John Heckathorn Reports...


(page 4 of 9)

Next to the high-tech tiki torch is an 8,200-square-foot restaurant called The Black Orchid. The Black Orchid is going to be the fanciest of the Restaurant Row tenants, a continental restaurant owned by a group from Nick’s Fishmarket and a “movie star” whom Beall absolutely refuses to name. “Please don’t say anything,” begs Beall.

I’m guessing here, but: “The Black Orchid” was the title of one of Magnum’s most popular episodes, leading me to believe that the celebrity behind the restaurant is none other than Tom Selleck—who, after all, will be out of work after this season. [Heckathorn’s guess turned out to be correct.]


On the State’s Handling of Child Abuse

“The Child Abuse Mess,” October 1988

In dealing with child abuse, we are currently spending millions without tackling the source of the problem. At CPS [Child Protective Services] we are burning out well-intentioned social workers at a rate we cannot afford—and we are losing the battle. Now that CPS is 20 years old, it is starting to see its second generation of clients: Girls who were removed from abusive homes are now mothers, and CPS is being forced to remove their children.


On Cell Phones

“My Three Weeks as a Yuppie,” Afterthoughts, March 1989

I’ve always hated people with cellular phones. I’d see somebody making a call in a car or a restaurant and think pretentious yuppie swine. Then Honolulu Cellular Telephone Co. offered to loan me one of their $1,000 phones for three weeks. … I wish I could say I refused out of principle. Instead, I rushed down and got it before they changed their minds. [Heckathorn describes the joys of the phone and its inevitable return.] …

Only 1 percent of Oahu’s population has a cellular phone. Now that I’m back among the 99 percent—I hate to say this, but I miss the damn thing.


In ’94, Heckathorn wrote about his own family experience with the hapa phenomenon, including daughters Paige and Mallory.

On Hawaii’s Hapa Phenomenon

“Colors,” Foreword, December 1994

My wife and I have two daughters, one brown, one white. It’s one of those accidents of genetic roulette. My wife is hapa—half-haole, half-Japanese. My older daughter, Mallory, looks far more Japanese than her mother, especially in the summer when she turns a deep caramel from the sun.

“How come she’s so brack?” her Japanese grandmother asked last summer. My wife broke it to her gently: Since the child’s other three grandparents were all white bread—German, Dutch, that sort of thing—she was the only possible source.

My younger daughter on the other hand, is fairer than anyone in my family—except possibly my middle brother, who gets sunburned through a T-shirt. Ironically, she’s the spitting image of her hapa mother, except that she looks German.

I’m so used to this disparity, I hardly notice it. But it came up for me when I read Susan Yim’s insightful article, “Hapa in Hawaii,” which you’ll find in this issue.

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Honolulu Magazine September 2018
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