Jack Balas, 2016; POOL  (HONOLULU) (#1409); watercolor, ink and acrylic on paper, 2 panels, 30" x 45" overall.

We were mesmerized by neon as we walked down Kuhio towards our favorite Vietnamese restaurant, the candy-colored hues shimmering on wet streets a day of rain had left behind.
We were spending summer reading the Great Books - Main Street, Treasure Island, Dennis the Menace Goes to Hawaii, and today's find, at arguably the last used bookstore in all of Honolulu, on the second floor of a beat-up strip mall over by the university, The Grapes Of Wrath.
That neighborhood is full of low-rent projects and potholes, the latter of which are not easy to navigate on a bike when they are full of today's rain- downpours right out of the last chapter of Steinbeck.
But today had cleared biblically, the clouds simply parted, and as I pedaled across a foot-high pool spanning one street curb-to-curb, a cop came by in a cruiser, leaned out her window, looked down and asked, "Where did all this water come from?" and I looked up, smiling, and answered, "The sky?"