National Geographic : 1969 Oct
self and his wife: one with the ocean as a backdrop, another against the mountains. "I just can't believe the colors," he said. He was right. I looked beyond the city to the ocean, shading from pastel green along the shore to the deepest blue, with feathers of white where the surf plunged over the reef. Behind us stretched the Koolau Range, tinted purple and a dozen shades of green, colors Gauguin used in his paintings of Tahiti. As many times as I had seen the view, I was enchanted all over again. So far, pile drivers and cement mixers have spared this view, but they have practically eliminated the little grass hut which Amer icans long associated with Hawaii. I know of one, however-on the northeast side of Oahu. It is the boyhood home of Kekoa David Kaa pu, Honolulu's urban renewal coordinator. His full name, by the way, is Kekoalauliio napalihauliuliokekoolau David Kaapuawao kamehameha. His first name refers to a tree that grows on the steep cliffs of the mountains behind Honolulu, and his last name means "cup bearer to King Kamehameha." City Hall colleagues call him Dave. "I slept in this house until I went away to college in 1954," Mr. Kaapu said as we en tered the waist-high opening in the thatch. He explained that his father, who is descended from Hawaiian alii, or chiefs, wished to rear his children as nearly as possible in the life style of his ancestors. "He thought it was a good way. We didn't wear many clothes around the place. My sis ter and I climbed the trees for coconuts and fished in the ponds, and played in the mud of the taro patches." But even in Mr. Kaapu's boyhood, that was an unusual way for Honolulans to live, and the neighbors were upset. "They formed a delegation and called on my father," he told me. "They said they were sure my sister and I would come to no good end. Years later, when my sister had become a college teacher and I had graduated from Harvard, they came back to apologize." Mr. Kaapu's parents have since moved into a gadget-filled house behind the grass one; it is easier to manage now that both are in their 70's. Mr. Kaapu's own two children are being reared in a suburban split-level home. Such is the evolution of Honolulu. Mr. Kaapu suggested a cool drink, and, taking up a long pole, knocked two coconuts from a tree. With a machete he chopped off one end of each and gouged a hole through the white meat. I raised one to my mouth and drank. The pale liquid tasted fresh, untamed, and invigorating. "It's only like that when it's right off the tree," Mr. Kaapu said. "That's one thing they can never change in Honolulu." THE END Synchronized stars, two false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) leap a rope in oppo site directions in Whaler's Cove at Sea Life Park; hand signals from their trainers sent them flying. Visitors to the 20-acre preserve can also peer through glass at a cross section of coral reef inhabited by some 2,000 marine creatures, and watch porpoises cavort in the 850-seat Ocean Science Theatre. Such shows, attracting half a million spectators annually, help finance sea-life studies by the affiliated Oceanic Institute.