Bettejo Dux has lived on the cosmic Garden
Island of Kaua'i for over 40 years.
Bettejo is a regular opinion writer in the Garden Island news
and is the author of the famed novella, "The Scam."
Her latest fiction"Children of extinction"is now released and available on Amazon!
Bettejo has a gift of mingling
the present, the past, and the future.
When I first arrived on Kauai some forty years ago, Kauai was a feudal state. The plantation managers were the kings and their department heads were lords and ladies. Field workers lived simply, but, for the most part, peacefully together. Outside this circle were the big land holders, small business and services, schools and hospitals, a few quaint island style hotels and a rich rash of city and county workers. It was a benevolent state. All of us, at our different levels, lived in peace with each other and the extraordinary beauty of the island and its surroundings. I think of the great and glorious fields of waving green cane, a cash crop, which contributed to clean fresh air and extraordinary beauty.
I think of Iniki. Troubled times, and how we all came together...visitors, too, some of them...as a family and worked towards restoration. I think these times are gone.
Today the island is a third world country. Treated with much indifference and malignancies by the rich. The powerful. The greedy. The military And a most fragile industry, the tourist industry. Today we are a hard hit, rapidly disappearing middle class, with a steadily increasing number of unhappy islanders.
How dare I express this?
Because it's true. We live at the end of a long line of destructive influences. Some people, mostly newcomers, question why we didn't protest over-development. We did! But the big land holders, the rich and the greedy and their bought off political cronies, held all the cards. Look at the mess they've created on the highways. None of us can afford the million dollar needed to build more roads.
All of us on this island, rich and poor, brown, black, yellow and white, young and old will be catastrophically impacted by this ignored insult left unanswered. This monstrosity is always in the headlines.
We all have to transport ourselves to somewhere. Some people must commute. And you can't even write that expense off your taxes. Buy a car, buy some gas, some oil, tires, batteries--whatever--go broke in the process. Working people have to get to jobs so they can pay for the commute. They have no choice. The rush to work, the rush home, causing road jams that just won't quit. We have constant, disgusting, frustrating traffic jams. Bumper to bumper fore and aft. Any hour. Any day. Coming or going. Where or why. To satellites overhead we must look like ants on a senseless journey to and fro.
Add to that visitors who fly in and rent a car. Off to their destination. Off to see the sights. Which they can't see, they're driving so fast. Or grumped miserably in a lump of exhaust that takes the breath away.
Then we have locals who love their cars, trucks--four-wheeled noise makers--like Americans, a few years, back loved their horses. "I'll die before I'll let you take these reins from my hand."
Horses were prettier, but history repeats itself. Such a bother. Such a bore.
Bettejo breaking bread and
discussing life with her friend
and mentor, Richard Dawkins.
Mr. Saylor lives on Kaua'i 6 months of the year....
| Another James "Kimo" Rosen|