I grew up with Mark Medeiros, and he was dangerous. I'm glad he was my friendly neighbor and was always on my side.

One Saturday morning, Mark and I were walking down Ala Moana, headed for the beach. Just as we turned the corner into the park, past McWayne Marine Supply, three teenagers confronted us.

“Eh, you get money,” inquired the short, squeaky voiced one. He was holding in his fist what looked like a knitting needle. He moved it in such a way that the sharp point shaped tiny circles in the air. I guess he was planning to stab us with it if we didn’t hand over the cash.

Mark stopped slightly ahead of me on the sidewalk. I could see his face turn rock-hard. I looked at the three highjackers. They were smiling.

“Eh, you heard me?” came the rat-like guy’s weird little voice again.

Mark had to tilt his head back to address the biggest moke. “Tell your friend to beat it.” He paused. “And you can go with him.”

The big moke elbowed the other almost as big moke and they both laughed. They were high. Paint was popular back then.

The James Cagney leader of the pack held the long spike up to Mark’s cold face. I think he was about to repeat himself when Mark broke his wrist. The motion was a swift clench and turn. In a matter of seconds, the other two were down on the sidewalk.

Mark picked up the long needle, stepped around the bodies, and strolled toward the beach. “Come on Lanning,” he said, beckoning me to follow.

I stood stunned. “Geez, Mark, shouldn’t we get outta here? What if they come after us? What if they go get their boys?"

Mark laughed out loud. “No worry, Lanning, no worry.” He tossed the spike into the canal. He stopped laughing. His voice sounded strange. “I hope they do.”

Mahalo for reading!

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