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A mound of sand at Kalapaki Beach

NAWILIWILI — Jeff Haigh of California would normally be hard at work on New Year’s Eve, putting final details and fielding comments from passersby at Kalapaki Beach, while using tools loaned to him by local celebrity Dickie Chang.

Instead, Jeff was stretched out in the shade of a kiawe tree, keeping an eye on the mound of sand that attempted to convey a New Year’s message.

“That’s not mine,” he said. “Cindy (Haigh) put this together after I injured myself while working on the Christmas display that was on the beach when Mrs. Claus arrived via a double-hulled canoe accompanied by young surfers paddling alongside.”

He said during the creation of his Christmas piece, he tore up his torso. The injury left him incapable of even lifting a shovel of sand. The injury also left him in a position where New Year’s Eve celebrations are out of the question.

“I’m just keeping an eye on Cindy’s work while she’s out waterboarding,” he said. “She’s tried to do a New Year’s message, and I can’t even help her since I can’t do anything. I’m on mediation for my torn up torso, so I can’t even enjoy a beer for New Year’s. This is got to have been the worst year of my life.”

He also said the Christmas piece might probably have been the last piece he’ll be doing.

“I’m 70 years old,” Haigh said. “Christmas might have been the last piece for me. It turned out pretty nice. After more than 80 pieces and nearly 19 years of doing sand work on Kaua‘i, that piece is a good way to remove myself from the rankings.”

The injury also shuts out the possibility of a Chinese New Year — the Year of the Dragon — that Jeff would do before returning to his California home for another year. Chinese New Year for 2024 starts on Feb. 10.

This will be the year of the Wood Dragon, and according to the Chinese Horoscope 2024, the dragon represents authority, prosperity and good fortune.

The Wood Dragon year 2024, when combined with the nourishing Wood element, will bring evolution, improvement, and abundance — a perfect time for rejuvenated beginnings and setting the foundation for long term success.

“When Santa comes back to Kalapaki Beach, next year, there might not be any display,” Haigh said. “But, I’ll be sure to look for you.”
Source: The Garden Island

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