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When I told to my high school English teacher in Brentwood, Missouri that I wanted to be a writer, she found my prospects for success so unlikely that she broke into gales of laughter. Nevertheless, I have been writing ever since. Not because of the money, but because I love it. I feel the best way to learn to write well is to first learn to live well. And, Truth is the essential element - - the more the better!I was born in Miami, Florida in 1928. My father was a conductor on the “overseas highway” that carried Cuba-bound tourists to the ferryboats that set sail from Key West. When a tropical hurricane demolished the overseas railroad in 1934, we moved to my mother’s home in Saint Louis, Missouri where I attended Brentwood High School and Missouri University.
In 1950, I went to Paris for a summer course at La Sorbonne, and rented a room from a classified ad in a newspaper. By sheer luck, the landlady’s son happened to work for Captain Yves Cousteau. He invited me to a preview screening of the captain’s revolutionary underwater movie: "The Silent World." The film blew my mind, and I got to meet Captain Cousteau, himself. This meeting inspired me to become a professional diver. After three years as a treasure diver in Vigo, Spain, I joined the staff of Captain Cousteau aboard his famous ship, the Calypso. I worked as an underwater cameraman and lecture spokesman. Meanwhile, I wrote the first three books on diving in the English language for Doubleday and Company. I also presented Cousteau’s Adventure programs to lecture audiences in over 300 cities throughout America.
Ever since retiring from the Cousteau Team in 1968, I have lived in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. In 1974, I created a Nature Study Center there to promote Cousteau’s ideas about the reintegrating mankind into the global ecosystem. Meanwhile, I wrote three of the first books ever written about scuba diving. I also and produced an hour-long documentary film titled The Endless Sea, narrated by actor James Mason and astronaut Scott Carpenter. I also published two books about my experiences, A Prisoner in Paradise and Mother Nature, My Nature.
The Nature Study Center (NSC)
Meanwhile I became thoroughly familiar with Cousteau’s philosophy regarding man’s failed relationship with Nature. When a knee injury forced my retirement from the Calypso team, I immigrated to Zihuatanejo, Mexico. There I created a new kind of ecoolgy-school, a Nature Study Center on Las Gatas Beach. My idea was to promote Captain Cousteau’s ideas about reintegrating mankind into the global ecosystem, before it is too late. For six years, the Nature Study Center promoted personal transformations, from being "Nature’s master" to being "Nature’s servant". We relied on personal experience to create the desired result -- as when both sport and sportsman become united. Responsible participation rather than confrontation with nature was our goal. For example, we taught SCUBA diving and other aquatic sports as a means of returning to our aquatic origins where we could consciously re-evolve as an integral part and participant in the global ecosystem.
A Prisoner In Paradise
To my surprise, my teaching at Nature Study Center in Zihuatanejo angered certain missionaries and politicians. They objected to my talks on evolution and denounced me to local immigration authorities. Thereafter, I was picketed, jailed twice, shot at three times, taken for a one-way ride and finally deported from the country. That convinced me to abandon my Nature Study Center and instead, write a book about my attempt to create it. My fifth book, A Prisoner in Paradise, is the happy result. If you ever dreamed about living, working or investing in an exotic, tropical paradise, as did 47 years ago, A Prisoner in Paradise is a fast, funny and informative preview what kind of adventures might await you! The book has 300 pages and thirty six black and white photos. What’s more, it,s all true!
A Prisioner in Paradise short interview
Mother Nature, My Nature
Having published my adventure with Nature Study Center, I still felt that Captain Cousteau had a lot to say about man’s interrelationship with Nature that needed attention. Therefore, I felt compelled to express my feelings . Therefore, I wrote another book and produced two documentary videos about it. All are now available from www.amazon.com.
Mother Nature/My Nature is the summation of what I learned from Captain Cousteau combined with what I gleaned from my students at The Nature Study Center in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Captain Cousteau maintained that "a problem well defined is a problem half solved." On that premise, Mother Nature/My Nature looks into man’s evolutionary past to discover the causes of our present conflicts with Nature and to define the ways to our collective survival in the near future. Along the way, you will glean some startling insights about yourself, like why you look, act and feel the way you do. It also reveals what people can do as individuals to help assure a viable future for their children.
Mother Nature, My Nature short interview
“DOG GONE” the novel is a sweet family oriented story that i adapted from my screenplay of the same name. The story concerns a family with two pre teenagers that volunteers to raise a guide dog puppy for their local school for the blind. After the puppy graduates as a guide dog, it is awarded to a blind war veteran who is also street musician. When the white Labrador starts to sing along with her master, the pair soon attracts the attention of the media and become local stars. After seeing their performance, the heartless owner of traveling animal circus absconds with the dog, disguises it as a chocolate Lab and includes it in his owns circus. Now helpless and distraught, the family volunteers to care for the blind veteran while an intensive search conducted. But the search proves fruitless and is soon abandoned.
Consequently, the two kids who raised it take the guide dog´s place in leading the determined vet around while continuing the search. By recruiting the help of their friends on the internet, they manage to finally locate the dog in a distant city and go to its rescue. And they all live happily ever after.
A Spanish translation of “Dog Gone” exist under the title “Perro Perdido”. All of my books and DVDs are now available on www.amazon .com an in e book format on www.kindle.com
Both my books and Videos are available on www.amazon.com or via my webpage at www.owenlee.name
Or check your local book stores.
To view DVD clips of THE END GAME on YOUTUBE click here
To order The End Game from Amazon click here
To order The Treasure Divers of Vigo Bay from Amazon click here
OTHER WORKS BY OWEN LEE
On DVD DisksThe End Game, 26 minutesTreasure Divers of Vigo BayThe Sea In Your Future, 50 minutesThe Nature Study Center, 30 minutesFollow the Sea. 30 minutesOwen’s Bay, Reef & Jungle Tour, 12 minutesI have the dubious distinction of being the oldest expatriate resident currently living in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Now, many visitors might envy me, but it was not always easy. During my forty year attempt to create a Nature Study Center here, I was picketed by religious fundamentalists, duped by conmen, twice jailed , shot at thee times, "taken for a one-way ride" and finally deported from the country – all while trying to be of service to my community. It has been a surrealistic adventure in cross-cultural living, and every word is true. Yet, I would not change one minute of it. After forty years of adventures, and misadventures in Zihuatanejo, I still love it. The sun, the sea , the sky, the five still beckon as always; I still live, laugh and love in one of the world’s most beautiful seaside setting s, doing what I love to do best, whenever I want to do it. The obstacles and frustrations that I encountered along the way are more like hot chili peppers that spice up my stories of life in the tropics. In the end, each one proved to be to a personal growth experience.