When I arrived in Honolulu, I asked where I'd find the best body surfing. I immediately
headed for Makapuu Beach where I was told the best waves for body surfing existed.
Makapuu was beautiful and the waves were huge. Not knowing what I was doing, although I'd
been body surfing in New Jersey and California, I dived in, swam out and caught a wave. As
easily as anything the gargantuan wave caught me up and proceeded to carry me toward shore.
It was heavenly, souring along on top of that perfect wave.
I looked down to see that the water in front of me was gone and there was nothing but a
sandy beach below. The wave pounded me into the beach, burying me in a crushing surge of sand
and water. My arms and legs flailed in all directions and I was turned over and over in an
uncontrolled swirl. Luckily, even though I'd been trashed, I managed to remain conscious and
scrambled up the beach as the water again slipped quickly back out and the next enormous wave
came crashing onto the beach.
There was sand in my eyes, ears, nose, and throat, not to mention my bathing suit which
had almost been torn off of me by the turbulence. Even the small, round hole that my bathing
suit covers had gotten a pressurized injection! I was mortified.
After I'd regained my composure, I asked some Hawaiians, who were actually willing to
talk to me, "What did I do wrong"? It seems that, here at Makapuu, all the waves break
directly on the beach. The surfers wore one swim fin. They didn't ride on the top of
the wave as I had done, but rather, rode under the curl and ducked out before the wave broke.
I didn't have a swim fin and was now afraid of these huge waves so I just hung out and lay
on the beach with the other tourists and watched the pros from a safe distance.
There were other people staying at Makapuu Beach. We slept in little tents we constructed
on the beach. I was living on the few dollars I had left and ate ice cream sandwiches which
I bought from a machine at the entrance to the Hawaii Seaquarium which was just across the road
from the beach. I applied for a job at the Seaquarium. They told me that my voice was good for
the job of narrator of the live shows. I'd have to occasionally get into the tank with the
animals and even ride on a dolphin. I loved the idea, but since the job wasn't available
for another two weeks, and I'd run out of money, I headed back to Honolulu.
I spent the night sleeping on the ground between some bushes and the fence around the
Honolulu Zoo. It was difficult to sleep because of all the noises coming from the nocturnally
In the morning, I started my job hunt at the zoo and worked my way north on Kalikawa Ave.,
walking into every open door. I'd gone about two blocks with no success. I walked into the
Jack In The Box restaurant and approached the manager.
"Can you cook hamburgers?"
"Yes", I said.
"Well get to work. I just fired the cook and I need you right away."
I was working, and I had immediate sustainence. I liked working at the Jack In The Box
and I liked the people I worked with, although I've never been much on hamburgers. So, I made
myself salads of lettuce and tomato. It sure beat ice cream sandwiches.
My boss invited me to a party that weekend at his home on a mountainside overlooking
Honolulu. It was a traditional Hawaiian wedding for two of his friends. I got to socialize
with my fellow employees and met a lot of interesting locals.
The boss liked my work and within a week I was promoted to manager of the graveyard shift.
Soon, I found a beautiful little home in that same block of Kalikawa Ave. It was a fabulous
little one room building which you had to find by going into one of the big hotels, through
the lobby, down the hall, out the side door, then all the way around to the back. There it
was, in its own private yard, nestled under a fragrant flowering tree and covered with
flowering vines. A single unit; one small bedroom and a bath. The yard was covered with lush
green grass and was enclosed by a high wall which made my cozy home a small fortress. The
only way out was that rather complicated maze through the hotel and just across the street
was Waikiki Beach!
Soon I had lots of good friends and a connection for some great "primo hash". I'd sit in
my room and place a tiny ball of the sticky stuff on the point of a pin, put a match under it
and inhale the rising little puff of smoke for a high as wonderful as any I'd ever had from
a hole joint of pot.
There was a bar in the neighborhood where I hung out and scored my "primo hash". They
also had great "saimin" for a dollar a bowl. I loved that hot, oriental noodle soup when
I got the "munchies".
My boss at the Jack In The Box was in the process of getting a divorce and got to be
impossible to work with, so I quit my job.
Lots of hippies on the street in Waikiki were talking about a place called "The Banana
Patch" on the island of Maui. There was a commune on the beach where you could live naked
and free. I bought a one-way ticket back to California and a round trip ticket to Maui.
When I got to Maui I was told that "The Banana Patch" had been bulldozed by the Health
Dept. An epidemic of "staff" infection had made the place unlivable. Quite a number of the
residence had moved-on to Makena.
Makena Beach was a privately owned beach on the side of one of two huge mountains which
make up the "valley island" of Maui. This is the volcanic mountain which has the famous
"Haliakala Crater" at the top. The "craters of the moon" are there as are the "silver sword"
plants which grow nowhere else on earth.
Makena Beach was wide and a mile long with clean white sand. The forest of "kiavi" trees
was one of the only things that kept this place from being a perfect paradise. It is said
that kiavi trees were imported to Hawaii by overzealous Christian missionaries who were
trying to force the heathen, naked, Hawaiians to wear clothes and shoes. The biblical "Crown
of Thorns" was supposedly made from kiavi. The kiavi sports a hard, wooden thorn about an
inch or more long and can just about go all the way through your foot if you happen to step
on one. When walking through the forest you had to be careful and shoes were a must.
The beach was going to be developed and apparently the owner didn't care that a bunch of
hippies lived there. They would have to bulldoze the entire property before development
anyway, because of the kiavi trees.
There were about 100 young hippies living on the beach. Just about everyone went naked.
Some people slept on the beach and some in tents. Others lived in tree houses, high in the
kiavi trees, and some in houses they had put together of scrap lumber, canvas, etc., in
I soon found a friend who invited me to share a clearing with him near the beach. He
suggested that I put my ticket to Honolulu and California in a jar and hide it, as he had
done. There were some truly crazy people who were desperate and had nothing. He said they
would kill me for the tickets, if they knew I had them. So I put the tickets in a jar and
hid it in a stone wall a quarter mile from the beach.
My friend and I had a little money between us and would go to town now and then to get
food. We lived mostly on oatmeal and raisins, which we cooked over an open fire. There
were desperately hungry people who would steal your food and belongings when you were away
from your camp, so we usually watched over our things carefully and would take turns
swimming, etc. We heard about a European couple who arrived and without a care dropped their
backbacks and clothes on the beach, ran into the warm surf for a swim, only to find, when
they came out of the water, that they had lost everything to theives!
One day, as we sat eating some oatmeal, one of the "crazies" came into the camp and
asked for something to eat. He was known to go into peoples campsites and intimidate them
or just steal what he could. We told him he could help himself to what was left in the pot,
but, that didn't satisfy this deranged Viet Nam Vet. He said that he wanted to cook up
another pot for himself. I said, "No. You can have what's in the pot."
He went on a rampage, threw the pot and oatmeal at me and ran off yelling threats. Soon
he returned with a machete which he swung over his head, yelling that he was going to kill me.
I jumped up and ran toward the beach with him in hot pursuit. He gained on me and I knew
I'd have to confront him. I stood my ground, turning and crouching with my eyes on his. I
was ready to take the blow of the machete across my back where it would do the least damage,
the fingers of my right hand ready to poke out his eyes. He stopped for a split second, I
guess, realizing he may be in for some trouble, too. He then walked back into the forest
mumbling some excuse about how he wasn't hungry anyway. I was so scared and upset that I
immediately got my things together and started to leave for Honolulu.
There was another Viet Nam Vet, a black man, who had just arrived on the beach. He was
sane, rational, and personable. He saw that I was going to leave. He invited me and my
buddy to stay with him. He had an army command tent with room for ten or twelve people.
He said he planned to have an organized campsite with enough people there to protect one
another against intruders. We decided to stay there with him.
Within a day or two we had several good people staying in the tent. A separate tent,
made from heavy gauge plastic, was erected for the girls who joined our group. We took
turns guarding our belongings. It turned out to be a very good system.
Our new provider had a hand gun, which we kept hidden in the command tent for
protection, and we passed the word that we were the new, self-appointed policemen of Makenna.
We also passed the word that, if anyone was again out of line, we were ready to get rid of
them, even if we had to kill them and bury their body somewhere in the forest.
We heard of a woman with children who had been robbed by some crazy. We went out in a
group, with the gun, to look for him. We located him and told him to leave Makena Beach
immediately or we had every intention of killing him. He left and didn't come back. There
was relative peace after that.
Those of us, in our camp, took turns going in groups to town to get food stamps and buy
food. Most people bought things like hot dogs, chips, and soda which didn't keep or last very
long. But, when I returned with a fifty pound bag of rice and a gallon of soy sauce, most of
them, thereafter, became better shoppers. Soon we had all the good food we needed.
Our campfire became the main meeting place and we always had a small crowd at night.
We were very popular with the other hundred or so campers, because, we were the protectors
of sanity. Often, Hawaiians, came to see what was going on at Makena, would stay for a
couple of days on the weekends, and compliment us on our life style.
One of the Hawaiians of Filipino decent, visited often, showing us how to make soup
from little crustaceans on the rocks in the water at the end of the beach. One afternoon,
he showed us how delightful "sand crabs" could be. He and I walked the beach looking for
the crab holes in the sand. He explained, "If the hole curves off to the left, you use
your right hand, and if the hole curves to the right, you use your left. All you have to
do is stick your hand down into the hole, and, when you feel the crab, quickly grab a big
handful of sand. The crab will safely come out with the sand."
We tossed the crabs into a covered bucket, and moved on down the beach looking for more.
Soon we had dozens of the little crabs which I think were "fiddler crabs", because they had
one claw larger than the other. We returned to the camp and put wood on the fire. He put
about half an inch of "sea water" into a big, covered pot and brought the water to a boil. The
crabs, now separated from the sand, were briskly dumped into the pot of boiling water, alive.
Instantly, he covered the pot. The crabs leaped and bounced around in the pot, sounding like
giant popcorns popping for a few moments, then, went still. That was when we ate the little
critters, whole. They tasted delicate and delicious, their shells, paper thin and crunchy
like potato chips.
There was one night around the campfire which I'll never forget. One of the gentle
crazies came and sat down cross-legged like an Indian. He was naked and it was apparent
that he had lots of large, dark sores over his entire body, like big scabs. The odd thing
about it was that when he moved, his arm for instance, the sores would miraculously
disappear for a moment and then reappear. Because of the dim fire light it was difficult
to see what was happening, so a couple of us took a chance and got up close to this rather
dirty fellow for a better look. To our complete disgust we saw groupings of flies, in
clusters about the size of silver dollars, feasting on staff infected sores. When he moved,
the flies would take to the air and then quickly land again in the same place. This guy
was covered with these swarms from head to toe. We politely told the poor fellow that
he was not welcome and would he please leave, very slowly, so as not to disturb the pests
and leave any of them behind. Gross!
Later that same night a young lady came to sit by the fire. Everyone knew her. She was
extremely young and beautiful and had a reputation for sleeping around with the "lowest
of the low". I guess she just slept with guys for whom she felt sorry. She always walked
around naked and sort of turned all the guys on, but never slept with nice men like my friends
or me. On this particular night, she had brought a guy with her; a Hawaiian fellow who sat
down with her by the fire. After some small talk she nonchanlantly said, "This guy just
There was complete silence for a long period, as we all looked around in total disbelief.
Especially since she had said it so matter of factly. I guess that he had raped her.
We explained that he'd better leave and that he shouldn't come back. I think we also
felt that, since she was a bit of a slut, she may have "led him on", or, something to that
effect. We just watched him get up and leave, and no one lifted a finger to do anything
more about it.
The nights were sometimes cool that season and we kept the fire going twenty four hours
a day. We dragged a huge log to the camp-site and stuck one end over the hot coals. It hung
suspended without any flame for several days; it just smoldered slowly and formed charcoal
which eventually fell down where it glowed red and golden in a heap. I noticed how the log
radiated heat up to ten feet from the smoldering end, and, how the beach sand was also warmed
by the log. One cool night I slept naked in the sand with my back up against the log. All
night I remained nice and warm, absorbing the radiant heat. I awoke in the morning feeling
rejuvenated and warm through and through, as though I'd been charged up like a battery. I
felt I had the energy of ten men and ran up and down the beach like a mad man. The sensation
was quite unique.
My favorite place to visit near Makena was Little Black Sand Beach. It was a rather
long distance walk away on a path which went over a small inactive volcano. There were
some hippies living in campsites in and under the trees in the little crater at the top.
The path continued over the other side and down to the beach. This was where the waves for
body surfing were the most perfect I've ever experienced. You could swim out, actually walk
out for a quarter of a mile or so, catch a wave and take an extended, leisurely ride all
the way to the beach, where the wave would gently place you on the warm black volcanic sand.
It was heavenly.
The biggest party we had was at Thanksgiving. People from all over the island came to
celebrate with us and brought fruit and turkeys. Some Hawaiians helped us to roast the
birds under the sand of the beach. First, we built a blazing fire and threw lots of rocks
into it. We dug a big hole in the sand, and when the rocks were extremely hot, threw them
into the bottom of the hole. Banana leaves where layered over the rocks, the turkeys were
placed on the leaves, and then more banana leaves were carefully placed over the turkeys.
The whole thing was then buried in the sand for several hours. When we dug the turkeys up,
they were cooked to perfection.
There was lots of food for the hundred and fifty or so people who attended. The most
popular of all the foods were the watermelons. They had been cut in half lengthwise, the
flesh crushed into a thick liquid and spiked with LSD!
I'd been playing with a Doberman on the beach and had been bitten slightly on the finger.
It soon got infected and the pain was starting to stiffen the joints in my other fingers.
Many people on the beach were starting to get staff infections, so we went to the free clinic
in town. They gave us a salve to put on our sores. It seemed the Health Department
didn't really want us to get well because the salve they had given us wasn't the least bit
A Hawaiian fellow who often came to visit us at the beach was headed back into town and
asked a couple of us if we would like to go with him. Four of us got into the car and headed
into town. About half way there we ran out of gas. There was a bread truck parked on the
side of road and it was suggested that we might siphon some gas from it to get us into town.
Two guys walked away to look for a container and a siphon. Soon they came back with a large
container and a section of hose for the siphon. I put a couple of dollars on the steering
wheel of the truck and we proceeded to siphon some gas.
The guy who got the piece of hose for the siphon, had cut it from a garden hose in
someones yard. They called the police who came along while we were trying to get the gas we
had siphoned into the car. We were taken into town and questioned. The Hawaiian
was arrested for car theft, since the car he was driving wasn't his, and the guy who cut and
stole the hose was booked too. My friend and I were released and told to stay at Makena
because the police wanted to speak with us further. A couple of days later the police came
out to Makena Beach and said that we were going to have to testify.
Because I couldn't identify myself to his satisfaction, one of the cops almost took me in,
then and there.
I was still a fugitive, so I certainly didn't dare go to testify against the
two men in court. My staff infection was really bad too, so, I high-tailed it back to
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