This is my very close friend, Fred Jones.
Fred is the person who got me to start driving a cab. He was working for Royal at the time but retired in late 2002.
He left the island then but came back last November. Staying in a cabin way up in the far reaches of the Kula area.
The only utility he has is county water. Solar panel and a gasoline generator provide electricity. The fridge and stove top are propane, which also supplements the solar water heater. TV is via satellite. Telephone service is spotty coverage, at best, via cell phone. So far out on the fringe of civilization that a cell must be switched to "analog" since "digital" won't work.
The patio area has exposed lava tubes
But the views are utterly breath-taking.
"Murph" and I were invited to Fred's place for dinner last night. Fred has purchased a 35-foot motor home on the mainland and plans to leave Mau'i, forever, shortly after the 1st of next month. Traveling between western and eastern Washington State, in the Pacific Northwest part of the USA. His mom died a couple of years back, at 98(!), and left him comfortable.
Tired of the isolated existence, he wants to be close to his kids and grand-kids.
I don't fault him but I sure as hell am going to miss him.
"Murph" picked me up about 3:30p. While our destination was only 5 or 6 miles away, as the crow flies, the actual road distance was closer to 40 miles, one way. Directions were what you might expect for a location that doesn't even have a Zip-Code or a numbered street address. After finally finding the correct cattle gate along the road, it was a 3 mile trek up a barely graded "dirt road". Calling it a "road" is being very, very generous. I am glad we had "Murph's" pickup truck, my "Crown Vic" wouldn't have made it. The people who live in that area, maybe 1 person per square mile, all have 4-WD vehicles. "Murph's" little "4-banger", 2-WD Ford was pushed to it's operational limits. Had a great dinner and Fred wanted us to spend the night but "Murph" has to be to work by 5a today and there was no way we could have traversed that "goat trail" in the dark. We departed about 7:15p, late twilight, and barely found our way back down the hill to the paved road.
It was a treat to visit Fred but it was also an adventure. I visited an area of Mau'i that I have never seen before. The paved road is "open range" country where cattle are allowed to roam free and we met many a black cow on the narrow, unlit, paved road before we finally regained civilization. "Murph" dropped me at my place about 8:30p and then headed home. Hoping to get, maybe, 6 hours of sleep before his day begins again at 3a. I took a nap, since I had only had 2-1/2 hours of sleep earlier.
Three male Labrador Retrievers - one chocolate, one yellow and one black, were sitting in the vet's waiting room when they struck up a conversation.
The black Lab turned to the chocolate Lab and said,"So why are you here?"The chocolate Lab replied,"I'm a pisser. I piss on everything. The sofa, the curtains, the cat, the kids. But the final straw waslast night when I pissed in the middle of my owner's bed."The black Lab said,"So what is the vet going to do?"Came the reply from the chocolate Lab.
"Gonna cut my nuts off.""They reckon it'll calm me down."The black Lab then turned to the yellow Lab and asked,"Why are you here?"The yellow Lab said,"I'm a digger. I dig under fences, dig up flowers and trees, I dig just for the hell of it. When I'm inside, I dig up carpets. But I went over the line last night when I dug a hole in my owner's sofa."The black Lab inquired.
"So what are they going to do to you?""Looks like I'm losing my nuts too."The dejected yellow Lab said.
The yellow Lab then turned to the black Lab and asked,"Why are you here?"The black Lab said.
"I'm a humper.""I'll hump anything. I'll hump the cat, a pillow, the table, fence posts, whatever. I want to hump everything I see. Yesterday my owner had just got out of the shower and, as she was bending down to dry her toes, I just couldn't help myself. I hopped on her back and started humping away."The yellow Lab and chocolate Lab exchanged a sad glance and said,"So, nuts off for you too, huh?"The black Lab said...."No, I'm here to get my nails clipped."
***Today is Labor Day. Enjoy what is left of the un-official "last day" of summer.
THE PICTURE GALLERY
Lana'i (distant) & Ma'alaea Bay (near)
From Upcountry Kula
From Upcountry Kula
"Let's all be careful out there!"