Grandpa hoisted me onto the riding lawnmower letting me steer across the patch of spiky low-cropped grass near the house. The stubble lawn was the Waianae putting green where Grandpa demonstrated his golf stance, legs hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. His golf club grip was a perfect V between thumb and a forefinger stump, the top cut off in a train car accident at the sugar plantation decades before. My small, slender fingers couldn’t master the proper grip by my grandfather’s rough hands.
       I rarely noticed his injury. Grandpa played golf as he did his Gibson guitar, with an easy grace. His fingers danced up and down the frets, while his right hand lightly fanned the chords, the pick balancing between his thumb and forefinger stump. On these nights of music, Grandpa’s high laugh and slow Visayan accent blended with the sound of crickets. "Jes' like pine-AH-pul" was his superlative for pure delight, food especially. "Honeygirl, you like da cow juice?" he would ask as I drank a glass of milk. He loved to recall me as an infant. “You slep’ on my ches’,” he proclaimed slapping his hand against his heart. I sought the crush of his hug and a rough kiss on the cheek, his lips pressed thin and tight, more beard stubble than tenderness.
       Grandpa often lay on a twin bed in the TV room, the middle part of the house sandwiched between the kitchen and the sliding glass doors. It smelled of


menthol Bengay rubbed onto sore muscles. TV golf commentators droned in the background. Grandpa savored his singular pleasure with closed eyes--fresh mango and vanilla ice cream. As he dipped the spoon slowly into a bowl of orange and white, it was the only time I saw that look of full, complete satisfaction. Although the golf on TV sent me into more interesting parts of the house, I still wanted to be near Grandpa, his sleepy eyes becoming slits in the heat of the afternoon.<next>