Hawai’i #atozchallenge

HAWAI’I

The great state of Hawai’i became a state when I was three, on August 21, 1959, along with its cold buddy, Alaska, which became a state on January 3 of that year. That would make them Irish twins, like my brothers Jim and Kip. Irish twins, of course, are two kids born within twelve months of each other, although that would make Hawai’i a preemie, because it and Alaska are only eight months apart. I admit it, I’m weird.

Hawai’i is an archipelago in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, made up of eight islands: O’ahu, Hawai’i (also known as The Big Island), Maui, Kaua’i, Moloka’i, Lana’i, Ni’ihau, and Kaho’olawe. When I was taking geography in grammar school, I was given to understand that the only one that was populated was O’ahu. I don’t know why I thought that, but hey, I was nine, okay? Maybe it was because the only island we ever talked about was O’ahu. I don’t even know if my fourth-grade teacher was a college graduate.

I’ve only ever been to Honolulu, the state capital and biggest city, and Waikiki, the suburb that has all the beaches and tourists, mostly from Japan. I left late on Saturday afternoon to come home, and before I went to the airport I went to Pearl Harbor and accidentally almost drove into the Naval base. I apologized to the petty officer that stopped me, but he was real nice and got me to the USS Arizona Memorial. He said don’t sweat it, it happens a lot.

Being at the Memorial, with the wall containing the names of all the sailors and Marines who died in 1941 and with the boat ride out to where the Arizona and her crew rest in eternity, was a moving experience. It’s amazing how many Japanese visit the memorial and show their respect for the men who died that day.

There’s an anchor there from the Arizona, standing on display. It must be twenty feet high. As I was getting ready to leave, a Japanese girl, probably in her mid-teens, came up and asked me to take a picture of her and her friends in front of the anchor. She was very polite, so how could I resist? I took a couple of pictures of them, and went to hand the camera back to the girl. She said, “You stand there, I take picture.” I tried to beg off, but she insisted, as did her friends. So, I stood with her friends and she took a couple of pictures of us. Why, I don’t know. All I know is that somewhere in Japan there’s a picture of a very confused guy in an aloha shirt standing with half a dozen Japanese girls.

Ever been to Hawai’i?

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

18 thoughts on “Hawai’i #atozchallenge”

  1. Hi John – I know where Hawai’i is … but didn’t know there were 8 islands – but have never had the chance to visit … one day perhaps and then I’ll need to know about the islands! How many islands over here? Perhaps your geography teacher covered the British Isles – you’ll be amazed (fewer than the number of years since Horses have been found in the UK!!) … cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/h-is-for-horse.html

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    1. I don’t remember that far back. Checking Wikipedia, there are over 800 islands in Scotland alone, so what, a thousand? I’m sure we glossed over that in fourth-grade geography.

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    1. It ain’t cheap, that’s for sure, because they have to get anything they can’t produce locally from the mainland. I can only imagine how expensive things are now.

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  2. Never been to Hawaii; big regret. Interested in your comment about your fourth grade teacher. Most probably she was not a college graduate. Catholic grammar schools in Chicago schools did not require a college degree until, probably, sometime after you were in fourth grade.

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  3. I have never been to Hawaii and would love to go…to any of the islands actually. My friend, on the other hand, has been there many times because he gets huge discounts on the airlines plus he lives in BC so it’s not that far away

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    1. What’s weird about it is Honolulu is a typical big city, then you realize you’re on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with nothing but the rest of Hawai’i around you for hundreds of miles. But it is a beautiful place, and the other islands are even more beautiful, from what others have told me.

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  4. Not yet, but there’s a tree outside a Japanese Tea House where my dad’s initials were carved in the trunk during the war. The last time he was there the tree and the initials AND the tea house were still there. We’re going for our 50th anniversary. I just need to figure out WHICH tea house it is! 😀
    Calen~
    Impromptu Promptlings
    A to Z Challenge Letter H

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