Monday, January 26, 2009

Terry Fitzgerald's charmed life

Terry Fitzgerald has long been one of the Devil Dogs favorite people in Kona, if not on the planet. Terry is one of the original coffee pioneers, leasing four acres of rain forest in Honaunau in 1971 and restoring an overgrown coffee plantation, turned it into idyllic, award winning coffee farm that was one of the earliest single vineyard estate coffees.  He won the Gevalia Cup, as we have noted, in 1997, and more than that, he embodies the free spirited hippy types (tho he has always been more Kerouac than hippy), who restored Kona Coffee. Terry's house is largely built of Koa planking, especially the floors, and he has long lived the part of the wise avuncular man on the mountain.  But a few years ago Terry met Susie in China, and they married, and she came to Hawaii, where they had their beautiful son Sonny.  Now I have known Terry a long time but I have never seen him as happy as in his current domestic bliss, and Susie is as cool as she is amazing, but it is Sunny who has transformed the plantation in the sky where they live.  Thats Terry and Susie and Sonny in the picture above.

The Da Kine Coffee Farm is a wonderland, of course, for a little boy, and all the neighbors know and adore Sonny.  In the picture above we see Sonny leading the way down a path between two swaths of coffee trees, Terry close behind.  In a way of life that hasn't changed in decades, and in a place that is the very definition of unspoiled heaven, Terry has a life that few could imagine. But he works hard too, and Da Kine Coffee remains one of the great Kona Coffee farms, if not the touchstone for those who appreciate the heritage of the individualistic coffee farmer. Thats Terry at the table off his kitchen in the photo below, a man who as much as anyone else has taken his piece of Hawaii and made it emblematic of all that life would hope to be.

No comments: