Monday, April 19, 2010

Chicken Skin to da max!

This is dedicated to Ray Tyson my life long friend, surfing buddy and….

The following account took place on Maui in the Fall of 1965. Ray Tyson and I from Kailua High School upon graduating went to Mauna Olu College in upper Paia, Maui, Hawaii.

It was an easy choice for me. “They have a college on Maui?!!!. Honolua Bay, world class surfing spot, Maui? Gee, let me think about this….”

Ray and I were room mates at Baldwin Dormitory. I had a car. A brand new Kahmann Ghia.

So one of the first weekends there we decide to ‘Go to Hana’. Yeah!

Ray and I and three other girls leave bright and early after breakfast and take off to Hana, around the backside of Hana, Kaupo and back up through Ulupalakua and complete our return to Mauna Olu.

I had been on Maui several times before. I had surfed Honolua Bay enough to make a decision that, Yes!, Mauna Olu would be my choice for my scholastic pursuits. What is that anyway, scholastic???

For Ray and the three girls, Judy, Linda and – not sure, this was the first time for them to be on Maui.

For anyone in Hawaii, Maui is a special place and in particular, to go to Hana is a must!
This was no exception.

On the back side of Hana passing through Kipahulu where the Seven Pools –Why??? Seven? There are 16 that I have counted!!! – you have a breath taking view of the Big Isle and then Kaupo Gap where the crater opens up into Haleakala. On the makai (Ocean side) you have Kaupo Point and the Hui O Aloha Church.

This is where ‘Chicken Skin to the Max’ takes place.

Hui O Aloha Church, Kaupo. For those of you who are not familiar with Hawaiian, I will try to accurately convey the meanings of Hawaiian. First, disclaimer: I ain’t Hawaiian!

Hui is actually not Hawaiian. It is borrowed from Chinese. Hui is ‘group’. ‘O’ is like ‘of’ and ‘Aloha’ is technically ‘the breath of God through me to you.’

Hui O Aloha means: Group of ‘OOmmm!’

So anyway we are driving along slowly as the road and view is like WoWoWoW!

We of course turn off the road and go down to the Hui O Aloha Church and Point. We walk in and Ray standing in the entrance of the Church starts crying!

Now I will tell you why.

The week or two before this at Mauna Olu College there is this radio program on Maui of which our religious studies class is participating. If any of you are old enough, do you remember the ‘God is Dead’ articles that were prominent ‘Life’ magazine, ‘Time’, Newsweek?

This was the fall of 1965. Of all things, Ray and I are in this religious studies class and somehow are in this debate for our class and it is like being aired on the local Maui radio program. Ray is debating for, ‘God is Dead!’ I may not know what scholastic means, but having experienced first hand a tidal wave, Kilauea Iki volcano and a night in the desert at the age of 4, am debating against the idea that ‘God is (I ain’t even gonna say it!).

So standing there in the church, the three girls and I are like, Whoa! What’s happening to Ray?

Ray is standing there crying and staring at the wall above the podium. He is staring at the inscription written on the wall. The inscription is in Hawaiian. Ray, who does not know Hawaiian translates for us what it says: “If you seek me, you shall find me!”

If that wasn’t enough to knock us all over, the next thing that happened did. Suddenly, the inscription turned to English. The three girls and I just dropped! We fell into the pews and just sat there.

For all the years that I lived on Maui, 1975 -77, 1982 -99, I would frequent the Hui O Aloha church as often as I could. From about 1995 to 1999 I owned a Yamaha 850 (very cool) and used to go out almost weekly. It was my get away. I never went by the church without going in and …you know, reconnecting with Ray, and God.

Now, maybe I can prompt Ray to make a comment here:

In the mean time, Aloha! If you were Hawaiian you would say: Mahalo: (I receive the spirit (breath) of God through you to me!)


  1. Wow, I am studying a little about this church. Do you still visit? You can email me at Mahalo, Nicole