By MEGAN MOSELEY
Tribune-Herald staff writer
Drivers passing through Leilani Estates have been slowing down lately.
The change of pace is not a result of some speed limit adjustment or safety initiative. Instead, drivers have to pump the breaks while travelling by an elaborate, pirate-inspired Halloween display.
The lawn decoration, featuring a plastic skeleton adorned in pirate gear that sits in a crow’s-nest measuring 21 feet high, is turning heads. Various goods surround the bottom of the mast, including beaded necklaces, gold coins, and a palm tree spray-painted green.
Anthony “Tony” Kubera, designer of the arrangement, said he can’t take all the credit and pays homage to his neighbors.
“It’s turned into a sort of community behavioral project,” he said. “Add to the booty, ye be pirate. Take away from the booty, ye be cursed.”
Kubera’s neighbors and other contributors have been dropping off treasures of their own, making the project an an assortment of random knick-knacks. Originally apprehensive about putting the decorations so close to the road, Kubera said the community’s involvement in the project has instilled a sense of trust in him.
“So far it’s worked. Nothing has been stolen,” he said. “I work a full-time job so it wouldn’t be hard for someone to come by and snag something, but that hasn’t happened.”
Kubera said he’s happy the exhibit has brought out the best in people.
“I kind of think it’s a respect thing. I think the individual looking at the display might be thinking in their mind, ‘Wow, that’s really cool.’ And maybe they’re thinking, ‘If I take something from this, it won’t be as cool.’”
When he first started developing the project, he used various scraps found around his house. The construction took approximately three hours a day for three weeks. To those who may think that’s a long time to spend on a Halloween display, Kubera says no way, matey.
“I’m 56 years old and my wife still accuses me of being 10,” he joked.
Kubera attributes his wild imagination and his childlike enthusiasm for Halloween to his parents who gave him a “great childhood.”
He continues to live vicariously through the youth by working as a teacher’s aide at Keaau High School, where he also plans to dress up in three different outfits for the holiday on Thursday.
“I’ll start out the day as a Planet of the Apes character, by the afternoon I’ll be Superman, and by the end of the day I’ll be Jack Sparrow,” he said.
Kubera has kept himself occupied this year by making plans for his favorite holiday, and is already thinking of what to do next.
“When it’s over I’m going to be pretty sad, but I’ll be looking forward to next year,” he said. “I already have an idea for the display- Jason and the Argonauts.”
Email Megan Moseley at email@example.com.