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Saturday, October 25, 2014

The "Faces of Strangers: #24" Story

Raymond
It was an ordinary day. Just got out of the pool and was searching for my beach chair.  Walked towards a fellow who began telling me about the dark spot on the grass I was just about to walk across.  Told me that there must be a broken water pipe under the ground since the area was muddy.  I moved my chair slightly and listened as he told me about the irrigation lines that run about six inches under the surface of the grass.  I introduced myself with a handshake and he told me his name was Raymond.  He possessed a wealth of knowledge about the island of Hawaii and was more than willing to share it with me.  He was one quarter native Hawaiian with German, Portegese and English in his bloodline.  Told me that there are very few true native Hawaiians left anymore in Hawaii.  He was in charge of the grounds crew for the Kaanapali Beach Hotel with half a dozen workers under him.  Used to have close to twice that many workers a few years ago, but management decided to outsource many of the jobs his crew used to do.  Reasoning was that all the workers at the hotel belong to unions and the hotel could hire outside businesses for less money.  "They're only going to lose the native flair that the locals who work here possess and can pass on to the visitors at the hotel," he told me.  My wife and traveling friends Jerry and Just Sue started asking question after question and he was more than willing to answer everything we asked him.  Raymond was in his late 40s to early 50s and loved his job.  One of two that he held, since he also worked for the state grounds crew.  This fine gentleman who took his time to answer questions about the many types of trees and flowers as well as his personal life was a true ambassador for the Kaanapali Beach Hotel.  He eventually got the water leak repaired and was off to his next assignment with very happy and well informed travelers left in his wake.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy. 

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