June 19, 2008
This week, I spent a tremendous amount of time with people.
To many of you, this probably seems like a strange and rather boring statement, but hear me out.
By nature, I'm kind of a hermit. Sure, I like a good party every now and then, but when I have the choice, most of the time I'd rather sit at home with a trashy novel and pair of fuzzy slippers.
But this week, because sometimes my job forces me into the public eye, I got out. A lot.
Last night, while I was in the shower stressing over what I would write about this week, I realized that I got up close and personal with very different "types" of people, people that don't run in the same circles and may go their entire lives never really knowing about each other.
I'll admit to being delirious at the time, but it dawned on me that it was an interesting thought that on this teeny tiny island of Maui that we call home, there are cliques of people–normal, everyday people in their groups–that are so very different from each other, that have one thing in common. They read my column.
Before you roll your eyes toward heaven while thinking that Starr Begley's gotten too big for her britches, try to understand that the point I'm getting at isn't that I'm fabulous (although it's a nice thought) but that whether we're rich or poor, Republican or Democrat, Christian or atheist, we're kind of interested in the same things.
Like I said in my cover story this week, I spent a lot of time in Lahaina on Friday, sitting under the Banyan Tree, talking with people there that knew Phillip Prais. I started talking to a man named Larry Dille who, bless his heart, got teary when he realized that I was Restless Native.
He admitted that it took him a while to warm up to me, but said that he reads my column every week and loves it. I don't know Larry's whole life story, but I can tell you that it's a colorful one spanned across the country. His life's been filled with music, family, bull riding and lots of other cool stuff. I'm sure, like everyone, his life's been peppered with hurt and trouble too. But, Larry didn't seem like someone who focuses on the negative.
Talking with him touched my heart. He was so endearing and I think I'll always smile when I think about Larry Dille, the kind sixty-year-old guy with the sparkling eyes that I met under the Banyan Tree.
On the flip side, I also spent time this week with folks who made it out to The Taste of Ko and the Taste of Wailea for the Maui Film Festival. Talk about a different crowd. I won't get into how beautiful the setting was, or how scrumptious and extravagant the food and drinks were, but believe me when I say that everything was perfect and straight out of a fairy tale.
The difference was the people.
No, I'm not saying they were mean or even cold people there. Everyone was pleasant, but nowhere did I find the raw human emotion and honesty that I felt talking with the people of the Banyan Tree.
There were a lot of beautiful dresses and great shoes, though.
It's just that I didn't meet anyone that I felt compelled to hug (except Dennis Quaid, but was afraid that I'd be arrested for stalking). Granted, in Wailea, I don't think that I was projecting the "Hug me" vibe either. But, under the Banyan Tree there was a lot of hugging going on.
Let's face it. There are different types of people out there. The challenge is finding our similarities.
But, while leaving the Taste of Wailea, I did meet a film festival volunteer who actually squealed when I told her my name. "Oh my gawd! I can't believe it's you!" she said. "I love your rag. You're column is great, and I know columns."
I take it back, I did hug her.
Starr Begley would probably benefit from a Valium. MTW
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