Part eight in the series. The year was 1965.
Sung by The Rolling Stones
Song link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulVDM0a49Lw
What a year 1965 was; living at the beach, trying to make friends in school while maintaining this new, improved life I had. It seemed even my mother had mellowed, but that could have been because she and my dad were so busy working their new business.
Being the only daughter, as well as the oldest, I was given numerous chores to do each week, including the vacuuming, dusting, laundry folding and some cooking. I remember trying to sort out some kind of schedule for myself, which boiled down to procrastinating as long as possible. Come Saturdays you would find me vacuuming, while my mother was attending the week's mounds of beach towels and other laundry.
But as soon as I was finished with my chores I'd head to the beach. One Saturday I'd just missed Elvis Presley (I don't know why I wrote his last name, it's not like there were many of them). He was shooting scenes on my beach, Kailua Beach, for the movie "Paradise Hawaiian Style". I got there in time to see his helicopter taking off. He played a helicopter pilot in the movie.
Since this was during the Viet Nam era, R&R (Rest and Relaxation) was something that brought military men in droves to Hawaii, to give them a break from the war. Sometimes their wives or family members would join them. For the rest, they got treated to a convertible full of sassy teenager girls driving down the main drag of Waikiki Beach, waving at the hoards of gorgeous young men, yelling out "ALOHA". It was the least we could do for our country.
But it wasn't only our military who stopped in Hawaii as I would find out one Saturday. The French ship, the Doudart Dé LaGreé, was in port in Honolulu. Some of the young and exotic, to us, sailors found their way to Kailua Beach, the exact beach we all went to. Even though they did not speak English, somehow my girlfriends and I managed to invite them to come to my house for a party. I couldn't believe my mother agreed to this, but that evening about eight young, good looking French sailors came to my house for a casual grilled burger and hot dog dinner. Of course there would be music and dancing. (In retrospect I think it was because my father was retired military, and perhaps when he was a young pilot in Europe some family did the same for him. I'd like to believe it was so.)
I remember how my best friend Annie, her sisters Kitty, and Kathy, and I were flush with the excitement at these young, adorable men fawning over us. We played the latest rock and roll music, danced with each one of them, and giggled like the kids we were. We showed them photo albums trying to communicate something about ourselves. I remember none of us could speak a word of the other's language, yet somehow we managed to communicate. They laughed as I tried to keep my brothers out of the living room, because this was my party, not one for silly little brothers. It was all a big game, but they seemed genuinely happy to be included in an American family and friends night. I still smile when I think of that night. I think my mother actually enjoyed herself too.
By this time I had a boyfriend, Edwin. He was a year older than me, a senior, as well as being Hawaiian. I was quite smitten with him. All of my friends had "local" boyfriends. My mother, in her infinite wisdom, told me she did not care who I dated, as long as he was not Hawaiian. Well, that was more of a direct challenge to this teenager. The "white" boys just seemed so...ordinary to us. As a local, he was a surfer who went to surf each day after school. These were the years the guys wore "jams" (like what the guys wear now, just in Hawaiian prints then) and the two-piece bathing suits we girls would wear were still modest, by today's standards. I remember stuffing my top to fill it out, but not with tissue which would dissolve in the water, but I used stockings...until the day a rogue wave peeled my top down and they escaped, floating on top of the water for everyone to see. No amount of explaining could justify nylon stockings floating all around you in the warm, blue Pacific Ocean. From then on I just sat on the beach with the rest of the girls, watching their guys catch wave after wave, showing off, yet seeming nonchalant and disinterested in us.
Each night after school I would tell my parents I was going to the public library to study. It was the truth, but everyone went to the library and we hung out in the parking lot. That's right, everyone was doing their studying in the parking lot. The problem was we all were studying Human Anatomy. The other problem was something the Rolling Stones said so much better than I could, "I can't get no satisfaction...", and it would be few and far between getting any for my entire life.
Being in high school there was not easy. Especially when you were dating one of the local boys. The school was open-air and I remember each day walking the gauntlet. That meant the walkway to the school cafeteria where, on either side, all of the local boys would line up and whistle, insult, or otherwise embarrass the girls making their way to lunch. Sometimes they would play cruel jokes, like palming a condom and pretending to pull it out of some unfortunate girl's woven grass school bag. It reduced us to tears more often than not, much to their glee.
Somehow though, true love held up and come time for the proms, my junior one and his senior prom, Ed would take me.
My junior prom in a brocade muu-muu
His senior prom that same year, 1965.
He'd pick me up in his turquoise green colored DeSoto, the one he customized with no back seat, but a mattress instead. My parents didn't like it, but they did approve of one of his modifications, a windup alarm clock mounted on his dashboard. They knew I wouldn't be late for my curfew. It was not exactly romantic, yet we had learned the hard way that necking on dates at the beach meant losing track of the time.
Ed graduated from high school that June. Our birthdays, my 17th and his 18th, were a day apart in August. After an incredible summer together he left for San Diego, college bound. I'd have to spend my own senior year dateless.
At first it wasn't so bad, and my grades were on the upswing, but I wasn't used to spending Friday or Saturday nights dateless. I started hanging out with my neighbor Judd, the one going to the University of Hawaii. With his deep tan, surfer body and blonde highlights he wasn't often home, but when he was he had his own room with a private entrance. I got to know it well. It was an ideal situation for both of us. He did not want to be seen out with a high school girl, and I could not be seen out with him. We just needed each other for sex, without the distraction of emotional involvement.
Those tropical Hawaiian nights were too hard to resist. Our secret relationship would continue for a few months.