Kauai Stories 2

Kauai Stories 2: Unlocking the Hawaiian Language (excerpt)

Kauai Stories 2 on AmazonFrances Nelson Haliaalohanokekupuna Frazier figures it must have been divine intervention that compelled her to become involved in saving the Hawaiian language from near extinction through her skills as a translator, decades after the language had been forced underground.

On a whim, she volunteered to help one of Hawaii’s most well-respected translators type up her notes. She soon taught herself to read the Hawaiian language, eventually translating two iconic Hawaiian stories into published books: “The True Story of Kaluaikoolau as told by his wife Piilani” and “Kamehameha and his Warrior Kekuhaupio.” Breathing new life into these tales and unlocking the Hawaiian language, Frances re-established connections for herself and countless others to their Hawaiian ancestry.

Extremely modest about her accomplishments, Frances chatted about her life in 2004 when she was 89 years old, her endearing small dog Mea Liilii (small person) sitting on her lap, looking up lovingly at her.

 

Struck By the Beauty of the Words

 

The important thing is that for no apparent reason at all when I was in my mid-30s, I volunteered to type up translations for Kawena Pukui, the Hawaiian language scholar at the Bishop Museum at that time. She was translating Hawaiian olis (chants) into English but she didn’t know how to type. Reading her translations showed me that the Hawaiian language is not the language of an ignorant savage people. It is a very beautiful language, full of all sorts of wonderful things. I was struck by the beauty of the words. That’s what got me hooked.

My mother was part-Hawaiian but there was very little teaching of the Hawaiian language done in that period of time. She and Kawena belonged to the generation that was punished for speaking even one Hawaiian word in school. When Hawaii was taken over and became a territory of the United States in 1898, people who were in the government told everybody, “You’re an American. Forget you are Hawaiian. We don’t want to hear Hawaiian spoken. We only want to hear English.” They were children so they adapted.

My father, who was a ship captain with the Inter-Island Steam Navigation Company, spoke Hawaiian because his crews in those days were all Hawaiian men. He understood a great deal of Hawaiian, mainly in his maritime goings-on. He had a big Hawaiian vocabulary. I never heard him speak it. We spoke English at home.   

Read more about Frances' story in Kauai Stories 2



 

Kauai Stories 2: Live to Surf, Surf to Live (excerpt)

Kauai Stories 2 on AmazonWith boundless exuberance and a slim, fit body that would be the envy of many 30-year-olds, Mark Sausen, 65, is a prime example of how surfing keeps a person ageless. Since moving to Kauai in 1970 after a friend told him, “Mark, the surf is unbelievable!” he has ridden waves almost daily, had near-death experiences in the ocean and even lost a close friend to drowning while surfing. But the sheer joy and exhilaration of flying across water on a surfboard always keeps him coming back for more. 

Mark loves to talk about anything and everything related to surfing. With his articulate, witty rapid-fire delivery, sound effects thrown in to illustrate his points, he still sounds like the young man he was when he first came to Kauai, a down-to-earth, happy guy who is thrilled to be able to live to surf.

Now a surfboard shaper, making custom surfboards under his Papa Sau label, Mark lives with his wife, Louise, a Hawaiian woman, who is also a hula teacher. They make their home in Haena on the North Shore of Kauai.

  

Live To Surf

 

When I first came to Kauai in 1970, surfing was my life. It was surf, surf, surf, live to surf. That’s all my friends and I wanted to do. I felt like, “This is where I’m going to stay. I can’t leave. I’m going to figure this out one way or another.”

First we had to get a place to live. There were no places to rent. If you saw a surfer who had a place, you would say, “That guy is lucky! How did he do that?” There were no jobs either, only one restaurant near the end of the road in Haena named The Anchorage. They only had two waiters and two busboys. That’s all they needed.

I found a cottage on the beach near the restaurant for $150 per month. I called my friend Pierre, who was living in California, and said, “Come on over. I got a place on the beach, $75 apiece.”

I got a car to drive. It was a 1953 Plymouth. I got it for $35 bucks. I was living out here in the country — there was nothing out here on the North Shore then. I was about 21 years old, driving with no license, no nothing.

Pierre and I went into the Anchorage to apply to be busboys because the two waiter jobs were taken already. We had kind of longer hair. The owner says to us, “I can’t hire you with long hair. If you cut your hair, I probably could do it.” 

So we went right across the fence to our cottage and had Pierre’s girlfriend cut our hair, like bowl cuts. We looked like the Beatles. We went back over to the restaurant. The owner saw us and said, “Oh my God! You’ll do that for a job? You’re hired!” We were stoked to have a job.   

Read more about surfing on Kauai in Kauai Stories 2

 

Kauai Stories 2: From Pot to Pineapple (excerpt)

Kauai Stories 2 by Write PathThe word “dynamo” was invented to describe Jude Huber. At five feet tall, with arms and hands that look powerful enough to rip a pineapple in half, she has the energy of five men, is articulate, funny and tenacious.

After surviving difficult teenage and early adult years of her own making in New York, and on Oahu and Maui, she finally found her home on the Garden Island of Kauai. She became an excellent housepainter and surfer along the way; learned about unconditional love from Hawaiian people; and, with her husband, Paul, became a full-time farmer of Kauai Sugarloaf pineapple, growing the sweet white-flesh delicacy at their 37-acre Hole in the Mountain Farm on the northeast side of Kauai. 

Against the backdrop of tidy rows of vibrant pineapple plants and her orchards of mango, longan and rambutan trees, Jude tells her story of how she came to Kauai and ultimately found her calling.

 

Wild Child

 

I came to Hawaii from Yonkers, New York when I was 17, but not because I wanted to or had this great plan for my life.

I had been a wild child right out of the gate. My mother says I never walked, I ran. I climbed on everything. I was not an obedient child. As a teenager, I started smoking pot (marijuana). I wouldn’t come home or I would “forget” to come home. I was killing my mom, making her nuts. She was having nervous breakdowns. It was a horrible time for both of us, and much worse for her.

My brother, who is 11 years older than I am, lived in Haleiwa on the North Shore of Oahu, owned a health food store and became an organic farmer. When he visited us in New York in the 1970s on his way to Morocco for business, he saw what kind of trouble I was in. He told my parents, “Just send her to Hawaii and I’ll straighten her out.”

My father asked me, “What do you think about moving to Hawaii?” What I really wanted to do was hang out with my boyfriend all summer and go to rock and roll concerts. But this came out of my mouth: “No, I want to work all summer and buy a motorcycle.” My father says, “Don’t tell your mother, but I’ll buy you whatever motorcycle you want if you leave for Hawaii tomorrow.”   

Read more about Jude's adventures in Kauai Stories 2

 

 

RSS feed

Let's stay in touch!
Be notified every time we publish a new book! You'll also receive feature stories about interesting people in your email inbox once a month.