Heading up the Mamalahoa Highway, for no better reason than it was there to explore, we stopped at the Keauhou Store, for no better reason than we wanted a bottle of water and it was open.
We parked, walked in, and had stepped back in time. Not only was the interior of the store, and much of the mechandise on the shelves, exactly as it must have been way back when (a robe had an original $4 price tag on it) also we were greeted by a woman who exuded the charm and warmth that goes with traditional aloha. This lady turned out to be Thea Brown.
We left with fruit, cookies, post cards, and the certainty that we'd be back the next time we visited the Big Island --- oh yes, the bottle of water too.
If you're looking for the sorts of gems too small, too unigue, too out-of-the-way for tour busses to hit and which exist primarily for local residents, not tourists, this should be at the top of your list. While we were there a number of customers came in, all known to Thea by their first name, and all were friendly to us invading mainlanders, and Canadians to boot.
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