Hawaiian Roots

I’m writing this while still in San Francisco on Saturday night but when you see it I’ll be flying over the Pacific on my way to Hawaii (oh, the wonders of modern technology!).

My Grandma on board the S.S. Matsonia from San Francisco to Honolulu, 1930

California has been a time to connect with good friends, wear flip flops, walk the beach, and scratch the surface of a state I’ve known very little about but always had my eye on. From surfing in San Diego to a drive up the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) to a bike ride over the Golden Gate to Sausalito, it’s been an active and wonderful two weeks.

Tide pools in San Diego

San Francisco's version of a back alley

My little Subaru headed up the PCH on a stormy but brilliant night

Evening walk around Lake Merritt, Oakland

Little Italy storefront, San Francisco

Storm and sun above Big Sur

Looking out at the Golden Gate from Coit Tower

Blue House on Francisco Street, Berkeley

But I’m on to Hawaii. A place I’ve never seen but feel, all the same, like it’s a part of me already. The birthplace of my mother. The island where my grandparents met. The island where their parents met. I’ve bought a one way ticket and am ready to dive in, explore the family history, and make some of my own.

I’m landing on the Big Island tonight (Tuesday night) and not sure when I’ll get to write again — from Mike’s fruit farm I’ll be staying at first in Kapoho? From my uncle Phil’s house in Oahu? From a tent on Kauai? We’ll see how my Hawaiian wanderings unfold. As an old Siberian Yupik saying goes, “what you do not see, do not hear, do not experience, you will never really know.” It’s time to know.

Much love and aloha.

My grandma with her dad (my great-grandfather "Foffie") under the hose in Honolulu

The grandparents as young kids in Oahu (my grandpa "Ogi" far right and grandma covering her eyes)

My grandma with her grandpa (my great-great grandfather, George P. Castle)

My grandma (the youngest) and her sister Anne with Mom and Dad in the pool near Diamond Head, 1926


2 responses to “Hawaiian Roots

  1. Are you still in Hawaii? I forget, have you met my Uncle Robbie, who lives there? I think he and Phil are acquainted.

  2. Yes! I’m on the Big Island now and then headed to Oahu sometime this spring. Robbie actually emailed me the other day (I think your mom forwarded my info) and I’m excited to meet another cousin! He knows my uncle Phil too. Such a small little world…

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