Friday, December 24, 2010
Reflections of Christmas Part 2
On a brighter note, I worked in the entertainment biz and my Mom got to meet one of her favorite stars that year, one of my "bosses" Paul Williams.
There are great memories of Christmases at my brother's renovated Victorian house in San Francisco's West End, where my mom drank her first tequila and accidentally ate some of his roommate Bruce's magic brownies set out for Christmas snacks. I remember enjoying many a Christmas gathering in San Francisco with my brother Larry, cousin Higgins, other former Toledoans, and new California friends .
Jumping back to Hawaii, I'd have to say my happiest years there were the ten years we lived in our rented coffee shack. It was affectionately known as the "Halfway house"...because it was halfway between the bay where we all worked on the Fairwind boat to everyone's homes. It was a funky house you'd expect to find in old Hawaii. The 100 year old house was constructed of one-by- twelves, with so many coats of paint, we felt that it was only that paint and the termites holding hands that was keeping the house standing. That coffee shack, where our good friend Dave is smart enough to still be living at $500 bucks a month, was the epitomy of my idea of living in Hawaii. We lived on acres of fruits and coffee trees with a wide open view of Kailua Bay. The coffee trees often flowered at Christmas creating a look of snow covered branches. The poinsettias bloomed everywhere, big red splashes of color with bushes of white snowflake poinsettias next to them. It was beautiful and felt like Christmas to me. People say the tropics 'just aren't Christmas' without blinding snow, freezing ass cold and blizzards. But I disagree. The photo below of the coffee trees flowering looks like fresh fallen snow but smells like lilies of the valley permeating the air. Give me the flower scent over the freezing ass cold any day.
I kept a patch of globe amaranth that I strung every year in fifty foot strands to decorate our tree.
But first we had to take the trip up the mountain and find our tree. After a few years of driving up and marking our tree, we lazed into calling in an order. So we'd climb the mountain (in our trucks), walk around the tree farm looking for a ribbon with our name on it, and came home with an almost identical tree every year. Below are Jim, me, Naomi and Jerry. There are more pictures like this in my albums with other fellow annual tree seekers. Not present, who should be, are Jack and Lisa who went up the hill with us nearly every year for maybe 15 years? My apologies, I started getting carried away with the scanning!
Left to right, Dave Winters, me, Marylei Drake and Barbara. We made the most of tree decorating parties. Ok, we made the most of any occasion to party! We were young!
We liked to dance while we decorated. I came to Mexico to dance more often, but my Hawaiian friends were such spontaneous dancers we didn't need any organized dance time. Someone would just pop up and say, "Time to dance!" and we'd all follow suit. Dancing below are Robin, Jerry and Naomi. Not in the picture is James Dean, who jumped up and said, "Ok, everyone dance naked now!" and proceeded to strip down to his skibbies and dance on the railings. He'd want me to pay him for the right to print those pictures.
This half decorated tree below and the above photos might be from 1995, but I'm not sure. The years ran together and.the trees always looked amazingly alike, so our parties every year also had the same constant components. Lots of friends, food, drink and fun.
Slow dancing to- probably to Ray Charles Silent Night or something like that - (below) are two of my oldest friends. No, that's wrong, they're not old! These are two friends I've known for a long long time.....can you see the love? Here I see the spirit of Christmas. Dancing a slow song while loving eachother eye to eye.
These are my cousins who come from the beautiful house on the river in Michigan. They loved spending the holidays in Kona with us, and this is just one family shot of us enjoying Christmas Hawaiian style. In the shot below we have, left to righ, Bill, Therese, Bruce, Lin, Dave, Megan, Amy, Reina, (behind)Anne, Ian, Chris(hiding), Richard, Renee and Jim.