The town of Kalapana is all pau; it has become part of history.
The extinction of the village is well known; it is no mystery.
Before we talk about Kalapana’s days of ending,
Let's remember what it was like from the beginning.
Born long ago was a village shadowed by an active volcano,
Living under the home of Pele, was she friend or foe?
But to the local people, they did not seem to mind,
The threat of her lava flowing down from behind.
This little village was located by the shores of the ocean,
And the palm fronds would sway in the sea breeze.
It was taken for granted that Kalapana would always be there,
To rest upon the sand and to breathe its clean ocean air.
There were different ways to enter this wonderful land,
With its beaches that were made from the black sand.
Entering from the east, one could reach the town,
Or follow the Chain of Crater's road all the way down.
Entering from the east, you would pass Kaimü Bay,
Coconut trees would drop their seeds on the ground to lay.
With their boards in the water, the local keiki loved to surf,
Because Kalapana's Kaimü Bay was their home turf.
Across from Harry K. Brown's Park was the keiki pond,
Where the youngsters swam and were so fond.
Past that, was the open ocean with its favorite surf spot.
It was named "drain pipes" and was known to be hot.
After hours of swimming and playing in the water under the sun,
One would get so very hungry from all of that fun.
Keiki could head for the drive-in and the Kalapana store.
Then, back to the beach to play some more.
Before going home, to Queen's Bath they would head,
Where only the queen could bathe long ago, it's been said.
Made of lava rock and filled with brackish water, cold and clean,
A natural beauty it was called by all who had seen.
Then, of course, there was the little church, whose outside was all white.
The inside was painted with detailed pictures; it was such a sight.
Biblical scenes were painted on the ceiling and walls.
The Star of the Sea church had so many visitors coming to call.
Life in Kalapana was so happy; it just kept moving along.
Nothing seemed out of the ordinary; nothing seemed wrong.
Then the volcano came to life, and we saw it all start.
It took all of Kalapana; the greatest loss was the people’s heart.
The lava ran down the steep slopes in such a hurry,
It flowed so freely, with great force and great fury.
It took everything that lay in its path.
The lava buried the heiau and filled in the beautiful Queen's Bath.
It has been said that Kalapana was Pele's; it was hers to make.
Using her lava long ago, the village was hers to take.
The people saved the painted church with its outside all white.
It was moved just in time; it took all of their might.
The lava covered all of the land that existed there.
Gone were all the places Kalapana’s people loved to share.
The memories still live on in every local's heart.
And that is how the healing of a loss has got to start.
Always keep those moments that were so very dear.
In your heart, keep those recollections so very near.
Remember that tropical place where people used to live and play.
Always keep in mind Kalapana of Hawai'i nei.
Patricia Hansen, Kurtistown, Hawai'i
The Worst Thing I Did as a Kid
I lived in Wailua homesteads at the end of Royal Drive when I was young. I had the best horse. You could slide down Duke's neck or back, run through his legs, or hang onto his tail as he ran.
One day while playing cowboy, I tied my gentle playmate Duke to a sawhorse. Something spooked him and he took off running with rope and sawhorse swinging after him. In tears, I ran for my mom and off we went in the car.
We finally caught up to him near the old coconut groves outside of Kapa'a. He was full of cuts and dragging what was left of the sawhorse. Fortunately, his cuts were superficial and he didn't cause any car accidents while running down the highway.
Marilyn MacQueen Santiago
Port Angeles, Wash.