Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kimo (Jimmy) is gone

I am devasted to the depths of my soul by the loss of my very special friend, Jimmy Millikin, who I was so fortunate to visit on Maui just last month. He succumbed to the horrible injuries he received when fire raced thru his old plantation house two weeks ago. I can't imagine the world without him.

His daddy and mine were best buds from The War. We were little kids together in Hawaii. This photo was taken at my birthday party in 1950. I'm wearing the lei and he's the littlest tyke - and he loved to tease me about being 'the older woman' in his life. My family left the Islands when I was just five, but I spent much of the summer with his after I graduated from high school. Jimmy gave me my first surfing lessons.

We stayed in close touch thru the years, when I moved back to Honolulu, and even more in the last 20 or so. He was doing some business on the Mainland (the Badlands, as he called the contiguous 48) while I was building my little house in the country in southern Arizona, and he visited often to lend a helping hand. Jimmy was one of the very rare men who could see something that needed to be done and would actually do it without being asked! I've never known another like him!

He opened my mind to many things - among them, the psychic possibilities of the mind beyond simple reason, which he had learned traveling in the Far East. He expanded my joy of cooking, by wild experimentation, almost always successful!

He was 'of the Old School' where his word and his handshake were a bond. He was of the earth, the 'aina' in Hawaiian, and nurtured Mother Nature's offerings. He could read he skies, the sea, the creatures.

Jimmy was an extremely private person, hated to have his picture taken, and I don't think any one person knew much of the entire man. He was incredibly charismatic and could get along in any setting . . . which is probably why he could just laugh, and later share the story, when I left him to fend for himself crossing the Mexican border on one visit - Jimmy was very tan, swarthy even, with longish black hair and a bushy mustache, and could easily pass for a latino (until he opened his mouth), so the border patrol folks were VERY skeptical when he claimed to be from Hawaii!

He offered his respect to all people's choices. He traveled a lot, and one of his greatest joys was to 'go holo holo' - hop in a car, a boat, a plane, and go off on a new adventure, big or small.

I was lucky to have shared a part of his life, and I miss him desperately already.

Aloha, my friend.

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