Samoa 1844–1911,” identifies Dr. Funk as the one who released goldfish into Lake Lanoto`o. This was in direct violation of laws forbidding the introduction of alien species into Samoa and came after repeated warnings from Dr. Wilhelm Solf, the Imperial German Governor of Western Samoa, for whom Dr. Funk worked in his post as Harbor Doctor.

Leilani cites George Westbrook as stating that Dr. Funk was the first person to open up Lake Lanoto`o as a health resort and place of recreation. In her letter to the editor of the Samoa Observer, Dr. Heidrun Schmidt, Dr. Funk’s great-grandniece, also noted that at ”Lake Lanutoo he [Dr. Funk] initiated the laying out of a wonderful recreation centre with huts on the top and a wharf ashore and he also put goldfish in the lake, which are still present.” Those huts were presumably in the form of Samoan fale.

Leilani goes on to note in her paper that Dr. Funk was so preoccupied with the construction and operation of his health resort, it likely impeded his ability to effectively perform official duties as a government medical officer. In particular, she cites an early 1903 letter from Erich Schultz on behalf of Governor Solf requesting his immediate return from the lake, having failed to show up for work after six weeks of authorized leave. Dr. Funk evidently missed no opportunity to antagonize Solf, as we shall see in a later post.

Picture this: Dr. Funk’s Crater Lake Sanitarium where one approaches the bar beneath a palm-thatched fale and orders “zwei Arzt Funks“ while native Samoans entertain with traditional songs and dances, and the eyes wander along the verdant misty shoreline of Lake Lanoto`o where lovely maidens frolic among the goldfish...


(photo from the British Museum)


So, the Samoan mystery is solved: Dr. Funk did it.

-Tom


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