Hawaiian Tsunami Destroys Local Boy’s Sandcastle
|Earl Wilberforce watches as Mother Nature lays siege to his handiwork|
When the massive earthquake recently struck Chile, it wasn’t content to end its destruction there. It sent out that most feared oceanic phenomenon – a tsunami – that threatened everything in its path, including the west coast of the United States.
The killer wave missed the U.S., but it did hit Hawaii. Several cable news anchors were predicting widespread devastation. To the relief of the islanders – and the disappointment of TV viewers bored with the Olympics – Hawaii was not swept to its doom. The tide rose a few frightening inches in some places, though. And in doing so, it directly affected one of Chrislip’s youngest citizens.
Steven and Eileen Wilberforce were married late in February, and when they honeymooned in Hawaii, they took their four-year-old son Earl with them. Earl may be illegitimate, but his parents couldn’t love the bastard more if he’d come along nine months after the wedding. They wanted him to share their happiness.
Earl was building a sandcastle on the beach when the tsunami struck with the fury of a slightly miffed tax accountant. He could only stand and watch as his creation was torn asunder.
Hotel custodian Daniel Paahao and his staff watched the drama from the hotel balcony. “It broke our hearts to see the little bastard lose his castle,” he said. “But we were watching CNN just like everybody else, so we were afraid to go outside.”
Earl’s parents didn’t let the experience sour them on the island paradise that many consider our fiftieth state. “We’d definitely come back to Hawaii,” said Steven. “But you won’t catch us within a hundred miles of the ocean.”