Feedback from readers that was 2016

You like me, you really, really like me!

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You like me, you really, really like me!

Well not all of you. I thought I’d share a few responses to my column, which I started writing for West Hawaii Today earlier this year. Some Kona readers took the time to email me at makewavess@yahoo.com. They were the best of comments, they were the worst of comments.

Kicking it off was Erika, who read my sarcastic piece on wanting to run over a crippled man.

“I read your article and I must say I’m appalled and have to ask if you are sane?” she wrote.

Humoring her, I wrote back, “Dear Erika, I am sorry you feel that way, but the psychiatrists here at Happy Acres say that I am sane. Now I have to take my rubber ducky for a walk and then have lunch with the aliens.”

Good fun.

On the same column, George Selfridge got that I was kidding and told me, “Mahalo for your continued good work, can’t wait for the next one.”

Thanks, George.

In March, describing the beauty of Kona, I got a pat on the back from Councilman Dru Kanuha, who said, “Mahalo for your column, it was very refreshing.”

Ric, who first complained, said of my columns, “I like them, they are ‘cutsie’ but made the point.”

Cutsie? I feel like a puppy dog.

Gail Anderson from Kona went right to my heart when she wrote, “You make me, and a lot of other people, feel better, please let us hear from you again, mahalo.”

Now we turn to the Dark Side.

In Pockmarks of Progress, where I called progress “a disease carried by developers” Siebert said that my attack on the TMT “was not aloha, but ignorance.”

But the one column where I got, what our fine editor calls, a real “teeth-kicking” was the one where I lambasted Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter for helping redevelop Kukuihaele Park with baseball fields. Those Hilo baseball boys and friends sent me such lovely letters.

“Eh, watch yourself, that’s the problem in Hawaii too much haoles putting their nose in the wrong place,” R. V. eloquently warned me.

There were a few “Haole Go Home” letters. I’ve lived here for 30 years, bruddah, I am home.

Susie wrote, “This is what happens when we get rich people (me) living in our community, they want to take everything away from us locals.”

Now I’m rich people, yeah sure, driving my fancy ’97 Isuzu.

Al from Alaska slapped me down saying, “your infantile drivel you call writing.”

What I go through. You really need a thick skin in the truth business.

Lucky there are great folks like George Balandran, a part-time Kona resident. He read my column about the mainland and wrote, “I read your article to my wife this morning. We got choked up when I read, ‘there’s no place like Kona,’ we were moved to tears at the last two sentences, excellent poetic piece.”

Moved to tears, that’s payment better than gold.

Lastly, Lava Laurie read my column and wanted to be my groupie. Now I’m a rock star.

There is hardly a better feeling than to have someone walk up with a beaming smile and tell me they liked what I wrote. My 15 minutes have arrived.

Wrapping it up, I should come up with an Oscar speech, thanking my mother for encouraging my writing, my dad for calling me the Master Writer,” accepting that I wasn’t going to be a stockbroker, after all.

I really thank Tom, the editor, for giving me the column in the first place.

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But most of all, mahalo to all of you who make this island so great, and giving me the stuff columns are made of. Happy New Year! Aloha.

Dennis Gregory mixes truth, humor and aloha in his biweekly opinion column. He can be reached at makewavess@yahoo.com.