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In the Beginning...

I was in love.  I was in love for nearly forty years, since the day my then wife and I rode down that wretched, bumpy, narrow road to see Kona Village for the first time.  What a sight that was!  Bungalows, called hale* (rhymes with holly, almost) sitting naked out on the old lava flow, because the vegetation was in its infancy.  This picture is from “Above Hawaii” by Robert Cameron, published in 1977.  The picture was clearly taken earlier.

“A guard house and a two-mile road over the lava fields protects the Kona Village Resort and those who choose to stay in the 71 thatch-roofed South Sea Island huts from the harsh intrusions of day-to-day reality.  There are no televisions, no radios, no air conditioners, no locks on the doors, not even room service, but there is a sort of “plus primitive” atmosphere of elegant isolation.”  (This is the original caption.  Notice the end of the runway in the upper left, behind the big building.)

Other hale, on the beach side, didn’t make much of an impression on us because we were so entranced with the lava and the ocean.  The lagoon didn’t exist, as far as we were concerned, and I don’t know why--it just didn’t make an impression like it does now.  There were 71 hale then, but they stretched the village at both ends to a total of 125 hale.


We were on our way to Maui and had decided to try Kona Village just for a day or two to check it out.  We did that, and when we got to Maui, we looked at each other and said, “Let’s go back!”  So we cancelled our Maui plans and went back. This time we flew in by commuter plane, landed on the private runway, taxied up to Registration, got off the plane, and were greeted with leis and hugs while our bags were being off-loaded.  Wow!  Elegance!  From then on, the very sight of the logo catches my breath, because it stood for a haven, where nothing surrounded me except aloha.

*By the way, it took me many years to learn that since the Hawaiian language has no ‘s,’ plurals are formed by adding ‘na.’  So ‘hales’ become ‘na hale.’  But I say, one step at a time.  If I mean more than one hale, I’ll write hale, and you, dear reader, will get used to “hale is” and “hale are.”  Maybe someday I’ll write na hale, but not here.  Same for lu'au.

Questions? Comments? mumpsimus1@gmail.com

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