Friday, September 19, 2008
Many years in the month of March my husband and I found ourselves on the beautiful island of Maui.
And many times, in those many Marches, we found ourselves at the Sacred Hearts School festival in Lahaina, supporting the local parish school with its annual fundraiser, where we went to eat local food, listen to local musicians, get chair massages, buy silliness and seriousness, and participate in the silent auction. It was always a good time.
Rows and rows of picnic tables lined up behind the church next to tends of food provided by local restaurants and merchants, island food, served island style, and accompanied by island music. We always met the most interesting people at those tables.
One year, we sat down in an empty space at a table across from a man in a crocheted cap, with two little girls. One was obviously his daughter, and the other, apparently was her friend. They were gracious, warm and friendly. We sat and visited about the school. The daughter attended there, with her friend, and the dad was along to support.
At some point in the conversation, it somehow seemed appropriate to ask him about himself, what he did for a living.
His daughter snickered. "What does he do?" she replied, giggling, as though I should know. "He's Marty Dread!"
He suddenly stood up and removed his cap. Dreadlocks cascaded to his shoulders, and he shook his head.
That was how we came to meet Marty Dread. He was performing at the fundraiser, with his band, later that evening, a very famous (although we didn't previously know it) Hawaiian reggae performer in the spirit of Bob Marley, and a Rastafarian who sent his daughter to Catholic school and supported the school and the local community.
We stayed to hear him sing, and he was glorious. We went out next day and bought his CDs so we could have his music with us when we returned to the mainland.
Now, when we return to Maui, we go to the Hard Rock Cafe on Front Street in Lahaina on Monday nights, where Marty Dread can be found performing with his band when he's not touring elsewhere. And we remember that great night so many years ago when we first met him over some mixed plate, with a couple of little giggling girls.