Luau at the Moloka`i Shores: 4
"You want them back together?"
"They still love each other but need a little kokua."
"I'll kokua!" Lucy said.
The Halawa Valley Boyz finished singing "Hi'ilawe." Alvin asked for requests.
"Moloka'i Nui Ahina!" Mendoza called.
"Ho," said Alvin, "dat's da kine." Alvin strummed his ukulele and sang the opening lines. Marv, Kalena, and Israel joined in. Their voices formed a lively harmony and couples crowded the mat. Lucy approached Chipper and whispered in his ear. He shook his head and puffed his cigarette. Lucy snatched the cigarette, threw it on the ground, and stomped it out. She grabbed his hand and pulled him out of his chair. Chipper put his hand on her shoulder and started an awkward fox trot. I extended my hand to Gramma and this time she took it—I danced her over to Chipper. Lucy got tired of the fox trot and showed Chipper how to do the Swim. I danced closer to Lucy and winked at her. She winked back. I left Gramma, grabbed Lucy around the waist, and we did the cha-cha-cha. Chipper and Gramma just stood there. Finally Chipper wrapped his arm around Gramma's waist and led her in a two-step. They seemed younger when they danced. I saw Ben rocking out with Puanani, Esther doing the Frug with Kaui, and Jesse spinning Kitty. Lucy held my hands tight and whipped her hair back and forth. The song ended and the Halawa Valley Boyz put down their ukes and guitars.
"Hana hou!" Kaui said.
"Auwe," Gramma said, "good fun."
I introduced Gramma to Lucy. She said Lucy she reminded her of an actress on One Life to Live. Dr. Seville moseyed over with his wife and Seville talked to Chipper about investments. Mrs. Seville chatted with Gramma about restaurants and wigs.
Alvin grabbed the mike. "We go eat!" he said.
Gramma waved me over. "Peanut," she said, "bring two plates heavy on kalua pig."
"How about lomilomi salmon and squid luau?" I asked.
"And laulaus!" Lucy said.
"That'd be nice," Gramma replied.
Lucy and I headed to the imu. Albert and his younger brother shoveled away the dirt mounded on top. Steam rose up through a blanket of burlap bags. Kaui and Rocky removed the bags and beneath that were layers of ti and banana leaves. Merv pulled the leaves off to reveal five golden turkeys surrounded by sweet potatoes, yams, and breadfruit.
"No mo' oink, oink?" Mendoza joked.
"Gobble, gobble mo' bettah," said Kitty.
Everyone laughed. Merv and Kaui carved the turkeys on a koa cutting boards. Women arranged foil pans on two picnic tables placed end to end. Kitty chopped a raw salmon filet and mixed it with rock salt, diced onions, and tomatoes.
"Hungry?" I asked Lucy.
"Famished," she said.
"Gramma and Chipper first," I said.
We grabbed paper plates and I got in line behind Lucy. Ben was talking to Puanani beside a pair of unlit torches. Lucy and I piled our plates high and we delivered them to Gramma and Chipper. Gramma didn't mind it was turkey instead of pig.
Lucy and I went back to get our dinners. The turkey was shredded and I piled it on the main course section of my paper plate. I filled up the other sections with a laulau, chicken long rice, and squid luau. The poi looked fresh so I scooped some on my plate. I picked up a shred of turkey and put it in my mouth—it was moist and tasted smoky. Lucy had her plate filled with pipi kalua, opihi, and limu koho. We sat beside a bougainvillea trellis and ate. Families hunkered down on quilts and blankets. Children played tag around a tree fern and their mother said, "Hele mai 'ai!"
"How's the limu koho?" I asked Lucy.
"Good. Wanna try some?"
|© Copyright 2006 Kirby Wright & Trout.|
|This issue of Trout is sponsored in part by UNESCO.|