Kung Fu Bill Malapit, 1977

Kung Fu Bill Malapit, 1977

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Kung Fu Bill lived alone, above John James, in a house high in the trees near the Limahuli stream.  Bill played the congas and often, in the afternoon, you could hear him from everywhere in camp pounding out a beat for hours, sometimes accompanying his drums with spoken word refrains. One of his mantras that I still remember was, “Chicks with checks.”  That caught my attention and I climbed up into his tree house and asked if I could take his picture.

 

 
Bill was the younger brother of Eduardo Malapit, the country prosecutor who drafted an ordinance against hitch-hiking to harass the hippies, and then won a seat on the County Council for his strong stand against Taylor Camp. Eduardo was then elected Mayor, promising to close the camp.

 

“I was Mayor of Kauai from 1974 to 1982. Lot of changes, all good. I was a prosecutor before that. We had a lot of these guys, and they started hitch hiking and they started to camp here and there, sleep down at the beach. That was the beginning of it all. We had a plantation economy at that time and people just did not like Taylor Camp because it was different. I got complaints.  People did not like hippies, they were planting marijuana all over the place. They were throwing marijuana seeds in the river, then the marijuana would be growing on the banks. I did a big marijuana plan with the police department, it was getting quite big back then.” – Mayor Eduardo Malapit