Dust Motes Between My Ears

In California; a man is killed by a passing vehicle while walking on the freeway; just after he beat a man to death with a baseball bat after a road rage incident. Gotta love swift karma.

In Georgia; a woman forced a man to have sex at machete point. But he swears he didn’t enjoy it.

A woman about her lost pet; “She’s not harmful to people for sure”. Pit Bull? Doberman?  “She only eats chicken.” She is talking about her missing 14 foot long reticulated python. If it gets hungry enough, everything will taste like chicken.

In Chicago; a crowd of protesters shut down the freeway to protest gun violence. Protest on the freeway?  Yes, because there’s some parts in Chicago you just don’t go. You might get shot.

Remember, it really is important who is in the cockpit. Especially when the plane is going down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Fall

I was working as an “in-house” investigator for a well-known local attorney when one day, a Thursday, he announced that he and two of his friends were going sky diving on Saturday. Did I want to join them?

I did. So that Saturday my girlfriend and I joined them and by the end of the day everyone had made their first sky dive jump. These were all “singles” not tandems. That meant we spent the entire day learning the rights and wrongs before making our jumps in the afternoon.

Jump Hawaii was the child of Byron Black, a retired U.S.Air Force pilot, graduate of Texas A&M, and an all-around nice guy.

In fact, the entire Black family was involved. Sons Danny and Bobby were the co-pilots, jump trainers, chute packers and ground radio operators. Byron’s wife Tess handled the books, the ads, and all the assorted paperwork.

There really wasn’t enough jump business so during the week Byron and the boy’s would fly in search of schools of fish and then direct the fishing boats to the catch. It paid the bills. And they were all happy doing what they loved.

I made a number of jumps with Byron and the group, sometimes spending the entire weekend jumping and camping out. It was great. And the regular jumpers all had biker like nicknames; Big Ugly, Aquaman, Moriarity, and Whitney.

What held all these diverse people together was the love of the freedom of the sky. They respected each other and partied as hard as any group of men and women I’ve ever known.

It was December 5, 1981, when this took place. I’d been reinstated as a police officer and I’d been working a little overtime from the day watch, so I got home just in time to catch the 10 o’clock news. I sat there in shock and not wanting the news to be true.

The “twin Beechcraft” airplane belonging to jump Hawaii, with eleven jumpers, a pilot and co-pilot aboard, had been scheduled to to fly over the Honolulu Stadium during a football game half time , the sky divers would jump, and land in the field waving flags and doing sky diver acrobatics. Something had gone horribly wrong.

According to witnesses, while making a climbing turn, the plane suddenly started to spin, the wings as the axis, then turning nose down, and had crashed into Pearl Harbor. In had crashed into the shallows, less than 5 feet of water and just yards from the Arizona memorial. Only one jumper had managed to get out, everyone else had died.

Byron’s wife Tess, and the son Bobby were sitting in the stadium announcer’s booth and had watched the plane go down. They could see it almost all the way down. They watched as twelve jumpers, friends, and loved ones were gone in minutes. Then someone spotted the one open chute coming down.

The night watch on the U.S. ships in Pearl Harbor sounded “General Quarters” and then had launched rescue boats as soon as it became known what had happened. They rescued the one jumper that managed to get out. He was suffering from multiple leg fractures from where the tail section of the spinning aircraft  had struck his leg as he jumped from the open door.

He was also killed in a skydiving accident less then two years later. Guilt? I hope  not.

For her 40th birthday, I took Julie to Dillingham Air Field and showed her the big rock with the names engraved in the honor of those jumpers.

I told her the whole story and then she made her 1st jump. I told you, she’s way tough.

A couple years later, we took our son and middle daughter out there. I again told the story, and then they made their jumps. Like their mom, tough. They both still make jumps with friends.

There is much more sadness surrounding this story, but this is enough.

Brain Air

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St. Andrews summer fun. Sumo bang?

 

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There’s a dragon eating our kids…also St. Andrews.

How come kids have all the fun? I know some adults that’d get a kick outta playing here.

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The Storyteller Clan at its occasional family Chinese Dinner. From left to right,

Jeff, Jamie, Jon, Maka, Storyteller, Julie, Lori, Evan (hidden behind his sister), Becca, and Marshall. After a big dinner, what did everyone want…. “Gellato”.

It was great seeing daughter Lori, Marshall and the grand-kids. This was the first meeting of Jeff (Jamie’s bf) and Maka (Jon’s gf). I liked them both.

 

I can highly recommend Dr. Au and his acupuncture. I have regained full use of the right hand and arm and I give credit to Dr. Au and his work. He accepts most insurance and also handles  traditional oriental medicinal herbs and remedies. Best is the address, 1911 S, King St. If you don’t know why I like it, ask sometime.

 

Sometime’s I really miss the old Chuck Wagon on Kapiolani and its prime rib buffet. It was clean, inexpensive, and damn the food was pretty good. I’m going to try and bring up old places every now and then, cause I been here a long time and watched some good places come and go.

 

Watch The Movie

Working foot patrol in Waikiki came with plenty of distinctive challenges and many unique problems, especially during the 70’s. It was the era the world began to really change from “Leave It to Beaver” to “Miami Vice”.

But there was still enough Mayberry around that working foot patrol was fun. Okay, maybe not fun, but it was interesting.

At that time there were 5 movie theaters in Waikiki. The biggest and best known was the Waikiki #3 on Kalakaua.

It had a huge open area in the front with a fish pond full of koi and a water fountain. The walls of the pond was filled with small plagues engraved with replica signatures from the movie stars that had been in the movies shown there.

Inside there was a church style pipe organ on a platform that raised and lowered the organ between shows for many many years and was played expertly by the late Johnny deMello. During the 40’s it was part of many radio shows coming from Hawaii.

Inside the roof of the actual theater was painted with clouds and star constellations were projected on the ceiling during intermissions. There were actual palm trees and banana plants growing against the side walls.

For many of the years I walked foot beat, the manager was “Buck” Richards. Mr. Richards could have doubled for the late Duke Kahanamoku. He was tall, well built, with skin the bronze color of Hawaiian “Alii”. The entire time I knew him he had the most beautiful head of snow white hair. It was for people like Buck that the word “gentleman” was coined as he was a gentleman in every sense of the word.

During the years I walked the foot beat, I would often escort Mr. Richards and the night deposit bag to the bank a short distance away. If I couldn’t be there, or was off, I would ask one of the other beat men to make the walk. It was only a block or so, but why tempt fate.

It was the opening week of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, the original with Newman and Redford. It was one of those weeks when my days off were in the middle so my first wife, Maura, and I decided it probably wouldn’t be too crowded so we went to see it at the Waikiki Theater number 3.

We couldn’t have been more wrong. The front area around the pond was packed and there was a line down the stairs and onto the sidewalk.

We walked up to the ticket booth and I had just about decided to skip the whole thing when the girl in the booth called out to me.

I turned and greeted her, then told her we’d come back when it wasn’t as crowded. She asked me to wait a minute, and picked up the house phone to the manager’s office. After a very short conversation she turned and told us to go up to the front door and Mr. Richards would meet us.

We climbed the stairs, walked past the koi pond and all the people standing in line, and just as we started up the last few stairs the exit doors flew open and Buck Richards stepped out. He was dressed, as always, in a dark suit, spotless white shirt, and had a matching tie and breast pocket hanky.

Holding the doors open wide he open his arms in welcome and in a big voice greeted us with; “Alooooohha. So glad you’re here. Come in, come in”. As he ushered us inside he was giving his undivided attention to us and none of the surrounding crowd.

You can be sure this gathered a lot of hard, surprised and just plain puzzled looks from the crowd standing there.

We were allowed to choose our seats before the doors were opened so we continued getting looks and questioning stares as the rest of the crowd came in.

Nobody said anything to us directly until Maura went to the concession stand about 30 minutes into the film. While she was standing there a young woman approached and asked;

“Who are you?”

Maura, not really knowing how to answer replied; “Why?”

“Well”, the young woman explained. We were standing in line when you and your boyfriend…”

“Husband”, Maura corrected.

“Of course, husband”, she continued.” You both walk past everyone in line, the manager opens the doors to greet you both and let you in. Who are you?”

The girl attending the concession stand at that time was the same girl that had been in the ticket booth. At this point she decides to head off any problems.

“Excuse me ma’am”, she spoke up. “Have you been watching the movie?” said the counter girl.

“Well, of course I have”, came a kind of snotty response.

“Maybe you should watch a little closer.”

Turning to Maura she topped it all off by sliding our refreshments across the counter and said,” It’s on the management. It’s really nice to meet you.” She turned to the other woman she asked “And what can I get you?”

Without saying anymore Maura took our snacks and got back into the theater before the young woman spotted the big grin on her face.

I don’t know if that woman ever spotted me in the movie I was never in, but I bet she wasted a lot of time trying. Maura and I waited a few minutes into the next showing before leaving.

I hate autograph seekers.

Review ?

Last year we went to the Signature Steak and Seafood Restaurant, high atop the Ala Moana Hotel. Here is the review I sent the head office and posted in Yelp.

  • James P.
  • Honolulu, HI
  •  0 friends
  •  2 reviews

11/29/2017

Made reservations to celebrate my 70th birthday, 2 weeks early. Wife and I were on time and dressed appropriately. Our table seemed to be an add on, you know the holiday kids table just outside the kitchen. Our staff, I say that because we seldom saw the same waiter 2 times in a row, was less than attentive. In fact, we each had one glass of water during the entire meal, because nobody ever bothered to refill them. We decided to split a baked potato, asked for condiments “on the side”. After asking two different staff, we finally got the condiments, 8 minutes (I timed it), after the potato and steak. The condiments appeared to have been slapped into dishes as a quick “shut them up” service, no presentation at all. I cannot comment on the background music, I know there was someone playing the piano, since our table was just outside the kitchen swinging door and it’s constant swishing noise and the conversation from the bar overpowered everything else. The food was good, no better than several other high end establishments here in town, but the lack of civil treatment overshadowed it by a huge margin. When we ordered after dinner coffee, it was served with a plastic straw stirrer. Really? As my wife and I departed, a bus-person felt it necessary to remind me, from the other side of the room and at the top of his voice,, not to forget my hat. As if I would forget a hat valued at 3 times the price of the meal I just didn’t enjoy.
This is the essentially same review and comments I posted to the  Signature web site the following day.
Return ? I think not.
James P.

I have never heard from the home office, or any other representative of the chain.

And I would like to know why Yelp considers my review “unreliable”. I checked, there were many “poor’ reviews. None quite as scathing as mine, but unhappy just the same. Because I didn’t post a picture? Because I don’t have a Twitter with dozens of followers? Or maybe they just don’t like….

Whatever. I’m re-posting it here in the off chance one of my readers might be considering eating there. Don’t.

Brain Air

The sky is not falling.

Kavanagh will not repeal Roe-v-Wade or anything else.

The recent court ruling on “open carry” will not cause gun fights on Bishop Street at high noon.

People will not be able to 3D print their own machine guns and 50 caliber rifles.

Electing the same people over and over will not result in any changes, only more of the same.

There, I said it. Let the stoning commence.

 

Something to think about;

I saw my grandfather sitting, crying. I asked him why. He said :

“My shoes are too tight; but that’s okay as I have forgotten how to dance.”

Just think about it for a while.

 

Recently watched a terrific movie “Shot Caller” staring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Jon Bernthal. An incredible movie on how a man went from selling insurance, to the head of the Aryan Nation. One tragic mistake starts it all. The full ripple effect.

Then last week was the death of  Barry Byron Mills, the real leader of the Aryan Brotherhood, at age 70, inside the Colorado Super-Max prison. He was doing multi-life sentences, which is stupid as you can only do one.

I don’t know if the movie was based on Mills life or just a good script. But I will say it drove shivers up my spine with it’s plausibility.

Rules of Civility

Wirecutter’s Rules of Civility

Posted on July 13, 2014 by Wirecutter

Respect
Treat my wife with more respect than you give me. She will let you know by her attitude the level of familiarity she’s comfortable with.

Do not talk shit about my family or friends to me. The very least I will do is call them in front of you and tell them. Plus you might get your ass beat.

If you cheat on your wife, stay away from me. If she can’t trust you, neither can I.

Be courteous to women and the elderly when we’re together.

My Security
Do not touch my weapons (guns or knives) without my permission. Ever.

Stay at least 2 feet away from me unless you know I have your trust.

If you are carrying a firearm, let me know before you enter my home. I won’t ask you to disarm yourself, I just want to know about it.

Telephones
If you read/answer a text or answer a call while we’re talking, I will assume our conversation is over and walk away. If it’s important, excuse yourself.

Do not ask me for my number. If I want you to have it, I will give it to you.

Do not call me before 8 AM, after 9 PM, or between 5 and 6:30 PM which is my supper time unless you’re in jail or somebody’s dead or dying.

If I don’t answer the phone the first time you call, do NOT immediately call me back. There’s a reason I didn’t answer.

Don’t expect me to answer my cell phone during “work” hours.

Common Courtesy
If anybody interrupts our private conversation and you start talking to them, I will leave. They are obviously more important to you than I am.

If you say you’ll meet me somewhere at a certain time, be there. My time is important to me.

If you have an issue with me, come to me with it and not somebody else. I’m a reasonable man and will attempt to talk it out.

Do not, under any circumstances, give my dogs anything or attempt to discipline them. That’s my job.

Do not come to my home without calling first unless I give you my express permission. There may be things going on that are none of your business or I just may not be in the mood for company.

If you owe me money and can’t pay me, don’t avoid me. Let me know – I understand shit happens. Trust me on this.

If you borrow something and you lose it or break it, let me know. Chances are I’ll blow it off or at least help you replace it.

*****

So there you have it. They’re not hard rules to follow, as a matter of fact they’re all just pretty much common courtesy and you can expect me to follow the same rules.
I’m a nice guy, I have a thick skin and enjoy being fucked with as long as it’s not mean-spirited. I will go out of my way to help you out if I know you need help.
I’ve learned that it’s true we’re known by the company we keep. If you surround yourself with scoundrels, you’re a scoundrel. Keep the company of honorable men and women, and you’ll be known as a Person of Honor.

Need I say, I concur with these rules 100%. Storyteller