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Occupy Front Street?

November 1, 2011 - Harry Eagar
Chris Hamilton called into the newsroom with his report from Fright Night on Front Street, and I could hardly hear him, there was so much noise. He said people were walking up and down beating drums, plus there was a calypso band behind him.

It sounded more like Zuccoti Park than Lahaina on Halloween, at least as I remember it.

True, Maui has a drum tradition: taiko and, at one time, the Mad Dog Drummers of Mu. Dunno what happened to the Mad Dogs, but somebody burned down their rehearsal space, the gym at old Maui High, and I guess it isn't easy to find a garage big enough for 40 drummers to practice together. Although they never did sound like they practiced much.

But other than recorded music spilling out of the bars, I don't recall a lot of instrumental noise at previous Front Street Halloweens. Just the hubbub of a big crowd of boisterous people. Well, not all of them boisterous.

On the other hand, I haven't been to the Mardi Gras of the Pacific since my kids were in high school, back in the 20th century.

I don't recall any lewd costumes or behavior, either. Chris said that, so far as he saw, only one police stop for lewdness was made, and that for a guy in a G-string, costumed, so to speak, as Borat.

In any event, I guarantee that everybody on Front Street was wearing more clothes than the sunbathers 100 feet off Front Street. I have taken photographs of naked women tanning in front of Lahaina Shores to prove that.

That doesn't happen every day, but it happens.

I'm not boycotting Fright Night, Just getting old, maybe. When the kids wanted to go, it was worth the effort. Now, contemplating the long drive back to Makawao late at night, with the prospect of being back at the computer by 7 o'clock the next morning, the balance between effort/reward is more even.

The last time I went, I was solicited by local girls who could have been freshmen at Lahainaluna on the meat rack in front of the Baldwin Home. You don't read about that, either in The Maui News or in the police logs, probably because if I had accepted their invitation, I'd have been rolled by their boyfriends.

And who'd report that?

When people talk about culture on Front Street, that's something that comes to my mind. There was a sociological study about what used to be called juvenile delinquents published on Maui in the 1940s, where the girls were rolling the Navy sailors, and no doubt their great-grandmothers were doing it to the whalers in the 1840s.

When people devote their energy to worrying about the culture of Front Street, I wish they'd worry about that.


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