The Bright Side: A semblance of normalcy

The Bright Side is submitted to the West Hawaii Today on Friday afternoon. The situation with the coronavirus is evolving so rapidly, this is what I submitted on Friday:

“It’s an odd feeling, writing something that could very well be obsolete by the time the paper is printed, but these are odd times. So odd, in fact, that some of us are working to keep an event alive, primarily just to show that we can still enjoy a semblance of normalcy in todays oddball world — the Lazy Marlin Hunt.”


Well Martha, hold the phone.

Our attempts at establishing a semblance of normalcy have been short circuited, and the Lazy Marlin Hunt will not go on as planned.

Within two hours of submitting that article, the Department of Land and Natural Resources released a statement stating that “the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) has suspended all commercial operator permits until further notice.”

In our case, that means that charter boats are grounded and we can’t take clients fishing.

We were watching the Lt. Governor’s push to quarantine all arrivals to Hawaii. This is what we had identified as the major danger to The Hunt, but that has yet to be settled and instead, we got sideswiped by an unforeseen action by DLNR. These are odd times, indeed.

We weren’t talking about teams of athletes bashing into one another, body fluids flying. We were talking about friends and family isolating themselves at sea, on a boat.

The fishing boats are usually licensed for a maximum of six passengers, so the “ten people or less” guideline would have been easily met. The teams could have chosen exactly who was to go out on their boat, just as anyone can choose who they “shelter in place” with.

We even thought up a low-tech answer for social distancing on the dock. At the morning check in, each boat would swing by the dock where officials were to pass over any final items with a handy dandy extendo-matic papaya picker.

Looks like the papaya picker will stay up on the farm now.

This next paragraph was the close to this section of my piece:

“As mentioned at the onset of this piece, it’s odd writing this on Friday, understanding that the world could be a totally different place when it runs on Monday. Let’s hope that if it is, it’s for the better!”

Well, Martha, not so fast there either.

Yes, this happened fast, but it’s happening all around. It’s not mandatory to get depressed, just because it’s depressing.

If you can, maybe laugh at it, like Ol Willie did after one of his ex-wives sewed him up in bed-sheets and beat him with a broom. Willie wrote this lyric and put it in a song, “what can you do to me now, that you haven’t done to me already?”

The hardships, struggles, layoffs and losses being caused by this virus are beyond the scope of our imagination, thus far. Through it all, we must not loose our sense of humor while we look for things to hold on to and raise up — things that give us a semblance of normalcy.

The Hawaii Big Game Fishing Club has been putt putting along, also in a somewhat normal fashion. There is a new board of directors in place as of January, and they’ve taken a proactive approach, installing new member managed software on the website You can join on the website and manage your own membership, just as you would your membership to Amazon, or Netflix, which is really getting a workout now.

A priority for 2020 was to create more fun things and events to offer members. A spring social was in the works, featuring Grammy winner Kim Wilson and his Blues All Stars. Unfortunately, just like most things of that nature, it has been put on hold.

That hasn’t stopped club projects from going forward though. Matson donated a container to The Club so that all the stuff currently stored inside the Club House could be put outside, in the container. This would free up all the space inside for furniture and other “normal” items.

Robert and Teresa Oswald have really gone to town on the outside of the container, cleaning off the MATSON letters and painting primer on every surface. A keiki mural art contest is being discussed, which could give local kids a chance to see who might become the next Wyland. Mahalo Robert and Teresa!


Keith Chapman of Chapman Construction and his crew have been on site, replacing doors and windows this week, along with the termite ridden trim and panels. Keith worked with HPM and arranged for most of the materials to be donated. Mahalo Chappy and HPM!

Stay tuned and stay well.

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