McAvoy Layne
Special to the Bonanza

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August 14, 2012
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Pine Nuts: It was the nicest thing anybody ever did for me

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — One does not forget a nicety, especially when it springs from a well of kindness that expects nothing in return. Such was the case back in the early 80s when a young woman from Molokai asked if I would give my vote to her for the Maui County Council. I said I would support her if she would promise free beer every Friday at five. She smiled, turned on her heel and walked away.

I had a little advertising agency in Kahului at the time and the next morning I got a call from a lady who was looking for help with her political campaign for county council ... it was her. I knew it was her but she had no idea I was the smart--- who had turned her away the day before. Feeling a blush of shame, I asked her about her fledgling campaign, was duly impressed, and offered to help.

Of course when she stepped into my studio to record a radio commercial she did a double-take, recognized me as the jerk she had asked for a vote, and came very near to walking out, but she stayed. I helped her as much as I could with her radio campaign for election, which she won.

At the time, I was training for Maui’s “Run to the Sun,” a footrace from the sea to the summit of Haleakala, ten thousand feet straight up, a daunting challenge. It was most difficult to train for such a climb, for there was nowhere up there on the dead volcano to get water unless you carried it, which I did.

One morning, about a week away from the run up the side of that isolated colossus, I got a call from our new representative on the County Council.

“I understand you’re training for the “Run to the Sun.”

“Yes, I am.”

“Well, I’m reading a good book and have the time to drive up the mountain with water and wait for you at various stops in the shade.”

“You would do that?”

“Yes, I’d like to help ... it’s a demanding run.”

Well, she did perform that generous gesture, and with a smile too. It was probably the nicest thing anybody ever did for me, a kindness I will never forget. I can still see her sitting in my Jeep, in the shade of an umbrella tree, reading. It was a heartwarming sight.

Subsequently, I moved to Incline Village where after 28 slow moving years I would see her smile once again, this time in the Wall Street Journal. She is running for a seat in the United States Senate!

My first impulse was to write her and say, “I’ll move to Hawaii so I can vote for you if you will promise free beer every Friday at five.” But I thought better of it.

Still, I wish her every success in her bid for the Millionaire’s Club, for she is a good hearted woman with a great head for common sense, which the Senate could sorely use right now ... Linda Lingle.

— Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Aug 14, 2012 05:18PM Published Aug 14, 2012 05:18PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.