February 11, 2017
The coffee bar finally opened and I have a paper cup of Kona Coffee for $4.75.
The cup is one of those new ones that is integrated. A to-go cup that doesn’t need one of those little sleeves to protect my hand form the heat. I wonder what happens to the people who made their livings making those sleeves? I always thought the sleeves were a great idea. Anyway, the coffee used to be free in the lobby of this hotel, but not anymore. The shampoo used to be these great small bottles with Hawaiian flowers on them, with the stuff inside made on the island. I swear it made the shampoo and conditioner work better. Now the stuff on the inside of these tiny plastic tubes is made in Culver City. Wherever that is in California. I looked at my hair in the mirror but can’t tell.
The towels at the hotel used to all be pink but now they are white…a sign of the times? Is it me, or is the squeezing of every last buck out of everything leading to somewhere not so good? No free refills, either. I asked. She did say, however, that I would not have to wait in line. I thought that was pretty good, until I noted that there was no line. I’m down at the beach sitting on the sand because a beach chair is twenty bucks to rent for the day. I thought about that while sitting here on my free portion of sand. Do you have to guard your chair all day if you rent one? What if somebody comes along and sits in it? Does the hotel beach attendant keep track of what everyone looks like? They must have to hire pretty smart attendants with good memories to work this beach.
I must admit that the coffee’s good, not quite as good as the Kona Coffee at the Geneva Java, at home. I also sit in wonder, waiting for the dawn, about whether it is simply the fact that old people (like me) always want things the way they were. I still drive past a cleared lot on an old back street of this town, for example, and recall the great creaky wooden house I once lived in. Why do I feel regret that the place is torn down and gone? It was a crummy house with walls you could see through in places. The sun rise is going to be great in a few minutes, and the sand and water are free.
My wife and I walked the beach pictured above in early June, 1968 while on R&R from Nam. Heard Don Ho singing at the pink hotel when we walked by one evening. We stayed at the Breakers motel, an ambient little two story place a block off the beach, which is still in operation today, surrounded by high-rises. At the time it was across the parade field from Ft. DeRussey, our arrival and departure point. We walked all over Waikiki and out to the Moana shopping mall, which I think was at that time the world’s largest. We took a couple of tours of the island including one with a luau. A wonderful five days in the real world, relaxing, dining and playing in the water with my beautiful wife.
Yes, I did the same thing earlier in life Richard, being raised on Waikiki where my Mom worked.
I loved DeRussey and especially the rafts that floated offshore. We played on those all day long.
Thanks for the memories.