“Don’t grow up too haole.

While many childhood memories have faded with time, my grandpa saying this to me on the couch of his Alewa Heights home feels as clear as day.

Me and my grandpa on his 70th birthday

Growing up, summers in Hawaii meant hula lessons, ukulele, trips to Magic Island, and the occasional Japanese “atsui” or “oishii.” Spam musubi lunches at Summer Fun, shave ice pau hana, and dinners of Teri chicken, poi, lomi lomi salmon, and Great Aunt Girlie’s sponge cake. …

Jackie Wasilczyk

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