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Nā Mana`o Ulu Wale

Random thoughts, casual observations and other bits of fluff

By Roger Close



March 2009

Auwē, some kina news, eh? Are you in shock? That’s okay, I found out that this would be the last edition of the Northwest Hawai`i Times a month ago, and I’m still in shock. We all (the staff of this paper) support Rochelle’s decision to put this five-year labor of love to bed with this the 60th edition. Her reasoning is sound, the timing is right, and new life adventures are beckoning our dear editor…as well as the rest of us for that matter. Therefore, this is the right path at this time…the mind says it is pono.

Nevertheless, the heart says something else. I have trouble with good-byes. Maybe it’s because I grew up on an island and watched my grandparents sail away on the Lurline or fly off on Pan Am too many times. Knowing in my small kid mind how I hated to see them leave, how they were going to “the mainland” an unknown place so very far away, and how it would be a l-o-n-g time before I might see them again. Or…maybe I’m just a slobbering sentimental. Or…maybe it’s both.

How long will it be before I see my NWHT `ohana again after we each depart on life’s next journey? Rochelle, Roy delaCruz, Kermet, Danny, Gregg, and Roy Alameida hānai me into their family in March 2006, two years into the paper’s run. I will miss each one of them terribly! Not because we spent a lot of real time together, but…as with you…we connected monthly through their thoughts, experiences, feelings, personalities, humor…oh, the humor, and their words.

And…as with you, the paper itself was my connection for sixty months to my birthplace, the `āina of my youth, my calabash of wonderful memories, the Hawai`i that I love, and its children who temporarily call the Pacific Northwest “home.” Each month the Northwest Hawai`i Times has served up Hawaiian history; news of local kine people, places, and events; belly laughs; `ono recipes; `ukulele lessons; information on the latest Hawaiian music; human interest stories; big news from the islands; opinions; and of course…“other bits of fluff.” Just like you…I will miss it all!

Beyond our collective loss when da pepa is pau, I will personally miss serving up those many bits of fluff. In addition, my personal connection to this publication has given me many immeasurable gifts in the last three years. It has allowed me to write and share with you my thoughts and observations, and…in some cases…my opinions. My column has brought a reconnection with two childhood friends and one former student. It has brought many responses from you, the reader, when I touched a nerve, triggered a fond memory, related a similar experience, or simply offered an opportunity to get something off your chest. All good, all gifts, all will be sorely missed.

Finally, Rochelle delaCruz, as I have expressed many times before, mahalo nui loa! You have my eternal gratitude and sincere appreciation for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of your dream, your labor of love. Writing this monthly column for the past three years has always been a pleasure, never a responsibility. Yet, I have always felt a deep kuleana to ensure my writing reflected the high standards you set. Having the opportunity to write for the NWHT has been a gift that keeps on giving!

And…to you, dear reader, thank you for allowing me to connect with you. In that spirit, please be so kind as to let me offer one last random thought. The next time you set foot on that archipelago 2,700 miles out in the middle of the Pacific, be it for one day or the rest of your life, go with your heart, mind, body, and spirit all positively aligned. All centered on a deep commitment of responsibility and respectfulness to the land, its people, and their traditions and culture. Listen, learn, appreciate, absorb, and leave no footprints!

Until we meet again, mālama pono!


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