When I first arrived on Kauai some forty years ago, Kauai was a feudal state. The plantation managers were the kings and their department heads were  lords and ladies. Field workers lived simply, but, for the most part, peacefully together. Outside this circle were the big land holders, small business and services, schools and hospitals, a few quaint island style hotels and a rich rash of city and county workers. It was a benevolent state. All of us, at our different levels, lived in peace with each other and the extraordinary beauty of the island and its surroundings. I think of the great and glorious fields of waving green cane,  a cash crop, which contributed to clean fresh air and extraordinary beauty.

I think of Iniki.  Troubled times, and how we all came together…visitors, too, some of them…as a family and worked towards restoration. I think these times are gone.

Today the island is a third world country. Treated with much indifference and malignancies by the rich.  The powerful.  The greedy.  The military  And a most fragile industry, the tourist industry. Today we are a hard hit, rapidly disappearing middle class, with a steadily increasing number of unhappy islanders.

How dare I  express this?

Because it’s true.  We live at  the end of a long line of destructive influences. Some people, mostly newcomers, question why we didn’t protest over-development. We did! But the big land holders, the rich and the greedy and their bought off political cronies, held all the cards. Look at the mess they’ve created on the highways.  None of us can afford the million dollar  needed to build more roads.

All of us on this island, rich and poor, brown, black, yellow and white, young and old will be catastrophically impacted by this ignored insult left unanswered. This monstrosity is always in the headlines.

We all have to transport ourselves to somewhere. Some people must commute.  And you can’t even write that  expense off your taxes. Buy a car, buy some gas, some oil, tires, batteries–whatever–go broke in the process.  Working people  have to get to jobs so they can pay for the commute. They have no choice. The rush to work, the rush home, causing road jams that just won’t quit.  We have constant, disgusting, frustrating  traffic jams. Bumper to bumper fore and aft. Any hour. Any day.  Coming or going.  Where or why. To satellites overhead we must look like ants on a senseless journey to and fro.

Add to that visitors who fly in and  rent a car. Off to their destination. Off to see the sights.  Which they can’t see, they’re driving so fast. Or grumped miserably in a lump of exhaust that takes the breath away.

Then we have locals who love their cars, trucks–four-wheeled noise makers–like Americans, a few years, back loved their horses. “I’ll die before I’ll let you take these reins from my hand.”

Horses were prettier, but history repeats itself. Such a bother. Such a bore.






3 Responses

  1. Good one, all laid out in admin page. Will post automatically at 5:30 am Wednesday!



  2. So-well articulated!

    To which, I humbly add: However it may be possible for you to do so, cling to the values and traditions you hold close to your heart. Be grateful if you have a place to sleep; food to eat; friends to enjoy; and choices to make.

    As you are able to do so, do what you can to preserve the environmental integrity of our precious island. No matter what, whoever is here, as a resident or a visitor, it is OUR responsibility to keep this place clean and available for ourselves as well as for future generations. We are, essentially, ALL of us are on a canoe, and it DOES make a difference, because we’re in this place TOGETHER!

    We can also find comfort in the essence of “aloha”. Purely and simply, it is the ability to take care of oneself and each other in a responsible and responsive way! How, when, why, and where it may be possible for us to render kindness and assistance in dealing with one another, it just makes it a lot more pleasant to co-exist in harmony, rather than in ways in which we are at odds with one another.


  3. Thank you so much, Mr.B. I sent it to TGI, too, but doubt they’ll publish it. Always I think it could have been better but I’m sort of happy with it. Loved getting the horsey thing in. LOL


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