En route to French Polynesia, I stopped in Los Angeles for lunch with Nick Panza, Air Tahiti Nui's vice president, Americas.

He handed me "My Island Home" by James Norman Hall, co-author of "Mutiny on the Bounty." It was during the 1962 filming of "Mutiny" that Marlon Brando became enamored of French Polynesia.

NancyHall-Rutgers-NickRutgers-AWPanza also recommended that I visit James Norman Hall Home on Tahiti.

On my first layover there, Pleasant Holidays arranged sightseeing with Marama Tours, including visits to a monument commemorating the mutineers and sites where the film was shot. But time was short -- no museum visit.

Before flying home, I made it there, and Panza was right -- Hall had led a fascinating life.

The museum's director asked if I wanted to meet Nancy Hall-Rutgers, the author's daughter, and so I went to her home.

She and her husband, Nick Rutgers, had been friends of Brando and regaled me with stories.

Rutgers had brought Brando to Tetiaroa for his first visit. "He jumped in the water, then jumped right out. There were so many sharks."

And they filled me in about his life on the island.

"He had a rough time with his family."

"His Polynesian family?" I asked.

"Both families. He tortured [his ex-wife, Tarita Teriipaia]. But she loved him ..."

See www.jamesnormanhallhome.pf.  

Email Arnie Weissmann at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter.

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