Boating with Daryl Hannah on the Amazon, March 7, 2021
It’s been 31 years ago this summer that I spent those six months in the Amazon working on the film “At Play in the Fields of the Lord.” The memories haunt me.
It was in June I think, early on, when Saul Zaentz, David Jones, Miss Arizona, and I went to dinner together in Belem.
A car from the production office took us to the restaurant in the Brazilian city at the mouth of the Amazon River.
David Jones was the famous stunt pilot and aerial coordinator (“Apocalypse Now”, “Blues Brothers”, the list is long of his films). Jones hired me to maintain the DeHavilland Beaver used in the film. Jones hired Miss Arizona as a double for Daryl Hannah in the movie.
It was the usual hot humid evening in Belem on the equator. The daily dysentery had already taken twenty pounds off of me. I wore slacks and a polo shirt.
Miss Arizona wore the short black dress and was made up to the max.
Jones wore his usual jeans and flannel shirt.
Zaentz wore slacks, white shirt, and a sport coat which he didn’t need in the heat.
I had no idea what the meeting was about or why I was there. I was just the mechanic.
But soon enough after we sat down Miss Arizona had to use the rest room. She had the dysentery. This was her big chance at show biz; and she had the dysentery.
David Jones sent me back with Miss Arizona to the Belem, Hilton. He told me to go to his room and give her the anti-dysentery pills/ Lomodil. I had some of those, too, but they don’t work every day.
So that’s what Miss Arizona and I did. Back to the hotel. Got the pills. Gave them to Miss Arizona who retired to her room.
I went back down to the lobby thinking that I’d go back to the dinner with Zaentz and Jones, but it was Saturday night. The lower level Brazilian aerial unit guys intercepted me.
“Senior Teem. Big party at the art house tonight. You come with us.”
I’d never been to the art house. This was wear all the costumes were made and the movie sets. These were the artists.
So I went. Had more beer. Someone took a picture of me with Daryl Hannah, the actress. My ear lobes were bright red I was so toasted.
Finally I found a cab, VW cab, with a shifty cab driver, as usual, but found my way back to the Belem Hilton and my hotel room.
It was a few days after that that I found myself on the front of the boat returning from the Madre de Deus set sitting next to Daryl Hannah as we leaned against the boat’s cockpit windows. The sun was setting. The lightning was lighting up the huge storm clouds in colors of red, purple, yellow and orange.
We just sat there next to each other enjoying the view surrounded by jungle on a boat driven by a local on a river of unknown depths.
It was magical.