Regarding "My Own Private Paradise" (March 1):
What an enjoyable article written by Jerry Hulse about his six-month visit to the island of Kauai as he contemplates his future.
I know one thing for certain, Jerry: Retirement is a shortcut to the grave. You have far too much talent and lust for life to spend the rest of your days attending "Paralyzer Parties" at the Tahiti Nui. You have a wonderful way with words, and your readers are transported to your destination and enjoy your experiences.
Corona del Mar
I was delighted to see Hulse's name in print again after a long absence, and to read his article "My Own Private Paradise."
As a longtime reader of the Times Travel section and an admirer of his many fine articles and pictures, I wanted to thank you for bringing him back last Sunday.
I, too, like Hulse, left L.A. (after quitting my job) and left this dysfunctional city, with its crowded freeways, and moved to Hawaii--Maui, where I built a house at Hamoa Beach and dropped out of society. James Michener, in his book "South Pacific," called Hamoa the most beautiful beach in the South Pacific.
I took a job as "beach coordinator" (a glorified beach boy) and lived in Hamoa in quiet splendor for 12 years. I sold the house at that time due to illness and returned to the mainland.
I know what Jerry means when he talks about the mysticism of the islands. There's a certain inner glow that one experiences in the islands. My advice to Jerry is to buy the condo and stay there, far from the madding crowd.
My husband and I took a six-day vacation on Kauai in January. Both of us had been to Hawaii before. We stayed at a nice condominium, drove around most of the island and took a helicopter trip and also an inland tour. Like Jerry, we enjoyed the myna birds and wild chickens. There are also some beautiful beaches.
But that one road Jerry mentions--the island's only major highway--is totally crowded with tourists, making for a snail's pace much of the time. To get on this road from our condo sometimes took 10 minutes of waiting. When I mentioned to the manager that a traffic light might be helpful, she replied, "Oh no, we do not want any more development!"
Working-class people have a hard time making it because businesses and landowners are so greedy. The grocery stores have inferior quality at very high prices. If Jerry stays, he should shop at the farmers market in Kapaa. There are some good buys.
We were quite happy to leave "paradise."
If Jerry is so enthralled with Kauai, maybe he should check out the coastal areas down here in Orange County. We like it here.
Opening the Travel section for March 1, I thought I had gone to travel-readers' heaven.
Even though Jerry Hulse is enjoying a well-earned retirement in Kauai, I would hope The Times would prevail upon him to do more than just an occasional article. No one can turn a descriptive phrase like he can.
Kauai sounds beautiful, healthy, sleepy and delightful. Hulse's dilemma is whether to retire there or come back to good old L.A. Please do let us hear from him again about his choice.
Palos Verdes Estates
Editor's note: Jerry Hulse still hasn't made up his mind. He will give up his Kauai condo at the end of March and head for Switzerland, where he plans to climb the Matterhorn. Afterward, he is considering spending six months of the year in Kauai, and the other six months in Los Angeles near his family.