The Luau

Windy Day in Hawaii

Monday, May 13, 1968

The R&R time clock was ticking down.  In 48 hours we would be at the Honolulu airport, waiting for me to board a plane back to Vietnam.  It was difficult not to think about it.

I let Jenny sleep in and drove the rental car to Leonard’s Bakery.  I wanted to see how Malasadas were made.  I purchased a half dozen for our breakfast and asked for the manager.  A man came out and introduced himself as Leonard, and I explained my position as a mess sergeant in Vietnam on R&R.  I asked if he could show me how Malasadas were made.  He gave me a full “back-of-house” tour.  The dough was similar to what we were using for doughnuts on Hill 65 but contained one extra ingredient . . . eggs.  The fillings were made fresh (not canned) and were piped into the finished product with a long pastry tip.  When I asked Leonard where I could acquire these tips, he gave me two (small for jelly — large for filling).  Leonard’s was famous for their coconut filling.  I thanked him profusely and he said, “No, it is my honor.”

We had to pay a security deposit at the rental car agency, and I left with $40, after returning the car.  I walked to the International Market Place and got juice and coffee to add to our breakfast.  Jenny was up and dressed so we ate on the balcony; we talked about her college classes and her recently-completed term paper on the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

The hotel served beverages and snacks so we lunched poolside and drank more Mai Tai’s.  After getting enough sun, we returned to 323 and changed our routine from nap to massage.  The fragrance of the cocoa butter was dominant, and the coconut oil blend was silky.  The massage was intimate and soothing.  We stayed in bed and cuddled for the remainder of the afternoon.

The Luau was scheduled to begin at dusk, and refreshments started at 7:30 pm.  The crowd was a mix of vacationers and military R&R couples.  We watched the performances of fire dancers and various sensual hula routines and practiced various hand motions and swaying like a tree in the breeze.  There was the constant beat of drums and finally the food.

The spread of salads and fruits was an eyeful, and the roasted pig was amazing.  It was a self-serve buffet style dinner, and we enjoyed the company.  After the master of ceremonies gave a short speech thanking the servicemen and their wives, we delighted in a variety of colorful desserts topped with fresh coconut.

When the Luau was over, we walked on the beach holding hands and watching the moon rise over Diamond Head.  We took our time and carried our sandals as the surf washed ashore.  The tropical saltwater breeze was stimulating, and we entered 323 feeling lustful.

Next Edition:  Our Future

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