SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 23: “We’re Kind Of A Big Deal – People Know Us”

Alexis and Joshua. Two of the funniest, most positive and warmest people I have ever met.

Made it to Honolulu today. Beginning day one of my Hawaii experience. I’ll be here until the 9th presenting a workshop to a very cool division of the military. A group called JPAC, they find our MIA’s. I’m working with their photography unit in sharing new techniques, ways of creatively seeing and methods of directing. Should be a great week.

Now the promise stands, no matter where I am, 365 rolls on. I’m staying at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, a very busy hotel and resort. I know, poor me, what a terrible place to have to go to work. I confess it is rather comfortable. But put this into perspective. My family is still on the mainland, it’s Saturday night and I’m writing my blog to you. So cut me a touch of slack, I’m a blog addict.

After meetings. client lunch and travel, finally got settled into the hotel around 4pm. Took a quick shower, grabbed my camera and off to shoot 365.

Loitered the resort lobbies for about 2 hours. No one stood out very much. Talked to lot of people, yet never felt the burn to photograph them.

Here I am, wandering the Hilton, a melting pot from around the globe. You would think the possibilities would be endless. I’m stupefied that everyone is looking the same – tourists on vacation. Tomorrow I’ll investigate more, surly I’m missing something. The last straw was the mid-western look teen who, without breaking a beat, jammed her finger in her nose and seamlessly cleansed it in her mouth. Too much information! I know! But you want to be with me? Right?

So there you go.

That act of slyness drove me to the beach path for a walk of fresh air. My first glimpse of the beautiful afternoon happens at this moment, now around 7pm. I hike the bike path, fielding a few phone calls as I continue my flight from hotel lobbyland. Even get a call from a buddy of mine mainland side. (Thanks for the shout-out Dan. Took my mind off witnessing the nose lunch.)

The view of my first Hawaii 365 beach stroll (Dan this pic is for you, right after we finished our phone chat)

I hang up with Dan and begin to see again. Right in front of me is KBS, a fun surfboard and stuff hut. My intuition begins to tell me, “stop, we’re there.”

It was right. I meet 3 locals, raised on the islands, all very fun and gregarious. We laugh more than I can write. Funny, smart people who are loving life to the fullest.

Let me give you names. Say “hi” to Alexis, Joshua and, (not pictured), Dalante, (he is more of a cheerleader to the shoot — he keeps us honest in harassing us.

The sight that caught my eye.

To be a little different in this entry I’m going to tell you about them in online dating form.

Alexis: Seeking marriage proposal from a hot rich man who knows how to sail.
“So what if Dalante thinks I have a giant head, that’s his problem, you marry me and you’ll be glad you did. I promise you’ll never have a boring moment: Surfing to cooking, bedroom to barroom, I’m your gal. But if you think I’m a push-over or a lush, your way off-base. I’ve always been told that my personality is awesome and I’m a 10. People love my spunkiness, enthusiasm, limber limbs and flexibility. So what if Dalante is bagging on my head. His loss. Oh yeah, almost forgot, I’m kind of a big deal. People know me. Check out my Facebook: Big Lex.”

Joshua: “Do you want to come on my yacht.”
Hey, I’m ready to settle down, I think? Been on the islands my whole life and know them like the back of my hand. If you like surfing and fun in the sun, part of me is your guy. Yeah, I’ve won the state championship three times, but you need to know the other side. Nothing can stop me, and Hawaii Pacific University is my 2nd big wave: Environmental Engineering. I see 3 kids in the future and life is good. I’ve got nothing bad to say. Well, maybe a few more girls from California or Colorado, or perhaps a hot Russian girl before I finally settle down.

Kidding aside, Alexis, Joshua, hope you get a good chuckle out of the silliness of the singles ads.

Humor really is key in life. The caricatures above are an outcome of the outrageous part of our conversation. Here is what really strikes me about these guys. They are real. What you see is what you get. And what you get are friends who stick together. I witness it in the way they treat each other, “with great respect and teamsmanship.” I caught that message loud and clear the second we started to talk.

Alexis and Joshua ham it up. I can tell you there is nothing more charming than making friends with people who are good friends.

Alexis is an extremely smart gal with a wonderful sense of humor. A little self-boasting, but all in jest. Dalente says, “She is kind of genius.” She accepts the dig without a flinch in completely agreeing with him. I joke with her saying, “well that just proves you’re humble, you know you are a genius, so why be rude and hide it.” We all laugh.

I’ve got tremendous respect for Joshua. He is the poster man for overcoming obstacles. You see, he was born with embryonic banding. I’m no doctor, but in my layman’s description of the syndrome, the condition occurs when the umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s body. This restriction in blood flow causes developmental issues and can be fatal. Joshua carries the badge of honor with his underdeveloped hands and arms. Neither of which slow him down or discourage him at all. He is warm, intelligent and one heck of a world-class athlete – again, 3 time state surfing champion. That is a tremendous achievement in one of the surfing capitols of the world. Got to love this guy.

My eyes are blurry, 11:19pm Hawaii, that’s 2:19am on my clock. I’ve been up for almost 24 hours now and am fading fast.

Better hit the hay before I eat keyboard.

Talk tomorrow!