By the third day of lagoon swimming Calista had managed to swim out as far as a two and a half from Johnson Island, and Harmony, visiting the other bodies that existed within the atoll: Akau, Hikina, and Sand Islands. Like most of Johnson Islands, the other three were man-made, created from dredged coral. Calista needed to sit on the north shore of Sand Island as she didn’t believe she was strong enough to swim the remaining mile and a half back to her bungalow.
While resting Calista asked Harmony a question that has been on her mind for the last day. “Do you miss the land?”
Harmony gave her mentee a questioning look. “You mean as ‘Do you miss not being able to walk on dry land?'”
“Hum.” She considered the question for a second. “No.”
I still remember the very first night on the job at Hewlett-Packard’s main building “on the hill” in Palo Alto, California. Fewer than half of the fluorescent light fixtures were switched on. The slanted rows of skylights that dominated the ceiling were dark. The only sounds were the voices of the half-dozen or so fellow employees chatting and laughing as we all awaited the arrival of the shift supervisor.
The fresh experience of working overnights was something I anticipated with a mixture of curiosity and delight. I looked forward to merging into the nighttime culture of what was not yet known as “Silicon Valley”. This is my most vivid memory of the summer of 1974.
My great-uncle Ivan was the coffee man at a different H.P. plant in Palo Alto–Building 17. He recommended that I apply for work at his company because he had heard they were hiring. Ivan said…