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Recognized Social Butterfly


Fully Vaccinated and Loving it

Now that I can walk around the block without wearing my Covid-19 prevention mask, I am grateful for the newfound benefits: I can now effortlessly breathe, and I can walk freely in the midst of a few people, whether they are masked or not. And if someone is not masked, I can actually see his or her face. Ah, normality is such a boon.

I have always had a low-pitched, unassuming voice. To make myself heard while wearing a mask, I would have to emphatically raise my voice, and even then, people had trouble deciphering what I was saying. So I rarely bothered to address anyone I met on my walks. But without a mask, I am liberated. What a pleasure it is to be able to clearly communicate, whether it is just a pleasant hello or a more detailed conversation.

Yesterday, I realized how much I enjoyed engaging with people during my walk. Ahead of me, I saw a youngster embracing a coconut tree while a young woman photographed her. Both of them were unmasked and from their carefree facial expressions, I could tell how much they were delighted to have this moment together.  As I slowly passed by, I exuberantly exclaimed: “Tree huggers of the world, unite!”

I’m not sure if the woman got the Marxist allusion, but she glanced at me, broadly grinned, and chuckled appreciatively. And the youngster hugged the tree with even more enthusiasm.

We three strangers added triumphant good cheer to one another. In the aftermath of Covid-19, every such encounter is a well-deserved blessing.



Last week when I was having lunch at the Elks Club in Waikiki, I marveled that the ocean view was not just picturesque: it was exquisite.

The waves (normally rough this time of year) caressed the embankments along the shore, gently stirring the nearby rainbow tinted outrigger canoes.  A cream-colored balloon ever so slightly drifted high above the horizon.  A few bright red and blue sailboats glided across the expanse. Behind them was a gaily bedecked cruise ship that inched toward the harbor. A glistening jumbo jet was silhouetted directly overhead. In its wake, a black helicopter silently rotated. Long white streamers of wispy clouds nestled in the cobalt sky. A solitary grey drone hovered almost motionlessly along the shore.

Fortunately, there were no distractions at the Elks Club to interfere with this entrancing tableau, a sublime moment that I will without a doubt recollect in Wordsworthian tranquility.


A Laying on of Hands

The other day, my wife and I took our adopted 98-year-old Mum to Buzz’s, a restaurant in Kailua, a coastal town not far from Waikiki. Across from us, an animated woman my age with a pronounced accent was conversing with a group of people. My wife wanted to know where she was from, so I decided to find out.

After I discretely interrupted the gathering, I commented that the woman had a delightful accent. She resoundingly said that she was visiting from Italy; she was a Neopolitan.  She then asked me if I was from Israel: my mask had Israel embossed on it. I told her that I had twice gone there, I was Jewish, and that I was originally from Boston. She replied that her niece’s prospective husband was Jewish too; he lived in Brooklyn. She rightly added that these two cities (coincidentally beginning with the same letter) had a prominent Jewish population. After we exchanged a few more pleasantries, mostly about Hawaiian hospitality, I went back to my table and related to my wife what had transpired.

However, that wasn’t the end of my encounter with the engaging woman. As I was leaving the men’s room later on, I bumped into her as she was going to the ladies’ room, another coincidence. I politely said goodbye to her in Italian, arrivederci. Then without warning, she affectionately placed her hands over mine. A bit misty-eyed, she said that I should have a wonderful Father’s Day and a good life.

I wasn’t expecting such an emotional farewell. Quickly recovering from my surprise, I heartfully thanked her for her good wishes. Before I could respond any further, she released her hands from mine and hurried to the ladies’ room.

Living in Hawaii, I often experience the kindness of strangers, whether natives or tourists from thousands of miles away. Long live the Aloha spirit!

I felt a momentary kinship with the lady from Italy. My mother-in-law also was from Naples, and I have nothing but fond memories of her unconditional love for me. Long live Italia!

Regular Social Butterfly

Please remember there are some who cannot vaccinate and, unfortunately, some who may not be truthful; congrats on vac! But remember fellow humans; perhaps just wait a bit? 

Phil Harris, actor and showman, to John Fogerty of CCR: “If I’d known I’d live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”
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