My Kind of Town

Don Chapman

Tuesday, November 2, 2004


Ancestral, li‘ dat

» Downtown Honolulu

Royal runners representing King Kavawai of the Tubers, bearing news that the lovely Princess Tuberosa La'a had come of age and mind to find a suitable young man to marry, had just reached the vast lava tube that runs from 'Iolani Palace -- why do you think they chose that spot to build the palace in the first place? -- to Kualoa Ranch when Randy Makapu'u entered the nearby State Land Board office.

Randy, 30, was wondering what the eff they wanted with him. First of all, he didn't own any land, with his salary and education didn't expect he ever would. Second, he was so fed up with Hawaiian Homes, he didn't bother signing up to get land. By the time he got it, he'd be make-die-dead already.

More importantly, this was his day off as a security guard with Portagee Protective, the first big swell of the season was rumbling across the North Shore and he wanted to get out there. His Mark Foo triple-fin Impaler was waiting in his van.

"Aloha, Mr. Makapu'u, I'm Tokelani Green with the Pono Commission," an attractive young hapa-haole woman said, showing him into a conference room with a long, polished table. "Thank you for coming in. This is Jeff Lam, from legal."

A Chinese guy in pinstriped shirt sat at the table, on which were five stacks of paper each four feet high.

"Tokelani? You don't mind me asking, how you got that name?"

"My parents, they, ah, they were Bob Marley fans."

"Puffed the herb, did they?"

"You could say that. My dad's haole, mom's Hawaiian, she insisted on a Hawaiian name. One night they dreamed this up. Anyway, please have a seat."

She was a babe, had the looks and the body, no doubt about it, this Tokelani, classy kine. Way above his dating level. "Cool parents," he said, sitting down across from her. The attorney sat two seats to his right.

"By the way, did you bring your driver's license with you as I asked?"

"Shoots." He fished it out of his wallet, handed it over. "So what'd I do?"

"You didn't do anything," Tokelani said with a soft chuckle, glancing at the license, sliding it across to the attorney. "Jeff, maybe you can explain."

"Your family name is Makapu'u, I take it?" he said.

"For as long as I can remember. At one time, apparently, I don't know, but they say at one time Makapu'u was where we lived. Ancestral ohana kine, li' dat."

"Right," the attorney said, spreading out a large map on the table. "Mr. Makapu'u, incredible as this may seem, we've found a terrible mistake was made years ago. The title for all of this land at Makapu'u still belongs to your family, and you're the only Makapu'u we can locate."

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek. His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin. He can be e-mailed at dchapman@midweek.com



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