It’s a Whole Different World in Hawaii

Weather in Maui today: Abundant sunshine. High around 85F. Winds NE at 20 to 30 mph

It’s a Whole Different World in Hawaii

Please Note: This post was published two days before Andy Griffith passed away. Weird timing. RIP, Ange. “Andy Griffith Dead at 86”.

Aloha!

Recognize the guy in the image above? Good ol’ Barney from the Andy Griffith show. There’s a magic show in Lahaina called Warren and Annabelle’s, and the magician, Warren, is from North Carolina. So the running schtick of the evening is that we are in “Mayberry” and he assigns show names to audience members who participate, such as “Goober” “Andy” and “Ain’t Bee” (sic).  To show you that it’s a whole different world in Hawaii http://www.warrenandannabelles.com/ I will tell you about our time there. First of all, Warren is an amazing magician and great comedian. As a concierge, I sent guests from the hotel there constantly, telling them. “you will laugh till your sides hurt.” The first time Mike and I went, I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes as Warren managed to make the Goober character look ridiculous, and Aunt Bee found someone else’s watch in her purse from across the room.

I noticed as the evening went on that Mike wasn’t laughing. I thought maybe he didn’t feel well. The whole audience would erupt and he would just sit there, stony faced. I decided to not let it bother me and just enjoy the evening. Afterwards as we were walking out I said, “Don’t you feel well?” No, he felt fine. “Then why weren’t you laughing with the rest of us?” He looked at me with a strange expresion and said he had no idea what Warren was talking about up there. “What’s a Goober?” he asked.

It took a moment for this to compute. “You mean you never saw The Andy Griffith Show? http://www.imayberry.com/. Uncomfortable silence. Andy? Barney? Opie? You know, Ron Howard as a kid? http://twitter.com/RealRonHoward/ By now he had that deer in the headlights look which I had come to know meant I was traveling dangerous ground that was no doubt rooted in a Hawaii upbringing. He does not find this amusing.

After a little more careful prodding he admitted: “We didn’t get TV out on the North Shore.” (He grew up on Oahu.) “The mountains were in the way and we couldn’t get the signal.”

You know the sound of a needle scratching across a record? That was my brain. I had been together with this man for how many years now….and hadn’t managed to stumble across this piece of information? Don’t get me wrong…Mike has been around the world twice, surfing (it didn’t hurt that he had a brother who worked for Pan Am and back then immediate family could fly for free!) so it isn’t like he’d never been off the island. It’s just his experience of living on an island and the gaps in his popular culture knowledge that amaze me. “What the heck did you do at night?” I asked. “Slept!” he said. “I’d been up since dawn surfing.”

I envy Mike his childhood in Hawaii. It’s as near-perfect a childhood I’ve ever heard anyone describe, filled with the ocean, water sports, sunshine, cutting school to go surfing (with little to no reprecussions!) going barefoot to school, and sneaking out at night to go down to the beach. He has an impressive collection of  “floats” : Japanese fishing floats made of what we think of today as sea-glass, light blue and sea-green, some of them still wrapped in the thick twine used to hold them to the line. http://www.glassfloatjunkie.com/They are some of his most precious possesions, and it’s rare to find them intact anymore, at least in Hawaii. Note the rolling pin shape, or “roller”:

Mike found these on the beach in Kailua, where he grew up. If you’d like to learn more about these floats, go to  http://home.comcast.net/~4miller/aboutfloats/about.html

In the inverse of the way Mike’s never seen a raccoon, chipmunk or snake (three staples of my Indiana upbringing) he can go into the jungle in Hawaii and name every tree, plant and berry…and know which ones are safe to eat. If I were ever to get shipwrecked on a deserted island, he’s the guy I’d want to have along. He’d have a wild pig caught and roasting over a fire on a spit in the time it would take me to figure out which way was North.

Just don’t ask him to name the guy in the picture at the top of this post.

A hui hou (til next time). If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the Follow button on the Home Page.

Thanks for stopping by!

Aloha, Jamaica

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