LANDED PEASANT ON KAUAI

In the last episode we left our heroine-that’s me-at odds with the entire plantation family,  but not unhappily so. I, like Carlos Castenada, had found my spot.  We were still living in the yellow company house on Kukuiula Harbor and our boat, Warpath,  bobbed happily in the cear blue waters at our feet. Three horses lived in luxury across the street and mile after mile of well-tended  private bridle paths-otherwise known as haul cane roads-were ours to enjoy.

I drove my gorgeous Grand National Champion black American Show Shetlad stud, Flash’s Fanfare Sensation,  up and down the Spouting Horn Road-an unexpected  tourist attraction- dodging stinky, noisy tour buses, and I waggled my fingers and arm signaled  them to slow down. Always made the bus driver mad.  A Rotary friend-John Dillon- years later said, “The first time I saw you you were  driving a damn horse right up the middle of the road.” I corrected him, “I know how to drive a horse. I was in my lane stopping traffic.”

Five days a week I was out in those field with the field hands- where I belonged- happy as a mynah bird signing in a tree and doing the Queen’s horses  and god one day better. On  Saturday and Sunday Beauregard rested. He was a Union horse.

McBryde had leased us an acre of land, which we fenced , and Bill and I built the little red  barn. It had a tar paper roof which I installed all by myself. The entire structure cost us $600.oo. After Ewa demolished millionaire row and broke poor little Warpath’s back, it was the only  structure left standing. Not even a corner of the tar paper was lifted. But, by that time,  our horses were not there. We’d been moved to the lava rock mansion up the Alexander Dam Road.

Much plantation family crashing and banging had  occurred during this passage of time. The managers wife had decided she wanted to live in the yellow house on the bay and we moved-our decision- to what Bill called a three story cold water walk up down the road  and put  all our possessions in storage. All the animals, dogs, cats and horses, roughed it out in the barn. This clever maneuver on our part played a major role  in the purchase of the land on which I live some 30 yeas later.

Over 30 years ago it had drifted through the gossip channels that I was unhappy on Kauai and lobbying to  move. This, as most of the  rambles through the brambles about me, was far from the truth. But the manager, afraid he’d lose one of his most valuable men, subdivided all they owned in this valley and sold us a piece.

The barn we built here cost a lot more money,  and we built it ourselves.I designed it and, expert roofer that I’d become, roofed it. Mile after mile of roof. Today, when I see roofers on the roof, I want to stop and offer them a glass of water. Terrible job. I cried everyday and wore an old white floppy hat so people wouldn’t know who it was up there weeping.

Bill said, “Everybody on this island knows who’s under that hat, ” and I think everybody on the island drove by to catch a glimpse.

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