“It’s kismet!” is what Dave said on our wedding day and any other day when asked about how and when he and I had met. I can still picture the look and smile he would give me after that answer. Then, he would proceed to tell “his” account of how I saw him playing beach volleyball and how I fell in love with him at first sight. He’s told that story a thousand times! Of course, I would then have to explain what really happened….
It was 1995 and Dave was on a break from the long hours and stress as general sales manager for a car dealership in New Hampshire. He and his friend, Eric Brooks, decided they would visit Maui for the first time and hang out for a few months. Eric signed up for classes at Maui Community College and also found a part time job in Kihei. Dave on the other hand, spent every day at Kamaole Beach I and the beach volleyball court there became his second home.
I had left my job as office manager at a Maui radio station and was on an extended break. My friend, Renee Akiona Ostrem, was a beach volleyball player and often played at Kamaole Beach. One Saturday afternoon, I decided to stop by and visit Renee while she played volleyball. I stayed for about an hour and left. The next day, I stopped by Renee’s apartment and she said a guy who’s visiting from the East Coast asked about me. She handed me a little piece of paper with “Dave” scribbled on it and his phone number. Although, Renee said he was “cute”, I was not in the habit of calling guys I didn’t know, so I decided to pass on the phone call.
The following weekend, Renee invited me to the beach to hang out and watch volleyball and possibly meet Dave. I was a bit reluctant as I wasn’t really interested in getting involved with anyone. After some thought, I decided to stop by for a short while. I watched a few great volleyball games, tanned on the beach and had a fun time with my friends.
Halfway through my time there at Kam I, Renee introduced me to Dave Castles. He said he was semi-retired, from the Boston area and on Maui for a six month stay. I remember thinking…”semi-retired?! What does that mean?” He was cute as Renee had described, but he seemed a little a bit of a “wise guy” and his confidence shone brighter than the Maui sun. He was also very entertaining, had a great sense of humor and I could sense the good-natured soul within him. The other half of my beach time was spent with Dave, chatting and joking. We talked for hours about our lives and past experiences. Our connection was instant. From that day forward for the next 5 months, we spent every moment we could together, until his vacation was over and he had to return home.