Pine nuts: The Return of Lahaina Town

McAvoy Layne / Columnist

The intrepid Kathy Collins, who has always been Maui personified, recommended “The Hawaii Community Foundation Maui Strong Fund,” for much needed Maui relief. So with a lump in my throat, and a heavy heart for Lahaina I sent my heartfelt support.  

I was granted a stroll through history while living on Maui from 1973-83 and hosting a morning radio show that included remote broadcasts from iconic Lahaina Town. To benefit the Maui United Way, I published a paperback book, Zowie It’s Maui, the Halcyon years ’73-’83.   

Mark Twain told us back in 1866, “The Sandwich Islands are one long slumbering Sabbath. The good who die there experience no change, for they fall asleep in one heaven and wake up in another.” Our hearts and dollars go out to those who lost a loved one, a pet, a home, a place of business, and for some, all of the above… 

It will take years, but Lahaina will come back faster than any other town its size could ever muster. The society I knew there was composed of wild, free, unspeakably happy souls, who laughed at poverty while having a noble good time in all weathers, though they never expected a fire. And why would they? Lahaina was lush and green until climate change, sugar, and the tourist industry sucked up the water, and Maui was transmogrified from sacred pools to savanna, from mangos to matchsticks. How tragic. 

Among the things I carried with me when I moved to Tahoe in ’83 was a listing of early house rules at the Pioneer Inn… 


There was always something distinct about Lahaina, as if they had a sign at the town border, “Check your cares and inhibitions here, and fill-up your heart with cheer & charity.”

With her noble spirit of Ohana, Lahaina will be back better than ever, and I’m making it a goal to live long enough to bear witness to that heroic return…

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