My Uncle Pat was attending the Hilo Commercial College in the big city of Hilo and he was one person Big Popo (grandpa) trusted. Uncle must have been one nani looking kid because his name was 'Baby' to the whole family. So, to his nieces and nephews, he was addressed as 'Uncle Baby'. It wasn't until he came back from the end of the war that we now started to call him Uncle Pat. For a time he worked on the plantation as a carpenter until he decided to use his GI Bill to further himself and get out of plantation life.
Hilo, our Big Island metropolis, that was the place to be for me and any trip there was always a big treat. After uncle had been in Hilo for a while, I finally worked up the courage to see if he would ask Big Popo if I could spend some time with him during the summer break. Since Uncle was one to be trusted, to my joy, Big Popo agreed to let me go since I would be under uncle's trustful eye, then it was OK. Oh man! I had hit the jackpot!
It was a double jackpot because my older sister, Julie had gotten a job as a nanny to an Admiral's two keikis in Pi'ihonua, the Beverly Hills of Hilo. Sis Julie and I had always been close and had a special bond since we had had a common enemy which was our stepfather, who had abandoned us when mama died. But that's a different story. Not only was I going to have freedom, be with my favorite uncle and get to see my big sister, but I get to be in Hilo and get to learn to be a city boy - could it get any better than that?
Sis Julie was still attending Hilo High School and took care of the Admiral's keikis, did some light house work and had weekends off. She had met a local boy who was in the army and he had one more year while stationed in Alaska, so on her weekends she spent time with his family who lived in the projects called Kimiville. She invited me over to meet his family that weekend. I was overjoyed and couldn't wait to see her.
When I arrived I was introduced to her fiance's mother and little brother. I was to meet the father, later, who was at work as a longshoreman. After some pleasantries, in walked an angel, who was introduced to me as the little sister. I was all of 16 going on 17 and I guessed her to be about my age or a year less. I caught her whispering in sis' ear, out of the corner of my eye and I was smitten; Cupid had scored a bullseye!
Vee and I chatted for a while until I had to leave to meet uncle when he pau school before he went to his part time job. I could hardly wait for the next day to visit and as fate would have it, when I got there, Vee was sitting on the pune'e as if waiting for me. We sat and chatted a while until I got enough courage to touch her hand and to my delight, our fingers clasped. Dare I? With my heart racing I touched my lips on hers and about swooned when she kissed me back. Score one for the country boy!
Later I talked to Big Sistah and nonchalantly asked, "E, sis, how old is Vee?" "Fourteen, Why?" She replied. "Nuttin', I t'ought her cute. I never t'ink her dat young." And casually changed the subject. You remembah when you wuz 16 wit' raging hormones? E, no lie ha you buggah.
The next day when I went to the house, it was empty, so looking out the back door I saw Vee at the clothes line humming as she pinned the laundry on the line. With her back to me, I wrapped my arms around her with my hands on her soft opu. When she wrapped her arms on mine, my knees buckled and I felt like I was going to faint. Hoo boy! I had died and gone to heaven!
Later, while sitting on the pune'e and talking, a guy walked in and he was introduced as just Jay and said that he rented the back bedroom. I thought he looked like an old fart of about 23 or 24. Hoo da buggah wen give me da steenk eye!
It was time to go home to Ka'u and by that time I noticed a change in our relationship. The kisses were no longer warm; more like pecks of aloha. The fire was now just embers.
Big Popo's word was law and if he said, "Time to go home", there would be no argument. When I left, Sis Julie and Uncle Pat were the only ones I bade goodbye. School was about to start. Country boy, once again. It wasn't easy but I tried hard not to think of Vee or call her while I concentrated on school. I was hoping that she would call me but the call never came. I reminisced about that summer often but in my heart I knew it was over and I had to concentrate on school.
"E, Boy" (as my small kid time name), Julie said, on the phone. "You know, Vee stay hapai five months already."
"Not me," I said. "I wen only honi and hold hands."
"No worry", she said. "Jay da fadda."
Months later, on my next trip to Uncle Pat's, I stopped in to see sis Julie at Vee's house. Vee was now 15 and radiant as she cuddled her baby girl while she leaned against Jay, the beaming father.
Before I forget, while working on a school play I met Ella and we hit it off, big time. Yeah, you guessed it. Her kisses were as sweet as wine and she was soft in all the right places. Ah sweet mystery of life. E, I getting sentimental or watt?
I was born in the village of Hilea (where Mary Pukui was from) mauka from Punalu'u black sand beach. I Lived mostly in Na'alehu, spent most of the war years in Papaikou and back to Ka'u. I wen join the army after pau high school. Lived in Northridge CA, owned an Ad Agency, PR and Marketing but today, I kanikapila when I can. Mostly I practice and teach Tai Chi and Chi Gong (you can see me on youtube: Tai Chi Maku).The oldtimers still call me Boy but I'm Uncle Maku to most locals and Maku to others. A hui hou!