Hawaii Is Different, Even the Time.
The Red Sox were in Detroit today. Game time was 1:00 p.m. back there and that meant 7:00 in the morning here. I was fixing my breakfast when the first pitch was thrown. Now that Daylight Savings Time has returned to most areas of the mainland, there’s a six hour difference between here and the East Coast.
That can be an aggravation, too. By the time I’m up, through with breakfast and ready to begin my day, it’s mid-afternoon in the NARP office back in Washington and there are just a few hours left in their work day. I can’t call someone on the mainland if it’s dinnertime here; most everyone back there will be in bed.
But you know who in Hawaii is most affected by the time difference? Stock brokers. The opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange rings at 9:30 a.m. That’s now 3:30 in the morning here. In the old days—by that I mean before the internet—the conscientious stock brokers would be in their offices when the market opened. A few still are.
The time difference was always a problem for my dad. He was never really sure what time it was here. I think that’s why he rarely called us . . . although maybe that was because I once told him about getting a sales call from Time/Life Books at 4:00 in the morning. That may have intimidated him.
So I usually called them, although certainly not when I first moved here in the early 1960s. Back then, a three minute phone call to the East Coast was about $30. Putting that into perspective, my first job here paid $500 a month. Anyway, for the following fifty years, whenever we spoke on the phone, Dad’s first question was always, “What time is it out there?” I’d tell him and he’d always marvel over that information.
The cost of living was high when I arrived and it still is, especially housing, even if it’s a rental. That was the first dose of reality newcomers got back in the early 60s. People got off the plane expecting to find a cute little place within walking distance of a beautiful beach. Instead they’d end up in a studio apartment overlooking a freeway.
Typically, half of the new arrivals would stick it out for five or six months, then give up and head back to wherever they came from on the mainland. That made it hard for the rest of us because prospective employers were reluctant to spend time and money training us when they knew there was a 50-50 chance we’d be gone in six months. I’ll bet it hasn’t changed much.
I was lucky. I caught a break, got a job, and here I am 55 years later, retired and living on Maui. I still find that hard to believe.