Friday, June 11, 2010

"Il faut aller voir." ("We must go and see.") - Jacques Yves Cousteau

June 11, 2010: Today would have been Jacques Cousteau’s 100th birthday. I can fondly recall tuning in to watch "The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau," on TV whenever it played in the late 60s and early 70s. This television series brought the undersea life beneath the world’s oceans into millions of homes. No doubt, there will be many platitudes and celebrations honoring of the great man who not only helped to invent the scuba regulator, but he also helped raise the public’s awareness of the unique problems faced by the world’s marine habitats.

In 1961 when President John F. Kennedy presented the Society's Special Gold Medal to Captain Cousteau for his undersea exploration, the medal bore an inscription that symbolizes the pioneer's life work: "To earthbound man he gave the key to the silent world."

It just so happens that I’ve been reading Brad Matsen’s novel, Jacques Cousteau: The Sea King. A great read thus far that details the exploits of one of the world’s most beloved oceanographers. All I have to say on the anniversary of Mr. Cousteau’s birthday is, “Merci Beaucoup!” You took us on many great adventures, both while sitting in front of a TV set, and in my boyhood imagination.