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Alan Drake

This is a brief memoir to celebrate the life of Alan Drake, sometimes known as Alan Davis-Drake, who was instrumental to us in the early days of the Easter Island Foundation. He visited Easter Island only once but it was love-at-first-sight and he never got over it.

Alan volunteered to help out with producing the (then-titled) Rapa Nui Notes, and went on to publish articles about the island, edit submissions, set up issues for publications, and create excellent maps for both the Rapa Nui Journal and for books published by the Foundation. He authored and designed a delightful book, Easter Island: The Ceremonial Center of Orongo, which has been mostly overlooked. This is a mistake on the part of book-buyers because it is a marvelous little book on the site. It is identified as being published by “Cloud Mountain Press”, which was Alan’s “baby”. The credits page lists the book as being designed by “Bootswell Stevenson McKenna” – which was Alan’s alter-ego, of course. And he created the Rapanui Dingbat Font that we use today–whenever we need a dingbat.

Alan also was editor of ARCHAE, described as “a paleo-review of the literary arts exploring mythical and kitchen sink parallels between archaic and modern life.” Alan  described himself as having “… appeared internationally both as poet and performance poet. His most recent collection of poems is Te Moana, an orchestrated choral accompaniment for ballet based on a voyage across the Pacific.”

Alan came along on one of our working field trips to Lana’i, Hawai’i, in the 1980s. He was the Star. We do not remember ever laughing so hard; having Alan around was like having a troop of monkeys on speed. We still talk and laugh about that trip. And Alan.

More recently, he came to the rescue of the EIF. When our website was lost at the beginning of 2010, we contacted him in the hope that he might have some material from the earlier days when he created our original website. It was a longshot, after all these years. Alan not only helped us get our website up and running in record time, but empowered and inspired us to keep it going. We will always remember him with kindness in our hearts.

Alan Drake has left us, but we will miss him and his great smile, and his off-beat ways.

We wish you smooth sailing, Bootswell.

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