Monday, June 25, 2007


Colorful Characters of Maui

Yesterday my partner called me very excited. He had talked to a man we have seen hitchhiking around Maui for many, many years. We've nicknamed him "The Stovepipe Man" because he wears a tall black stovepipe hat. He has become our Maui mystery-man, and this serendipitous meeting has answered some, not all, of our questions.

Mystery man is very frail with legs like pipe cleaners. How he managed to get around without getting pounded-on or in trouble seemed like a miracle to us. And now we know: my partner found out that indeed he does get beat-up, and he's had all his teeth knocked out on one ocassion plus other not-so-pleasant encounters.

Second, he GETS around. We've seen him hitchhiking all over the island, not just in one area. He shared that not only does he get around Maui, but that once every year, he travels to hitchhike all the Hawaiian Islands.

Third, I decided to write him into my book, and thus in my book, he's the black sheep nephew of a famous fashion designer and an 'agent provacateur' always appearing at the right moment. He told my partner that the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq is his uncle, and that's why he didn't like to reveal his real name--just like my character.

The mysterious hat is NOT a stovepipe hat according to him, but his Abraham Lincoln hat.

He had his bag with him as he was leaving Maui because Maui is too hot in the summer for him. Will he return in the fall with the whales and resume hitchhiking like my character-- showing up at the perfect surreal moment?

Checking out the spelling for hitchhiker, I see that it's spelled two ways: hitchiker and hitchhiker. I guess both are correct. If you know more about the spelling, let me know.

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I'll have to keep my eye out for him next time I'm there.

I like it with two "h"'s myself, as in hitchhiker. It looks weird to me with only one.
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