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Roy Alameida

Hawaiian History

Northwest Kama

Waialua, O‘ahu is certainly a long way from Washington State. That was my hometown…the last sugar plantation town on O‘ahu to have its mill closed forever. Growing up close to the beach, it was surf and sand 365 days a year. As a youngster, I learned how to look and spear for octopus when the tide was low. I learned how to look for fish (my father was a fisherman) and learned the name of different fishing locations and its peculiar characteristics. And I learned how to surf using a balsa surfboard without the skeg (only one direction…straight for shore; no hang tens). That was a long time ago, but the memories linger.

And today, little did I know that I would be living thousands of miles away and sharing my story and knowledge through a local community newspaper in Seattle. What brought me to Washington? Change. I was at a point in my life where I wanted to experience living in a place with distinct seasonal changes but yet I would still have some reminders of Hawai‘i. For example, the water (although here it’s the lake or the sound, but it still works), the mountains, the greenery, and diverse population. And now as a resident here, I can still get ono plate lunches, buy a bag of poi or a Big Island mailelei just to inhale its fragrance even when the lei is dried and the leaves are brittle.

My involvement with Northwest Hawai ‘i Times has further opened the door for me. One of my goals in life was to be a writer. As a graduate from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (master’s degree in Hawaiian history) and Spokane’s Gonzaga University off-campus program (master’s degree in education), I was prepared in many ways to achieve that goal. As a published author (Stories of Old Hawai‘i, Bess Press, 1997; The Hawaiian Journal of History), my experience with the Times has allowed me to share my knowledge of the rich history and culture of Hawai‘i as a newspaper writer. The Times has given me a chance to share what I know about Hawai‘i’s past in a way that allows all of us to learn more about the place we still call home. I have also learned more about myself as a result of my connection with the Times…meeting deadlines, writing about topics that may be of interest to readers, and actually being able to write for a newspaper.

So, what do I do when not writing for the Times? As a former high school history teacher (Hawaiian and U.S. ) in Hawai‘i and community college teacher here in Washington , I am now a real estate training specialist. When time and weather permits, being outdoors brings back memories of my childhood. I am confident that the Times will continue to follow its vision. It is you, the readers, who ensure the success of Northwest Hawai ‘i Times . Your response, your thoughts is what drives the Times, the editor and staff. Mahalo for your support.

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