Archive for the ‘old Kauai/New Kauai’ Category

IMAGINE THE FUTURE
November 16, 2016

IMAGINE THE FUTURE

Kauai lucked out in 2017. A great American, a philanthropist who chose to be anonymous, bought scads of land on the island to protect it from further development.
I was ten. My mother came to Kauai to teach kids in a public school, and we both fell in love with the place.
Although confronted with many problems—over population, traffic jams, foul air, polluted water, lots of homeless—its spirit, its people, its open spaces, its great beauty, left us with hope for a better future.
It didn’t take me long to adjust. My brown Latino skin felt right at home, and my mother told me about the wonderful diversity–race, religion–this small spot in the Pacific was blissed with. The purchase of so much land by some mysterious person cornered all the chatter. It seemed to be all anybody talked about.
What did it mean? What would happen?
The first thing that happened, a new real estate firm opened in the Grove and everyone held his breath. Turned out nothing was for sale, but all the land called Keka Agricultural Park was laid open for lease. Small and medium parcels were offered. Large sections for orchards: orange groves, citrus, avocado, papaya, mango, coffee—an interesting circle of sites to grow breadfruit cropped up. Adopt and care for a tree and a new recipe to go along with it and there will be a special stand to market this original Kauai treat. So diverse: Maui onions, tomatoes, organic soybeans, carrots, corn, you name it.
Plenty of land for free range chickens and green meadows for registered Jersey.
There were fresh ponds where tilapia flourished, kids could even swim there.
There was plenty of land for anthuriums and hibiscus and carnations and pikaki and plumeria. What my mom and I loved most was the more fragrant trees and flowers were planted near the towns, so people could enjoy a heady breath of scented air as they walked or worked.
All the roads inside this real come-to-life fairy tale Agricultural Park were well- packed dirt and, sometimes, red or black tire mulch. You walked in there, or rode, or motored about on golf carts.
Only those farmers who had to truck their produce in or out were allowed pickups.
Multi national flower and plant stands lined the road. Mexican, Hawaiian, Japanese and Filipino farmers built them and decorated them. It was a kind of United Nations Ag Park, the first of its kind.
Just being in this special place was delightful.
My mom loved to grow chili peppers, she remembered the wide variety of chili beans my grandparents grew on their little farm in Baja.
She managed to get a year lease, they were reasonable priced and a promise was made from the leasors that if you could make it go, a better deal could be worked out next time. Absolutely no dollar crops allowed.
The family who leased the small piece of land next to ours was from the Philippines and their stand was a nipa hut. They had a disc that played Bahay Kubu and I learned to sing along.
We taught them to sing De Colores. Before long our entire road was filled with music. Nobody tried to out blast the other. Mom decided to grow some flowers and maybe have a Kauai rooster–they’re the official island bird–and a couple of hens so we could share fresh laid eggs.
Kauai soon became the Hawaiian food basket. We fed the state. Sustainability, island wide, was the goal.
We suddenly became famous and another billionaire showed up. She wanted in on the act. She bought up all the automobile and car rental properties and shut them down. This lady bought her way into the Mayor’s office, got her cronies elected, and they passed a law about automobile ownership. Car owners were taxed off the wall and the money the rich automobile addicts contributed bought a transportation system, so clean, so sweet, so Kauaian tourists would come just to ride around in it.
This batch of lawmakers also passed a law that no more hotels could be built. Ever. That filled every existing hotel/motel to the fullest and every visitor who planned to stay more than a day had to have a reservation. That worked because visitors could only visit when a room was available. You had to stand in line, the whole world over, to book a room on Kauai.
Sometimes it got a little crowded in the Park, so visitors were asked to buy a ticket. Locals, of course, got in free. Lots of lucky guys, who stayed in private homes, had guest privileges, if their host wanted to treat them.
The super stupendous surprise was a solar city built tall with a every small foot print, at the foot of the cliffs–not much concrete here, at least on the ground–and visitors were often struck with an extraordinary shock: they didn’t even see this high rise city until they walked through the front door.
Lots of locals often didn’t even know it was there.
Health Spas, renowned world wide, also sprang up. If you wanted to get healthy spend a week or two in a spa on Kauai. Amazing how many tourists were sick and needed healing. Very expensive for out- of- staters, locals got a kamaaina rate. We rarely sold them, that was bad, but you know how some people are.
A local spiritual group created an Hawaiian Lourdes. A special bill had to be passed to find a way to limit attendance. On opening day all the public transportation and golf carts, even some pickups, had to be commandered. One historian said it was like a Dunkirk without the danger, guns, and huns.
It grew up to be a farmer’s joke, “Where was your pickup when the hoards flocked to Lourdes?”
Answer, “Every pickup on Kauai was at Lourdes.”
We’re the healthiest happiest people in the world. And we intend to stay that way.

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Sacred Dog
April 20, 2016

American Indians called the horse  ‘sacred dog’ and acquired him  in the mid-1500s when De Soto and Coronado brought it to our shores. The Indians took to the animal like brilliance takes to  rainbows. The horsemen of the plains were considered by many in the American cavalry,”The finest light horse cavalry in the world.” They were never defeated in combat.

The Horse Culture on the plains  lived with their animals, and like the riders in the Spanish School in Vienna today,  came to call them ‘friends’. They lived with their horses. They knew them with their heart.

Lives of the nomadic Plains tribe, especially the Comanches,  were revolutionized by the horse and they became  skilled thieves perfecting the art of  rustling.  They were the best of horsemen and we treated them badly. In 1874 thousands of animals, considered by the southern Commanche to be their best, were senselessly slaughtered.  Ari often reminded me. Horses have a different sense of history and time. All of them recall what earth was like when the world was young and no grunting four-spinning upstarts jammed the roads and fouled the air.

I ‘d tell Ari stories like a silly human–dates and names and stuff like that–and he’d look me in the eye the way a good horse does–and  snort,  reminding me his roots on our home planet went back 40 to 60 million years. His earliest  ancestor, little eohippus, the Dawn Horse showed up a lot earlier in the game than we did. “How long you been around skinny two legs?”

He had me there.

He loved  me to tell him stories.

An incurable romantic,  he loved  fiction best.   Hidalgo, the mustang,  and Frank Hopkins who raced him’cross the Ocean of Fire were his favorites. When Ari was recovering from  surgery,  I constructed a paddock at my end of the barn and rigged  a projector and white sheet sharing the Disney movie with him. He watched it over and over.  For a horse who’d been free as a  feral hen, to be corralled in a 20×20 foot  area for three months–the recovery was long–was an ordeal. I  had to relieve his boredom. Mine, too.

I mean, how many organic carrots can we munch?   He  loved  dearly cornflake butter crunch cookies.

For over forty years I’ve lived with  a horse like the Indian lived with his.  He was a friend.  My best.  He slept in the bedroom next to mine.  I couldn’t ask for a sweeter neighbor. I met him first on Oahu in 1993. We looked each other in the eye and immediately bonded.  Born on Kauai in  1987, he was 29 years old.

The night he died, peacefully in his sleep, he said, “What you skinny two legs need  is another Seabiscuit.” He loved that film best.

His death left a hole in my heart the size of Diamond Head Crater, and a chunk out of my life the magnitude of Mount Kalihi.

But this he gave me: the joy of having known him.

 

 

 

 

 

TURK’S CAP
January 11, 2016

Two roads lead to the national Tropical Botanical Garden’s main office, one of them is mine. At the top of the hill, from the office to the library, to the visitor’s center, is a view of a magnificent valley that descends to Lawai Bay.

Once upon a time, Queen Emma lived there and rode her horse there. Years ago, I used to sneak in on my leopard, Beauregard. I always got caught, but I seldom got scolded. John called me a ‘siren’–I think he meant the noisy kind.–and I responded, “John, if you walked about four  miles up hill and I walked about ten thousand feet up hill, we could fight over the back fence.”

I loved the old guy.

Anyway, along my brief stretch of land in a valley on the other side of the hill, old Hawaii, wild, natural, surrounded by cows and sheep and goats and horses, and gorgeous feral chickens, and birds that sing me to sleep and crow me awake, rain or shine,  grew a wondrous natural beauty, a Turk’s Cap. Malvaviscus penduliflorus.

So beautiful, people in cars, on foot, on bikes,  on horses–still–would stop blissfully  enthralled with wonder. Pictures were snapped. Some sent back, and I do want to thank those that sent them. Respectful requests for cuttings were cheerfully responded to.

Did you know the entire plant was edible? Herbal tea could be made and grocked  to  fullness. Snip off the green tip and suck a delicious  syrupy sweetness that put the delicious syrupy sweetness of the honeysuckle to shame.

A grim crew, an army of death and destruction, in county trucks armed with  many powerful expensive new weapons of life- denying machines, mowed it down. Butchered it. It wasn’t pruned, it wasn’t cut back, it was  hacked to death. It cost me one day, one worker, two, maybe three, handheld and powered tools, to prune it properly. All that remains are naked brown stems, reaching upward, hungering for their large green leaves, their brilliant red flowers, Turk’s Caps, sleeping hibiscus, Cardinal’s Hats, that bloomed throughout the year offering a vivid  eyeful of playful bobbing  jewels displayed against  a hedge, a tall, rich green- leafed backdrop, a curtain of life that never need open to an artificial set. An entire enactment of life. It loved to grow. it loved to please. It did no harm.

I plan to live to witness it’s return. Hope you do, too.

The war we have going on here–on Kauai, in the world–exists of  war trumpets instead of song birds. Ugly, noisy, stinking machines–the epitome of power and ugliness and sacrilege– consuming all in its wretched outreach.

Today, on my road, we stand  witness to a love for concrete, cars, credit cards and childish hi-tech toys. What, for goodness sake, is an iPad? I’ve managed, for 85 years, to have lived with out one.

My hope?  You’ll learn to live without one, too.

In 2016, drink a toast to life and living things.

 

LET’S TALK TURKEY
November 23, 2015

Hi, my name’s Arabella. I’m six years old and very beautiful. My two legs are long and slender, my eyes are bright, I can purr like a cat. And I have the sweetest disposition in the world.  So I’m told.

It’s easy to have a sweet disposition if you live in a loving family. Which I do. So many of us. So different. As different as the night sky from the day sky, the highest mountain from the deepest sea. We share. We care. We enjoy each other’s company. We talk a lot, each in a different way, but we’ve learned to understand each other.

Sometimes, when it’s raining, we sit hunched in a bunch and watch water–drops of water big and small, fast and slow–drip and drizzle and  fall from the sky like it was never going to end. Occasionally a flash of brilliance bursts with a startle and the sound that follows curves the air.  Overhead a cloudy wet  gray blanket smothers us tight,  and we think what it would be like if we never saw blue again. Dreary, I think, but I think most of us could adapt. We’ve been at it for a long long time. Adapting. Learning to live with the elements. Evolving from this to that. Changing.

We are the stuff stars are made of. You, too.

Eventually the sun  comes out. Warm and welcome.  Long legged trees grow longer taller. Green and gold and purple mountains in the distance  grow high before our eyes. And clouds. All that blankety blank gray stuff has morphed into delightfully soft puffy and fluffy stuff that soars and sways and wanders away. Disappears sometimes. Sky high. Free. I think it likes it up there. And the earth around us smells so fresh and clean we soak it in like the fragrance of  flowers blooming.  It’s just had a bath. It’s happy.  Birds sing and call to each other. And it never ends. Until the next rains come. Which they always do.

Just like you, me and my family love to eat. We all love cookies. Sometimes they come in a box, sometimes they emerge from an oven in a pan. Everyone’s happy when his belly is full.

The oldest member  of our family is a human. Just like you. He’s tall. Not too tall. Slender. Long legged. Beautiful, just like me. He talks to us a lot, that’s how we learn so much. We understand every word he say, sometimes we pay no heed, but he doesn’t understand us. So strange. I think he thinks we can’t think. Sad, kind’a. But I’ll bet he knows we love him. Love is beyond words.

We’ve all been around much longer than he. I’m a turkey and my roots go back 65 million years. I’m  a saurischian dinosaur, like Apatosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Velociraptor. He’s only been around for 200,000 years. We’ve learned so much. We wish he had, too. I’ll be here next year. Happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PROVINCES
November 7, 2015

I’m the lady from the provinces. In truth,  I’m  an expatriate at heart.  At 36 I’d spent as much time out of the country as I had  in the country and Kauai was about as far out as you could get without a Passport.

It was a feudal state. Sugar was King. Sugar, that historically  infamous dollar crop, held  sway.  Those glorious fields, that glorious crop, that  long green, dancing- in- the- wind grass that worked  two long years keeping our air the freshest,  the healthiest in the world. (Maybe that’s why so many of us who lived  those years ripened so well. and don’t forget it gave us sugar, molasses, and rum.) It’s beautiful yellow tasseles stopped traffic as did  their spectacular death in red/gold flames  in the quiet winds of early morning. An occasional plume of gray throat- itching smoke belched by, but we  forgave it.

There were hundreds  of miles of bridle paths,  maintained just for me and my entourage–one horse, two ponies running  free– and so many dogs I’ve lost count. We often  encountered a cane truck or a helicopter and our jaunts always crossed with  the field hands who greeted us with soft  smiles and friendly  greetings, “Good morning, Mrs. Bill Dux,” they’d call and  I’d smile  back. They were as much a part of this enchanting landscape as the cane itself. The cane mules, during planting season, brayed  love  to my  leopard–Beauregard the gaudy Appaloosa–who pranced by, head up, tail high.

Truly, I could not imagine a more delightful way to begin a day. To face the coming hours  of work and play and who- knows- what-all else lay ahead.

Just as sugar was King,  so were the managers. The department heads were lords and ladies of the manor. I was not much into the social life, women in America are much different from women who–excepting those in the military or Embassy sphere who were always the same– lived in a cosmopolitan community abroad.

On Kauai we lived on the water. Kept our beloved Warpath at anchor in front of the house, my horses in the red barn across the way. Somehow Bill and I managed to combine the horsey and  sailing set. Sailing these water–Bill and me–was too vast another world to describe briefly, but at night, beneath a sparkle strewn sky  and moon wide wonder–no phones, no worldly distractions–was an experience that kept our feet planted firmly on solid ground when they had to be. We lost Warpath during Ewa and Flash, Beau, and Billy are buried here. Bill’s ashes scattered.

Today it’s a third world. Gated  million dollar ghettos. The poor. The homeless. Cane is a  memory lost in concrete- coated  madness.  I see more cars driving to Lihue than there were on the Island 46 years ago. We’ve traffic jams–engine to BBQ hatchback– expelling so much CO2 it’s a wonder any of us survive.

Some people call this progress.

What do you call it?

 

 

THE COSMIC PSYCHOPATH FACE TO FACE
October 15, 2014

We’re in for a bad time.The struggle to protect freedom is a constant worry to those who love our country. What’s most disturbing is the obvious inclusion of a dark politically religious undertone ‘the secret fundamentalism at the heart of American power’, as Jeff Sharlet wrote in his bestseller ‘The FAMILY’. it’s time to confront the Christian Mafia and the ‘murky, menacing men’ who run it. More cult than religion it rears its ugly head like some primitive beast risen from the grave to hound and confound. Barbara Ehrenreich insists we read the book but ‘not alone at night’. Heed her advice.

So powerful and insidious is this family of Nazi cultists it strains the senses to acknowledge its existence. But there is no denying Sharlet. He’s a fine writer, a respected journalist, editor, researcher and historian. His elegant ‘passionate, principled, and powerful’ expose has won praise from thinking people around the world.

Shake your head. Hide from the truth. This is the year 2014! Truths like these don’t belong. The Age of Reason can’t have died. We won the Second World War. Twenty million people died to defeat Hitler, and, surely, in the 21st century, mankind has evolved beyond the need of a mythical creature to rule and control us. A creature created with vile purpose by men of little or no worth other than the ability to use tricks of propaganda, learned at the hands of masters- Hitler, Himmler, and Goebbels- to bring it to worldwide fruition. Dead men whose design and structure of social control was too psychotic to last, became the foundation of The Fellowship Foundation’s existence.

“I thank heaven for a man like Adolph Hitler, who built a front line of defense against her anti-christ of Communism,” Frank Buchman, a foundation architect and close friend of founder, Norwegian born Nazi sympathizer, Abraham Vereide, says it all. The close ties of this group to the men who run our country goes beyond any sense the reasoning mind can comprehend.

Infused with the foreign policy of George W. Bush, confused with the teachings of Leo Strauss, Richard Perle, and Paul Wolfowitz, bemused with misty musty Americsn prayer day-breakfast meetings, secret cells-and an army of dimwitted evangelists preaching and teaching absurdities baffle the mind.

Some of their beliefs are so foreign to the American dream it’s a wonder they’ve been able to attack, let alone breach, the wall. Hidden beneath Machiavellian lies it’s a wonder we’ve been able to hold on to any truths we hold dear. Their mind-set abhors the very idea of separation of church and state. America is to become their theocracy. No taxes for the rich, and no taxes for the church. Endless wars for god and profit. No use for public schools. America’s children are to be home schooled with books written by them. Darwin out. Creationism in. Kids brainwashed to believe these lies with cult style tactics in cult style camps. They preach an economy so twisted it has the dismal science of economics standing on its head. Poverty is a punishment of god. Greed is a virtue. It’s a cult so deeply entrenched in misogyny one can pity for the simple-minded chattel who fall into its maws. So homophobic one worries about the safety of those with other sexual preferences.

And they’re thick on Kauai.

 

FICTION
July 18, 2014

There’s a profound saying, “The best liars are: actors and actresses, fiction writers, politicians.

Actors and actresses?  What could be a more radiant  lie than pretending to be someone else  on stage or screen? I mean, you are you, who you are, and being somebody you’re not is a lie performed, hopefully,  well enough  your deceit  makes a captive audience-who knows who you are- believe you’re somebody else.

I’m an actress. I love to act. I’m the sort of  actress who suffers opening night nerves every night. My knees knock.I shiver and shake. I’m miserable. Then  the curtain goes up, or I make an entrance, and- whoop-de-do- I’m somebody else. Bettejo’s back stage, knees knocking, quaking, miserable. The most difficult role I ever played was Fonzia Dorsey- in The Gin Game- a  self-righteous over- the- hill diabetic in a seedy  old folk’s home who I really disliked. There was a humorous quality here but a nastiness slopped through.

Fiction? I love writing fiction. I get lost in the story. I love or hate my characters, but every word I put on paper, page after page, is a lie. This is true of any piece of fiction written by any writer. The scary part of this  is when the book is published and you wait for the reader’s response. You hope he or she loves it as much as you.

Politicians? Skip it.

The interesting part about fiction and acting, however-the hidden dimension-is that these lies are creative endeavors. One is using the ‘gift’-or curse- to lie in a positive manner.  No harm is intended. A story  is to be told. A play  to be performed. The theater goer has come to the theater to be fooled-transported, lost for a while in an other world-as does the reader to a book.

A fictitious piece of story telling  is fantasy and the writer hopes the reader joins her on the journey she’s concocted. Some stories are so compelling the reader-and the writer- may want to read it over and over. My husband read  Franny and Zooey once every year. A reader wrote of Salinger that he didn’t think he’d like  him because he was such an incredibly believable liar. He missed the point, of course. Salinger told his lies on paper.

As a writer I’d  rather make people laugh. Laughter is good. I think The THE SCAM is a cute, funny, piece about life in the 60’s on Kauai. CHILDREN of the EXTINCTION takes a hundred and 180 degree turn. Kauai, in the future, is not funny. But the  characters are very human and laughter is a very human quality. Even in some of the scariest scenes, they find laughter. They also find every emotion humans  can experience. Evil emotions as well. CHILDREN is a most controversial book. I come down hard on a subject one is not supposed to come down on. There is a Dark Side. That’s part of the story-telling experience. Will the Dark Side win?

If you read me on Amazon, scan through SCAM  first.

 

OLD KAUAI/NEW KAUAI
November 3, 2011

Kauai, through Karen’s eyes in the 60’s , was much different from Kauai through my eyes in ’11, but the Kauai she lived in is very much like mine.

Almost removed from time, my land in up-country Kalaheo, is still very much old Hawaii. Located in a valley  surrounded by a narrow, twisty two lane road and surrounded by open country, it smells, looks, sounds, tastes-if you pick and suck on a honeysuckle sweet Turk’s Head hibiscus and  savor a sun-rippened papaya-and touch every leaf and tree and bough. Every thing you touch is directly related to the same leaf and tree and bough that she once touched.

I’ve no street lights and little traffic at night, so at sun down and early morning before the sun comes up, it could be Hawaii a hundred years ago. I have to saunter outside my gates and walk a bit before I see the light of another house. My land is very animal friendly. It’s really an aviary. The song of the birds, there are hundreds, are a choir of delight; better than the pipes that awaken the Queen at Buckingham. I love the sound of the rooster crow, the cattle low, the dog bark, the occasional bray of a lonely mule. Playful winds keep leaves dancing and branches swaying and, in my wide open jungle house, transcend the need of an air conditioner. When the Night Blooming Jasmin blooms and the Sansiveria blossoms the scent wafting through the house is an open bottle of perfume sprinkled, spilled,  and generously splashed in every corner, every crevice every crack in the red tile floor. The downside  of this refreshing redolence is the same drafty breeze that scatters the scent also tosses leaves inside. I have the only house in the country you have to rake.

Here, in my outdoor ‘studio’, where I write deathless prose and nasty letters in the middle of a deep Honduran jungle, the bank behind me sways with the bobbing white heads of Walking Iris and  literally overflows with life and living things, old and new. A pair of rosy breasted thrush raise their kids in an urn on the  courtyard wall and moments ago my new puppy, Boots, who usually dozes at my feet, fell out of a thick green moss backed branch of a Holly Berry tree crawling with Lawai Fern. Maybe she thinks she’s a cat. In my house, in my life,  you can always expect the unexpected.

I don’t like to cook. I can’t cook. Really don’t have a kitchen. What passes as a land-locked galley is a passing through space where I open the fridge, grab a bite of cheese, a cracker, a handful of chocolate and a quick slug through the plastic spout of a container of orange juice on a galloping dash to someplace else. Any place else.  Bet you didn’t know cheese, crackers, chocolates and orange juice are a great afternoon snack?

I eat like a bird and if I ever invite you to a party where you know I’m going to cook, head immediately for Nome.

KAREN’S KAUAI/ MY KAUAI
October 29, 2011

One difference between Karen Holt’s Kauai and  mine, is she  didn’t have to deal with millions of tons of  Japanese debris descending on us. Hope you remember Karen. She’s one of my favorite characters and the major narrator of my larcenous, licentious and litigious piece of humorous fiction, THE SCAM.

Like our own wonderful novelist, JILL MARIE LANDIS, I, too, hope to have a book signing party at Tahiti Nui. She’ll be there tomorrow between 3 and 5 p.m. Can’t wait to read MAI TAI ONE ON. Darling title, can’t wait to read it. Meet you there.

Until then, however, something has come up. An interesting fellow by the name of Mitchel Tyranny has written  a  letter to the Garden island Forum cheerfully heralding the demise of  the state of Hawaii.

“Could be,” wrote Mitchel, “that the whole state of Hawaii’ll need to be evacuated. Sad about that.”

Actually he didn’t sound  sad at all, so I phoned him-he’s in Colorado- and asked him to come to Kauai and discuss the issue.

I started the conversation- it was my five bucks, after all- introduced myself. “Mitchel,” I said, “your letter interests me. I’ll send you a ticket to Kauai, if you’ll come to my party and talk to us.”

“Who us?”

“Friends on Kauai.”

“Kauai. Hawaii. The mongrel state.”

“Mongrel state? I have a puppy, Boots, who’s part Pit bull.  Don’t think she’s a mongrel, but if you object to her presence I’ll lock her up.”

“What color your friends?” his voice sneered.

“Human colored. Most of them. Do you have a preference?”

“Yeah. All white. No browns, blacks, or yellows.”

“Done,” I said.  “Tickets at the airport. A car’ll be  waiting.”

I busied myself in preparation and when he arrived, met him at the gate. An ordinary looking skin head, overweight and snappily attired in brown shirt and storm boots, he barged through the gates. “Jap car. Hate Jap cars.”

“It was all I could afford. Forgive me.” He sneered for real.

I graciously invited him in and seated him on the couch. My  friends, as much as they loved me, sat at the table or in plastic chairs I’d borrowed for the occasion. He looked them up and down. They looked him back. No one spoke.

“German beer? Weiner schnitzel?”

“No cross? No flag? Where’s your patriotism?” He slurped the beer straight from the bottle. Bit the weenie.

I got right to the point. The vehicle waiting to get him out of here was warming up. “Are you really so happy to see Hawaii, the fish, everything sbout this lovely island go down the tube?”

“Damn right. Sooner the better,” he began to drool.  “Mongrels. The lot of you.”

“Even the fish?” I handed him another beer. This one sweetly laced.

“Seen one. Seen’em all.”

“If we have to evacuate, where’ll we go?” All eyes at the party were on this man.

“We got places for you to go.”

“Pleasant places, I hope.”

If you like ovens,” he giggled and fell off the couch.

The friendly blues, who’d taken human form for the occasion, levitated him to the space shuttle.

They shook their heads. “There’s always hope, ”  they sighed.

I turned Boots lose and fed her the last of the schnitzle.

ABOUT BETTEJO
October 25, 2011

I’ve seen Kauai through my own eyes for over forty years but my humorous novel, The SCAM, will be seen through the eyes of a character I love and created, Karen Holt, she and her whole clan, in the hip 60’s. This column-you call it a blog-will take us back and bring us forward to today.

Today, driving to metropolitan Lihue, I see more cars than there were on the island when I arrived.

My husband, Bill,  was the Engineering Department Head for McBryde Sugar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Alexander and Baldwin, Big Five, lots of land and MATSON navigation; sugar was King then, actually the managers were Kings and department heads and their wives Lords and Ladies of the land. It was a wonderful life. We lived in some beautiful homes, one on the Spouting Horn Road-millionaire’s row-overlooking Kukuiula Harbor, where we kept our boat, and across the street from land we leased where we kept our horses. Our last abode, a lava rock  mansion up the Alexander Dam Road where, behind us all the way to Hanalei, there was no other habitation, was delightfully secluded.  Up there I rode my leopard appoloosa, Beauregard, followed by the dogs and my  black American Show Shetland stallion Flash’s Fanfare Sensation. Flashy darted along, no halter, no line, a free soul who, at the ripe old age of 40, sometimes led the way.

Our canine companions were two  Great Pyrenees and an odd assortment -sometimes two , sometimes three- of mixed bred size and shape. They fit in.

I did not. I was, and still am, sometimes, the one everybody loves to hate. In my lifetime of travels I’ve been the one everybody loved to love and the one everybody loved to hate and, truthfully, I  can’t tell you what role I liked the best.

Remember, I’d blown into Kauai from  big city Honolulu where I wrote a column for the Honolulu Star Bulletin/Advertiser,  some small local magazines, and acted with the only professional theater group in Hawaii, the Magic Ring Theater at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. I was also a noisy Peacenik, an early environmentalist, and a rabid Letter to the Editor writer. I’ve kept what I call the Bettejo Page, an entire Letter to the Editor section of the Honolulu Advertiser with a guest commentary about over-development signed by Mrs. William Dux. A picture of me-2X6- with a blurb about my column and a cartoon showing a lady  holding back a million junked cars has a caption that still reads “Beauty and the Beast”. The head of my long diatribe reads “Where To Go When All’s  Gone?”

My writing and outspoken personality went over on Kauai like a tsunami at a beach party.

Poor Bill, he was constantly bombarded at work with, “Do you know what she did?” Which, by the way, most of the time I didn’t.

I once had a neighbor drop in for coffee and regale me with his hour-long diatribe of what people were saying about me. My response, as I spilled hot coffee in his lap, “…and I hope they believe every word of it. Then they’ll stay away which is exactly what I want them to do.”

They did.