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Cowboys and Air Service

October 05, 1986

There was a time when I thought that Stan Delaplane was a pretty good writer, but I have to take exception to his Sept. 14 story, "Cowboys, Culture on the Big Island." His reference to the Parker Ranch roper who got drunk and missed the island boat, I am sure is of Eban Low who did go to Cheyenne and who did win the roping title.

Stan makes it sound like the Big Island's volcanoes are continually erupting, with flows crossing the Chain of Craters Road. The road was closed from 1969 until around 1980 because of flows that had crossed the road, but except for very minimal short-time closings has remained open ever since, even during the series of eruptions of Kilauea during the past few years.

Smooth lava is called pahoehoe, not poepoe. And black-sand beaches are made when the hot lava hits the cold ocean water and explodes into tiny particles; these are carried down the coastline by currents until they come to rest in a fairly sheltered spot to form a beach.

GENE F. WILHELM

Hawaii Visitors Bureau

Los Angeles

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