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I was born in Hana, Maui-October 18, 1932. When I was 5 years old my family moved to Kaupo, Maui.

I attended Kaupo School, the first and second grades. It was a large one-room schoolhouse, divided by a partition. There was one teacher whose name was Mrs. Mahalo. Her desk was between the partition and she taught all grades, 1st to the 8th. The school was about 100 yards away from our house ... we walked to school. There were about 30 students in the entire school.

There was also only one General Store with a Post Office in the community, "Nick Soon Store". This was the only place that had electricity and some times he would show movies for us in his garage.

There were only unpaved, dirt roads and we did not own a car, just donkeys and one horse. We had a big garden and raised our own vegetables ... I remember a lot of sweet potatoes. We worked very hard in the garden and cutting grass and Koa for the donkeys, baby goats, and horse. My father would go hunting for pigs or goats and sometimes the Kaupo Ranch would give us meat.

We didn't have any toys ... we played with marbles, tops and we would make our own toys with empty cans. We did play games at school.

On weekends our entire family, (sometimes with other families) would go to the beach to catch fish. We would go by donkeys and take some food to spend the entire weekend fishing.

My mother cooked a lot of fish, we ate a lot of wild greens, sweet potatoes, squash, beans, mangoes, guavas, wild plums, lots of natural things. My mother cooked on a wood stove. Later we had a kerosene stove, which was a luxury to us. We had no electricity, only kerosene lamps. (Like the hurricane lamps.) My mother ironed our clothes with a charcoal iron. All of our floors had lauhala mats on them. Every week, if the stream had water, we would go to wash our clothes; it was like a large community gathering, as nearly all of the families would be at the stream washing clothes. The same time we would gather wild coffee beans to make coffee.

We had to gather rainwater for our use, as water was not pumped into Kaupo until the late 1930's.

We wore denim pants, shirts (I don't remember ever wearing T-shirts,) and coveralls. I don't remember wearing shoes until I was in the 3rd grade at Hana School.

My father worked for Kaupo Ranch, my mom was a housewife. Every Sunday we went to church. The church use to have luaus but I don't remember if we ever had to pay to eat.

If we went to Hana, we walked nearly to Kipahulu then caught the mail truck to Hana. If we left Hana late, we had to walk for miles and miles in the dark to reach Kaupo ... no roads only trails.

There were many families living in Kaupo. It was a good size community. At times the community would get together at the school grounds and play volleyball or baseball.

I remember my first paying job, I was 8 years old and worked for Kaupo Ranch planting grass for 50 cents a day. That was a lot of money in those days.

When akule would come in at Nu'u Bay, the entire community would go for hukilau. Nu'u was a fishing village. Sometimes there was so much fish that every family would go home with bags of akule ... I remember we always did.

Those were hard. but fun days, which my children will never experience. Every time I go home to Maui, I try to go back to Kaupo.

About Author

Greg Librando, Jr. was born and raised in Hana, Maui (and Kaupo). Graduated from Hana High School in 1951. He and his wife, Aunty Maebelle, now live in San Fernando Valley (Southern California). Greg enjoys music and fixing old cars. He teaches ukulele at the San Fernando Japanese/American Center every Friday, and takes part in the Ventura Ukulele Jam every month. He also helps out the ukulele group in San Gabriel. He tries to return home to Maui annually to visit with Ohana, especially grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I love Kaupo. I never go to Maui without visiting Kaupo.
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