Wednesday, January 4, 2012


      For an entire year, Shari and I were dust devils, causing an enjoyable stir of strong whirlwinds wherever we went. I was attending the University of Hawaii Manoa, obtaining my fashion merchandising degree. Shari was transferred to Oahu from Rochester, New York, by Rotelcom, a telecommunications company, for a one-year contract. Carol, a girlfriend’s sister, who also worked at Rotelcom, met Shari in the office the first day Shari reported to duty.
I was working in a clothing boutique in the evenings after class. Sue, Carol’s sister, worked at our second boutique. Sue and I were out several nights a week after our shifts, listening to music. It seemed as though the fun would never stop. Sue met Jeff, her eventual husband, and began staying home. I needed a new friend.
            When Carol met Shari, she said she knew of someone who was right up her alley. That night, Shari and I went to Moose McGillycuddy's, a local club, to hear a band. After consuming several Long Island iced teas, we began walking to Sue’s place to spend the night. On the way to her apartment, we encountered stumbling blocks.
At the time, I was living in my office at the University of Hawaii, to be closer to school. I was an assistant to the director of the recreation program. Although I wasn’t supposed to be living there, I left a difficult situation and had no where else to go. Sometimes, I slept at Sue’s.
Shari and I soon moved into a high rise near campus, so I could ride my bicycle back and forth to class. During our time together, we made friends with numerous awesome Brazilian men, scoured every inch of Oahu, welcomed several visitors from the mainland, danced at The Wave, (our chosen club), spent the weekend hours on our favorite beach and stopped by a friend’s place of employment to offer some mischief.
            One Friday night Keith, a friend of ours, called looking for sympathy and to let off steam about his roommate. He said his room-mate fell asleep while smoking and caught their apartment on fire. I burst into a fit of hysterical laughter and he slammed down the phone, leaving my ear ringing. The next morning on our way to the beach, after having a big breakfast at Moose’s, Shari and I stopped by Keith’s workplace to make amends.
The microphone, which was used to call employees in the back parking lot, was sitting right there on the counter. Grabbing it and pulling it toward me so Keith couldn’t reach, I blared into the mic the lyrics to the Talking Heads’ tune “Burning Down the House.” Keith’s eyes burned with rage as Shari and I made a run for the door.
One weekend, a friend of Shari’s asked to park his brand new Corvette at our place while he went to the mainland for a couple of weeks. The temptation was far too enticing to resist. We promised each other we would take it out for a spin just one night. We weren’t able to get the driver’s seat to move forward so Shari’s 5’4” frame could reach the pedals of the car. The 6’2” owner positioned the seat to accommodate his long legs. I put a pillow behind Shari’s back in an attempt to compensate for the difference. Prior to this, we had only the local bus for transportation. Now, we had the keys to a car!
Having a car was too good to believe. Despite our promise, we drove it everywhere we went. Coming home late one night after an outing at The Wave, we couldn’t be bothered with the pillow. It was after 2 in the morning and all we wanted was to get home. Shari pulled her friend’s car into our parking garage and instead of parking in our designated parking stall, Shari took the first one she saw near the elevator. Unable to reach the brakes (while driving way too fast), Shari wiped out an entire wall of aluminum mailboxes.
We had a group of musician friends who were crazy popular on Oahu at the time. Having them in our company meant wild times wherever we went. One night, we celebrated the drummer’s birthday at our place with dinner and a special cake in the shape of a breast. The band had a gig that night on the other side of the Island; however, we’d already invited a gang of other friends to our party. The musicians needed to head off to their gig while the party was in full bloom. Shari and I wanted to go with them so we left the raging party in the hands of our capable guests.
We stayed overnight on the other side of the Island. When we finally walked off the bus the next morning and near the front door of our apartment complex, we saw a couple of police cars out front. We wondered what in the heck was going on, although we didn’t care too much. The only thing on our minds was sleep.
We headed up to the 27th floor on the elevator and then stumbled out to our apartment door. There stood four police officers with their arms folded across their chests. Accompanying them was Kathy, the manager, of the building. Shocked, we asked, “What’s going on?” Kathy yelled, with veins bulging in her neck, “The party you had last night nearly killed someone next door!” One of the officers told us we were really in the doghouse.
Kathy said someone had been throwing birthday cake, yes, the cake, champagne bottles, food and clothing off the lanai (deck) into the neighbor’s small pool while people were swimming. We told her we hadn’t been home at the time. We apologized profusely and promised it would never happen again.
She told us to look inside our apartment to see the mess for ourselves. I found the key (finally) and slowly opened the door. Within an instant, Hapa, our pet rabbit, ran into the hallway. I grabbed Hapa, saying we were just keeping him for a friend for the weekend. As I opened the door again, I stood frozen with my mouth gaping.
Our once-tidy, beautifully decorated apartment was trashed! We could not see a square inch of the plush, new cream-colored carpeting. There were dishes, bottles, clothes, food and bodies everywhere. Kathy said, “You’re evicted! Pack your belongings now!” and stormed off, with the officers in tow.
We woke everyone up and told them to leave. After that, we took a nap and then began cleaning. By the end of the night, we had our apartment back in tip-top shape. We went down to the manager’s apartment to apologize. Kathy’s husband answered the door, however, she refused to speak to us. We asked him to take a look at our efforts. We begged him to give us one more chance. He liked us for some reason and said he would talk with Kathy.
Shari’s one-year contract and our one-year lease ended. Shari returned to New York and I moved in with another girlfriend. Later, Shari married, became the mother to three children while continuing her full-time employment. It’s been more than 25 years since our escapades on Tusitala Avenue, however, I remember 1983 vividly. Everyone should have such a year; memories like these are made to last a lifetime.

We were united on Oahu in 1983
Carol knew best friends we would be
Out to Moose’s for Long Island iced tea
the dancing, the boys, the hilarity
At closing time, down the stairs we did stumble
into the bushes I did tumble
You kept blabbing into thin air
you didn’t even realize I wasn’t there!
You pulled me from the office where I lived at school
into a highrise, where the clouds did rule
It didn’t take long to make hundreds of friends
in my mind, to this day, the laughter never ends
The Brazilians we met turned our world on
the food, the parties from dusk ‘til dawn
We met real musicians; they came over to play
the police the next morning did have their say
You met a nice guy, who loaned you his car
plowing into our mailboxes; the brakes were too far
Keith managed Aloha Funway Rentals
singing to his clients; he thought we were mentals
Off to Moose’s again for eggs and rice
and breakfast Bloody Mary’s, which were quite nice
Walking to the beach to soak up the sun
the alcohol, too, oh, what fun!
We became so tan; our hair so blonde
dozens of boys thought you quite fond
Once, at The Wave, we danced to The Hat,
where Peter, the cutie, sang with Marty; oh, drat!
Chris, from England, won your heart that night
you left something behind; things didn’t feel right
When Leni truly swept you off your feet
it seemed no other man you’d meet
Riding the bus home from Ala Mo
we recounted how your boys come and go
Your work ended in a year
my life was over, this was my fear
24 years later, you’re still my sister
since knowing you, life’s been a twister
Perhaps when we’re old we’ll return
to our haunts with more than lessons to learn
Of how to stay young, carefree and wise
we’ll soak up the sun, stare at the skies
In Hawaiiana, the land of love,
aloha is spread from up above
Our lives have changed, our hearts still in place
one day, we’ll meet in the sacred space
Recounting the memories of those so rare
our treasured days with nary a care
Until we meet for our reunion trip
I’ll do my best to remain quite hip
We know each other’s secrets; GOD does, too
our souls are stronger; our hearts beat true
Who knows what lies ahead in our future years?
time will tell as we grind our gears
With this thing called life, our daily chore
would we change a thing; could we ask for more?
Than what we’ve seen, done or had
one thing’s for sure; I’m very glad
I met you, my friend, indeed
You’re with me in my hour of need
Saying the right things to soothe my heart
although it’s true, we’re miles apart,
You’re by my side every step of the way
I’m grateful to GOD, you’re here to stay.


  1. That is so funny! You chicks were just wild my visit was most enjoyable and off the hook. What a lucky man I am to have experienced so much in my life. The pro athlete girl did not work out for me, but my life smoothed out quickly and stability soon became the norm. Jealous Tony did not even know about us.

    1. I'll bet Tony sensed something happening in the air that night , , ,

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