Wednesday, May 30, 2007


There I was yesterday, at my desk, thinking about Hawaii in the midst of finishing off a speech I'm giving tonight.

In comes Grace, grass skirt and halter top in hand purchased months ago by her grandmother. How ironic. Me thinking Hawaii. Grace thinking grass skirt and dancing the hula around the house.

Grace: "Papa, would you tie this for me?"

Me without looking up: "Tie what, Grace?"

Grace: "This." - pushing into my hands a pile of folded grass and cloth.

I undo the knots in the strings for both the top and the skirt both left over from the last time she worn them. Smiling at Grace, I put each one around her and tied them off.

Me: "There you go, kid. Now you really look like a girl from Hawaii." And off she ran to do her Hawaii thing by herself. Grace does not always like an audience.

At the age of four I would have never thought of wearing a grass skirt and a halter top - as well I shouldn't have. Life for a young boy at age 4, 5, 6, 7 or more was all about pretending to be a cowboy interspersed with imagining I was a WWII foot soldier.

When we played cowboys we always hung the bad guys. My friend Doug and I would throw a rope around a high branch of a tree. Then we'd tie the rope around the ankles of the bad guys. Together, Doug and I would pull the rope until the horse thief was a couple of feet above the ground - and of course, upside down. We'd tie off the rope to the bottom of the tree, run away and leave the other kid hanging upside down for 15-20 minutes.

Sounds like fun, doesn't it? It was always lots of fun for Doug and I.

Oh, the things we used to do as kids . . .

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States