Born in Kealakekua, Kona, Hawaii 1935
"THE GOOD OLD DAYS FOR ME *** A PLACE TO TAKE CARE"
How lucky to have been born and raised in Hawaii before WWII. We have been all over the World and still find Hawaii as a top spot to visit. It helps that we have lots of friends there but the Islands are all unique and have special qualities all their own. Sadly, they have been overcrowded for many years.
Another VT like me, LanikaiBabe says that you should not sell Oahu short. She is absolutely right. It's all there, just know where to go and you can be all alone in Paradise.
Every tourist to Honolulu will eventually see Hanauma Bay. When I was a kid, there were rarely more than 50 people there at any one time. Dirt trail all the way down and no parking lot other than a large bare area of earth. It was a family place, a favorite picnic grounds for young kids.
We walked barefoot from the last bus stop, uphill all the way. When you are an eight year old, that's a long ways, believe me.
Each of us would stop off at the local Okazuya, a Japanese delicatessan that specialized in the kind of food that was great for Island kids. Some would stop off at a Chinese restaurant and get a couple of boxes of other assortments. Eight year olds don't do this anymore, they go to McDonalds instead, just like in Beijing.
How long this beautiful bay will last is anybody's guess, they are getting very concerned about it in Hawaii.
Some of you may be interested in the history of Hawaii, which I'll cover briefly.
It is obscure, no one really knows, there is no written history but let's suppose that they came this way.
- canoes used in early migration
LAKA'S CANOE - A CHILDREN'S FABLE
To understand this story it helps to know that the Hawaiian mythology abounds with stories of how the Gods came to create the Lands of Hawaii. The children of Hawaii usually are familiar with these tales, at least I hope they still are exposed to them.
The reader should know that the menehune (pronounced "many- who- knee) are the "little people" and are to Hawaii what the Leprechuan is to Ireland.
Laka stood among the great trees of koa. "This is such a tree as my grandmother told me of," he thought. "It is straight and has grown strong fighting the mountain winds. Such a tree will make a strong canoe, one that can fight ocean waves."
Then Laka prayed and went to work with his stone tool. All day he worked. At last the great tree fell, and Laka went home, tired but satisfied. "tomorrow I shall trim off the branches," he thought. "I Shall cut the log to the right length. Then shape it, but I have no skill in shaping a canoe."
Now when tomorrow came he could not find the log. I should have marked the place," he thought. " Was it here or there?" He could not find the tree he had cut, so he cut down another and this time he carefully marked the spot.
But the next day there was no log! There stood the tree he had cut down! Someone had put it back up. Laka stood looking, thinking, then returned to the village to talk with his grandmother.
The next day when he went to the forest he took a digging stick. Right by his chosen tree he dug a small ditch, then cut down the tree. When he finished, Laka hid in the ditch.
He had not waited long when he heard voices. " Now! Take your places. " He heard the command clearly. The menehune must be all about the tree ready to lift it!
Quickly Laka scrambled out. The menehune ran in fright, but Laka was able to catch two-- the chief and another. " I shall kill you" he said angrily. " You raised the tree that I had cut down and wasted my work. You deserve to die!"
The menehune chief answered fearlessly, " what good will our death do you? Can you shape a canoe, O Laka? Can you haul it to the beach-- you, all alone? Set us free, and we will do this for you. We menehune can shape a canoe and haul it to the ocean. Will you set us free?"
" Yes," answered Laka slowly," but if you do this for me, what shall I do for you? I have not much for gifts." " Build a shed for your canoe," he was told. " Then prepare a feast for us."
Laka did as the menehune chief has said and then went to his sleeping house. He heard the humming of the little workers and he heard then eating the prepared feast. In the morning he found the canoe resting in its shed. As he walked about admiring the work, neighbors came. " Laka!" they said. " We did not know you were such a good canoe maker."
" I am not," he answered. " The menehune made this for me."
"CHINAMAN'S HAT ISLAND IN PASTEL CHALK"
This is an Artist's rendition of the famous Chinaman's Hat Island located on Oahu.
Is it setting or rising?
Outer Island beaches don't have much traffic.
Hawaiian sunsets are very fast, they don't linger like a picture does.
"REMEMBERING PEARL HARBOR"
Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
An account from someone who was in the military and on the ship which is now a Memorial, the ARIZONA.
The Japanese launched a total of 353 aircraft in the attack.
Of the eight battleships damaged during the attack, six returned to service.
Five Japanese midget submarines joined in the attack. None were effective. One was found beached after the attack making its two-man crew the first Japanese prisoners of war.
The surprise was complete. The attacking planes came in two waves; the first hit its target at 7:53 AM, the second at 8:55. By 9:55 it was all over. By 1:00 PM the carriers that launched the planes from 274 miles off the coast of Oahu were heading back to Japan.
Behind them they left chaos, 2,403 dead, 188 destroyed planes and a crippled Pacific Fleet that included 8 damaged or destroyed battleships. In one stroke the Japanese action silenced the debate that had divided Americans ever since the German defeat of France left England alone in the fight against the Nazi terror.
Word of the attack reached President Roosevelt as he lunched in his oval study on Sunday afternoon. Later, Winston Churchill called to tell him that the Japanese had also attacked British colonies in southeast Asia and that Britain would declare war the next day. Roosevelt responded that he would go before Congress the following day to ask for a declaration of war against Japan. Churchill wrote: "To have the United States at our side was to me the greatest joy. Now at this very moment I knew the United States was in the war, up to the neck and in to the death. So we had won after all!...Hitler's fate was sealed. Mussolini's fate was sealed. As for the Japanese, they would be ground to powder."
On Monday, FDR signed the declaration of war granted by Congress. One day later both Germany and Italy, as partners of Japan in the Tripartite Pact, declared war on the US.
Aboard the USS Arizona
The battleships moored along "Battleship Row" are the primary target of the attack's first wave. Ten minutes after the beginning of the attack a bomb crashes through the Arizona's two armored decks igniting its magazine. The explosion rips the ship's sides open like a tin can starting a fire that engulfs the entire ship. Within minutes she sinks to the bottom taking 1,300 lives with her. The sunken ship remains as a memorial to those who sacrificed their lives during the attack. Marine Corporal E.C. Nightingale was aboard the Arizona that fateful Sunday morning:
"At approximately eight o'clock on the morning of December 7, 1941, I was leaving the breakfast table when the ship's siren for air defense sounded. Having no anti-aircraft battle station, I paid little attention to it. Suddenly I heard an explosion. I ran to the port door leading to the quarterdeck and saw a bomb strike a barge of some sort alongside the NEVADA, or in that vicinity. The marine color guard came in at this point saying we were being attacked. I could distinctly hear machine gun fire. I believe at this point our anti-aircraft battery opened up.
"We stood around awaiting orders of some kind. General Quarters sounded and I started for my battle station in secondary aft. As I passed through casement nine I noted the gun was manned and being trained out. The men seemed extremely calm and collected. I reached the boat deck and our anti-aircraft guns were in full action, firing very rapidly. I was about three quarters of the way to the first platform on the mast when it seemed as though a bomb struck our quarterdeck. I could hear shrapnel or fragments whistling past me. As soon as I reached the first platform, I saw Second Lieutenant Simonson lying on his back with blood on his shirt front. I bent over him and taking him by the shoulders asked if there was anything I could do. He was dead, or so nearly so that speech was impossible. Seeing there was nothing I could do for the Lieutenant, I continued to my battle station.
"When I arrived in secondary aft I reported to Major Shapley that Mr. Simonson had been hit and there was nothing to be done for him. There was a lot of talking going on and I shouted for silence which came immediately. I had only been there a short time when a terrible explosion caused the ship to shake violently. I looked at the boat deck and everything seemed aflame forward of the mainmast. I reported to the Major that the ship was aflame,which was rather needless, and after looking about, the Major ordered us to leave.
"I was the last man to leave secondary aft because I looked around and there was no one left. I followed the Major down the port side of the tripod mast. The railings, as we ascended, were very hot and as we reached the boat deck I noted that it was torn up and burned. The bodies of the dead were thick, and badly burned men were heading for the quarterdeck, only to fall apparently dead or badly wounded. The Major and I went between No. 3 and No. 4 turret to the starboard side and found Lieutenant Commander Fuqua ordering the men over the side and assisting the wounded. He seemed exceptionally calm and the Major stopped and they talked for a moment. Charred bodies were everywhere.
"I made my way to the quay and started to remove my shoes when I suddenly found myself in the water. I think the concussion of a bomb threw me in. I started swimming for the pipe line which was about one hundred and fifty feet away. I was about half way when my strength gave out entirely. My clothes and shocked condition sapped my strength, and I was about to go under when Major Shapley started to swim by, and seeing my distress, grasped my shirt and told me to hang to his shoulders while he swam in.
"We were perhaps twenty-five feet from the pipe line when the Major's strength gave out and I saw he was floundering, so I loosened my grip on him and told him to make it alone. He stopped and grabbed me by the shirt and refused to let go. I would have drowned but for the Major. We finally reached the beach where a marine directed us to a bomb shelter, where I was given dry clothes and a place to rest."
Lord, Walter, Day of Infamy (1957), Prange, Gordon, At Dawn We Slept (1981), Wallin, VAdm. Homer N. Pearl Harbor: Why, How, Fleet Salvage and Final Appraisal (1968).
The early missionaries came to the Islands in 1820, a small group from New England on the East coast of the USA. They brought a printing press with them.
Just how and why did they come to Hawaii. It seems that a young Hawaiian boy who had sailed on a whaling vessel found his way to the church, became fond of the Christian religion and actually took up residence with a pastor and his family.
The young man, barely a teenager, adapted to English and the religion, and implored the missionaries to go to Hawaii. All of this was rather fortuitous as there were several countries who saw value in dominating Hawaii. The missionaries had no Governmental influences but their presence became important in the whole scheme of things leading to Statehood.
Upon first arriving, the then King Kamehameha ordered that the missionaries establishing a curriculum for the royalty. The concept of monarchial powers had been taught to Hawaii's first King by the British sailors who were his principal advisors, both politically and militarily. It was with their aid that Kamehameha conquered all of the Islands, some of which involved fierce and bloody battles, especially on Oahu. When you are in Honolulu, you will no doubt travel on King St. and Beretania. Many people, even people who have lived in Hawaii all their lives, don't know that Beretania is the Hawaiian way of saying BRITTANIA in honor of Britain. That is why the Flag of Hawaii still bears the Union Jack. It is the only State in the Union that was a legitimate and recognized Kingdom.
Those of you who visit Honolulu will no doubt be taken up to Nuuanu Pali, a magnificent site high in the mountain range overlooking Kaneohe, Kailua and Lanikai. Just below you are the remains of hundreds of warriors who were pushed over the cliff.
In just a few years, the missionary teachers had already created an alphabet based on phonetics. They then taught the royals and the upper class, known as the Alii. AH LEE EEE They printed, page by page, one by one and two by two, primers and finally The Holy Bible which is still on display at one of the Mission houses. They also established the first church, Kawaihao, that exists to this day.
Punahou School was given permission, as well as many acres of land, and built their first building on the campus which now serves Hawaii's brightest and finest. They are the largest K-12 coeducational school in the United States and rival the finest college preparatory schools in the Country with near 100% college admissions. There are approximately 400 students who graduate every year, more than 70% of them going on to the mainland for college. The school is supported entirely by endowment and alumni contribution.
It would only be fair to say that there are other excellent private schools in Hawaii who have established themselves as nearly on par with Punahou. One of them is a K-12 Episcopal Parochial School, it is named Iolani.
There is also the wealthiest (by huge margins) educational institution in the entire world, named Kamehameha, funded by the Bishop Estate. Bernice Pauahi Bishop and her husband established this school, also a K-12 especially for children of Hawaiian blood. That requirement is in place today. The wealth of the school is enormous, combine Yale, Harvard, Columbia and Princeton, and you still would fall well short.
BTW, Steve Case of AOL, Class of 76. The Kingston Trio, Classes of '51 & '52, and Hiram Bingham of Maccu Picchu
fame are all persons who gained their secondary education at Punahou. Sun Yat Sen of China attended both Iolani and graduated from Punahou. The well known Ilikai Hotel, opening scene of Hawaii 5-O was built by the father of one of my classmates. Stuart Ho and his brother Dean, are sons of Chinn Ho. Mr Ho's name is used as one of the characters in his honour.
A very popular entertainer in the Honolulu nightlife arena is Al Harrington. He spearheaded the school's first Interscholastic League Football Championship in 1953 and was also a character on Hawaii 5-0. Al was known as Al Ta'a when we were in school together.
The descendants of the original missionaries, as in days long gone by, continue to be very instrumental in the ongoing education of their contemporaries through direct participation, establishing trusts and outright gifts.
Visit the site and see if you can find me, Class of 1953.
THE GOOD OLD DAYS
OLDEST BLDG ON CAMPUS - 1851
MAHALO NUI LOA TO ALL VT TOURISTS
ALOHA OE ALOHA OE ALOHA OE ALOHA OE ALOHA OE
May I recommend that you continue on to KEALAKEKUA and CAPTAIN COOK. These are sequenced and make more sense when reviewed in that order. Links are provided to transport you on a guided tour. First try the following:
MY BIRTHPLACE ~ KEALAKEKUA, T.H.[CLICK][:-o-:]
HONOLULU AWAITS YOU[CLICK HERE][-O-]
If you cannot bear another minute of Hawaii then:
PLEASE CONTINUE TO ALASKA
ON, YOU HUSKIES! [CLICK HERE]
"HONOLULU ZOO ~ WAIKIKI"
Conveniently located in Kapiolani Park, accessed from Kapahulu Ave. about a block from the Waikiki Beach. Don't sell this Zoo short, they have consistently had a first class collection. It does not compare to the Singapore Zoo or the San Diego Zoo but you will still be pleasantly surprised at the presentation.
The turnstile gate is the same gate which was there when I was a child. I have no idea how long the zoo has been there, it was a favourite for children then and now.
And now, a very IMPORTANT LESSON known as the SHAKA sign, bearing no resemblance to the Universal Italian sign for the upper US, this sign is a designation of "RIGHT ON!" "COOL!" and in time you will find that when accompanied by a drawn out EEEEZAY said with appropriate accents will win over any local .
I cannot impress upon you enough how important it is to begin practicing this gesture
"HAWAII IS THE FURTHEST ISLAND FROM ANY CONTINENT"
VIEW FROM THE SPACE SHUTTLE
"EVER BEEN TO A LUAU?"
HOW DO THEY ROAST THAT LITTLE PIGGY? [CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT]
MY PERSONAL GUARANTEE THAT IT WILL NOT BE ONE OF THESE
FRUITS FOR THE LUAU
Imagine landing your canoe on this beach
A beautiful beach on a different island, the Hanalei Beach.
Does it get any better than this? These are the kinds of beaches that are on the outer Islands. Oahu has many beautiful beaches, we don't tell the tourists everything.
One should be careful though, always inquire, for some of these beaches, for all of their beauty are treacherous.
This is not one of them. Please pay close attention to all Warning Signs. By the way, KAPU means ~ KEEP OUT or NO TRESPASSING.