My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Odd hobby

>> Marco Polo

Lily Ah Sun was still making kissing noises into her cell phone when the elevator reached the 18th floor. "OK, I'm here. But I'll call when I'm done ... I love you too, Quinn. Bye."

Quinn, who said to hurry back to his room at Queen's so he could propose. Quinn, who was no longer her cousin, at least according to the DNA test that showed she and her brother Laird had different fathers.

Her parents would have to be, ah, consulted on the matter. Lily hoped Tony Martinez's recollections of the mysterious Clarence "Bobo" Ah Sun -- and the last postcard Bobo sent from Miami -- might provide directions, if not outright answers.

Lily rang a condo on the makai side of the building, heard music on the other side. Tony was listening to a remake of "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother."

The door opened and there he was, the founder of the band Mauka Showers, black hair combed back, smiling through the wide-eyed visage of someone who had better not even think about having one more wrinkle-removing cosmetic surgery or his skin would pop off the bone.

"It's an honor to meet you," Lily said, offering her hand. "I'm a fan. I loved 'I'm Working on My Buddhahood This Christmas.'"

"Thank you," Tony said graciously. "Please come in."

"Wow!" Lily said as she entered the living area.

"Yes, it is a nice view."

"No, I mean all the postcards!" Hundreds of postcards, each individually framed, covered two walls.

"An odd hobby, I know," he said with a wave of the hand. "Mostly from people who were here on vacation and I got to know when they came to one of our performances. Fans. I always ask them to send me a postcard of their hometown. It's like my little window on the world."

Lots of them, Lily thought, scanning the collection for a window on Miami, at last spotting an open space on the wall where a postcard might have been.

"I can send you one from Hawaii Kai."

"Please," Tony said, motioning for her to sit down on a beige leather couch. He sat in a matching chair to her left, picked up a small framed postcard from a small table. "I think this is why you came."

He handed the frame to Lily. It had glass on both sides, no paper backing. Lily glanced at a photo of a sunny strand of beach with the words "Welcome to Miami!" on the front, turned to the back. The hand-writing was eerily familiar.

"Do you have any other postcards from Bobo?"


Why did that word keep coming up with poor Bobo?

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
He can be e-mailed at

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