UNFINISHED DOCUMENTARY, STATE OF GRACE | Mid-1970s
Interviewee: DOMINIC NARCISSE
I was surprised as anyone when I learned that my great aunt had inherited the Milakale property in Hawaii. She used to tell me stories when I was young about her childhood friend and the crazy way that she came to live on a sugar plantation.
You know, Aunt Luci lived out there with her for a time. This was around the turn of the century, I believe. She never talked about why she left. Maybe it was island fever. I can’t imagine how remote it was back in those days.
Luci lived in this beautiful house up on Fillmore over by Alta Plaza Park. I used to play there when my dad would visit her. I was nervous about her living in that big place by herself, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. She used to have this hippie come and do odd jobs. Aunt Luci was very headstrong. If she wanted derelicts coming up from the Haight and tramping through her house, well, that’s what was going to happen. I shouldn’t speak ill of Fred, though. He really had a knack. He also never tried to take advantage of Luci, either, at least until he got over to Hawaii, that is.
Interviewee: CHARLIE DANGER
A lot of surfers didn’t know about the break at Milakale. It was kind of remote in those days and the road going in was a real hot mess. You could make it with a 4×4, but I used to drop right in with the chopper and land in the open courtyard. There was a path down to the beach that was constantly getting overgrown so I had to carry a machete along with my board. It was usually worth the trouble, though.
Another benefit of being able to get above the trees was that I could see the break before I had to chop my way down to it. If the wind was makai, or toward the ocean, it would help smooth out the faces of the waves offshore and keep their lips up. There were plenty of crunchers out there—I think the bottom drops away pretty quickly—but when the wind was just right and I had the break line to myself, it was paradise, man.
As far as Milakale itself, I didn’t hang around the grounds too much. Out of necessity, I had developed a bit of a sixth sense back in ’Nam, and I had learned the hard way to pay attention to it. Whenever I dropped onto the property, I always had the weird feeling of being watched. From time to time I would do a quick recon just to make sure that no one was going to mess with the chopper, but I never saw anybody … or anything, for that matter.
All of the outbuildings that once housed the plantation workers were completely falling apart but the big house always looked to be in pretty good shape; almost like it was protected from the elements somehow. I don’t know when it was last lived in, but when Zongo made his way up there he said it was almost like the house had been waiting for him.
Keep in mind that Zongo smokes a lot of weed.