A City That Is Very Dear

Frances Silverwood and David Lindeman
used my home, Pacific Heights,
in their 1919 song, “Honolulu I Am Coming Back Again.”

Commissioned to compose it, their mission was
to promote tourism to the Hawaiian Islands.
They were successful.
Tourists came.

I have lived in this neighborhood for six decades now,
and much has changed.  But you can still,
as they noted way back then,
see the city lights. Honolulu is
much brighter at night than it was
when they wrote their famous tune.
There are more buildings, more street lamps, more vehicles.
It’s an ocean of light with the coming of night.

I wonder how many more decades I’ll be around?
Every time I hear that song, I long for Pacific Heights
even though I’m right here.
Perhaps it’s a premonitory instinct,
the nostalgic pull this place will have for my soul
when I’m gone, like Silverwood and Lindeman are gone,
singing into eternity about how they’d like to return,
those ghosts who sold us so well to the world.

Post pandemic, we have even more tourists
than were coming before Covid shut us down.
Silverwood and Lindeman, bless them,
earned every penny they were paid
to convince the world to come here.

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