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therock01We walked along the beach at Waimea with our towels. The waves rolled in gentle swells and broke a few yards out from the shore. White water swelled at our ankles feeling cool and refreshing. Ahh .. summertime on the North Shore. A perfect cloudless day of my youth."Eh we go jump off da rock," Paka said pointing toward the big black rock that sat at the end of the beach. The "Rock" rose some twenty feet above the beach and provided a ledge from which everyone jumped off.

The "Rock" was a rite of passage for kids like us. We'd watch the "big guys" jump off, their bodies plunging deep into the blue green water below. You could hear their friends yelling and screaming as they fell.

"Nah..my muddah said fo' me no jump off da rock," I said shading my eyes and looking up at the huge pile of rocks. Tourists were climbing the rock too with their cameras. You could see their white legs and knee high socks as they made their way to the top. None of them would jump off. They only wanted to take pictures from their perch of the beach and of the kids jumping off.

"Wot? You chicken? eh? You chicken?" Paka said poking my chest with his finger. "Stay down hea den, I going up," he said dropping his towel on the beach and running into the water the surged around the rock, wading out to the base of the rock.

Dang! I will never live this down. Paka going tell everybody that I am "chicken" and I didn't jump with him. Dammit. I watch his skinny tanned form make its way up, hand hold by hand hold until he reached the top. When he reached the top he turned and waved at me. Gloating.

Arrghhhhh! Freakin' Paka! Gotta rub it in. I sat down on my towel and moped.

I looked up as a figure leaped off the "rock". His plunge was accompanied by yells, cheers and clapping. Kah-chunk! A splash of white as the figure dissapeared into the waves. Hooo boy. I can't stand it. This is torture. Paka will never let me live this down.

Of course there was those signs along the beach about the "Rock". I mean 'bodily injury or DEATH" was a huge deterrent for many...specially the "death" part. Plus ... my muddah said to "stay off the rock". period.

Charlene Carvalho from Pupukea and her sister Chantelle came walking up the beach in their shorts and t-shirt, holding their rubber slippers in their hand. Me and Charlene had 4th period together. "Howzit? You not going jump?" she asked plopping herself down next to me. Chantelle was chewing bubble gum making cracking sounds with her mouth, standing looking at me. "

"Naaah," I said flicking sand from my leg.

"What? Scaid?" Chantelle said, still standing and chewing like one cow.

"Shuddup!" Charlene said. "No lissen to her. She just mad cuz our muddah said we no can jump. If we do we going get dirty lickens."

"Yeah but we would show dem boys how fo' jump. I can make like cannonball kind jump make beeg splash" Chantelle boasted turning around to look at the "Rock" that now looked like a big pin cushion with all the heads of people standing on top of it.

"Uh huh", Charlene said, "she so fat she no need make cannonball. All she gotta do is jump and it's all ova."

We both laughed. Chantelle swore, kicked sand at Charlene and trudged off further down the beach. Her double X white t-shirt fit tightly over her generous butt.

"Hoo Chantelle lucky I never stand up," Charlene said. "I going pull her hair out, that fat monkey!" She brushed sand from her legs.

"No ack," I said, "if she sat on you she would kill you."

"Kill us both", Charlene said laughing and pushing me over into the sand. We both had a laughing fit for couple minutes.

Chantelle looked over at us from about 20 feet away. "I heard that!" she yelled

Me and Charlene had another laughing fit for another 10 minutes.

therock02I head one tarzan yell coming from the top of the "Rock". Charlene and me squinted up toward the sound. We caught sight of Paka leaping into the air. He yelled again on the way down, rolling himself into a ball just before he hit the water. His jump timed perfectly with a swell that rolled lazily by the "Rock". One decent size splash of white water exploded as he hit. A few seconds later his head popped up and he swam to shore.

"Whoooooo!" he said as he loped up the beach toward me and fell face down on the beach beside me. He looked up at me, his face coated with sand. "You saw me?"he said breathing hard.

I shook my head. "Did you see him?" I asked Charlene. She shook her head too, taking my lead.

"WHAT? You never saw me??" he repeated exasperated.

"No, why you wen jump?" I asked seriously. Paka freaked.

"Eh, I made Tazan yell and everything." He said standing up dripping on me and walking back toward the water rinse off.

"I thot was some Samoans from Laie making noise so I nevah look," I said. Charlene laughed again and pushed me.

"You bool lie," Paka said walking back, squeezing the water from his shorts with his hands.

"You from Pupukea, eh?" Paka said eyeballing Charlene, "I seen you at the bus stop by Niimi Store."

"Yeah," Charlene said, "you same grade with Chantelle." Charlene pointed toward her sister who was looking the other way.

"Oh, das your sister?" Paka said lowering his voice and turning his back to Chantelle.

"Hiiii Paka," Chantelle said in a sing song voice, "how you?"

Paka's face turned couple shades of pink and red. He turned and half waved to her. "Howzit?"

"Oooh, nice jump." She said.

"Tanks eh." He said. "I going one mo' time."

Paka waded back in the water and did his crab climb back to the top of "the Rock" scampering to the edge.

"Wooo! Wooo!" Chantelle said yelling at Paka.

"Paka took my sister to the Winter Ball last year," Charlene said. "She no was so ..um..healthy den."

"Not!" I said giving Charlene a surprised look. "Paka and Chantelle?"

"Yeah" Charlene said, "you neva know?"

"Holy Moly, dat stinkah neva tell me." I hissed. "He said he no go dat kine stuffs."

"I get Polaroid picture," Charlene laughed. "Bumbye I show you."

"Yeah, I like see," I smiled as Paka did his Tarzan yell and leaped off "the Rock."

Paka was very quiet walking back to the house in the valley. We crossed the highway and opened the gate into the yard. Our families were close. Paka was two years older than me and he was the closest thing I had to a big brother. He often spent summer days at our house hanging out and going to the beach with me and my cousins.

His father was going to pick him up at the house when he was pau work. "So you know Chantelle's sister, eh?"

"Yeah, we get 4th period and she get pictures, brah. Pictures of the Winter Ball!" I slapped his back laughing.

Paka shook his head. "Ok ok....you got me." He put his hands up like he was giving up. I handed him a bottle of grape soda opening one up myself with the bottle opener and handing the opener to him.

I tink Paka and Chantelle was married when he came back from da army. I loss track of Charlene ova da years. "The Rock" still dea. It could tell plenny stories if it could talk. I stopped recently on Kamehameha Highway above the bay. The beach stretched out to the other side of the bay. "The Rock" seemed farther out then I remembered. The waves swirled around the base and yes, there were kids still jumping off. I could hear a "ah yee ah yeee ahhh" tarzan yell as one kid leaped off the ledge. I smiled and shooked my head. Frickin' Paka da buggah neva even wait for the swell.

I remembered being invincible too. A long long time ago.

About Author


Kamaka Brown is on staff at AW. Originally from North Shore of Oahu, he now is a tropical transplant living on the West Coast. He is a stand-up comic performing in clubs, concerts and other venues in Honolulu, Las Vegas, Pacific Northwest and Los Angeles. His comedy CD is available online at www.kamakabrown.com

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