Good Morning Guests of Today’s Vernissage,
I suspect I’ll be on my way to Hawaii before the two or three of you read this structurally deficient homage, and half way to paradise. I honestly don’t mean to gloat or even a quietly uttered na-nana na-naa, but I’ve been there a dozen times prior to this writing and can almost taste the roasted pig.
Most of my trips to the islands were business related and had to be vigilant not to fall into the pit of “Island Fever.” This insidious grasp from the islands have ruined marriages, ended careers, and separated families.
Few people I know go out of their way to play ukulele music. Put them on the islands and all of a sudden it makes sense! Seductive and soothing, the sound is carried by the trade winds that call out leading you to the clear blue water and white sands of a pristine beach. Before the second day is over you quit checking your phone and emails. On the third day you’ve opted for shorts and flip-flops and have purchased 5 Hawaiian shirts giving your coat & tie to Goodwill.
I’d like to share a true story from one of my last business trips to the islands. I was on the “Garden Island” of Kauai the wettest place on earth with 450 inches of rain annually. I completed my appointments and back to my hotel by 3:00 pm. In Hawaii every hotel lobby and restaurant is open aired allowing the sweet smells and sounds to waft through one’s olfactory(s).
I changed clothes and decided to have a rum punch with an umbrella. I got to the hotel bar and it was raining in buckets but I was the only patron there and took a seat to facilitate my view of the storm blowing through. My bartender was a ‘Haole’ (white person-round eye) like me, so I asked him how long he’d been there. “17 years” he said smiling as if it was an inside joke. “What?” I asked, “Please tell me the joke.”
He had just gotten married and was sent on their honeymoon in Kauai. My bartender immediately fell under the spell of ‘Island Fever’ and desperately pleaded with his new bride to pull up stakes and live in paradise. His bride wouldn’t have any of it and didn’t want to be separated from her family and friends. My bartender never looked back and sent his bride home to have the marriage annulled. He’s lived in Kauai ever since. The islands have thousands of similar stories of island fever but thought the above was a perfect example.
I’m not going for business thankfully and will simply soak it all in. I’m there to attend a wedding of a dear friend who was instrumental in establishing laser speed enforcement on the islands and many ‘Pacific Rim’ countries. It was at a critical time for our fledgling company and I’ll never forget “Snorkel Bob” so I made the trip.
I’ve decided to let ‘Island Fever’ have its way with me so I may or may not return. I’ll be looking for a wealthy widow or a divorcee who took everything her old man had and can support me in future artistic endeavors.
Morally this may be wrong, but it won’t be my fault!