He grew up in Williamsburg in the 50s.
After his apartment was robbed 3 times in a few weeks, his parents moved him into the projects in Brooklyn.
Then he got a job working at the post office on 34th street in Manhattan. It was winter, and he walked out after his shift, turned on his car, and the heater stopped working.
The next day, he was sorting the mail, and saw a postcard from Hawaii. It looked beautiful, warm, inviting. He remembered the freezing cold NYC winter, he remembered his car with no heat, so he had an idea.
“Can you transfer me to the Hawaii post office please?” he asked his supervisor.
No, his supervisor replied.
“I moved here anyway,” Howie told me.
Here is Howie, living his dream on a 3 acre food forest here in the Big Island of Hawaii. Mangos, papayas, passion fruit, bamboo, greens, and just about everything you can imagine.
He taught me that cucumbers are small yellow flowers before they are long green cucumbers.
I asked him how he learned so much about gardening, planting, harvesting and growing.
“I got my nails under the soil. That’s the only way to learn.”
The same hands that were once on a Hawaii postcard are now under the Hawaiin soil.
Even though Howie’s 34th street supervisor told him no.
Howie told himself yes.
I hope to be more like Howie.
To believe in the power of a postcard, the subtle whispers of the angels, and the hope that paradise can be found when you put your hands in the earth, and one foot in front of the other, one dream at a time.
Keep growing, Howie.