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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"The whole world comes to Kaua'i..." 'Bettejo Dux' (Classic Wednesdays)

About Bettejo Dux, pronounced "Dukes"

Bettejo Dux left her native state of California, of which she is fifth generation, when she was eighteen and began her wanderings. She has lived and visited in many strange and unusual towns in Central and South America and the Far East. When she and her husband were “romancing the stone,” she stayed in places where no other American lady had ever stayed. A resident of Kauai for over forty years, but an expatriate at heart, she thinks Kauai is about as far out as you can get and still be in. A professional actress, she performed at the Manila Theater Guild and at the Magic Ring Theater in the Hilton Hawaiian Village, at the time the only professional theater in Hawaii. She did “Steel Magnolias,” directed by Arnold Meister, and “Gin Game” on Kauai. She is a writer. She was Woman’s Page Editor of the Pali Press and wrote a featured column for the Honolulu Star Bulletin Advertiser Sunday Edition. She has had several pieces published locally. A political activist and devout non-believer, she writes a blog she calls a “column” under the head bettejo. She can be a royal pain in the ass - ask any of her detractors. She loves to tweak their tails and watch them wiggle. To many, however, she is personally known as a witty and humorous, delightful and engaging lady. She loves to dance, sing and party, and is very happy pixilated. She loves chardonnay and cheese and crackers. A former member of the Mokihana Club, the oldest women’s club on Kauai, and the Poipu Rotary Club, she is presently an honorary member of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens, her neighbors up the hill in Kalaheo. She is an off-island member of the Waikiki Yacht Club. She and her husband sailed and raced the channels around Hawaii for years. She still practices yoga and her measurements are the same now as they were forty years ago. She says, as Gypsy Rose Lee did, “I’ve got everything I came in with, only my cargo has shifted.” Her favorite woman writer is still Dorothy Parker. Her favorite male writer is James Thurber, followed by Dean Koontz. THE SCAM is her first novel, but there are three fantasies to be published soon.
That the whole world comes to Kauai is one of the joys of living here. The house up the Alexander Dam Road was remote but, partly because of the kids, at least half the world ended up there. Also partly because this monster lava rock abode had five bedrooms, four baths, a huge living/dining room, and a mammoth 'party' kitchen. Everyone Bill and I had known since the beginning of time suddenly remembered us and came for a visit.
That's one of the reasons why this house has one bedroom, one bathroom, and one interior door. I love people and house guests but after a while hotel keeping grows tiresome and tedious. Now when friends come calling I say, "Bring a tent. Camping gear You're welcome to stay on the back forty." I only have four acres but it's a steep traipse to the back side and when you get there you'd think you were a million miles from anywhere. No roads. No street lights. No sounds, except for the birds and the feral pigs snuffling. My neighbor to the east is the back-end of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. When John Allerton was alive- the vast estate and the Garden was his baby-I teased, "You walk ten miles. I'll walk ten feet. And we'll fight over the back fence."
The most interesting house we lived in was the house on Kukuiula Harbor. Our boat floated in the bay, our horses hung out across the street, and millionaire's row was a bit scruffy. All the rest was green stalks of cane-grass at its tallest- and miles and miles of bridle paths called cane roads by others. Our air was the softest. Our stars the brightest. The bay the cleanest. And it was my country all the way to Shipwreck at one end and Allerton's red gates at the other. I taught Beau how to open those gates. I wasn't allowed to enter- but of course I did-and was always getting caught. I'd flash the peace sign, wave a big wave, and gallop off in all directions.
At this end of the road, too, is the Spouting Horn. One morning as we stopped to hear it roar and watch it burst and bubble, I caught sight oi a guy with his butt in the air and his head in the hole.
"Sir," I hollered. "Don't..."
When he stood up and turned, my heart skipped a beat. This was really good-looking guy. His name was Terry Mulligan, a Canadian Mountie and movie star, and he walked my horse and I home. He stayed with us. Sailed with us. Taught me Mountie horse stuff. We baby sat his daughter, met his girl friend, fed them Portuguese bean soup made in a tub and feasted on for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
This memory is for all my new-found Friday world-wide friends, Krista from Kalamazoo, Marlene from Hanapepe, Susanjane and Don from Canada, Mike from new York, Peter from Oregon, Sid from British Columbia, darling Julie-who loved Scam-and came back to say so.
Hope you have a happy stay, a safe trip home and hurry back.

Editor's note, Dakinetalk guest bloggers do not necessarily represent the opinions of dakinetalk. Guest bloggers are given space to express their beliefs and or opinions. We feel there are many roads and like to give people space to express their thoughts,after-all that's what dakine is...Aloha, James "Kimo" Rosen, Publisher.


Anonymous said...

Douglas Dunn said via facebook;"Love this. Fond memories of special times in the most beautiful paradise on earth!

Jealous of those who call it home all the time.
Would love to crawl into a cave in the razorbacks of Kalalau with some wine and cheese and enjoy the harmony of nature!"

KimoRosen said...

Doug, c'mon down!

Anonymous said...

Chester "Unc" Lau said via facebook;"most natural beauty in Hawaii,once landed on the beach while film a TV commercial & out came a group of smiling nudists to greet us...a real paradise on earth..please keep it that way"