Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

                Last Sunday, I meandered my way to Moloa’a, with some friends, to listen to music. Lounging on the side of a sloping hill, nestled by the mountain valleys, it truly was a beautiful moment. Which was nice, because I was a little rattled by the cops (cops?) that were standing outside the event. I had definitely seen a few more cops this past year with the unsolved death of Amber Jackson, but I had never seen cops, looking slightly, but not truly, menacing.  I had heard, on the way, that there were cops that had spilled into the Saturday night show, and they there were looking to give tickets. I would almost not mind if the money would go to having a five day school week for the children, assuredly it doesn’t, and I digress.
                I remember my roommate triple checking her parking job, “Am I really not touching the road?”  As I would have too, if I was in fear of being a recipient of the rampant ticketing.  Alas, we all looked at the car from separate angles and agreed it was a good foot away from the asphalt (there was no curb where we were). We walked down and around to the entrance of One Love Farm. I smiled at the cops, hoping. I do not recall getting a smile back. Most of the time I do. My grandfather was a cop. I respect the work they do, but I don’t unaffectedly remember getting a smile back.

                I do remember showing my armband to get in and wanting to keep moving as we heard the walkie talkies going “crrrr” on, and then muted conversations ensued, but the vibe was definitely not friendly. I noticed all of this, because I never saw so many cops at one spot. Not even at the Kapa’a police station, where I had gone once looking for a cop to get some assurance about the unsolved murder.  I don’t want to sling the “where” and “why” of this against the KPD, but it was peculiar seeing that many cops, especially with the state that Kauai’s budget is in right now. But again, I digress.
                So there I was, on the mountain side. Grateful. Behind me, two mothers were nursing. Beside me, four friends -  spanning four decades in age -  were talking; I was soaking it all in. As a transplanted Mainlander from the East Coast, I marveled at the serenity in front of me. There were a few musicians on the stage singing, people dancing, babies playing, sun shining: it was a beautiful celebration.  I turned my attention to my friends and began chatting it up.
                A little while later, the music had stopped, and Dove Liddle, the producer, had started to speak. Actually, he started to cry, “I feel like an outlaw,” he muttered head hung. And I felt much compassion for him.  He informed us that the cops were looking to shut the music down for a noise violation. I was stunned, really. I have been to many concerts. Heck, my neighbors sing their karaoke – every Friday – louder than this concert. I could call the cops on them, my neighbors that is, but I don’t. Because singing makes them happy, I think, and they are always done before ten. It was still daylight as Dove explained, “That they are gathering at the gate…”  and I simply disbelieved what I was hearing.
                But it was true. The cops didn’t storm the stage. They did take away Dove, in handcuffs, for a misdemeanor, which I am not entirely sure is legal. Perhaps someone else is? The music went on, acoustic style. The dancing went on, in solidarity and joy. The babies smiled still, oblivious and safe. Kids sold banana bread and bottled water to help support the bail money to release Uncle Dove.
              Why do I think the caged bird sings? Because he can. Because song is infectious; because music is boundless, and because he believed in what he was doing, and I do too.

Read the Garden Isle's coverage here.


Anonymous said...

WoW ! How accurate and well put !

Kathleen said...

Thank you Kate for giving us all who weren't there, anther piece of vivid imagery. You are a talented writer my dear.

As for the scene. Are we to be surprised? All dressed up and nowhere to go, except to the party. Who wouldn't want to be there? Even the police couldn't resist...until they got there. Did they feel so out of place with their uniforms in that loving environment? Do they just see so much ugly they didn't know what to do sweetness? Perhaps the HomeGrown fest was a safe place for them to practice their anti-terrorist training.

Is it possible that we've over-staffed the force? Over-estimated the need for officers? Or was it just a slow weekend for crime and the police were bored or felt the need to justify their existence.

Seriously people, does the entire fire department show up in force when someone does a back yard burn or has a bon fire?

I first came to Kauai in 1982, I've lived here steady for the past 22 years and in the last 5 or so I've noticed a deterioration in the rational behavior of the police department. I've personally witnessed or been part of 2 situations that I would say were way "over-handled." This latest thing with home grown fest

There is an old saying that goes "the fish rots from the head down." Something is rotten on Kauai and I don't just think its the crooks. How about they start teaching the officers NVC/ Compassionate Communication skills along with everything else? True warriors don't harass the good people of their community.

Something is out of balance. Question is, can those in leadership positions see that and are they courageous enough to make it right? How bad will it have to get?

Wisdom of One said...

I know Kathleen. It really does ask us to take a moment of pause. And then follow the answer....wherever.