And no, I’m not being either ironic or sarcastic. This morning, I had a great experience at the Kihei office of the County of Maui Department of Motor Vehicles. I was there to get a copy of my truck’s Certificate of Title (I accidentally shipped off the original with a bunch of books last week) so that I can put my vehicle on a Matson freighter this Friday. Not sure if you’ve heard, but I’m moving to Sacramento, California May 13. There are a variety of reasons for this, but mostly it comes down to the fact that there are more news writing opportunities for me in California than here. There’s a beautiful woman and the phrase “hopelessly in love with” (as in, “I’m hopelessly in love with this beautiful woman”) involved, but no one really wants to hear anything about that…
Anyway, I’m at the DMV, and the nice woman named Ann calls my number and I go sit at her counter. I tell her I’m there to get a duplicate title for my truck, and she asks for my truck’s license plate number and my name, which I give her.
“Are you the writer?” she asks after hearing my name.
I’m flabbergasted. I haven’t had anything published on Maui in a year, and yet she clearly, unmistakably recognized me from my time as editor of Maui Time Weekly. She was sad to hear that I’m leaving, but happy for me, if that makes any sense.
Walking out, I was struck by how that’s exactly the kind of thing I’ll miss when I’m gone. Yes, Maui can be exasperating (spending years watching the Kealia Boardwalk finished but not open to the public because a stupid, tiny parking lot hasn’t been built yet is one example; seeing local and state officials congratulate themselves over finishing the expansion of seven-mile-long Mokulele Highway from two lanes to four, despite the fact that it took $87 million and six years to do the work, is another) but the island remains small and quaint enough that a person can still have a pleasant encounter in, of all places, the DMV.
I told Ann that she made my day. It’s absolutely true.