THE DREAM’S OF PARADISE ARE FOREVER EMBLAZONED ON THE MINDS OF WORKERS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME. IT’S LIKE AN IDEA THAT IS FUELED BY MYTH AND LEGEND, EVEN IN THE BIBLE.

I REMEMBER MY FIRST TIME OF VISITING THE ISLAND OF OAHU, IN HAWAII. WE LANDED SAFELY AFTER 8 HOURS IN THE AIR, ABOARD A PROPELER DRIVEN PLANE. THE RIDE WAS ROUGH AND STRESSFUL, BECAUSE THE MOTORS COUGHED A COUPLE OF TIMES, AND WE WERE ENCOUNTERING WIND GUSTS, THAT TOSSED US AROUND LIKE SACKS OF POTATOES. DRINKS WERE FREE AND WE ALL GOT DRUNK AS WE ATE SANDWICHES AND PRETZELS, PEANUTS, AND CHIPS ABOARD THAT TWA FLIGHT IN 1970.

EVEN FROM THE AIR OAHU IS MAGNIFICENT AND GEORGEOUS AS ANY ISLAND IN THE WORLD. I PLANNED ON WORKING IN THE TOURIST INDUSTRY AS A BARTENDER, WAITER, COOK, OR CHIEF BOTTLE WASHER. I HAD GROWN-UP IN THE RESTURANT AND FOOD SERVICE INDUSTRY AS WELL AS BEING TAUGHT MIXOLOGY SINCE I WAS 11 YEARS OLD. MIXOLOGY IS THE PREPERATION OF DRINKS THAT CONTAIN ALCOHOL. I COULD GET YOU DRUNK 99 WAYS AND DISQUISE THE FLAVORS SO YOU WOULDN’T KNOW. AS WE DECEND, THE BLUE OF THE OCEAN AND ALL THE SWAYING PALM TREES ARE SEPERATED BY THE WHITE SAND ACTING AS A RIBBON TO SEPARATE THE TWO. HIGHRISE DEVELOPMENT, AND ALL THE MANY HOMES CONGESTED MAKE A SHARP CONTRAST, AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE POPULATION BOOM IN THIS ISLAND KINGDOM. THE AIRPORT WAS DIVIDED INTO A LOCAL ISLAND AIRPORT AND THE INTERNATIONAL ONE WHICH CONTAINED A BAR, AND WAS MY FIRST STOP TO RELAX AND GATHER INFORMATION. I WAS EXCITED TO LIVE HERE IN “PARADISE”. THE TIKI LOUNGE WAS DECORATED IN FAKE POLYNESIAN STYLE. IT HAD PALMS AND PARROTS WITH SPEARS AND SHIELDS AND MASKS THAT LOOKED MORE LIKE PAPAU NEW GUINEA ORIGIN NAILED ON THE WALLS. ALL THE SERVICE PERSONEL WERE BROWN SKINNED, BUT NOT HAWAIIANS. TOURISM DOES THAT TO AN ISLAND CULTURE. I INQUIRED ABOUT CHEAP ROOMS AND WAS DIRECTED TO HOTEL STREET NEAR CHINATOWN. THAT SOUNDED “KOOL MAN”. I FOUND A CHEAP ROOM WITH A PRIVATE BATHROOM AND CLEAN SHEETS WITH A FAN FOR $15 A NIGHT, $75 A WEEK OR $250 A MONTH. I GAVE THE OLD CHINA WOMAN $250 AND THEN SHE GAVE ME A HOTPLATE, AND SHOWED ME WHERE THE REFRIDGERATOR WAS, THAT I WOULD BE ALLOWED 1 SHELF TO USE. THERE WAS A COURTYARD IN BACK OF THIS OLD WOODEN HOUSE WITH CHICKENS AND PIDGEONS ON THE ROOF. THEY EVEN HAD A SMALL GARDEN AND A ROW OF BEANS AND SQUASH GROWING ALONG THE BACK FENCE. IT WAS A WORKING FARM IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CITY. I BET MAMA-SAN WOULD HAVE HAD A COW, OR GOATS, IF THEY ALLOWED IT. SHE WAS ABOUT 80 YEARS YOUNG, AND HER NEPHEW WAS IN HIS 60’S. THEY ALWAYS WERE YELLING AT EACH OTHER IN CANTONESE, AND I THINK IT WAS A HABIT OF REASSURING EACH OTHER,THAT THEY WERE STILL ALIVE. THE OTHER ROOMS WERE RENTED BY A COLLECTIVE OF LOCALS, TRAVELERS FROM ALL OVER, AND HOOKERS THAT WERE IN TOTAL DISBELIEF, THAT THEY WERE IN FACT WHORES. THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE LADIES, THAT DATED A LOT OF MEN, WHOM WERE GENEROUS ENOUGH TO PAY OFF, THE DEBTS OWED, AND EVEN TAKE THEM OUT TO DINNER EVERYNIGHT. I DATED A DOZEN OF THEM IN THE 3 MONTHS I LIVED AT THAT ADDRESS. I FOUND A JOB, AT A BAR IN WAIKIKI CALLED, “HOLLIHANS” WHERE I BARTENDED AND GOT DRUNK, FOR $5 AN HOUR AND TIPS. MY TIP JAR WAS FULL EVERY NIGHT, AND I WAS SAVING ABOUT $1,000 A WEEK AFTER ALL MY EXPENSES. I SPENT EVERYDAY, SURFING, AND WORKED EVERY EVENING I COULD. I LEARNED FROM LOCALS THAT, “THE BIG ISLAND” WAS WILD, AND PRIMITIVE, WITH A LIVE VOLCANO, AND JUNGLE ACRES FOR SALE, AT $5,000 AN ACRE. I HAD ENOUGH MONEY SAVED, TO BUILD A BAR AND RESTURANT IN 1970, AFTER 3 MONTHS OF GETTING DRUNK. I STARTED A SPORTS BETTING OPERATION, THAT MADE ME BELIEVE, THOSE GIANT MOKES HANGING AROUND WERE LOCAL THUGS, INTENDING ON CLOSING MY BETTING PARLOR DOWN, AND CRUSHING MY HEAD. SO I MOVED DURING THE NIGHT, AND HEADED FOR THIS PLACE THAT I COULD BUILD MY DREAMS UPON, “THE BIG ISLAND.” I LANDED IN KONA, HAWAII AND FOUND A JOB WITH A LARGE PROPERTY OWNER , “TOMMY DUARTE SR.” FROM HULUALOA, WHOM, OWNED PROPERTY FROM THE MOUNTAIN TO THE SEA. I WOULD BE THE CHIEF MR. FIXIT, AND MAKE IT WORK KINDA GUY, FOR $400 A WEEK. I WAS GIVEN ACCESS TO A DESERTED CONCRETE BUNKER, THAT I RENOVATED. IT WAS MY HOME , A TOTTALY LOCAL HAWAIIAN COMMUNITY THAT TAUGHT ME ALL THINGS HAWAIIAN, EVEN SOME OF THE LANGUAGE. I PLAYED MUSIC AND CREATED ARTS AND CRAFTS, AS WELL AS CELEBRATED LIFE, WITH “ALOHA”. AFTER 6 MONTHS I PURCHASED AN ACRE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISLAND, IN THE PUNA DISTRICT. IT WAS LOCATED IN EDEN ROC ESTATES, WHEREVER THAT WAS? I PACKED UP MY FORD F150 WITH ALL MY BELONGINGS AND QUIT MY JOB, UNDER DUBIOUS CIRCUMSTANCE, BECAUSE THEY LIKED ME, AND CONSIDERED ME THEIR SLAVE. 100 YEARS PRIOR I WOULD HAVE BEEN KILLED FOR BREAKING AN AGREEMENT WITH A POWERFUL FAMILY.

EDEN ROC ESTATES WAS A ROAD CUT INTO THE PUNA DISTRICT, OFF THE VOLCNO ROAD ,AND HAD AROUND 450 INCHES OF RAIN A YEAR, MAKING LIFE ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE. RAIN, RAIN, RAIN, AND MORE RAIN. I ENDURED TO BUILD MY FIRST “ARK” OR HOMESTEAD AS THEY CALLED IT. IT TOOK ME 40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS. I WAS A RESIDENT “HAOLI” OR “FUCKING HAOLI“, AS THEY USUALLY REFFERED TO ME. I BECAME “KAMAINA” AFTER A FEW YEARS. I LEARNED HOW TO BE “AKAMI” AND “PONO”, I LEARNED HOW TO LIVE, “ALOHA AINA”. MY ISLAND HOME WAS GROWING ON ME. LOCAL GIRLS STARTED TO TREAT ME LIKE ANYONE ELSE, AND I WAS PASSED AROUND LIKE A SWEET TART, AMONGST THE SINGLE WOMEN. THE “PAKALOLO” INDUSTRY, WAS THE MONEY MAKER, AND I WAS A FARMER AND DISTRIBUTOR FOR THIS AMAZING PLANT. THE YEAR WAS 1971 AND LIFE WAS FANTASTIC. I LEARNED HOW TO SURF, HUNT WILD PIGS, AND COOK.

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