Remembering Jack Lord

January 2016

Steve’s Day Off

Vrinda

I

Steve McGarrett put his pen down and got up. Stretching his muscular arms and letting out a big yawn, he knew it was time to call it a night. Despite having worked cases like this before, his investigation against Oscar Lemaire was over and John Manicote, the DA had enough evidence indict the gangster and send him and several of his associates away for life. Steve took the statement he wrote and put it into a manila folder, intending to give it to his secretary tomorrow for typing.

As the image of Iolani Palace got smaller and smaller in his rearview mirror, Steve thought of the night ahead. He had his choices: He could order takeout or eat leftovers on his couch while watching the evening movie on TV, then head off for bed. He could out to dinner and see a movie at the theater, and even call one of his lady friends and take one of them along. He could also sample Honolulu’s night life, but he was too tired to dance, and rarely touched liquor. He wasn’t in the mood for it tonight.

As soon as Steve opened his front door, he was greeted by the loud, demanding meow of Samantha – or Sammie, as she was affectionately known. Sammie stared at her master with curiosity, noticing his tired face as he clumped through the doorway.

“Good evening, Honey,” Steve said as he closed the door. Sammie followed him through the foyer and into the living room. “I bet you’re hungry.” He ran his hand over her black coat. Sammie wrinkled her whisker and let out another meow in appreciation of acknowledging her needs. Steve walked into the kitchen, where opened the cupboard and took out two cans of cat food.

“Which one? The tuna or the lamb?” Steve held both cans up so Sammie could see them. Sammie was not a fussy cat, unlike most others. She would eat whatever Steve gave her, as long as he was the one giving it to her. Sammie was a birthday present from Danno, who figured Steve’s apartment was better suited to a cat than a dog. Sammie could easily slink her way around the lush dwelling, often snuggling on Steve’s bed as he slept, or nestling onto his feet when he was working, eating, or watching TV. Steve opened both the tuna and lamb cans, and scooped them out into a blue plastic bowl and pushed it towards Sammie.

“Dinner is served, Madam,” he said, bowing. As Sammie chomped on her dinner, Steve went to the couch to lie down. Going out was not an option now. He was too tired. He should put it out of his mind, but for the past two months, he ate, slept, and breathed Oscar Lemaire. Lemaire was of Hawaii’s most sinister crime bosses. There’s no such thing as a crime boss who isn’t sinister, but Lemaire was colder than a morgue. The body count as a result of his operations was so high, they lost count. Many bodies were never found. Steve had to keep telling himself over and over again that he could not save every life, right every wrong. All he could do was find the people responsible and make sure justice is served.

There was one thing dogging him, though: the connection between Lemaire and a Honolulu councilman named Gene Higgins. Steve always suspected that Higgins was Lemaire’s man in the government, and Lemaire was going to line his pockets all the way to the Governor’s mansion and the Senate, but no proof ever turned up. Lemaire didn’t talk about Higgins, and Higgins was one of the few associates of the gangster to come out of this investigation clean. Steve still hoped he could implicate Higgins, somehow. Tomorrow, he would go to the beach and forget about all this for a while. He had a few days to himself, and he was going to use them. 

 

II

The beach was practically deserted at seven in the morning, except for two fishermen, casting their net for angelfish and barracuda, two common staples of Hawaiian marine cooking. There were two boys surfing further down on the east side of the beach from where Steve was standing, plus one more boy on the beach holding a camera, snapping away at the waves. Steve walked leisurely, adjusting his sunglasses and his rito hat. The waves crashed against the beach, their foamy caps fizzing over the turquoise water as they receded.

The color turquoise … it reminded Steve of the color tie Lemaire wore when he was sentenced. Lemaire was known for being a snappy dresser. Steve erased that picture of Lemaire from his temporary memory. He was supposed to be taking a leisurely walk on his day off. Lemaire was going to jail … then it hit him: Lemaire was allowed on bail for the next month while he got his affairs in order. One of those affairs might be to kill the man who sent him to jail. Steve stopped himself again. He can’t be acting paranoid now. It was understandable, though.

As he walked further down the beach, the sounds of laughter from the three surfer boys grew dim as Steve got further away from them, then he was walking alone. He enjoyed the tranquility but, deep down, he had an eerie feeling, like something was going to happen. Ever since he took that jog on the beach one morning two years ago, and Joseph Trinian stepped out of nowhere and opened fire … The strange feeling was getting stronger. Steve walked faster, his heart pounding inside like a jackhammer …

“What’s the matter, McGarrett? In a hurry?” shouted the male voice. Steve whirled around to see Councilman Gene Higgins, dressed like he was going out for a morning jog. “The way you were walking, it was like a hunter was stalking you.” He caught up with Steve and put his hand on the top cop’s shoulder.

It might as well be, Steve thought. He hated to feign politeness to the man, but until they could get enough evidence on Higgins, Steve had to remain in his favor in order to get close to him and keep him talking. Eventually, Higgins would let something slip.

“Congratulations on finally putting Lemaire away,” Higgins said, smiling. “I heard it took a lot of sleepless nights. Lemaire was very careful.”

“Yes, all those murders committed in his name, and all we could get him for was one lousy tax evasion charge.”

“Well, chalk it up to Oscar being better at hiding bodies than his income.” Higgins laughed. The man was starting to get on Steve’s nerves.

“I take it you’re going to need a new golden goose,” Steve replied, deciding to play his trump card.

Higgins’s mirth disappeared from his face. “What do you mean ‘golden goose’?” he asked.

“Wasn’t Lemaire paying your way to the Governor’s mansion?” Steve asked.

“I took a campaign donation from him once, but that was it. It was perfectly legal.”

LIAR! Steve shouted in his mind.

“Besides, I want nothing to do with Lemaire. I run a clean house, McGarrett, and I won’t have it dirtied by criminal filth like him …”

Steve tried very hard not to laugh.  “Why the sudden change? You were happily associating with Lemaire before – inviting to all those parties, allowing his employees to work on your campaign …”

“That was before just now dirty Lemaire was. I’m glad I found out in time,” Higgins replied.

“Found out about what?” Steve asked. This time, he really did want to hear what Higgins had to say.

“Your team found out about the tax evasion when your accountant checked Lemaire’s bank records, right?”

“Right. That money came from his drug and counterfeiting operations,” Steve supplied.

“The information is legit. He ran quite a tight operation,” Higgins said, “but then again, you know all about it.”

Steve was getting more suspicious. Why would Higgins be so willing to reveal that information? There could only be one reason, and Steve saw it in the bulge of Higgins’s pocket. There was a gun in there, and no man goes jogging with a gun unless he intends to shoot someone. Higgins was after one more moment of glory, before killing the man who put away his benefactor and is now after him.

“You demonstrated it all in court – all the names, dates, places, dollar amounts – then you wrapped it up nice and neat and gave it to the DA.” Higgins hand reached towards that pocket. Steve’s heart started pounding again. “It’s a miracle I wasn’t fingered, but you know I’m involved.”

“What proof do you have?” Steve asked, trying to hide his fear. Higgins took out the shiny Colt .22 pistol. It was perfect for firing at close range.

“The wiretap on my phones. All it took was to grease some beat cop’s palm at the HPD, and he talked. You and your boys monitored my calls, but you won’t live to tell anyone what you heard …”

“FREEZE! POLICE!” the voice shouted. Higgins kept his eyes on Steve, while Steve remained frozen. One move, and in a split second, Higgins could kill him.

One of the fishermen Steve saw earlier ran up to them, putting a gun to Higgins’s ear while the other fisherman took the Colt out his hand.

The three surfers joined them, one of whom happened to be Danno Williams, Steve’s right hand man.

“You all right, Steve?” he asked, putting his hand his boss’s shoulder.

“Yes, Danno, I’m okay.” Steve started to breathe easier.

“How did you do it?” Higgins asked as the fisherman cops handcuffed him.

“I was wearing a wire, too,” Steve answered. “Take him away, boys.” The fisherman and the other two surfers escorted Higgins away, while Steve and Danno continued their walk.

“Talk about taking the day off,” Danno said. “You’re always on the job.”

“It just goes to show that you can get a lot of work done outside of regular office hours. As of now, I’m officially off duty till Thursday morning!” Steve laughed. 

 

A Relaxing Vacation

Barbara

"Must relax,"  Danny said to no one in particular . He assumed the directive must be meant for him, but it could easily have been meant for the four walls. They were, after all, his only companions in this godforsaken place .

"Really must relax. That's what vacations are for, right?  It's what you do. Forget schedules, duties, obligations, and other people.  You only answer to yourself.  Sounds like heaven, right?  Then why don't I feel heavenly?"  Danny grimaced.

Even he could see the irony, which prompted his half-hearted smile.  He sat in the comfortable wing-back chair in his hotel suite. He looked around the room, nodding his head in satisfaction.  It was nice.  He had to admit that. This is what he planned for, this is what he wanted, and this is what he had looked forward to.  The vacation of his dreams was to have nothing to worry about .

"Oh God!  What was I thinking? Okay, there has to be something I can set my mind to.  Let's see," he said as he unfolded the resort's brochure.

Golfing?  He could probably teach the pro!  Hiking?  He could probably serve as a guide.  Skiing?  Skiing!  Yes, you can ski in Hawaii on the Big Island at nearby Mauna Kea.  Maybe not.  He preferred to take his chances elsewhere.  Sightseeing?  He was a local boy.  Been there, done that.  He sat closing and opening his fingers.  It was his version of Steve's snapping fingers .

"Nothing, absolutely nothing appeals to me.  Maybe I'll clear my mind by settling in for a nap."

Just as he closed his eyes, Danny heard a knock on the door. He jumped up, maybe a little too eagerly.  It was the hotel day manager.

"Please excuse me. I'm sorry to bother you, Mr. Williams , but a sort of situation has come up.  Our hotel detective is on vacation. We thought we could manage without him for at least a few days, but...." 

Breaking into a huge grin, Danny already had one arm in his jacket.  "Say no more! I'll be right with you."

Danny hurried after the hotel manager.  It felt good to finally be able to relax!

 

Making a Difference

Honu

“The boss wants to see you when you’re finished,” Jenny Sherman said while poking her head into Dan Williams’ cubicle. 

Danny nodded to acknowledge the secretary’s message before continuing his telephone conversation.  Jenny wondered what had happened – Danny’s usual relaxed and cheerful expression had been replaced by what looked like disappointment.  She kept her eye on him until he had completed the call, left his cubicle and entered the boss’s private office.

“Good morning, Danno,” Steve McGarrett greeted his second in command as he was pinning some new photographs to his evidence board.  “I know that you’ve got a flight to catch on Friday, but I need you to follow up on a few leads on the Wilkins case.” Then the dark haired detective noticed his officer’s less than happy countenance. “Something wrong, Danno?”

“Looks like I no longer have a flight to catch,” Danny explained.  “Aunt Clara called me last night.  It seems that her old acting troupe is getting back together for a revival of The Front Page.  This tour is an opportunity for her to perform in several different states.  At her age, it’s an opportunity that won’t come again.”

“And you being you, told her to take the opportunity, enjoy herself and you’d make other plans,” Steve concluded.

“Yeah,” Danny said quietly.

“Can you get your money back on the flight?”

“Most of it, I think.  I was just on the phone with my travel agent.  She’s going to do her best.”

“I’d say your chances are good.  Gail is pretty sweet on you, isn’t she?” Steve teased.

Danny blushed.  “Let’s hope so.  I can’t afford to lose all that money.”

“Look at it this way, Danno,” Steve said, clapping the younger man on the shoulder.  “You now have a two week vacation in Hawaii.  Most people only get to dream about that!”

o-o-o

The first morning of Danny’s vacation found him in his red and white board shorts on the beach at Waimea Bay, surfing wave after perfect wave.   He was so focused on the intricacies of his favorite sport that he was completely unaware that he was being watched.  Watched, and his surfing skills admired.  Finally tired, Danny left the water to take a break, lay down on his towel and closed his eyes to soak in some sun.  But even with his eyes closed, he noticed when a shadow fell across his body, blocking out the sunlight.  He opened his eyes and recognized an old friend, who was definitely not dressed for the beach.

“You’re really good on that board, Danny!”

“Father K!  What brings you to the beach?”  Danny asked as he sat up on the towel. 

“This,” replied the priest, handing Danny one of the flyers he had been distributing to the teenaged crowd of surfers and sun bathers.

Danny scanned the information on the paper leaflet.  “You’re opening a new youth center.  Too much free time on your hands, Father?”

The older man laughed.  “I could ask you the same question.  Did Five-O close up shop for the day?”

“No,” Danny replied, purposely looking to the left then to the right.  “Don’t tell anyone, but I have two weeks off!”  As soon as the words left his lips, Danny saw the priest’s face light up.  Uh-oh, he thought.

“Two weeks!  That’s a lot of vacation time,” Father K replied.  “Think I could talk you into using some of that time for the Lord’s work?”

“I’m not the collar and beads type, you know that,” Danny responded in all seriousness.

Father K smiled at his mental image of the man he knew to be so popular with the ladies clad in the trappings of a Catholic priest.  “No, Danny, no collar, no beads.  I’m just hoping you could volunteer a couple of hours a day in our center to get it off to a good start.  We’re providing a place for kids to hang out; you know, keep them off the streets and give them something useful to do.  You could really make a difference.”

“What would I do?”

“Maybe teach some kind of arts and crafts?  I understand that you used to make jewelry.”

“Who told you that?”

“I have my sources.”

“But I haven’t done that for years,” Danny protested.  Somehow he knew that he was fighting a losing battle.

“You’ll be great, Danny.  Think of it as a program for preventing juvenile delinquency.  Look, how about if I treat you to lunch then I’ll show you around the center?  You can give me a list of materials that you’ll need for jewelry making.  I’ll take care of everything else.  You just show up on Monday morning at nine-thirty.”

“Well…” Danny couldn’t figure out how to say no.  “Okay, Father, let’s have lunch.”

“Great!  I’ll owe you one.”

o-o-o

Monday at nine-thirty, Danny, dressed casually in jeans and a polo shirt, entered what used to be a large parish hall.  There were only four teenagers present; one young man was sweeping the floor, one girl was helping Father K put up posters and the other two girls were busy painting one of the walls an exceptionally bright lime green.   On one table, he spotted a box that contained the equipment he had requested. 

“Good morning, Danny,” Father K called out, pushing the final thumbtack into the corner of a poster of a sunflower that declared ‘war is not healthy for children or other living things’.  

 “Not too large a crowd today,” Danny observed.

“Well, we’re just getting started.  Have a little faith, Danny.  More will come once the word spreads that we are here.”  The priest rested his hand on the shoulder of the youngster who had been helping him.  “I want you to meet Clara O’Brien.  Clara, this is Danny.  He’s here to help out and to teach the art of jewelry making.” 

“Pleased to meet you,” Danny said, smiling at the slight teen who was barely five feet tall.  Her long brown hair was pulled back in a single braid and she wore a purple flowered shirt with her bell bottomed jeans.  “I have an aunt named Clara, so I’ll be sure to remember your name.”

In another hour, more teenagers had wandered into the youth center.  Danny found himself seated at a table with several girls, including Clara, demonstrating how to use a small gas torch to soften pieces of metal wire to bend them into pleasing shapes.  When he turned off the torch and looked up from his work, the table was empty, save for Clara.  “Hey, where did everybody go?” Danny asked.

“I think they were scared of the torch,” Clara explained.  “They thought we were just going to string beads or something like that.”

Danny sighed then glanced across the room and saw that his former students were now helping Father K tie dye some t shirts.  “And you’re not afraid?”

“No,” replied Clara.   “It’s just like the Bunsen burners in my chemistry class.  If you’re careful, it’s not a problem.”

“I guess that means that you get a private lesson,” Danny said.  In a way, he was relieved since it was going to be easier to work one-on-one.  “So you like chemistry?”

“Yeah.  I’m going to major in chemistry when I start college next year…”  Clara’s voice trailed off and Danny sensed that there was more that she wasn’t saying. 

“And what do you want to do with a degree in chemistry?” he asked, figuring that she wanted to teach high school. 

“I want to be a scientist,” Clara said emphatically.   “But my parents don’t think that girls can be scientists.  They say that if I want a career, that I have three choices.  I can be a teacher or a nurse or a secretary.  That’s it!” Her voice rose as she let out her frustration.  Then in a calmer tone she continued, “That’s why I’m here, Danny.  It’s a free thinking zone.  Father K says that I can be whatever I want to be.” 

o-o-o

For the next several days, Danny spent his mornings at the youth center helping out with odd jobs:  painting, cleaning, repairing furniture, whatever needed to be done.  He also spent more time with Clara, helping her finish a necklace and matching earrings.  He was impressed with the girl’s skills with the fine tools, torch and soldering iron.  Her small hands were as steady as a rock!  Danny enjoyed listening to Clara talk about her dream of becoming a scientist and hoped that she wouldn’t encounter too many barriers.  He also knew that it was still very much a man’s world.    But one morning, he thought of something he could do.

o-o-o

That afternoon, as soon as he got home, Danny picked up the phone and dialed the crime lab.  The call was answered on the first ring.

“Crime lab, Che Fong speaking,” the forensic scientist issued his usual greeting.

“Hi Che, it’s Dan.”

“I thought you were on vacation.  What’s up?”

“I was wondering if you still have an internship available for the summer.  I may have found someone who would be a good match: smart, hard-working, wants to major in chemistry.”

“Yes, as a matter of fact, there’s one more slot waiting to be filled.  This candidate, can you bring him by the lab for an interview?”

“Sure…but her, not him.  Che, she’s a girl.  Clara O’Brien.”

The scientist chuckled.  “Sorry, my mistake.  Haven’t you heard, Dan?  Girls can do anything.  At least that’s what my daughter tells me.”

“Yeah, I’m finding that out.  I’ll bring her by the lab tomorrow.  Thanks.”

o-o-o

At the end of his two weeks off, Danny returned to work to find that the Wilkins case was still in full swing.  And by his boss’s level of irritation, he could tell it was one of those frustrating investigations.  They knew that Solomon Wilkins was guilty of fraud and embezzlement on a grand scale, but he had been very careful not to leave behind any incriminating evidence that could be used in court.   To top it off, one of his employees had just been killed by a car bomb, and they very well knew that Wilkins had demolitions experience from the army.

From their white leather chairs, Danny, Chin and Kono watched McGarrett pace the length of his private office.  The top cop was deep in thought, trying to dig up something, anything that they had missed. 

“Boss, maybe da lab boys will find something we can use,” Kono offered after a few minutes.

“Yeah, maybe,” Steve responded skeptically.  “But there wasn’t much left of that car.”

The four detectives almost jumped when the telephone on the big desk rang.  After snatching up the receiver, Steve issued his standard clipped greeting, “McGarrett.”

All eyes on their boss, Danny, Chin and Kono listened to Steve’s side of the conversation and watched his expression change from frustration to triumph as he pumped his fist in the air. “Thanks, Che, and good work!” Steve hung up the phone and turned toward his team.

“Gentlemen, we’ve got him!” Steve announced.  “Wilkins got a little overconfident and careless with that bomb and left a thumbprint behind.”

“Che found a print in that mess?” an astonished Chin asked.  “I saw what was left of the car.  It looked like chop suey to me!” 

Steve smirked at the ethnic comparison and proceeded to brief his men on the details from the lab.  “Che found a small fragment of the bomb wedged…welded, actually between the dash and the engine housing,” Steve explained.  “They weren’t able to extract it and Che’s hands were too large to get at it.  He was afraid that trying to cut into the wreckage with a saw would destroy the fragment.  But it turns out that Che just hired a new intern…a girl who has very small hands.  Following Che’s instructions, this intern was able to maneuver her hands inside the piece far enough to pull the print.  Not only that, she was able to get a partial serial number off the piece.  We’re going to put away Wilkins for a long time, gentlemen!”

o-o-o

Danny left his boss’s office feeling mighty proud of the young lady whom he had met just a few weeks ago.  Maybe he had made a difference for Clara.  In any case, it was a great feeling.  His musings were interrupted by Jenny’s voice.  “More coffee, Danny?”

“Sure, thanks,” he said.  He leaned against the doorway of his cubicle while he watched the petite secretary pour his coffee then stir in the cream the way he liked it. 

When she handed him the cup, she noticed his lingering gaze as if he were lost in thought.  “What is it?” she asked.

Danny thought for a few seconds before he responded.  “Jenny, did you always want to be a secretary?”

 

Father K appeared in the season 4 episode “Two Doves and Mr. Heron.” 

Danny’s jewelry making experience is mentioned in the season 2 episode “Nightmare Road.”

 

A Kalakaua Lu‘au

Steve's Girl

Since they were descended from the royal family Kalakaua to celebrate Kamehameha Day with a big lu‘au was an annual event for Kono's ‘ohana. But when Kono joined Hawaii Five-0, he was usually on duty on that day and to hold a lu‘au when the family member who had been accepted into the ranks of Hawai'i's elite police force couldn't be present was unthinkable. So each year it was set on a different date.

This year, a Sunday at the end of August was chosen. Two weeks before, Kono's cousin, Luahine, had given birth to twin girls, and their great-grand aunt, Apikela, but called Tutu, grandmother, by all Kalakauas, had turned 80. So, the annual lu'au was rather a big party celebrating the birthdays of the youngest and the oldest female members of the ‘ohana.

Moana, Kono's cousin twice removed, was a great cook who loved nothing more than to prepare large quantities of food for many people. Around 80 family members, give or take a few, were expected, and Moana had made plans weeks in advance. Had she designed a menu, it would have read:

Appetizers      Lomi Salmon ۰ Fish Cakes

Salads             Kona Tomatoes ۰ Ahi Pasta Salad

Entrees           Kalua Pig  ۰ Kanaka Stew (Short ribs of  beef, simmered with

                        poi and onions) ۰Lau Lau (pork and butterfish wrapped in ti

                        leaves and steamed)

Side Dishes     Poi ۰  Uala (Hawaiian Sweet Potatoes)

Bread              Pineapple Nut Bread  

Desserts          Mea Ono (Coconut Cake) ۰  Haupia (Coconut Pudding) ۰

                         Pineapple Wedges

Everyone was to bring a folding chair, their own cutlery and plates, and a glass or mug. Those who owned musical instruments were asked to bring them.

Luana, Moana's sister, who worked at one of the lei shops on Mauna Kea Street, would make beautiful lei: one of deep purple bougainvillea for Tutu and one of white plumeria for Luahine.

Kono's tasks in helping with the preparations were, as usual, those of a carrier. He had borrowed a pick-up truck and transported buffet tables and, later from Moana's home, all the large bowls, platters, and big boxes that contained the food to the Kualoa Beach Park, where the lu‘au was to take place. Keoki, another of the numerous Kalakaua cousins, brought torches to be lit after darkness had fallen.

By five o’clock, everyone had arrived, and justice had been done to the products of Moana's cooking skills. When everyone's belly was filled to the brim and the smaller children were about to doze off, Keoki lit the torches.

As everyone settled back to enjoy a quiet and peaceful time in the warm, balmy air under the dark, star-studded, tropical sky, they heard the soft sounds of Blue Hawaii, played by  Kono, Keoki, and Keoki's brothers, Kelolo, Toma, and Kimo, who had taken their ‘ukulele, guitars, and Hawaiian guitars. More songs followed, I'll Remember You, Waikiki, and Hawai‘i Pono‘i among them. Hau'oli la hanau was sung three times, for Tutu and for the twin girls, Malia and Kiana.

After everyone had joined in the famous song created by Hawai‘i's last queen Lili‘uokalani, Aloha Oe, they packed up and went home, feeling tired, content, full of joy, and looking forward to the next year's Kalakaua Lu‘au.

 

 

A Day to Recuperate

Jean G.

It was five a.m. in Honolulu and Steve McGarrett had slept a little over three hours but he wanted to get his paper work out of the way so he could recuperate for the rest of the day. He plopped himself down in his office chair and run his hands through his now tousled hair. He was exhausted, having worked 12 days in a row without a break. He had been on a particularly difficult case and had to deal with it without his second in command Danny Williams.

Danny had taken a two week vacation only the day before Steve had found a lead on this latest case. Chin Ho and Kono had been his back up, but unfortunately three days into the case; Kono had collapsed and needed an emergency appendectomy.

McGarrett called in the help of Duke Lukela from HPD and together McGarrett, Chin, and Duke hunted down a serial killer who had been stalking and murdering waitresses in China town. After a high speed chase, the killer drove his car over a cliff into the sea. Whether it was an accident or whether the killer preferred death to imprisonment they would never know.

The murders had been particularly horrific and McGarrett always took it upon himself to inform the families of the victims. Being the head of Five 0, he felt it was his responsibility. He would never get used to it, no matter how many times he had to sit with a bereaved parent, husband, wife, or relative of a victim; it tore at him to see their grief.

He couldn't be bothered to refresh the coffee urn, so poured some fruit juice from a carton he took from the newly installed refrigerator.

It didn’t take too long to complete the paperwork and Steve left the office around six fifteen. He drove straight to his boat house. He had converted the top part into a small studio where he indulged in his hobby as an amateur artist, that was when he had time. Art was his first passion and sailing came a close second. Should he spend this precious day sailing or painting? He decided on painting.

Steve changed into a casual aloha shirt and a pair of old jeans which he'd left at the boat house, collected his easel and paints, stashed them in a canvas bag and put them in the boot of his Mercury along with a fold up table and chair.

He decided to drive out to the Valley of the Temples. He bought a bottle of water, a sandwich and some fruit from a small grocery store on his way. He knew of a spot a little way up the hill with a magnificent view of the temples. It was very peaceful and quiet and there were no tourists to be seen this time of day.

McGarrett set up his easel and the small fold up table for his paints and brushes. He sat for a few moments to clear his mind and to decide which part of the scene he wanted to put on his canvas. He had painted the temples several times, some of which he had discarded. He was quite self critical of his art, but oddly not of his work with Five 0.

He decided to paint the background behind the temple, the trees, and the carved out volcanic runnels of the hills. As he started to do the initial sketching, he felt his whole body relax, as if he were being massaged by invisible hands. Everything was wiped from his mind, no thoughts of murder and death, no thoughts of Five 0, or crime. He did think of Kono for a while and made a mental note to call by to see how he was recovering, Kono having been allowed home.

The minutes turned into hours as Steve brush moved skilfully across the canvas, he was completely lost in time. He stopped for a few moments to drink some water and review what he had painted. There were one or two minor adjustments, but all in all he was very pleased with the result so far.

Around noon he took a longer break to eat his sandwich and fruit. He had brought and old blanket along with his gear and decided to have a lie down as his eyes had started to prickle from lack of sleep. He lay with his arms behind his head looking up at the azure blue sky. He thought of the beautiful Island where he was privileged to live. The people he had come to love and respect. He had his team, who had become his ‘ohana. He felt blessed and content with his life. Even though it had its drawbacks with his career, he knew it was what he wanted and needed to do.

Steve drifted off to sleep, until a scurrying sound in the grass startled him awake two hours later. He sprang up wondering if there was someone watching him. Suddenly a small dog came nervously out from behind the bushes, followed by a boy of about eleven.

"You pesky dog" said the boy, not unkindly. "I have been looking for you everywhere"

On seeing McGarrett, he stopped short grabbed the dog and clipped the lead on its collar. 

"Sorry mister, for my dog waking you, I'll be off now" said the boy.

"That's okay son," Steve answered. "I'm glad he woke me up, I've been asleep too long anyway, and I have to finish my painting."

"Can I see?" asked the boy, "I like to paint too, though I'm not very good. My Dad is just a little way off; I can call him if you like."

"Yes you can look, I will go and call your father and tell him you are okay." Steve offered.

McGarrett walked toward the clearing to see the boy's father approaching. Steve introduced himself.

"I hope my boy is not being a nuisance" the man said. "He has this habit of talking to people when he is out walking with me and Kono. That’s the dog" he added.

"It's the name of one of my colleagues" Steve stated with a grin. "He will be very amused when I tell him I met a dog with the same name as his."

They chatted amiably for a while, the boy, Peter, telling Steve about his painting and drew a sketch of Kono. Steve told Peter he thought he would be a very good artist.

"I hope I will be as good as you Mister" he stated. "This picture is great."

"It's not finished yet, so I had better get on with it." Steve told Peter. "It's been great meeting someone who likes to paint and you must keep persevering, art is a gift and we must treasure it."

After Peter and his father left, Steve set himself to finishing the painting, by 5 pm the light had started to go and he just about managed to finish. He was pleased with the result and knew it was one of his best. He would hang this one in his apartment.

He packed up his things and carefully put the painting in the boot. As he drove to Kono's place, he felt he had utilised the day very well. He could now face another day at the office, fully recuperated and ready for the next case.

 

Keep Your Options Open

H50 1.0 FOREVER

“Okay, John. He’s all yours,” Five-0 chief Stephen McGarrett said to the district attorney as he walked to the door and placed his hand on the door knob.

“You did good, Steve. We’ve needed to take down this one for a long time,” John Manicote replied. “Treat yourself to a good weekend, while my staff and I decide how best to see this mobster behind bars.”

A smile crossed McGarrett’s face, and he gave a nod. “Maybe, one of these days, we’ll manage to draw one in on a Monday, instead of a Friday.”

Manicote waved him off, and Steve went out the door. Reaching his car in the parking lot, he took up the microphone to his police band radio.

“Central, this is McGarrett. Put me through to the Five-0 office.” A moment later, he spoke to his secretary. “Jenny? McGarrett. I’m going away for the weekend. If anything comes up, call Danno. He’ll be in charge until Monday morning.”

“Okay, Boss. Get some rest – please!”

“I intend to do just that,” the weary detective admitted.

In anticipation of two days away from the office, he had packed a bag, which now rested in the trunk of his car. Accordingly, he bypassed his Waikiki condominium and drove onto the Pali Highway. Soon, he was enjoying the cool trade winds as he made his way over the Ko‘olau Mountains. Upon passing Castle Junction, he continued on to Kailua and the home of his lady love.

Malia Okana was a petite Polynesian, who, at the age of fifty-something, was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. Even though she came from the prominent Okana family, she eschewed the exclusive lifestyle. She taught the third grade at the Kailua School, where she sought to give her public-school students a private-school education. Similarly, she did not belong to a country club or wear expensive clothes or drive an expensive car. Even so, she was stylish. After scouring the upscale shops and fashion magazines for ideas, she made her clothes in the fabrics and colors that suited her. Similarly, Malia’s home was a mid-century modern house of no more than a thousand square feet, yet it was warm and inviting and every bit as fashionable as her wardrobe.

As Malia saw Steve alight from his car, she waved to him through the window and went to the door, where she greeted him with a bright smile and a warm hug.

“You look tired,” she told him.

He gave a nod and said, “Tough case, but he’s Manicote’s problem, now.”

“Good!” she exclaimed.

“Are you ready?” he asked her.

“I am, although, if you would prefer, we could simply stay on the boat, without going out, and relax this weekend.”

“Let’s see how I feel in the morning,” he replied.

“In that case, I’m raring and ready,” she replied. “That bag, and that ice chest are going.”

They set out, driving to a boat harbor near Kahalu‘u. There, they parked near his 30-foot sailboat, the Wind Dancer. It wasn’t an original name, but it reflected how being on the waves made Steve feel.

The sun was growing low in the sky as they carried their clothes and supplies onto the boat. He treated himself to a shower and a change into casual attire, while she set out a pupu platter and glasses of wine for them to enjoy on the deck.

Down the way, three couples were gathered around a hibachi. All moored their boats at the harbor and gathered on weekends to relax following their busy weeks in the city. Steve and Malia waved and called greetings to them, yet remained on the Wind Dancer to enjoy each other as the sun set over the Ko‘olaus.

“Do you ever think about marriage?” he asked following a long silence.

She looked over at him with a soft smile on her face. “I gather you do.”

“Just answer my question, please.”

“I’ve pondered it,” she replied.

“You’ve pondered it? How have you pondered it? In general terms? In relation to a specific man?”

“To you, as a matter of fact,” she told him.

“Something tells me I didn’t pass the test.”

“Oh, the problem isn’t you,” she insisted. “It is us. I’ve been alone for nearly twenty years, ever since Paulo died. He left me penniless, yet I’ve managed to buy a house, fix it up, and make a nice life for myself. You work long hours. You’ve never been married. No doubt, you’re as set in your ways as I am in mine.”

He gave a nod, his jaw set. “Yes, I suppose I am. You don’t think we could merge your cultured lady décor and my navy commander décor?”

She chuckled. “Only if we discarded both and started over with our joint décor.”

“What would it be like?” he asked.

“I don’t have a clue! Now, you tell me why you’re asking all these questions.”

He hesitated for a moment, then shook his head and arose. Turning, he climbed over the edge of the boat and began making his way along the sidewalk and away from laughing couples on the deck of a thoroughly pretentious sloop. As he reached the beach, he broke into a run. He jogged a full three miles before he turned around and began making his way back to the boat harbor. As he arrived, he saw Malia stepping into a taxi cab. He did not try and call her back. He knew better. After all, so many of his relationships had ended similarly that he had lost count of them all.

Returning to his boat, he boarded it. He saw that Malia had left nothing behind, not even the casserole, which had been cooking in the oven minutes earlier. Little did he realize that the beach bum who scavenged the trash cans along the way had retrieved it and was enjoying a feast such as he had not known in many years.

Pausing only long enough to gather his belongings, Steve went out to his car and turned in the direction of the city. Irritated by the scent of Malia’s perfume, he lowered the windows and allowed the trade winds to blow through. As he drove along, words his father had spoken many years ago came to mind.

“Marriage isn’t for everyone, Stephen. Not even everyone who would like to marry finds the right mate. Sometimes, circumstances get in the way. Take Uncle Seamus, for example. He spent his whole life in the Navy. If he wasn’t involved in a war, he was at sea for extended tours and spending his time with cultures completely different from his own. By the time he returned home, he was fifty years old, and the nice ladies either were taken or had no desire to have him replace their deceased husbands.”

Good old Uncle Seamus! Steve snarled under his breath and increased acceleration to the car.

Before going home, Steve stopped by Times Market to pick up a loaf of bread and a half-gallon of milk. Seeing an attractive stack of papayas on a table in the produce section, he walked over. A woman wearing a Navy uniform stood perusing them. Her insignia told Steve that she was a captain.

“Well, if it’s not Commander McGarrett!” she greeted him.

He smiled gently and gave a nod. “I am, Captain.”

“Betsy Waghorne,” she told him. “We met at Governor Jameson’s fourth inauguration.”

“Of course!” Steve recalled.

“Tell me, Commander, if a lady my age told you she wanted to get married, would you think she was out of her mind?”

Steve pondered her question for a moment, then replied with a question of his own. “If a man my age told you he wanted to get married, would you think he was out of his mind?”

“Of course not! I’ve seen wonderful marriages begin when the couple were in their fifties or even in their sixties or seventies.”

“You wouldn’t think they might be too set in their ways?” Steve asked.

“If they love each other, they might be willing to give up a few of those ways. In fact, that might be a good yard stick to measure by,” she said.

He nodded as he pondered what she had said. It occurred to him that, quite clearly, Malia Okana was not willing to give up a few of her ways. Allowing a mischievous grin to spread across his face, he asked, “Do you have your eye on someone?”

“Why? Are you proposing?” she asked.

“Not tonight, at least nothing more serious than dinner and the chamber orchestra’s concert next week.”

“I would enjoy dinner and a concert,” she replied.

“Then, it’s a date!” he declared. “Where may I call for you?”

“I live in the Twin Towers,” she said.

“So do I,” he replied.

“B Tower,” she said.

“I’m in A Tower,” he replied.

“Seventh floor, Apartment 703-B,” she said.

“Seventh floor, Apartment 701-A,” he said.

They both chuckled merrily as they studied each other. She was not a particularly attractive woman. Rather, she had a solid build that probably had been an athletic one in her younger years. Now, having seen her fiftieth birthday come and go, she was a stocky middle-aged woman. Steve could imagine her calling down unruly young sailors. He could also imagine her standing her ground in a meeting with a half-dozen flag officers. This woman knew who she was and what she wanted.

“I’ll call for you Tuesday of next week at 6:00,” he said. “We’ll have dinner at Michel’s and continue on to the concert.”

“I’m looking forward to it,” she said as she took up another papaya. “This one looks good,” she said as she handed it to him.