Career - Hawaii (1970-78)

Carl arrived on the Hawaiian island of Maui in 1970, after two years of independent travel. The family first heard from Carl after he'd established himself in Hawaii, was gainfully employed and settled. Kate soon visited her dad on Maui, spring 1971, and several times on Oahu. On Maui, Carl served as psychological examiner for Maui School District (October 1970). To be effective in screening students one-on-one, he had to master the local pidgin-English. His adoption of the diction and the tempo of Hawaiian speech made him sound more of a kamaa`ina (local) than people who had lived in the Islands for generations.


Carl soon became a prominent educator on the islands: as the administrator of standardized tests and media spokesperson for the Hawaiian Department of Education in the Honolulu state offices, 1972. Not only did he reform testing services, but he was often quoted in the press and appeared on local television to report data and explain the SAT scores to the public.

Carl was much admired by his staff who enjoyed his sense of humor and management ability, though the workload was massive.

"We wrought hard and fared coarsely." Hawaiian pioneer quote

Whenever Kate visited Carl, he would often share poems and short stories from the New Yorker or from his favorite collection. Some evenings they would read favorite verses aloud, out on the lanai by the light of a flickering lantern. Poetry was a lifelong love as was music. Carl crafted a Zuckermann zither and learned to play its music; he also constructed an ukulele and strummed its songs. Since Carl played by ear and had limited skill in sight reading music, he was free to improvise.


In spite of his artistic sensibilities and career success, Carl led another life after hours. He frequented the notorious Hotel Street nearby and its seedy bars. The lure of liquor, pool halls, street walkers, and what he called "cockroach criminals," reflected the experiences of his youth and Louis Fischer's speakeasy in the '20s. Carl earned a street name, "Silver Fox." We can just imagine Silver Fox, cruising the dark streets of Honolulu, speaking like a native Hawaiian in pidgin, something he enjoyed doing for sheer shock effect: a distinguished-looking haole speaking pidgin.

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