(Listen to the conversation at www.mauitime.com.)
MARK D’ANTONIO: Getting people to work for free… [It] was tough to convince them that spending hours taking photos and getting bar napkin and paper plate interviews was for the good of the community. But people were very apt to give their time, effort and craft, and for that we definitely owe them a debt of gratitude.
But it just translates into more work on the editor’s part—when you’re the editor and the art director and whatever—and I’m chasing people down for stories and it’s deadline and I can’t hold a paycheck over their head and I’m like, “Please! Can you just dictate it to me?” It got to the point where, because we had no budget, I had to barter, trade or just beg for things to come in on deadline.
Photos were a big part of that. So there was a lot of last-minute photo developing of horrible, disposable cameras that made the paper. So the challenges were getting editorial in on time and making sure it was quality.
TOMMY RUSSO: How about the butter that you’d apply occasionally?
D’ANTONIO: What’s that?
RUSSO: The butter.
D’ANTONIO: The butter?
RUSSO: The Sweedler butter.
D’ANTONIO: The Sweedler butter?
RUSSO: Yeah—Dave [Sweedler] used to call it “butter” when you’d butter up his stories…
D’ANTONIO: We became the Abbott and Costello of surf articles. Because Dave would go out and get great angles on kids and great stories—especially upcountry, local Hana kids, stuff that I would never have any kind of access to— and then he would kind of write it on a napkin and then call me and I would pick his brain. And that’s when I would butter this thing up, make it into an article. And a lot of times, this was dictation; this was him in the weeds of Haiku, you know, watering the banana trees, talking and telling me this story as I typed on deadline about the late Steve Cooney or any of his other great kids on the North Shore that were doing stuff and not getting press. So Dave contributed not only photography but access to a whole side of the island and group of people that we weren’t really in touch with…
RUSSO: We like to refer to Dave as an essential pillar.
D’ANTONIO: Yes, Dave is an essential pillar of Maui Time. MTW