Thursday, April 07, 2011

Me and Richard Marx


This photo was taken in 2005? I hiked down to the Kalaupapa peninsula on Molokai with my husband and two friends, Fr. Juan Mendez and Fr. Nathan Libarie. We took the tour that Richard Marx started up many years ago. I was surprised that he still did the tour because he was 'retired'. Nonetheless, I was honored and delighted. I also knew that somehow, that would be the last time I would see him alive.

(Richard Marx and Paula Scott)

We both sat down on in front of St. Francis church there to have our photo taken together. I felt like I was with a rock star, because he has been quite a champion in bringing to public awareness the importance of not letting the history of the leper colony there on Molokai be ignored, forgotten or turned into a tourist trap later on down the line after all the remaining patients have died.

Richard had a lot of stories to tell about the leper colony there. Many of them first hand experience. I just hope that someone has recorded them all and that someday the public will have a way to know all of his stories.

Richard passed away on Dec. 9, 2009. What a legacy he has left us all!

5 comments:

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Paula~ A very touching story. In a way I'm glad the lepers had gentle surroundings and kindness at the end... That's an adorable photo of you in front of St. Francis--I love his prayer... Maybe you received that energy...
Were you hit at all by the tsunami? My sister said they were all vertically evacuated from their homes near the beach on the Big Island... Aloha to you.

Paula Scott said...

Hi Margaret-Molokai did not suffer much from the tsunami. In a way, it is 'sheltered' by Maui and Lanai. However, had it a direct shot at Kalaupapa, we would've lost a lot of history.

gigihawaii said...

Yes, Paula, I took that tour also in 2003. Wonderful man, so full of interesting stories!

Toby Manzanares said...

So sad am I
to hear of the passing of Richard Marx.
While Richard told this story,
I recall while on his tour
staring down at rectangular 2 inch by 5 inch holes in the floor of the church built by Father Damien.

So I asked, and Richard answered:

Damien, as a young priest was troubled by the policy that the severest lepers remain outside to celebrate mass looking through the windows because of their coughing was ladened with heavy mucus.

When Damien built his new church, he designed into the flooring, rectangular holes every five feet along the pews.
Their condition severe accompanied by coughing and heavy mucus, they'd bring with them a large leaf they'd roll into a cone that would funnel their sputum below the church. Now they could with all their infirmaments, attend to mass inside the comfort and warmth of the church.

No wonder Damien was beatified, and is now
Saint Damien of Moloka i.
I will always remember Richard.

Toby Manzanares said...

So sad am I
to hear of the passing of Richard Marx.

While Richard told this story,
I recall, while on his tour...
staring down at rectangular 2 inch by 5 inch holes in the floor of the church built by Father Damien.

So I asked, and Richard answered:

Damien, as a young priest was troubled by the policy that the severest lepers remain outside to celebrate mass looking through the windows because of their coughing was ladened with heavy mucus.

When Damien built his new church, he designed into the flooring, rectangular holes every five feet along the pews.

Their condition severe accompanied by coughing and heavy mucus, they'd bring with them a large leaf they'd roll into a cone that would funnel their sputum below the church. Now they could with all their infirmaments, attend to mass inside the comfort and warmth of the church.

No wonder Damien was beatified, and is now
Saint Damien of Moloka i.
I will remember Richard Marx with admiration, as he stopped his bus, scooping dry food frequently to feed the cats along his route.

There was an error in this gadget

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin