A high-pitched whine quickly grew in volume, immediately
followed by several ear-splitting pops and bangs. Even Dan Williams, who was well accustomed to
the sound of gunfire, flinched at the aural assault as he walked up the
ordinarily peaceful street. It was the
Fourth of July, evening was approaching and there were always kids who managed
to get their hands on fireworks this time of year.
No matter though, Dan had a rare holiday off from work and he was taking full advantage of it with the romantic evening he had planned – a picnic supper and band concert, followed by the fireworks display on Waikiki Beach, followed by...well, he was hopeful.
That is, if I indeed
still have a date, he thought, the cynical part of him percolating to the
surface, attempting to spoil his mood.
Dating was tough for a cop, especially for a Five-O detective, and he
had a long history to prove it. But Helen is different; she just has to be, Dan
thought, trying his best to be positive.
They had been seeing each other for a month now and had already discussed
his career. He thought that she had understood
and accepted the way their relationship would be. Another loud explosion distracted him from
his musings and he relaxed and smiled when he noticed that the porch light was
on at Helen’s modest home.
Dan stood on the porch and knocked on the front door several
times. No answer. No barking either. Keoki
always barks whenever someone is at the door. Dan knew this from personal
experience. The two-year-old shepherd
mix rescue was protective of his new home and mistress.
Before Dan could raise his fist to knock again, he heard footsteps behind him and turned to see Helen coming up the porch steps at a run. Something was very wrong.
“Oh Danny, I’m so glad that you’re here,” the petite woman sobbed as she was enveloped into the detective’s open arms. Helen took several deeps breaths and willed herself to calm down.
Dan relished the feel of his date in his arms and the scent of her hair so close to his face, but he could also feel that she was trembling. “Helen, what’s wrong?” he asked.
“It’s Keoki, I can’t find him. He must have been frightened by the fireworks
the neighbor kids set off. I’ve looked
everywhere, Danny; I’ve been up and down the street here and all over the
neighborhood at least three times. I’ve
called and called him and nothing. I don’t know what to do.”
And just like that, his plans for the evening evaporated. Dan was usually the one who broke a date, often because of a police emergency, and now he sort of knew what that felt like. But he had to do all he could to find Keoki. Still holding onto Helen, he broke their embrace and looked into her eyes. “We’ll find him together,” he declared confidently. “May I use your phone?”
Dan followed Helen into her kitchen, picked up the receiver from the kitchen wall phone and dialed. After a few seconds, he spoke, “Central, this is Dan Williams. Patch me through to Duke Lukela.” After a moment, the connection was made. “Duke, it’s Danny. Who’s patrolling the Manoa neighborhood tonight?”
“That would be me,” the Hawaiian officer answered. “What’s up?”
“Duke, I need to call in a favor. I…uh…need to put out an APB on a dog.”
“Yes, a dog.”
“Can you give me a description?” Duke Lukela wanted to laugh, but he controlled himself. Dan’s tone sounded very serious.
“A black and tan shepherd mix, male, two years old, approximately thirty-five pounds…” Dan turned to Helen to confirm his estimate of Keoki’s weight. She nodded her agreement. “…answers to the name ‘Keoki.’ Duke, this is Helen’s dog and she’s worried sick. He must have been frightened off by some fireworks in the neighborhood.”
“I’m on it, Danny. Where can I reach you?”
Dan gave Duke Helen’s address and phone number then ended the call, “Mahalo, Duke. I really appreciate it!” After he had hung up the phone, he took Helen’s hand in his. “Now let’s go look again together.”
They were just beginning their fourth trip around the block. Dan was getting hoarse from calling out Keoki’s name. They had passed Duke in his black and white cruiser twice, but he hadn’t seen any sign of the dog either. Dan was doing his best to bolster Helen’s mood and keep her from losing it, but it wasn’t easy. “Keoki! Here, Keoki! Come!”
Their calls were interrupted by the sound of another explosion, though it wasn’t as loud as the others, indicating that it had probably come from another street farther away. For an instant, Dan detected movement in his peripheral vision. He turned quickly enough to see what he thought was tan fur disappearing behind the lattice work beneath the front porch of a house across the street. He grabbed Helen’s arm to stop her in her tracks and pointed. “Look!”
“What?” Helen asked. “I don’t see anything.”
Dan was insistent. “I
saw something. Let’s go.”
They crossed the street and quietly approached the house
then crouched down in front of the lattice.
“Keoki?” Helen called out, her voice gentle and sweet. “Here, boy, it’s okay.” She was delighted when a small black nose
poked out of a hole in the lattice. As
Helen continued to coax the dog forward, she passed the leash to Dan. When Keoki was close enough, Dan quickly
clipped the leash onto the ring on Keoki’s collar and breathed a long sigh of
With the prodigal safely secured on his leash, Dan and Helen walked back up the street to Helen’s home. On the way, they saw Duke driving toward them. When the Hawaiian officer saw Keoki walking happily on the end of his leash, he broke into a wide grin. He slowed his cruiser and rolled down the driver’s side window. “Danny, Helen,” he called out. “I see that the crisis is over.”
“Yeah,” Dan replied. “Thanks for your help, Duke.”
“My pleasure, but you ended up finding him yourselves.” Suddenly, Duke had an idea. “You know, Danny, it might be a good idea to get in touch with…”
“Charlie.” Dan and Duke said the name in unison. “Great idea,” Dan agreed, “I’ll get in touch with him and try to set up a session with Helen and Keoki. Mahalo!”
“Enjoy the rest of your holiday!” Duke waved before he drove off to continue his shift.
The holiday date wasn’t what Williams had originally
planned, but he and Helen managed to salvage the evening. Dan knew that there was no way that Helen was
going to leave Keoki alone that night, so instead of a picnic, they ordered a
pizza and listened to the Royal Hawaiian Band concert on the radio. They were even able to see some of the
fireworks display from Helen’s front porch.
Keoki was safely inside the house for good measure, even though the
Waikiki show was far enough away that the noise was sufficiently muffled.
As they sipped their wine, enjoying the colorful sparkling explosions that lit up the nighttime sky, Helen couldn’t help express her gratitude for the umpteenth time. “Danny, thank you so much for finding Keoki. I just don’t know what I would have done if he had been lost for good or worse, hit by a car.” Her words came tumbling out quickly with her emotions.
“You know I was glad to help,” Dan reassured her once more, holding
her close as they sat side by side on Helen’s porch swing. He thought for a few minutes, then added,
“Helen, there’s a guy at HPD I’d like you to meet. His name is Charlie Hong. He’s the trainer for the K-9 unit.” Dan turned
toward his girlfriend and took her hand as he spoke. “Part of what Charlie does is work with dogs new
to the program to desensitize them to the sound of gunfire. A dog that can’t tolerate the noise of a
shootout is useless as a police dog.
Maybe he could help Keoki overcome his fear of fireworks.”
Helen considered the suggestion. “Sure Danny, that sounds like a good idea. I certainly don’t want to go through another night like tonight, ever.” She shuddered again; she couldn’t help it.
A week had passed. Dan Williams was back at work, on the telephone and running late for the morning staff meeting. He looked up from his desk and saw Jenny giving him ‘the look’ and tilting her head toward Steve’s private office. Message received, he returned to his phone call, trying to cut it short.
“Helen, really, it’s okay. I’m happy for both of you. I’ll be fine, so don’t worry,” Dan said. “You, too. Bye.”
He hung up the phone then made his way into his boss’s private office. As he entered, he could feel all the eyes in the room following his every move.
“Something wrong, Danno?” Steve asked, hoping to get any distractions out of the way before beginning the morning staff meeting.
“Uh…no, Steve…” Dan hedged, not really wanting to discuss his private life. But he didn’t have to continue because Kono blurted out the truth.
“Helen broke up with him last night,” the large Hawaiian explained, which earned him an annoyed look from the curly haired detective.
“Sorry to hear that, Danno,” Steve said, trying to be sympathetic.
“Yeah, thanks, but I’m okay,” Dan replied. “I introduced her to Charlie Hong and they really hit it off.”
“Charlie Hong from HPD?” Chin asked. “He’s a good man.”
“I’ll say they hit it off,” Kono chimed in. “I was at HPD when they met and man, talk about fireworks! I ain’t never seen anything like that before. It’s got me believing in love at first sight.” When Kono looked over at his younger colleague and realized that he was rubbing it in, he added, “Sorry, bruddah.”
Dan smiled at his friend. “It’s okay, Kono. Charlie is a good man. In fact, he was so grateful that he’s going to set me up with his cousin, Leilani, this Saturday night!”
Kono was amused.
“Maybe you get some fireworks of your own, Danny!”
“Gentlemen,” Steve interrupted, “We have work to do if you’re
“Yes, Boss,” Kono replied, his expression now serious. But as the detectives took their seats in the white leather chairs, Kono gave Dan an impish wink.
Moonlight mirrors on subtle tides
Sparks of color immerse the sky
Steve and company aww in delight
for only a moment schedules are tight
duty prevails as the day is long
keeping this day safe is all on their minds
Fireworks and Fun
The sparkling waves crash on the beach,
As a cool tropical breeze seems out of reach.
Steve fires up the grill,
The smell floating over the hills.
Danno surfs, riding the tallest wave.
The people they swore to protect and save,
Walk by casually, not aware,
That the party is still watching over them with care.
Chin Ho chomps through a burger, lettuce, ketchup, and all,
While Che Fong picks seashells,
Holding them to his ear to hear the ocean’s call.
Doc pulls on the brim of his hat,
And straightens out his beach mat.
It’s the Fourth of July,
A day of fireworks and fun,
But for Five-O, the work is far from done.
The Five-0 Team Has Independence Day Off
by Steve's Girl
The Five-0 team of Hawaii
wants to celebrate the 4th of July.
With a cart-load of food
and Kono's guitar to boot,
and each man will wear a lei.
They arrive at Hanauma Bay,
but - alas!- there's a sign "Closed Today".
And all of them moan
"we should have known,
he park is closed on a Tuesday".
Then they guzzle some fruit punch each,
followed by more than one peach.
They are having fun
and relax in the sun.
Where? In Steve's house at the beach.
Note: This year the 4th of July is the proverbial day at the beach for the Five-0 team.
Let's hope they'll be just as lucky next year.
FOURTH OF JULY — A WELCOME DAY OFF
By Jean G.
It had been a busy three weeks at Five-0, Hawai‘i’s elite police unit. The head of the unit, Steve McGarrett, had been away for nearly three weeks, leaving a heavy load for his team to handle. However, he was confident that they were able to deal with whatever came their way. He had been in touch with Danny Williams, his second in command, at regular intervals and had been informed that several arrests had been made on a major case that McGarrett had been reluctant to leave. There had been no option as he had been subpoenaed to appear as a witness on a major case on the Big Island; the case had taken over two weeks. The following week, he had to attend the annual police convention in Washington; he had not missed one in 15 years. For the past five years, he had been nominated to be a speaker, which he always enjoyed.
particular convention had been very special as Steve had been informed by
Governor Paul Jameson that Five-0 was to receive a Presidential award for its
services to crime prevention in the Hawaiian Islands, the first of its kind. It
was to be announced at the Convention. Steve McGarrett was not a man to boast
his achievements – he was only doing a job – nevertheless, one about which he
was passionate. He could not help but feel pride in his heart, particularly for
his team, Danny Williams, Chin Ho Kelly, and Kono Kalakaua, all of whom had
been with him since Five-0’s conception. Duke Lukela had joined them from the HPD
two years previously but was, nonetheless, a dedicated team member.
Steve gave some thought as to how to tell the team about the award. He did not want to blurt it out in the office. No, he felt it needed to be announced on a special occasion. The Fourth of July was two days away. That would be an ideal opportunity, he thought, so when he got back to the office, he greeted everyone in a normal way, congratulated them on running the office smoothly, and called Jenny into his office.
“Jenny, I have a small problem,” he confided. I have a special announcement for the team, and I would like to make the announcement on the Fourth. Do you have any ideas how we can celebrate, given they have closed a big case load over the past three weeks? I think they deserve a day off and pray that nothing comes up between now and then.”
Boss, I would think it’s kind of obvious,” she said as she poured him some
fresh coffee. “You have a perfectly good schooner, big enough for all of you.
Chin’s kids are at church camp for the holiday, apart from Tim, and he is
spending it with his girlfriend.”
nodded his head as he savoured his favourite coffee. “Mm . . . now why didn’t I
think of that?” he muttered, half to himself.
“You have been busy, Boss, and being a man, sometimes you don’t see the obvious.” She giggled.
“Don’t be so cheeky, my girl. I can fire you, you know.” He tweaked her cheek as he said it. “Jenny you’re good at organising parties. You are always doing something with you clubs. Would you give Chin’s wife and Kalena a call and ask if they will help with the food?”
“Of course, I will. So am I included too?” she asked with a trace of a grin on her face.
“Of course! You are an integral part of the team, too.” Steve smiled and added, “You are the best secretary in town, and you make the best coffee. Now, get to it wiki wiki.” He gave a little laugh.
Jenny went to make the phone calls and sent the team into McGarrett’s office.
I have an announcement to make,” Steve told them as he sat on the edge of his
desk, as he very often did. “We are going to have an Independence Day party on
my boat. You all deserve a day of rest. But . . . Gentlemen, I do not want any
antics like you tried once before.” As he spoke, he looked at Kono meaningfully.
Kono knew exactly what Steve was talking about. “But Boss, I only wanted to see if I could catch dat flying fish. I couldn’t help if I fell overboard,” Kono said, raising his hands in supplication.
“Well you were lucky you didn’t become shark bait, even if you would have given the shark indigestion,” Steve replied. A smile spread across his face. “Be at the boathouse by eight am sharp. That’s all, gentlemen,” he said briskly as he sat at his desk to deal with his paperwork.
- - -
the morning of the Fourth, McGarrett was up at his usual time. He always went
for a half hour jog with Kela, the little dog he had adopted after an old
seafarer friend had died. Steve had been unable to bear the thought of leaving
her in the pound. Kela adored Steve, and she was a comfort to Steve in his
empty apartment. In his absence over the past three weeks, the Kelly family had
looked after her often, and Steve’s housekeeper, May, had checked on her daily.
“Well, girl,” he told his pet, “You are going to enjoy today, although I will have to put you in the cabin this evening as there will be a lot of fireworks going on.” Steve always spoke to Kela as if she were human. Kela wagged her tail, then went to collect her leash. She knew the daily routine by heart.
was a fine, dry day, and Steve had checked the weather. It would be a perfect
day for sailing. He arrived at the boat house at 7:45 to find the others
waiting for him. Danny and his fiancé, Kalena; a beaming Chin and his wife, Lin;
Kono; Duke; and Jenny all had cold bags filled with traditional Hawaiian dishes.
Kono had brought Lomi Lomi, one of Steve’s favourites; Lin had made Sui Mai, a
sort of Chinese dumpling, and a huge mixed rice dish; Danny and Kalena had supplied
hot dogs and buns with Pringles crisps and homemade coleslaw, potato salad, and
a large bowl of salad; Duke brought the beer and soft drinks; Jenny had baked a
large fruit cake and cheese straws. The day before, they had consulted each
other about who was to bring what. Steve, being a health food nut, supplied
fresh pineapple, mango, and papaya. He also had provided two bottles of
champagne, which he had put in the ice box the previous day. It was right for
the occasion. Last, but not least, he had provided Kela’s dinner.
They set sail toward Diamond Head and then on towards Kahala. Steve intended to get as far as the Mokes, depending on the wind. Apart from Jenny and Lin, they all had some sailing experience, particularly Duke, who had seen service in the Navy as a young man. They each took turns at the Helm. Jenny and Kalena started singing sea shanties. The others joined in. Steve, Kono, and Duke had fine voices and were doing very well with “What shall we do with a drunken sailor,” but ended up laughing until they cried when Danny and Chin started messing about and deliberately singing out of tune.
They were having a whale of a time (pardon the pun) and had a pod of dolphins follow them for some time. Kela was used to seeing them and ran up and down the deck in a playful manner, yet never barked to frighten them away.
They dropped anchor just after noon, not yet having reached the Mokes, and made short work of the delicious food, saving some for the evening time. Steve planned to drop anchor near Kahala Beach on the return trip, as there would be a grand fireworks display from the very prestigious resort. At 3:00, Steve tuned in to the radio to listen to the Independence Day Broadcast. They all stood to attention to sing the Star Spangled Banner. It was a moving moment and caused each to have his own thoughts and memories.
reached the Mokes in good time, allowing themselves an hour or two to drop
anchor again and relax with some interesting anecdotes and memories. It was
good to forget for a short time the kind of job they did, with all its drama
and danger. Kono and Chin were the comedians and soon had everyone laughing.
sunset, they sailed back toward Kahala, where they anchored offshore to finish
their feast and wait for the fireworks. Lin took Kela down below, where the
little dog curled up in her basket and promptly fell asleep.
The fireworks display was spectacular! After it was over, Steve went below to get the champagne. The team looked surprised when he brought the two bottles and tumblers on deck. This was not the sort of thing he usually would do. He opened the bottles and poured a glass for everyone – and a smidgen for himself; he didn’t really like champagne.
. . . and err ladies,” he added with a grin. “I have an announcement to make.”
He stood straight and tall, his shoulders back, reflecting the pride he felt
for his men. “It gives me great pleasure
to tell you that Five-0 has been given a special Presidential Award for its
services to law and order in Hawai‘i, the first of its kind.” The governor will
present it to us at Police headquarters this coming Saturday.”
The detectives looked at each other in surprise. Chin was the first to speak, “Come on Boss. We’ve had a great day. Don’t kid us and spoil it.” Chin pulled a face.
“No, Chin. You know I only deal in facts, and this is a fact. I have the letter in the office. I’ve had it since the convention. I wanted to keep it as a surprise especially for today.” Steve then stepped forward and shook each man’s hand and slapped them on the shoulder. “Congratulations, my friends and ‘ohana.” He then gave the women a hug. “You, too, girls. You are an integral part of Five-0; especially you, Jenny. Kalena and Lin, without your support and backup, your men wouldn’t be able to do the job they do so well.” McGarrett felt an unfamiliar feeling swell his heart. Danny was visibly emotional.
“Steve, it is you who has been the backbone of this team. Without you, this team wouldn’t exist.” Danny stated.
it would, Danno,” Steve told him, brushing the back of his head in his usual
gesture of affection. “One day, I will retire, but Five-0 will go on. It has to.
For now, we are the team. Happy Independence Day, and here’s to Five-0,” Steve
McGarrett said, raising his glass in a toast.
His team joined in unison, “To Five-0!”
The Fourth of July
by H50 1.0 FOREVER
It had been a long and tiring week. Steve McGarrett was glad it would be a long weekend with the Fourth of July falling on Monday. Usually, he spent the holiday either at his beach house or aboard his sailboat, catching up on paperwork. This year, he had received invitations from each of his team members to share the day with them. And, so, he had worked out a schedule, based on the time when each had asked him to arrive, that would allow him to make it to everyone’s celebration.
10:00 - Chin Ho - Softball game and picnic in Kapiolani Park
2:00 - Kono - Lu'au at Kalakaua family compound, Kailua
7:00 - Danno - Picnic and fireworks with Danno and Diane at Ala Moana Beach Park
Everything was ready to go – red, white, and blue ball caps
for Chin Ho’s kids and Kono’s nieces and nephews and six six-packs of beer in
an ice chest, three for Kono’s lu‘au and three for Danno’s cookout.
Steve was about to step into his car when a long, black limousine pulled up and stopped directly behind the black sedan. Even before the driver alit, Steve knew that it was the governor’s limousine. Besides it’s “State 1” license plate, it had the tell-tale scratches and dents that had been received when jealous children had thrown rocks at the car as he and the governor had ridden through a downtrodden neighborhood on their way to a fundraising event for the benefit of those very children. Why the state’s Transportation Office had not sent the car out for repairs stymied the top cop, but it wasn’t his business, so he had made a point of remaining silent on the subject.
“You can’t go dressed like that!” Governor Paul Jameson called from the back seat of the limousine.
Steve looked down at his jeans and blue work shirt, then walked over and looked into the car. “Do we have plans, Governor?”
“Yes, we do have plans! I asked you a month ago to attend the grand opening of the new children’s clinic at the Leeward Hospital.
Unable to recall said event, Steve removed his pocket diary and thumbed through to the page for the day’s schedule. “I’m sorry, sir, but I don’t see it here. Either Jenny or I would have entered it.”
In response, the governor drew out his own pocket diary and thumbed through it until he found the day’s entries. “Here it is! 10:00 to 4:00 – grand opening with lu‘au – Children’s Clinic, Leeward Hospital. Pick up . . .” He broke off as his face grew red. “I apologize, Steve. I am due to pick up Steve Lopaka.” Steve Lopaka was the head of the Department of Health and Human Services for the State of Hawai‘i. Clearly, he would be more appropriate at the opening of a clinic than the head of Five-0 would be.
“Steve Lopaka lives right around the corner, on Kuhio. He’ll never know you stopped here first.”
“Nor will I ever know why I thought I was taking the chief law enforcement officer to the grand opening of a children’s clinic,” the governor replied.
Steve glanced at the dents and scrapes on the car and said, “Perhaps, you were thinking of the last time we drove through that neighborhood, sir.”
“Don’t remind me! Let me make a note to call the Transportation Office first thing tomorrow morning.”
Giving a nod as the driver prepared to close the car door, Steve turned to step into his own car.
- - -
Steve expected the softball game would be an interesting one. After all, the St. Louis Heights Mahi-mahis so far had scored 2 wins and no losses, while the Kaimuki Opakapakas were 2 and 1 for the season. Steve reached the park where the game was being played just as the first inning was about to begin. In fact, he ruffled young Tommy’s hair as he made his way toward the stands.
“You made it, Uncle Steve!” the child exclaimed excitedly.
“I couldn’t miss this!” Steve replied. “Give it your best shot!”
“You know it!” Tommy replied.
Steve made his way into the bleachers, where he sat with Chin Ho and Trina Kelly. He saw several of the couple’s other children scattered with their friends here and there within the stands.
“You’re right on time,” Chin told him.
“No thanks to the governor,” Steve replied as he placed ball caps on the Kelly children’s heads.
“Hey, neat!” the oldest, Tim, exclaimed. “Can I give it to Luana?”
“As long as she’s your best girl,” Steve replied with a chuckle.
“Absolutely!” Tim affirmed.
All of the children were delighted with the treats Steve had brought. As the umpire called “Play ball!”, Steve returned to his seat with Chin and Trina.
“That was nice of you, Steve,” Trina told him.
“I saw these hats and thought this would give me an excuse to buy one for myself,” Steve replied through a red-faced grin.
“Oh! So, the truth is out!” Trina laughed. “I’ll bet you wish you were on the team.”
“Yeah. Do you think they would take me?”
“I think you’re a little past little league age, boss,” Chin replied.
Steve shook his head as though he were unable to understand age restrictions, then turned in time to watch Tommy hit the ball. It landed on a line with short stop, about halfway between the home plate and the pitcher’s mound. Tommy took off running toward first base. As he ran, the pitcher and the catcher scrambled to pick up the ball. They got in each other’s way, such that, when Tommy reached first base, the assistant coach was able to send him on to second base. Tommy took off running again. Now, the catcher had the ball in hand. Without looking to see where Tommy was, he threw it toward first base. It fell short, and Tommy ran on to short stop. The coach at third base called for him to keep running. Tommy did, reaching the third base mat just as the first baseman threw the ball underhanded toward the pitcher. The ball rose slowly, high into the air, then came almost straight down, halfway between first base and the pitcher’s mound. The coach at third base sent Tommy on toward home plate. He reached it as the pitcher released the ball in that direction.
“Safe!” the umpire called.
Tommy had made a home run for the St. Louis Heights Mahi-mahis!
“That kid can play!” Steve exclaimed as he gave him the shaka sign and whistled. Tommy was delighted. He was even more delighted when his team won 3-2.
- - -
That afternoon, shortly after 2:00, Steve pulled up near the Kalakaua family compound. So many cars were parked in the area that Steve had to park some distance away and walk to the center of the compound, where the lu‘au was in progress.
The compound comprised a grassy common area around which ran a gravel roadway. A dozen traditional Hawaiian plantation cottages lined the roadway and overlooked the common area. Members of the family lived in the cottages, in particular the older members. Kono’s grandmother lived in the oldest cottage; his parents lived in another cottage. His aunts and uncles and a few cousins lived in the remaining cottages. Most of the young generation, including Kono, lived in the city, closer to their friends and their work.
Steve came upon Kono near the imu at the top of the common area. There, the men were sipping beer as they visited. The mothers supervised their children’s activities near the center of the area, while the elderly sat beneath a shade tree and visited and napped.
“Steve! You made it!” Kono exclaimed.
“Yeah! Looks like everything’s in full swing,” Steve replied. “Where can I put this ice chest?”
“You didn’t need to bring anything.”
“No? The last time you had me over, the beer ran out early on.”
“Mo be-ah. Mo bettah!” one of Kono’s cousins exclaimed.
“He bring Hometown Lager!” another exclaimed.
“Is that all right?” Steve asked.
“Hey! Dat our beer! Don’t want none of dat water from da outer islands.”
“Or, worse, from da mainland.”
“That was my thinking, too,” Steve agreed.
Soon, Steve and one of “da cuzzes” were engaged in a game of horse shoes against Kono and his older brother, Keoki.
“Dis haole game!” Kono exclaimed when Steve threw a ringer to win the game.
“Sore loser!” his cousin called back.
The bantering continued as the men made their way over to help lift the pig from the imu.
Later, as the family gathered around to partake of Hawaiian delicacies, a little girl walked up to Steve. She couldn’t have been more than two years old, if she was that old. Steve gave her a bite of meat. She beamed, ate it, and held out her little hand for another bite. Steve gave it to her, and she ran happily back to her mother.
“You shoulda got married and had one of those of your own,” Kono told him.
“Yeah. It’s times like this when I wish I had,” Steve replied.
- - -
Steve parked at Honolulu’s foremost shopping center and crossed the boulevard to the beach park. He wasn’t sure how he would find Danno in the throngs of people who had gathered for the holiday celebrations.
Since mid-afternoon, regional bands had been playing; they would continue to play until late that night. The highlight, of course, would be the Beach Bums of Nanakuli, who would play at 9:00, while the fireworks display was under way. Now, the Ali‘i of Hana were playing their most popular song, My Sweet Hawai‘i.
“Steve! Hey, Steve!” a voice called out.
Turning, Steve saw Danno waving to him. Unable to wave in reply as he carried an ice chest filled with more Hometown Lager, he gave a nod and began making his way toward his second-in-command.
“Glad you made it! I hear Tommy’s team won.”
“Tommy was first at bat and made a home run!”
“That kid is amazing!” Danno laughed. “Come on over here. You know Diane, of course.”
“I do. How are you, Diane?”
“Hungry. Start the hot dogs, Danny.”
“Coming right up!” Danno replied. “You toast the buns; I’ll roast the wieners. Two for you, Steve?”
“Just one. The Kalakauas still give a mean lu‘au.”
“With all the fixings?” Diane asked.
“Just a light spread of mustard. Is the surf cooperating?” Steve asked as he saw few surfers out.
“It was earlier. It’s dying down, now,” Danno replied.
“You missed a fantastic musician. Little boy from Kailua – Denny Kalani,” Diane said.
“I’ve heard him. Eight years old, and he’s already studying under the slack key masters,” Steve related.
“There’s no stopping him. Some people say he’ll take the Na Hoku Hanohano Award before he’s twenty.”
“I believe it!” Steve agreed. “Talent like that doesn’t come along very often.”
And, then, a new voice exclaimed loudly, “Well! If it’s not the commander!”
Turning, Steve saw an admiral with a very familiar face.
“Ken Howell! Don’t tell me you actually made admiral! The last time I saw you, it was questionable whether you were going to make it beyond firstie.” A firstie is a first-year midshipman at the naval academy.
The admiral gave a broad grin that revealed twinkling eyes. “Believe it or not, McGarrett, I actually grew up.”
Steve made introductions, then asked, “So, what are you doing these days?”
“Winding up the first of two years I’ll serve as admiral of a carrier group.”
“Wow!” Diane exclaimed.
Howell said to Steve, “I hear you’re winding up your tenth year as chief of special investigations.”
“For the State of Hawai‘i,” Steve affirmed.
“Tell me how you do it. That’s a political appointment, isn’t it?”
“It is. Well, Ken, I’ll tell you: The governor keeps running for re-election. Then, he keeps asking me to stay on despite his utterances of ‘Oh, those stubborn Irish!’”
“Not aloud, but I’m sure he’s thinking them,” Steve laughed.
“Care for a hot dog?” Danno asked.
“Don’t mind if I do,” the admiral replied. “With everything on it.”
As the Beach Bums of Nanakuli mounted the steps to the stage and took their places, the crowd cheered loudly. The guitars and double bass began to play, and the group’s leader, Bruddah Kimo, broke into the strains of their most popular song, Seashore in the Moonlight. The crowd went wild! In the background, rising above Magic Island, colorful fireworks began to fill the sky.
It was the Fourth of July.