Maui Girl

These stories from Donna Austin come from her rich Maui history and heritage.

27 October 2006

Chapter 3: After the Party

They danced on, their steps in perfect unison as the melody and crowd flowed around them leaving them alone in a small world of their own. When the music ended, Tony was there, ready to cut in with a tap on Joâo’s shoulder.
“No thank you, I’ve had enough dancing with you two smooth talkers. I’m going to rest and cool off.” Rose said.
Tony and Joâo resignedly and unwillingly walked Rose back to her family. They bowed and walked off together toward the punch bowl. Soon they joined Adelina and some of her friends and they all left the dance area together laughing and talking.
It was late in the night before Rose’s family got ready to leave. After bidding the bridal pair farewell, they were feeling a bittersweet happiness of personal loss but joy for the couple’s new happiness. The Gomes family boarded their tasseled buggy and started tiredly but happily on their journey home, minus one member, Manuel. It was the beginning of the end for that family as a new one was formed for Manuel and Felicianna.
Soon Mary, the eldest daughter, would be married to Tom Tavares, a childhood sweetheart, and move away to the Island of Oahu. Within two years, Flora would marry Frank Gouveia and move to Wailuku and Joe would marry Irma Silvia and move to Makawao.
Rose, Lydia, and Virginia would be the only ones left then. Their mother was ill. The farm was too much work for Joseph, alone without his sons to help. They would have to sell. Where would they go? What would happen to them?

22 October 2006

Chapter 3: Rose Cools Off

The song ended and Tony walked Rose back to where her family was sitting. “Thank you for the dance, Rose. I enjoyed it. I want you to know, I’m going to change your mind for you someday.”
Mary and Flora giggled and Lydia and Virginia whispered to
each other as Rose sat down with flaming cheeks and a glare for her audience.
Her father asked, “What’s the matter Rose? Don’t you like Tony? He’s a nice boy. I know his father. He’s a hard worker. He comes from a family of good honest people. They come from the Madeira Islands. Tony was born there and came here when he was two years old.”
“I’m sure his family is very nice, but I think Tony is too forward.” said Rose.
“Oh, I think he is just acting that way because he really likes you and doesn’t know what to do. Keep an open mind. You might find out he’s not so bad.” Her father said.
Just as Rose’s cheeks began to cool, Joâo walked up to he father and asked, “May I ask Rose for this dance?”
Rose’s father turned to her inquiringly and seeing her closed expression, said laughingly, “Sure, go ahead and ask, but it is up to her.”
Joâo masterfully took her in his arms and whirled her away in a dreamy waltz. Her feet felt like they were not touching the ground but dancing on clouds. His dark eyes flashed as he said, “I love you Rose. I know this is the real thing. I am not joking, I’m serious.”
“Rose’s face flushed with embarrassment. “I can’t believe you are ever serious about anything. You just like to flirt with all the girls. You are in love with love!”
He laughed and said, “You’re right. Love is wonderful. It makes me feel so good, so tall, so strong, so happy and so alive. I see the ocean, the fields, the cattle with a new light. The light of love makes me see everything in perspective and I owe it all to you.”
“I saw you dancing and laughing with Tony’s sister, Adelina, a while ago. Did you tell her the same thing? Countered Rose.
“I like her a lot. She’s beautiful and such a nice girl and my best friend’s sister. But I never told her what I’ve told you” He solemnly promised with a twinkle in his eye.

16 October 2006

Chapter 3: Tony or Joao

Rose had barely recovered from that surprise meeting with Tony when she looked up into the handsome laughing face of Joâo.
“We’re together at last,” he said. “I haven’t been able to think of anything else since I met the lovely girl with a seashell by the shore. My heart is gone and there is a terrible ache there in that spot.”
“I don’t believe your story at all,” Rose responded laughingly. “You certainly tell a good tale.”
Then the caller for the Chamarita, boomed out his next order and everyone switched again.
Rose danced for hours, feeling exhilarated and happy. There were slow dances and fast ones too. There were Portuguese dances and modern waltzes. Rose danced with her father, her brother, Manuel, and her brother, Jose. Her head was still swirling from a fast polka she had danced with her brother, Joe, when Tony came up with a girl at his side.
Addressing Rose’s brother Jose, Tony said, “Hello Joe, I’d like you to meet my sister, Adelina. She is dying to dance with you and I’d love to dance with Rose.”
Before Rose knew what was happening, she was in Tony’s arms dancing a waltz. For some reason, Rose had trouble breathing and she felt terribly shy and tongue tied. She didn’t know what to say to this tall golden haired boy man. “Can we be friends?” He pleaded.
“Why should my being friends with you be so important”, countered Rose with another question of her own.
“Because I’m going to marry you someday, if Joâo doesn’t get you first.” He answered seriously.
“Well you don’t have to worry about Joâo, because I’m not going to marry him,” she said emphatically, adding, “or you either for that matter.”

14 October 2006

Chapter 3: Wedding Kaleidoscope

Rose was to remember that day forever. It was a kaleidoscope of new experiences for her, permeated by the joy radiating from the wedding couple. The ancient Latin mass was solemn, the sermon beautifully spoken in Portuguese and the couple’s union was sealed and blessed by God forever in the beautiful round church of the Holy Ghost in Kula.
Rose had never seen so many decorated colored cakes and candied almonds in her life. There was sopas (beef and kale soup) for everyone, Pâo doce (sweet bread), salads of every kind and color, homemade linguiça and morcelas (blood sausage) and vinho d’alhos (wine and garlic marinated pork).
The band, consisting of a violin, a clarinet, a guitar, 3 ukeleles, a snare drum, a violin, and a trombone, played the opening set. They began with the traditional chamarita, a Portuguese folk dance. Everyone young and old joined hands weaving in and out, spinning and changing partners as the caller yelled his instructions in Portuguese. The women’s bright flowered full skirts swirled about as they twirled around their partners.
Rose was changing partners when she realized the hand she was reaching for, was Tony’s.
“Hello beautiful one, have you missed me?” Tony asked as he swung her in a circle.
Rose had to laugh at the preposterous question.
“Of course not, I’ve been so busy with wedding preparations, school and chores that I never gave you or your friend another thought until now.”
Just as Tony was getting ready to turn his full charm to advantage, the caller yelled in Portuguese that everyone should change. The men moved to the right and the women moved left until they faced a new partner.

09 October 2006

Chapter 3: On the Way to the Wedding

Although it had rained the night before, the morning held a rainbow in the mist, promising fair weather by noon. Nature seemed to be cooperating in making this a perfect day for the wedding pair. As everyone bustled around doing last minute chores, or putting finishing touches on their wedding gifts, their hearts lightened with gladness, that the day would be crisp and clear, for the celebration and dancing would be outside and would go on late into the night and early morning.
Joe hitched the wagon carefully, so as not to get his black suit dirty. The family had driven up to Makawao the day before to stay with friends so they could be fresh for the wedding in Kula. He was nervous and unconsciously fingered his bow tie as he thought about the duties of being best man. He checked his pocket for the hundredth time to see if he had the simple gold band in the small box. Manuel was still inside with his already perfect tie, and checking for imaginary specks on his suit and shoes. The reality was just dawning on Julia that she was losing her first born and her family was breaking up.
The groom appeared calm in the maelstrom of activity going on around him. He knew that what he was doing was right and the best thing that could happen to him. He smiled reassuringly at his mother, took his father’s hand and said,
“Let’s go. We’ll be late for the wedding if we don’t get started now.” He walked arm in arm with his father and mother on either side of him to the wagon, where the rest of the family waited.
A frame had been added to the wagon and decorated with colorful tassels and bells. Even the horse had his mane braided and decorated with matching tassels and bells from the wagon. You could hear the happy tinkling of bells as the wedding party set off on their journey to Kula.

02 October 2006

Chapter Two: Beach Picnic

Rose blushed with embarrassment and turned away, busying herself with her knitting. She pointedly ignored the two boys, as Joe invited them to join the family for lunch.
The boys sat down with alacrity, near where Rose was working. When she realized how close they were, she jumped up and sat near her mother on the other side of the tent. Her face burned with anger and humiliation as she thought about how forward and rude the boys behaved.
By now everyone was hungry so they all enjoyed the cornmeal squares, fluffy white bread, lapis, and mangoes washed down with fresh goat’s milk.
“Where do you boys live? Asked Julia inquisitively.
“I live in Makawao on the cattle ranch, said João. My father raises cattle.”
“I live in Puunene in Camp B. My father is in his last year of his 3 year contract,” answered Tony. “We both went to the Christian Brother’s school in Wailuku. That is how we got to know each other and become good friends.”
There was lots of laughing and talking after the meal was over. The boys started a game of tag in the sand, while the girls packed away the lunch. As Rose stood up to carry the hamper to the wagon, Tony stopped her and said, “Let me carry it for you. Can’t we be friends? We were just teasing you.”
“I can carry this myself. It is not very heavy at all. Thank you anyway.” She walked away with her body erect and her head held high, never even bothering to answer the second part of his question.
João tried a different method. He ran and picked a lovely red hibiscus from a nearby bush. He bowed and offered it to her with a flourish as she came back from the wagon for another load.
“Here’s a peace offering to wear in your beautiful long hair, he said.
Although Rose was only 14, she was a budding beauty, tall, fair and graceful, her long auburn hair a crown of glory. She said,
“No thanks, I am not interested in your flower or you! I wish you boys would both leave me alone. It is embarrassing. Go away!”
Sadly he walked away to join Tony and her brothers. They all helped load the wagon. Waving goodbye to their new friends, Manuel and Joe called, “adeus” (God be with you) and headed the wagons home. As soon as the passengers rounded the bend in the road and were well out of hearing, the teasing began.
“What is better than one boyfriend?” asked Lydia and Flora.
“Two boyfriends.!” chorused the family.
Manuel said, “Tony and João told me that Rose is the prettiest girl they’ve ever seen.”
Joe added, “Well both Tony and João told me they’re in love!”
As everyone was laughing at this news, Rose begged, “Please change the subject. I don’t like those boys at all!”
Thus the eternal triangle budded and blossomed.