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July 07, 1989 - Image 25

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-07-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Maui has been a magnet for But-
terfly's family. His first wife moved
out with her new husband in 1981.
Daughter Victoria and her husband
live two hours away. Butterfly's se-
cond wife, Sam, came out shortly after
her sister and daughter, Mercurial
Star Bleu, a graduate of Berkley High
School and the Center for Creative
Studies in Detroit.
Charlie's younger brother, Froyam
Edel (formerly Freddie Rosen), made
an earlier exodus from Michigan in
1976. He is a realtor associate who
drives to rural properties in his new
Isuzu four-wheel drive wagon, similar
to Charlie's. The family was the draw-
ing point, although Edel needed to
"escape winter and follow the sun,"
while Sam Butterfly "found a place
I liked better than Detroit."
They all deliberately chose this
rural, isolated paradise devoid of
radio, television and newspapers, but
filled, they say, with friendship and
love.
They haven't forgotten Detroit.
Froyam Edel, a robust man, longing-

`What drove me
out of Detroit was
the attitude of
people. I had
changed. They
had not.'

ly remembers the good brand of music
readily available in Motown. Misha
would love to walk down to the corner
deli for a corned-beef sandwich. They
miss family and friends most of all.
"I enjoyed playing with friends
when I lived in the old Dexter area,"
Edel says. He attended Brady, Halley
and Mumford before drifting to
Michigan State. He got a bachelor's
degree at Wayne, where he was a
member of Sigma Alpha Mu, like his
older brother.
"It was Detroit that made me,"
Charlie Butterfly says. He laughing-
ly adds, "Now, I'm in the monkey
business," pointing to the bananas on
the table. His crop is harvested by an
organic food distributor.
With the nearest synagogue
several islands away, the family prac-
tices a universal, philosophical ap-
proach to worship, incorporating the
most comforting and satisfying
elements of many religions. Jewish

Detroit remains as pleasant
memories.
Victoria and her husband distri-
bute Maui's best smoked salmon —
"better than Detroit's," Butterfly says
— and she fondly remembers Friday
night family dinners. Her cousin,
Mercury, who says she's been "rebir-
thed on Maui," recalls Temple Beth
El. Sam enjoyed acting at the Jewish
Community Center.

C

harlie Butterfly found spiri-
tuality first with TM and
then with his own inner and
outer discoveries through thousands
of pages of reading and thousands of
miles on the road. "Maui is the heal-
ing plane for the universe," he says.
"I'm much freer to express myself
here," his wife adds. "Spiritually it's
all around you. You learn a lot of pa-
tience on Maui."
"What drove me out of Detroit
was the attitude of people," Butterfly
continues. "I had changed. They had
not. They couldn't handle my change."
Cousins Victoria and Mercury say
they would never move back because
they have their family on Maui.
Froyam Edel would never return
either. "It was a clean city, then. Nice
neighborhoods. It's not safe now. I
grew out of it. It was time to move on
to other things."
Butterfly is more adamant. "Of
all the moves I may make, going back
to Detroit isn't one of them."
Charlie sits back on his deck. He
looks down the gently sloping hills to
the ocean with verdant hills behind.
"People do care for each other and the
future here," he says. "It may change
if it grows."

I

t's only 70 miles between the far
eastern and far western sides of
Maui, but the drive takes three
hours along the narrow, twisting, two-
lane tropical jungle roads.
The west is to the Hana side
what Birmingham is to Franklin
Village. Both are distinctively charm-
ing, but far more business, activity,
traffic and people are in the west.
Hana's miniscule, everyone-knows-
everyone population of 600 would be
just a large neighborhood in the west
side towns.
At Kahului's airport, huge jets fly
in from the mainland, depositing
hoards of tourists who hurry off to the
massive hotels at Kaanapali, the golf
courses, the restaurants and the
shops and galleries.

Each of the other three couples
also is involved in the world of art.
Marsha Allowitz Rogers and her hus-
band Harry came to Maui six years
ago; she is a consultant for the
Lahaina Galleries and he is a
business consultant. Sandy Simon
Tarnopol works with the Circle
Galleries; her husband Robert is in
residential real estate. The Tarnopols
are five-year "citizens of Maui." The
newcomers, Shelly Schwartz Allowitz
and her husband Donnie, have been
Froyam Edel:
on the island for less than two years.
Escaping winter and following the sun.
A tour guide, Donnie Allowitz often
takes visitors to Hana for the day.
The Detroit-area Jewish families
When he catches Charlie on the road,
living in Western Maui welcome the
they give each other an "aloha"
tourists, for their lives and livelihoods
greeting and a hug.
are intertwined with these visitors.
An extended family exists with
Four ex-Detroiter couples live the westsiders. Donnie Allowitz is
here. They're in their mid-forties to Marsha's brother and Shelly was first
early fifties. All were born in Detroit;
married to a cousin of Gary Smith. In
three graduated from Mumford, three Detroit, the Rogers were good friends
from Oak Park High, one from Cooley with the Smiths. "We wanted to
and one from Andover. They may have change the quality of life," Marsha
been teachers, or a drug store owner,
Rogers says. "We talked to our best
a pharmacist or a businessman in friends, Andrea and Gary." That
Michigan, but the move to Maui was helped them make up their minds
a catalyst for new challenges, and about Maui.
several began new careers on the
"It was a great place for upbring-
island.
ing," Andrea Smith says of her old
Andrea Lipson Smith was a home, Detroit. Whenever her hus-
teacher in the Highland Park school band gets a craving for a salami, he
district from 1967-1977 before she calls his ex-partner and has one ship-
went back to art. She and her hus- ped out.
band Gary had two young children,
Seemingly minor losses add up,
Mathew and Lindsay and lived in Harry Rogers says. Like being able to
Bloomfield Hills. "I had everything I get a Lafayette Coney Island Hot Dog
wanted at 33," she says. "But I knew and watching the Tigers. "I used to
there had to be more."
take a bus to Briggs Stadium as a kid.
When she decided on the move to I still check them every day in the
Maui eight years ago, Smith and her paper.
Although they love life on Maui,
family said goodbye to Detroit and
the
couples often visit Detroit. Don-
hello to a new way of life. "It was
nie
Allowitz went to his 30th Mum-
scarier to do nothing," she says. Smith
ford
Reunion in 1986. "I loved it." His
is now a successful artist whose works
have been displayed in Moscow, Paris, wife went back for her father's
New York, California, Michigan and funeral and telephones her mother
five times each week. Andrea and
Hawaii.
Gary Smith stop in on their way to
"When I moved here, I had no in-
New York showings. Robert Tarnopol
tention of doing this with my life. My goes back for six or seven weeks at a
work became popular. My message time to visit his family. "Home is
became popular. It was why I was home," he says. "It is my hometown."
born," she says. "The message is more
Asked if she'd ever move back to
important than I am."
Detroit, Marsha Rogers quickly
Her message is peace and unity. answers, "No. I wouldn't want to live
Active with the University of Peace, in a cold climate where the skies are
Smith's "abstract realist" pieces were grey. I like nature and the quiet way
incorporated in her Art for Peace of life."
calendar, which was used as a fund
Donnie Allowitz says of his deci-
raiser for the university. Her husband sion to come to Maui, "The water
is her agent and dealer. "Gary was called me. Nature called me. I didn't
always wonderful and the family was come here to make money." His wife
always supportive," Smith says.
Shelly says, "life is here."



THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

25



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