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Growing up in Hawaii will always be full of great memories. As a kid I remember going to Ala Moana Park when it was not so crowded, I remember the white sandy beach and how scenic it was. Surprisingly, there were many times that the beach was empty and the park had very few people walking around.

I would visit my Uncle Jonah who was the caretaker for the park. There was a mound in the middle of the park that was used as the caretakers hut. My Uncle Jonah had balding, graying hair. He was very caring. I loved going there after school because I knew he always had Hawaiian food like crab, haukiuki, limu, aku, and poi, and sometimes he had vana. I was a little kolohe and would sneek off to visit my uncle and eat when ever I had a chance.

Ala Moana beach is where I first learned to swim and body surf. The park was a great place to explore. At that time there was a little Hawaiian village setup and my uncle would let me play in the huts.  I would day dream about the "Old Times" because of all the stories my family would tell me about.

When ever I left to go home, my uncle would always tell me to go straight home. He knew my Dad would be looking for me if I wasn't home. I had an interesting route going home. We lived along the Ala Wai and I would past the canal using the bridge next to the boat harbor. I would watch people catching crabs from the bridge or watch the boats coming in and out of the harbor.

There were a lot of interesting people living along the Ala Wai. "J Aku Head Pupule"drove a little green sports car. Sometimes I would see "Lucky Luck", but more amazing was the Ala Wai. The canal was so clean you could swim in it. There are many more memories of growing up in Hawaii before becoming the "50th" state and after. It was my uncle Jonah that really had a lasting impression on me. He passed on what I now keep close to me and that is the love for a special time and place growing up.

About Author

I was born at Queens Hospital, growing up in Honolulu, Kailua and Wahiawa. I attended Leilehua High School, served 9 years in the US Air Force, and graduated from St. Marys College with a Bachelor of Science Degree. I now reside in Missouri with my family.

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