hanabuddah header

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

Forget about the evictions and all the media propaganda surrounding Sand Island in the 70's. I am unable to recollect the legalities of the time when my Grandparents lived at Sand Island, but camping out or "living" at Sand Island, from what I can remember, was the best!

Let it be known, Grandpa and Grandma Paio had an apartment on Waikamilo Rd. (Liberty Bakery was around the corner, the fresh bread was so ono), but chose to spend some of their days living in a wooden structure on the beach at Sand Island.

It was a fun ride to get to Grandma and Grandpa's "house". It was like 4-wheeling through a junkyard. Trash and wrecked cars were strewn along the bumpy dirt road. You could not see the beach area as you drove in, all I remember is - look for the leaning tower and we were almost there.

The days spent there were filled with adventure. My younger brother Matthew Boy, older sis U'i, cousins Hoku, and Van John, and myself played from sun up to sun down. We made friends or made trouble with the other kids. We swam, dug huge holes in the sand, watched the fishermen, and basically "ran wild", liked the kolohe kids we were.

The "Ice Man" as we called him, delivered ice. You know -- frozen water. The Ice Man would deliver ice to all of us living on the beach. I remember his white beard and mustache. Everyone that lived at Sand Island was family. From what I can remember, Grandma and Papa lived in wooden structures, with an out-house, and used a generator for power. The house faced the ocean. The beds were placed in the corner, cooking area was to the left, and the dining area/party table was an open area that looked out towards the beach.

Food always tasted the best at the beach. If we got hungry, Grandma Paio always had poi, Maui onion and Hawaiian salt on the table. My favorite was eating dried opae and poi. The opae was big enough to just dunk one in the poi and eat. Dinner was just as ono. Fish and poi, stew and poi, everything and poi. Sometimes we would eat crab and pipii (you had to dig out the meat with a safety pin).

In the evening was when the adults got to play. All the adults would get together to eat and drink. The ukulele and guitars would come out. They would sing and play music all night. I would fall asleep to the sounds of adults laughing, beautiful music, and the ocean in the background. It was an experience that I was fortunate to experience and will never forget.

Grandma and Papa Paio are in heaven now with all the other Hawaiians and having a big party. I can still hear the singing, "When the piggy no more ears, how can he hear..........."

About Author

Helene Fernandez is originally from Kaimuki and Palolo, Oahu. She graduated from Redemption Academy ('86) She has lived in California and has recently moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. She is married with a daughter.

Although Las Vegas has a lot of Hawaii transplants, nothing beats going home. I really miss seeing the ocean.

Show comment form