Friday, May 19, 2017

Reflections on the A to Z Challenge 2017 and FAQs about the "Hookipa Pillbox"



Pictures. Grr. I remember one A-Z Challenge – maybe it was last year – where I was looking for a particular photo for a blog post. I knew I had taken it but couldn’t remember which folder it was located in, or if I had tagged it, or renamed it, and I spent hours looking for this one photo. In the effort to find it, I spent more hours looking for the photo than writing the post and formatting it. A few months later, I found the photo. 

Since then I’ve spent a lot of time naming and organizing photos. It’s not a perfect system, and there are probably things that I still can’t find.  


This year, I had planned to do a very different theme for the A-Z Challenge, but didn’t have enough time to do the research much less the writing! As April loomed closer, I realized I had several dozen photos of street art, graffiti, random painted words, vanity plates, and stickers on signs, and that I might have enough to get 26 letters of the alphabet. Originally I planned to give them all equal treatment, but as I sifted through photos, decided to feature an old WWII bunker facing the highway along Maui’s north shore.

My husband calls it the Hookipa pillbox, since it’s located near Hookipa Beach, a famous windsurfing spot. I’ve shared several murals or street art paintings of this pillbox in other posts, but was planning to one day do a few posts chronologically, showing all the photos I had taken in one particular year. 

One day. Ha. That’s in the big pile of “somedays” and “one days” and “in the future.”

The pillbox is highly visible, though only for a few seconds driving at the speed limit, and you still have to be paying attention or you’ll miss it, it’s become something of a community bulletin board. People share rants, birthday greetings, philosophical musings, graffiti, or beautiful art on this wall. It’s located close to the ocean, in a field of grazing cows. Those cows have a multi-million dollar view.  The private landowner doesn’t seem to mind that people trespass across his cow field to paint their art or sign. Occasionally people climb the fence to explore or go fishing.

Here’s a quick video of how it looks from the car:



If the video above doesn't show up, the link is: https://youtu.be/r9aulLNxaak

Some frequently asked questions based on comments:

Who paints the murals? Seems like anyone with the gumption and enough paint.

How long does each paint job last? Sometimes only a few days, sometimes for weeks or months. My friend said the ham radio club once painted a mural that lasted for 8 months.

How do you get permission? Well, it seems that most people don’t bother to get permission from the land owner, but once a year, the ham radio club hosts a radio field day and receives official permission to camp there overnight and repaint the pillbox.  If anyone wanted to contact the landowner, you would have to look up the parcel on the Maui tax map records, find the owner’s name and address and then write them a letter. 

How big is it? Hmmm, well, maybe 12 feet high by 20 feet long? I’m not the best at measuring.

Why did it ever become so popular? I don’t know. Here’s a random theory: in Hawaii, billboards are illegal. Some decades ago, a group of civic-minded residents decided they wanted to protect Hawaii’s natural beauty from big signs and billboards, so they successfully passed a law to prohibit them. Even today, you’ll see some sun-dazed individual standing outside all day holding signs for a store event, car wash, or big sale as the cars zoom by. This empty wall was perfectly located for constant traffic in a state without any billboards. 

Why was there a building there to begin with? It used to be a WWII communications station, and it’s still communicating to the world! 


Is there a telephone pole next to the building? Yes, or an electric pole, though I don’t think there is any service to the building.

Well, this is probably the longest A-Z challenge post I’ve written this year. For the first time ever, I was able to keep my posts fairly short. Also, I made a real effort to post one photo on Instagram for each day of the challenge.  I looked for #azchat on twitter, which I’ve always enjoyed. I did appreciate that #Storydam hosted their chats on Thursdays.
                                                      
Thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting and for the hosts for organizing another wild April challenge. Here’s the part where I say I should have done more blog hopping and commenting, but the truth is, I always feel I should have done and could do more blog hopping and commenting. In a way, it was a relief to not have the sign-up list this year. I won't make any promises about doing more blog hopping or follow up.  If I manage to write a blog post a month, that'll be a big win. 

By the way, AAA Hawaii has a photo contest of a landscape or still life from Hawaii, with great prizes. Entry deadline is May 31.

Visit more posts in the Archives including other A-Z Challenge posts. If you enjoy this piece, consider signing up for a monthly-ish newsletter for insider tidbits about Maui.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Keep Calm and Wash On - Coping with the Fear of Rat Lungworm Disease


 
Keep Calm and Wash On.
I’m ruthlessly washing lettuce leaves, checking each leaf, massaging it in running water, turning it over, washing it again. Washing the base of the leaf, and removing any brown spots or spoiled edges, then washing it again for good measure.
                                                           
Maybe there’s a room in purgatory where people like me wash lettuce leaves endlessly, trying to wash off any traces of slug or snail slime or even baby slugs. “No time for slime” is one of the catch phrases for preventing rat lungworm disease, which can be contracted by eating contaminated produce.

Maybe I shouldn’t be eating local lettuce. Maybe I’m risking my life. Maybe it’s hysteria. Maybe

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Zane and Zozo - Street Art

Zane and the octopus - birthday greeting at the Hookipa pillbox, 8/8/2013. The side wall say "Happy F--king Birthday! Love you beautiful."

Prom Zozo? Would you say yes? You can say that this question was painted over a birthday greeting, "Happy 18th Julesy!" It's interesting to have the wall painted over and over again.  Photo taken 3/27/15. There's another prom proposal in the Q post.
My theme this year is “Signs, Stickers, Street Art, and Graffiti on Maui.” As a departure from my A to Z Challenge posts in previous years, the blog posts have been very short. To read more about my theme and how I interpreted it, visit here


Many of these photos depict a structure from WWII, a concrete building that used to be an old communications station. It’s visible from the highway near Hookipa, a famous windsurfing spot.  Although the pillbox is located on private land, it has become something of a community message board, and is painted and repainted with greetings, signs, random pictures and graffiti. I think of it as the Hookipa pillbox – if you google “WWII pillbox, ” you’ll see similar structures.

If you are participating in the A to Z Challenge, please use either Disqus or Facebook to comment below. Please include your link so that I can visit you back, and I will try to check my spam folder as well. 

Question for commenters: If you were painting a sign or a greeting on the pillbox, what would you paint? 

Visit more posts in the Archives. If you enjoy this post, consider signing up for a monthly-ish newsletter for insider tidbits about Maui.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Yin Yang Street Art and Yield Stickers

Yin and yang, hearts and cows! Free range cows on the bluff at the Hookipa pillbox. Photo taken 5/7/14. This street art was painted over a Charli Scott memorial.

Yin yang symbol from a different vantage. Lots of hearts. Another version of this mural was posted earlier, under the U post.
Yield street sign, covered in stickers. Street signs, especially north shore or at beach parks are often slathered with stickers. Here is the "Maui Family" sticker that was mentioned in an earlier post in this series.


My theme this year is “Signs, Stickers, Street Art, and Graffiti on Maui.” As a departure from my A to Z Challenge posts in previous years, the blog posts have been very short. To read more about my theme and how I interpreted it, visit here


Many of these photos depict a structure from WWII, a concrete building that used to be an old communications station. It’s visible from the highway near Hookipa, a famous windsurfing spot.  Although the pillbox is located on private land, it has become something of a community message board, and is painted and repainted with greetings, signs, random pictures and graffiti. I think of it as the Hookipa pillbox – if you google “WWII pillbox, ” you’ll see similar structures.

If you are participating in the A to Z Challenge, please use either Disqus or Facebook to comment below. Please include your link so that I can visit you back, and I will try to check my spam folder as well.

Visit more posts in the Archives. If you enjoy this post, consider signing up for a monthly-ish newsletter for insider tidbits about Maui. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Xmas and Xavier - Street Art

Stoner Santa? Painted at the Hookipa pillbox Photo taken 12/11/16. Was it painted by Jade? Why does Santa have spiral eyes? What's he been smoking? Is he tired from too many presents? What do you think?
Had to censor this one. Sorry. It's a unicorn peeing on a Xmas tree, and the graphic depiction wasn't appropriate for all ages. Do you like Christmas or the holidays? Do you think they suck? Photo taken 12/16/13 at the Hookipa pillbox.
Hidey-ho! A Southpark-inspired greeting by Mr. Hanky to Trish for Christmas. Photo taken 12/25/13.
Happy Birthday Xavier, nicely colored with "I love you" in Spanish. Photo taken 8/22/15.


My theme this year is “Signs, Stickers, Street Art, and Graffiti on Maui.” As a departure from my A to Z Challenge posts in previous years, the blog posts will be very short. To read more about my theme and how I interpreted it, visit here.

If you are participating in the A to Z Challenge, please use either Disqus or Facebook to comment below. Please include your link so that I can visit you back, and I will try to check my spam folder as well.

Visit more posts in the Archives. If you enjoy this post, consider signing up for a monthly-ish newsletter for insider tidbits about Maui.