Meeting Mr. Peck

by Rod

My sister Andy went to school in Switzerland, at Mont Chosi. When going to that school Andy met Cecilia and they became good friends. Andy would go to Cecilia’s family’s home in Camp Ferrat in France and visit .

Somewhere in that frame my older Sister Karin met Cecilia’s older brother Carey and  they dated for a while. During that time my father gave Carey a paperback book to give to his father Greg. The book’s title was “The Dove,” and my father was told by Carey that his Dad received it.

Eight months later my father received a Western Union Telegram asking “Dear Mr. Olsen, will you fly to Fiji June 6 or earlier to act as technical adviser for all sailing activities, logistical problems of moving ships and maritime equipment around world on a fixed schedule, this in connection with the filming of “Here There Be Dragons” an Anglo EMI limited/Paramount pictures Production which commenced in Fiji May twenty eight 1973. Your special knowledge and expertise are urgently needed, please reply soonest, Regards,

Gregory Peck

Mocambo Hotel Nadi Fiji

So My father and I set off on a great adventure flying to Fiji. Upon our arrival we were greeted by the Manager of the Hotel and an assistant to Mr. Peck. We were showed to our room and were told Mr. Peck would like to meet with us in his room as soon as we settled in.

We went up to his room and knocked on the door. The door opened and there stood a very tall man with a very warm hand shake. He introduced himself as Gregory Peck and then he introduced his beautiful wife Veronique. We all sat down to discuss the up coming activities that Mr. Peck needed help with for the filming of “Here There Be Dragons”  which was changed to “The Dove.”

While sitting there listening to Mr. Peck speak about the film, and me being 13 years old, I asked him what was that on his ankle? He looked at me and replied that he had to get a brace on his ankle after filming “Moby Dick” because he said “his leg was tied up behind me for long periods of time for the peg leg that was fitted for the film.” After that the meeting went on for a little while longer and then we would meet for dinner that night.

We arrived in the dinning room and sat down Mr. Peck and his wife arrived. He sat to my left and she to his left, and my father sat to my right. Drinks were ordered and the waiter came to the table with a tray full of drinks. The tray was shaking, the waiter was so nervous about serving Mr. Peck, and he began serving the drinks but before he could serve them he spilled all of the drinks all over me and my brand new blazer and and pants. I was soaking wet, he turned to Mr. Peck and said I am so sorry Mr. Peck. Mr. Peck tuned to him and said say sorry to Rod, he’s the one who got soaked with all the drinks.

After dinner the Manager came over to the table and said to Mr. Peck the dinner is on us and we are truly sorry for the spilled drinks and Mr. Peck said “the dinner is on you, and the drinks are on Rod!” That was my first dinner with Mr. Peck and his wife.

Rod Olsen