Saturday, September 3, 2011
I received the following true story from my buddy Rick Helin which in itself is a ‘great’ story. But when you read it you will discover why he sent it to me.
Now I know why I found these ‘pictured’ golf balls on Ewa Beach. The connection….
“I used to live on the 12th fairway of the Mid-Pacific Golf Course in Lanikai/Enchanted Lakes. All the kids in the neighborhood used to love to play about five holes (12th-17th Holes) late in the afternoon after school till it was about to get dark. We'd do our best to get back home before the gardeners came out to cut and water the greens. Once in a while they'd almost catch us in their trucks, but we'd run off. Some of the members used to complain about us during their board meetings, not because we were punks, but because none of us were members and we were trying to play without paying.
Then, one day, all the dog and cat play with the gardeners stopped. The gardeners stopped chasing us for some unknown reason. In fact, they actually became quite friendly to us and would wave and smile at us kids. We thought it was all a trap to lure us in and then they'd catch us and call our parents and police.
I didn't find out the real reason until my Senior year. I discovered the truth from my neighbor who was a member of the club, but who didn't have any kids of his own. I mentioned the story to him one day and he laughed. He sat me down and explained what had really happened. Apparantly, during one of the Member's Board Meetings, one of the most unpopular members stood up to whine about us kids for the millionth time. Like all the times before, it wasn't because we were doing anything wrong... ut was just because we were "playing without paying" and monthly fees were expensive. After all, it was a private club and us kids were flaunting the rules. I remember he said the asshole's name was "Harry".
Finally, one of the more respected members had enough. He stood up and told "Harry" to "Shut the fuck up!" He explained to the Boardmembers that all we were doing was playing five holes of golf about two or three times a week, at a time other members had already gone home for the day. It wasn't like we were vandalizing the course.
He explained to this wiener that us kids were the club's greatest vandalizing deterrent. That the club had the choice of making us kids their friends, or having us become their mortal enemies. He suggested if they took the hard-line approach, us kids might take our revenge out by vandalizing the fairways or greens. By doing nothing to us and letting us play a few holes now and then, he said it allowed us to feel like we have "a vested ownership" in maintaining good relations. And doing so allowed us to continue to learn the game. Also, he explained, most kid's allowances can't afford memberships to expensive golf clubs and by letting us learn the game and build an appreciation for that particular course, when we did grow up and have the ability to become members, we'd chose Mid-Pacific because of all of the wonderful memories we had built-up as kids. He saw it as a "win-win" situation. In addition, we kids would become the club's eyes and ears and might be more inclined to snitch should we learn of other kids who don't golf and have the same kind of appreciation for the game, and who might have a tendency to do actual vandalism.
It all made sense. For the most part, thieves normally steal from strangers and not from their friends and family. Somehow, it allows them to justify their misbehavior by creating a misperception of their victims being complete jerks. It's kind of like, "Well, they're assholes and they had it coming to them", rather than "I'm a jerk and no one has a right to steal from anyone no matter who they are."
In essence, without ever realizing it, Dwight's goodwill helping kids has probably been transferred into goodwill for Silva's Market. I would venture to guess that store could have been robbed, vandalized, etc. ten times more than it probably has, just because Dwight's humanity shines through because kids aren't stupid. They know who their friends and family are. They know who to respect. The Spirit of Ohana is very strong in Hawaii. Your landlord neighbor would do well to remember that.”
What prompted this shared story by Rick was this. I have been living on Ewa Beach at ‘Empty Lots’ surf spot for a little over a year.
When I moved here I know that Ewa Beach had a bad reputation. In fact, Peter Wade a now retired Corrections Officer and very close old friend of mine, said they had a whole crew of ‘Ewa Beach Boys’, who were not to be taken lightly.
When Natalia and I moved back to Oahu from the Bay area, we found a place, right on the beach. Right in front of a surf spot. We rented this place and have gone surfing every day.
I waved and made friends of the locals who eventually returned the waves with smiles. I did repairs for some of them on their surfboards.
Silva Store in here on Ewa Beach. It is run by Ivy and her son Dwayne. Dwayne is a surfer here having grown up here. He is about thirty. He took it upon himself to do what I followed up with by doing repairs and even giving second hand boards to the local kids. His philosophy: ‘I’d rather the kids be surfing than hanging out on the streets bored to death.’
So with his example and my good natured ness I loaned boards and boogie board to the kids. When they needed repairs, ‘Hey, let’s get that fixed!’
But I discovered a problem. My landlords who live on the same property, next door, did not want these kids on the property at all! I suddenly was even threatened with eviction. Now I know there are two sides to every coin and I have tried to understand this position. Actually, I can’t understand it but I must accept it and respect it as it is their property, even though I am the one renting it.
So, no more loans. No more repairs. No more access to come and say ‘Hi Uncle Bob’. No more wax! Sorry!...and no more rinse off with the hose – even when I offered to pay for it. Nope!
I have tried to discreetly share this situation with the kids and they understand and seem to just let it go. Another stab.