Teetering on the edge of a gloomy Northwest December day, my thoughts turn to November on the Big Island. It’s the day after Veteran’s Day in Hawaii. The Engineer and I are capturing one more 82 degree day of leisurely island roaming. Heading out of Keouhou Bay, we turn right. If we keep going, we will arrive at Volcano National Park and eventually in Hilo. Today’s travels, however, will be more about meandering than arriving. We’ll just be poking around on island time in case you need us.
On the way through Kealakekua, I spot two huge American flags flying from the veranda of an antique store. I also notice a big ice cream sign. Something about best ice cream on the island catches my eye. Right now there are too many cars parked in front for a good photo. Mental note. Stop on the return trip. Those flags would make a great image. Ice cream might be attractive, too.
We meander–but that is another story–and upon our return we stop, almost missing the antique shop aka ice creamery. The flags have been removed. Disappointment best describes the mood of the photographer.
Oh well. Let’s go in and order ice cream. The place is crazy full of everything old and imaginable that could find its way to the islands. We wander among Marilyn Monroe posters and Japanese pottery and island shirts, poking around and peering behind bric a brac and baseball caps on dusty shelves. Nothing particular strikes our fancy so we head for the ice cream counter at the rear of the store.
We make our choices and wander out to the veranda to settle into matching wood benches pulled up to an old 1950s style kitchen table.
I lament that I did not get to photograph the flags flying in honor of our veterans. My tongue slurps up another mouthful of delicious ice cream. Funny, I do not remember the flavors we ordered–only the transaction that soon unfolded–and the memory that the ice cream is very good.
An old pickup full of junk jerks to a stop in front of the store. The driver shifts into reverse and eases up to the veranda almost at our feet. One grimy looking fellow with a crooked smile jumps out and heads into the store. He returns and begins unloading the truck. We make small talk. Turns out he and his partner cleaned out an old property and reaped the rewards of their findings. Now can they turn it into cash? Let’s watch.
Drum rolls! An impromptu island reality show is about to begin.
The proprietor saunters out and begins to dig through the truck bed making a few depreciating comments as he frowns at the bushel basket of ripe oranges, an anthurium complete with a mass of tangled roots, a Brute garbage can, old Japanese cups and grimy paper labels and political pamphlets. He sneers at the suggestion that he needs an unopened box of Pampers circa 1979.
Rifling and scoffing he roots through the stack of dust covered wannabe treasures.
Let’s peek over his shoulder as he shops the pickup.
The cash is offered.
The guys in the truck whine a bit about how little the shop owner is offering. This is good junk!
The shop owner peers over the top of his readers. Can these guys be serious?
Body language is everywhere. Smiles. Frowns. The twist of the head. The grimace.
The bargaining begins. The ice cream cone is disappearing.
They dicker–$50? I wonder if the shop owner is serious or just generous. Guess I’ll never know.
Happy sellers. I cheered on the sellers. The shop owner wasn’t too happy with me.
But then he made the offer!
When on the Big Island, be sure and stop and indulge in great ice cream and entertainment at the island’s best antique shop, Discovery Antiques. I just hope you aren’t looking to build your collection of 1970s Pampers.
Marlee Huber ~ For Your Flourishing Life!