Day 5, Sunday, September 9, 2001

Visited with Walter and Greatha. Walked in just as Greatha was cooking breakfast, so I lucked into amazing waffles, fresh fruit, real syrup. Kit came over from next door. Afterwards, I geeked out with Walter (he has the exact same laptop!) and used the GPS to give him a precise location to plug into his star chart screensaver.
Afterwards, went over to Richard Waller’s. Richard was there, just waking up.  We had a great long visit, all day. Gave another complete demo of the VTP software (4th time this trip). Richard told me lots more about surveying, and about a really cool project starting in Waimea to turn the middle of town, along the creek, into a park, with native trees, education center, multi-use pathways, etc. The project is thanks to private funding from well-off people who have moved there recently.  He has a brand-new Dell with a Radeon, but the web browser was freaking out. I
was able to use his ISP to download drivers for the external ZIP that I borrowed from Walter. Why didn’t I just bring a CDROM with the VTP stuff on it?? Wasn’t expecting to find people ready and interested in running it.
When I tell Richard about Tim’s desire to top the cypress trees, he is alarmed.  “That’ll kill them!” he says, and hands me literature describing all the problems with topping trees. He’s a landscape architect, so he knows. He photocopies the literature for me to take to Tim.

Day 6, Monday, September 10, 2001

In the morning, I hear a lawnmower again, this time coming from the Oldfather house. Going, down, I find a fellow behind and enormous, 15-hp lawnmower. This turns out to be Chris, a middle-aged fellow with an Australian accent. He hasn’t seen me since I was a teenager, so we catch up. Chris used to be in video production in New York long ago, and then lived off the grid above Ookala for many years. We talk while he hangs his laundry inside the ancient greenhouse.  It is truly amazing that this greenhouse is still standing – it is the original structure that I remember from the 1970s. After talking some more, I mention that I would love to clear some areas on my property, and Chris says he’d be interested in looking at doing it himself. So, we walk around the land together, looking at the fence, the trees and the grass. For the first time, I walk behind the eucalyptus tree line above the garden – it’s actually quite passable. It rained during the night, and the grass is really wet. We slog down along the perimeter, don’t quite brave the gulch at the far corner, and head over toward the evil red weed. We discuss plans for getting rid of it. He says he’ll take a stab at the upper fence line later this week, then give me a better idea of how much work the whole job would take. Nice chap!
Next I head down to Honoka`a for breakfast. At the wonderful little restaurant, I get a plate of cinnamon taro banana pancakes (yum!) and a big cup of coffee.  This place is so great – totally casual, the cook / owner mostly sits at a table with some other local ladies, drinking coffee and talking story.  I stop in at the new café behind the health food store, for a sandwich, then at Teri’s cloth store. Laura doesn’t do her stuff there anymore, and Teri is sharing a corner of the space with another woman’s antiques. Teri tells some great stories, including some about turkeys. It seems that the wild turkeys around her place have actually become useful. She throws a small amount of cracked corn on the ground, and the turkeys go there and scratch – clearing the tall grass in the process. She says she has several large koa trees that she does this for, and it works great. The turkeys learn to go back there for more corn, and keep the ground clear, without digging it up.
Back at the house, Stbon drops by to pick up a little more stuff, and I go out to chop up wood into kindling. There are Sugi branches and also avocado – some of it a little damp still. I chop a big box of it (fun!) then make a fire.

Day 7, Tuesday, September 11, 2001

In the early morning, still dark, the phone keeps ringing. Eventually I get up and answer.
It’s Cassandra. “Someone just hijacked a plane and flew it into the World Trade Center! And the Pentagon!” she says.
“Yeah, uh, right.”
“No! Really! I’m serious!”
“Uh…. “ I’m still waking up. “I think i saw that movie. It had Bruce Willis in it.”