Thursday, May 01, 2008

Surfer Girl (Hawaii 1969 - Chapter Two)

Hanauma Bay (where Elvis filmed Blue Hawaii)

Holy Smokes!!
This was ME!>>

Yes, we was once young, carefree, idealistic and cute. I was nineteen, on a working-break from college. (As opposed to a Girls Gone Wild spring break.) It was thirty-nine years and seventy pounds ago. I was very tan because I didn't know the danger of UV rays. (No one did.) I was still a natural blond (even my roots), wore contacts and had a flat belly. My smile was white and jovial. I didn't appreciate what I had. Youth was wasted on the young.

We were also very naïve, having grown-up in the Salt Lake Valley. We got ourselves into some silly situations which in retrospect were dangerous or just plain stupid.

On our first week in Hawaii, N. and I went to the beach in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. It's a private beach, just for the hotel visitors, but for some reason we weren't stopped. We found a surf board just sitting there and decided to borrow it for a while. We didn't notice or wonder why no one was surfing. We pushed the board into the waves. Nan got on one end, I got on the other, facing N. Sitting upright, legs in the water, we paddled out to sea with our hands, laughing and singing surf tunes, pretending to be Gidget.

Little did we know the tide was going out, not coming in. (No wonder no one was surfing!) It didn't take long before the shore and the pink hotel were barely in visible! We turned the board around to head back to the beach when suddenly N. screamed and grabbed her hand. I was sure we were surrounded by sharks. The good news was she was only stung by a jelly fish. The bad news was her hand was swollen, red and she was in agonizing pain after she pulled the tentacles off.

We pushed the board and swam ten strokes forward while the tide pushed us eight strokes back. Swimming without the board would have been much easier, but we were honest and wanted to get the board back to the hotel. A couple of times I went under and didn't think I could manage to swim to the surface. (One time my life literally flashed before my eyes.) It must have taken more than an hour to reach the shore where we were met by a handsome but angry life-guard who watched us through binoculars the entire time! "That's what you get for stealing our surf board," he barked at us. However, he reluctantly gave N. a remedy for her jelly fish sting, involving white vinegar, meat tenderizer and baking soda. N.'s hand got better and the next venture into the Pacific was done with more caution.

N. an I hooked up with a native photographer our first week in Hawaii. By native, I mean, he was born and raised in Hawaii. He was not Hawaiian by race, but was of Philippine/Portuguese heritage. To us, J. seemed middle-aged, but I suppose he was only about thirty. He told us he could get us modeling jobs or work as extras on Hawaii 5-0. So, he took portfolio photographs of us at no cost.

Of course, no jobs or even interviews resulted from the photos. We knew we were too white to act as extras and we weren't pretty enough to model. I'm more than certain J. never showed our photos to anyone anyway. He just wanted to meet young white chicks. He was lonely.

Sexy Sadies (S & N)
by Ala Wai Canal
Sheri in a Banyan
To be
Young and in Paradise
in the spring of '69
Was ever-so nice!

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