Skip Navigation LinksHOME → NEWS

Literary news from Hawai'i and elsewhere that we find interesting.

From BAMBOO RIDGE Issue Number 69, Spring 1996, New Moon

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 9:51 PM

From “Kona Glitter, 1964: A Ghost Story,” by Kobai Scott Whitney
. . .
     For the life of me, I can’t remember what word we used for “hunk”in 1964. It seems to me that hunk did not appear until the 70s or 80s and that the girls of Kona Waena High in 1964 must have said things like: “he’s a dream,” or just plain “wow.”
     Whatever word we might have used in those days, it would certainly be connected to my prom date that year, Calvin. He was taller than most of the other country boys in our class, more muscular, more poised. The of not just yours truly.
     I was one of four haole girls in that senior class. Even today, my habit is to think of the word “haole” as being a routine descriptive designation. Often we didn’t know each other’s last names so, for instance, Dexter Ito was “you know, the Japanese boy with the eyes” (poor Dexter’s eyes crossed or stalled unpredictably in their tracking), or Ellison, “you know, the rascal Japanese one who hangs around with the jocks.”
     I was known as: “you know, Lisa, the haole girl with the Buick.” It wasn’t my Buick, of course; it was Daddy’s – a sleek baby blue showboat with the innovative transmission called “Dyna-Flow.” In later years, when the Buick started showing signs of age, Daddy used to refer to the transmission spitefully as “Dyna Flush.” But that Buick, plus my haole-ness, was simply the way I got identified.
     . . .
      If you didn’t know Calvin’s last name, he was “you know, Calvin, the pake boy with the Mother. Calvin’s mother was famous, and feared, by the rest of us. It was because of her, and despite a dramatic personal appeal and home visit by Coach Ikeda, that Calvin was not on our football team. He was more coordinated and more confident than the other boys on the team, and the coach wanted him badly. Ye Mrs. Ah Siu would not budge in her conviction that football was a barbarian American invention – something too risky to allow her son to play.
     She didn’t like surfing either. . . .

The triggers are:

1. From “Some Kind of Love,” by Louie Bliemeister:
a couple of lonely hearts
2. From “Ink Painting By Liu Dan, 1992,” by Sue Cowing:
I want to see this
3. From “Violet Darkness,” by Diana J. Eicher:
notes of a bedtime song
4. From “Filming Sausage,” by M. Evelina Galang:
you’re the one
5. From “Kamikaze Love,” by Laura Iwasaki:
it’s not okay
6. From “Excerpt from Among the White Moon Faces: An Asian-American Memoir of Homelands,” by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim:
a personal name
7. From “The Fine Art of Cosmetology,” by Mary Lombard:
the habit of busyness
8. From “Memories of a Place Called The Seven,” by William Starr Moake:
perhaps it was serendipity


Tell others about this article on your social networks.