LAHAINA - "Ultimate Visitor" Gary Bodine, profiled in my book "Maui for Millions," has a new tale to tell.
Seems Gary, an avid snorkeler, lost his fanny pack with driver's license and credit cards while diving near the Sheraton.
A believer but not a churchgoer, Gary prayed and prayed that his credentials would be returned, promising to go to church if they reappeared.
A visitor peeks into “Always Lahaina,” a new exhibit at the Old Lahaina Courthouse, to see one of Lahaina Restoration Foundation’s latest contributions to the town.
Three days later, visitor Dave Kemp, who had rented a jeep and driven to a remote beach on Lanai, found the fanny pack washed up on the shore, saw Gary was from a town in Washington State and dialed directory assistance to find him. Gary had left his cell phone number on his answering machine.
Gary and his driver's license were reunited in Kahana where, ironically, he and Kemp were staying a short distance apart. It was a Sunday.
Passing by Kaanapali Congregational Church filled with parishioners near the farmers' market, Gary remembered his promise. There was no place to park, but he said that God provided again. He would have driven by, but just then, a new space opened up. A man who apparently keeps promises, Gary grabbed the spot and attended the whole service.
CELEBRATING LAHAINA - Lahaina Restoration Foundation merits a salute for its continuing and splendid efforts to promote understanding of the town's colorful history.
Displays at the fifth annual Lahaina Plantation Days event told the story of the plantation camps and the many ethnic groups who came in waves to work for Pioneer Mill. Huge crowds enjoyed a strong music lineup and feasted on offerings from leading area restaurants.
At the Old Lahaina Courthouse overlooking the harbor, the new "Always Lahaina" exhibit gives a capsule history - easy and quick to read - covering such themes as "From Ancient Times to Today," the "Birth of Hawaii," "The Kingdom," "Missionaries and Whales," the "Moku of Lele" (the town's original name) and more. A photo timeline traces the history of the last 200 years.
Living in a place, people sometimes don't take advantage of venues they pass by every day. A case in point is the restored print house hale up at Lahainaluna High School, where some of the Hawaiian Kingdom's first Bibles and grammars were printed. Spending 20 minutes up there, taking in the view from high atop Lahainaluna Road, is time well-spent.
Signatures of visitors from all over the world can be found on a sign-in book. Commented one visitor: "I have lived here 22 years, and this is the first time I have been up here."
So, next time you see the tiny green sign on Honoapiilani with the words "Printing Museum" and an arrow, come on up. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.
MAN OF THE HOUR - Where would the World Champion Boston Red Sox have been without Maui? Congratulations to Shane Victorino, who not only won a Gold Glove for his defensive abilities all year but hit a grand slam home run to put the Sox into the series. He also got the key hit and drove in four runs to lead the team to its final victory.
Victorino told Fox cameras after the game that he learned his philosophy of make the most of every day and not look forward or backward from his dad, County Councilman Mike Victorino, who has to be one proud pop.
ROTARIANS ON A ROLL - Following the most successful year in its history, after leading the revamp of Lahaina Public Library, the Rotary Club of Lahaina is scoring new successes, recently becoming the largest club on Maui.
Under the leadership of Membership Chair Jim Fahnestock, the club has added some 15 members in the last 16 months. Many are young, meeting a long-sought goal to recruit younger members.
Some 18 members of Maui Preparatory Academy recently formed an affiliate Interact Club and volunteered at the club's sold out Kaanapali Golf tournament. The Lahainaluna Interact Club also volunteered.
(Reach Norm at firstname.lastname@example.org, and for extensive photo coverage of Halloween, go to KaanapaliCondoNews.com.)