Recently, I heard the familiar Hawaii Five-O theme music on TV and my mind superimposed a camera zooming in on Steve McGarret (Jack Lord) where he stood on a balcony of the Ilikai Hotel. The show first aired in 1968, but I don’t recall seeing it until 1970. When we finally saw the show, Jim and I were excited to recognize the Y shape of the Illikai.
In December 1969 we spent our honeymoon at the Illikai. We married while Jim was on R&R from Vietnam. The Hawaii in the early episodes of Hawaii Five-O, is a time warp showing Hawaii during the same era we were there.
Each week, we watched, keeping an eye out for familiar places. One time they showed the inside of a room at the Illikai. Maybe it was a movie set, but they replicated the room perfectly. I don’t recall seeing any chalk lines in the shape of a body in the room we had, so I don’t think it was the same exact one.
We saw Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Koko Head, Waikiki Beach other familiar hotels week after week. It was almost like a treasure hunt. Jim, who grew up traveling, could always recognize the landmarks immediately. Sometimes, I took some convincing or waited for the characters had to mention where they were.
With the new Hawaii Five-O, I probably won’t see many places I recognize, especially without Jim to point them out. But the music will bring back visions of Jack Lord and of a young couple just beginning life together walking hand-in-hand through the lobby of the Illikai hotel headed toward the beach. As soon as the theme song ends, I can close my eyes and hear “Jingle Jangle” and remember warm sand beneath my feet and the promise of sunshine on my face.
Copyright © September 2010 L. S. Fisher