Friday, June 24, 2011

Tokens (Day 3)


It’s just an old  key from the Reef  Hotel on Waikiki.  At one time it opened the door to room 862, but not any more.  It was probably used for the last time years ago, before the advent of room keys that look like credit cards. 

reef hotel

So why do I have it? 

Because of what the key to room 862 is for me.   A token-one that connects me to  Hawaii, to the past.  To all things that I don’t have in my everyday life, but wish I did sometimes.

If I toss the key in my bag, it’s likely that I’ll touch it when I reach  for my wallet or lip balm.  Instantly,  the years and miles melt away, and it’s Honolulu, circa 1955.  

Reef postcard

I like to wonder about who might have stayed in room 862 over the years.  Where were they from, and what happy memories did they take home with them from their time spent at the Reef, and Hawaii?  What were their names?  Their stories? So many secrets that I would love to unlock.  Only the key to room 862 can’t unlock those secrets any more than it can open an actual door.

That, I have to leave up to my imagination.

Reef Hotel sunset motel

Do you have something that serves as a token of a place or time you want to stay connected to?


  1. Oh, the stories you could spin just on that room key alone. You could do a series of short stories just about the people that have come through that room throughout the years.

    I don't know that I have a specific token, per se, but my vintage magazines immediately transport me to the 1940s. One of my favorite things to do is thumb through those magazines and imagine what it was like back then...

  2. Melissa, wouldn't a collection of short stories be fun-starting with the first people who stayed there when the Reef was built in 1955, and then on through the years?

    I love my old vintage magazines too-they do provide instant transport to the past, don't they:)

  3. I'm liking yours and Melissa's idea. I'm thinking maybe you two should pen a co-authored book, swapping off on the stories as you move through time :)

    I keep my old ticket stubs, connecting me to music and the time in my life of the concerts I'd attended.

  4. Joanne, I think that's a great idea! It would be fun to work on a book with Melissa!

    Concert ticket stubs are great tokens! There is nothing like music to define a time in a person's life.

    I used to have an empty Marlboro cigarette pack that a guy I had a terrible crush on had thrown away. I kept it for the longest time-the connection to him meant that much to me. Ah youth!

  5. Oh the things you could imagine with that key!

  6. Oooh! Maybe we should get started! That would be a FUN project, Valerie!!!

  7. What a romantic soul you have my friend. I can't think of anything that is like this for me. I love that old key though.