Monday, January 23, 2012

Celebrating My Chinese Heritage

In celebration of the beginning of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Dragon, I wanted to write about my great grandfather, Chung Hoon, who arrived in the Hawaiian Islands sometime between 1850 and 1852.  It is believed he was on one of the first ships arriving with Chinese immigrants, who worked in the sugar cane and pineapple fields.

Here is a short writing that was found in the book entitled "Chinese Historic Sites and Pioneer Families of Rural Oahu"; compliled and edited by Wai Jane Char and Tin-Yuke Char.  It was published by the Hawaii Chinese History Center and distributed by University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu 1988

Chung Hoon Family:
Chung Hoon was a prominent Chinese of the 1850s, very active in various business enterprieses.  Chung Hoon was married to a Hawaiian woman.  He was one of the elite Chinese merchants who planned and gave a Chinese ball to honor the marriage of Miss Emma Rooke and King Kamehameha IV.  Chung owned Chung Hoon Company, which was a factor or agent for several Chinese sugar plantations on the Big Island.  His store in Honolulu, "the new Stone Store" at 11 Nuuanu Street, carried imported goods according to the Hawaiian Journal of History (1974).  His home was at 42  Emma Street.

He was also a participant in the founding of the Lin Yee Association's Manoa Chinese Cemetery.  Chung had a leadership and philanthropic position in the Chinese community of the 1850s.

In his book, Chung K. Ai said this about Chung Hoon:
Chung-Hoon was grandfather of William Chung-Hoon, Jr., for many years treasurer of the City and County of Honolulu, and father of William Chung-Hoon, Sr. (1859-1934), who was connected with E.O. Hall & Sons [for forty-three years].  William Chung-Hoon, Sr. had been taken by his father, when  young, to China [September 15, 1863, on S.S. Palmer] and educated there, and therefore spoke excellent Cantonese.  The grandfather was an alert businessman.  When the Hawaiian government offered a bonus of $25 for every Chinese immigrant brought to these islands, the grandfather chartered a vessel, sailed to Canton, and brought back many Chinese laborers.  He was also an advisor to King Kalakaua and a frequent visitor to the Palace.

When the Chung Hoon family plot at Oahu Cemetery was visited, a stone marked with the name Chung Hoon was seen; no inscription was seen.  There were gravestones for William Chung-Hoon, Alo K. Chung-Hoon (his wife), Ernest A.K. Akina, Violet E. Rosehill, Gladys Akina Pearce, George Elama Kaelemakule Awai, Sr. and Kaui Chung-Hoon.

Chung Hoon owned the Hoon Sing Plantation, a sugar plantation, with Hu Bak Sing (Asing).

The story I always heard about my great grandfather was that he sailed to Hawaii with 4 other young man from his village in Canton.  Because they had no family with them, they became family to each other.  In doing some research on the Internet, I found where he became a naturalized citizen of the Hawaiian Islands in 1867.

It is not exactly known when the name Chung Hoon became the surname and was hyphenated. 
I took this picture of the Chung-Hoon family plot in June 1981.  We were there for the graveside services of my father.

My father, Ernest Ha'akua Chung-Hoon, taken in the late 1960s.  He died in May 1981.

William Chung-Hoon, Sr was Daddy's father; William Chung-Hoon, Jr was Daddy's half-brother.  Alo K. Chung-Hoon was Daddy's mother; Ernest A.K. Akina was the son of Goo Chin who came to Hawaii with Great Grandfather Chung Hoon; Violet Rosehill was Daddy's sister (I was named for her); Gladys Pearce was sister to Ernest Akina; George Awai, Sr. was Daddy's brother-in-law married to Daddy's sister Beatrice and Kaui Chung-Hoon was Daddy's first wife.

I treasure this story about my great grandfather.  His legacy lives on in the many members of the Chung-Hoon family.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


It started raining Thursday night, rained most of the day Friday with strong winds. Saturday the sun came out and warmed up a little although it was still very windy. The rain started up again today with more strong wind. We haven't had any rain for a while so it was needed. Just makes it so unpleasant to be out in.

Yesterday there was a PGR mission at the airport...a soldier coming home for a few days. He returned to the states last month after being in Iraq. He is a combat medic in the 82nd Airborne stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC. His wife is also a combat medic. She is in Germany right now. Gerry asked him he knew my grandson, Nathanael...he said he didn't.

The PGR here has been contacting the local media to come out to the airport when there is a Welcome Home. There was a guy from Fox 40 News there yesterday. I got an email from my stamping friend last night asking if we had been at the airport. She said there was a quick shot of me...she said "talking to a guy and it wasn't Gerry"...can't think of who that might have been...she called it "my 2 second claim to fame". LOL! There was another time I was on camera at a Welcome was at the old Terminal B. We were at the new Terminal B yesterday. I tried to see if there was something online on Fox 40's website...couldn't find anything. After the Welcome Home, the PGR guys escorted the soldier and his family home...we didn't go on the escort.

For some reason, I am not able to get into the comments left on my posts. I can publish the comments, however, I can't access them to reply to a comment. Three comments were left on my post about my grandfather...sorry Casey, Jalna and Gem...Thanks for leaving your comments. Casey, I love the old stories...there are lots of them in both my dad's family and my mom's family. My grandfather had royal Hawaiian blood...The Hulihe'e Palace that I mentioned was used as a summer home for the royals. It has sustained quite a bit of damage in recent years. It was closed for quite some time as repairs were done. Last year when the tidal wave hit Hawaii, after the earthquake that hit Japan, the palace did receive more damage.

I asked my sister Nani if she remembered who the baby was in that picture. She didn't know. I got to thinking about that picture and wondered if it was our cousin, Dona Ray...I asked Nani, she said she wasn't sure. So I need to find the original and see if my mom wrote anything on the back of the picture. Several years ago Mom had found some old pictures...she made copies of them for us kids and sent them to us. Some of them I scanned and put on my computer for a project I did for my grandchildren...I need to find the original copy.

I started reading a hardcover, library book the other night. I've been reading e-books from the library. I finished all the ones I had downloaded and needed something else to read. The one I am reading was not available in e-book format so actually had to go to the library to borrow it. It is called Sutter's Cross by W. Dale Cramer. It takes place in a small southern mountain town in the Appalachian Mountains. This is the author's first novel published in is faith-based. So far I am enjoying it.

In fact, I think I will go read for a while before I go to bed. Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Grandpa Hulihe'e

Here's another picture from days gone by....
My grandfather, David Hulihe'e...he was my mother's father. That's brother Eddie next to Grandpa, then sister Ernie in front of Eddie, sister Nani ( I don't know who she is holding. It could be baby brother Sam, I'm not sure) and then me. I was 8 years old when Sam was born and I don't look that old in this picture. I'll have to ask Nani if she knows.

I don't remember a lot about grandpa. From my earliest memories, he and grandma were not together, so I don't know when they were divorced. Grandpa was born on the big island of Hawai'i and worked for a sugar cane plantation on Kaua'i. He was an avid golfer and after retirement he was a golf pro at the Ala Wai Golf Course in Honolulu and then did maintenance at the course. I can remember Daddy taking us kids to see Grandpa at the golf course. We would also see him when we went to visit Uncle Sonny, mom's brother. Grandpa was at Uncle's house a lot.

It is through Grandpa's father's family that there is royal blood. The Hulihe'e Palace in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island is named for the family.

I love looking at these old pictures and trying to remember what was taking place when the picture was taken. :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Arrival in California - 50 years ago, January 14, 1962

Late Saturday evening, January 13, 1962, after tears, hugs and goodbyes, I boarded a Worldwide Airlines plane to fly to Oakland, CA. I would later learn that Worldwide Airlines was a charter company. The airfare was quite inexpensive so that is why my flight was booked with them, courtesy of the government. The flight would take about 13 hours to reach our destination. I arrived about 1:30 pm at Oakland and waiting for me at the bottom of the steps was my then husband. I was so relieved and happy to see him. We had married two months before this and I was finally joining him. He was in the Marines.

It was a Sunday, the day being much like it is today...the sun was shining although it was not a very clear day. The first thing I noticed were the trees without any leaves...I wanted to go back home where everything was green.

My mother made me an outfit to wear for my trip...a powder blue wool dress...a sheath with three quarter length sleeves, completely lined. She also made me a coat to match. The coat had just one button at the neck and the rest was open. Even though the sun was shining, it was cold and I was freezing. It was a beautiful outfit and I loved it, especially since my mom had made it for me.

Some days before I left home, my grandmother wanted me to come down to her house. She gave me some money to go to Liberty House to purchase a few things for my trip...a pair of black patent leather heels, a black purse to match, a black hat that had a small veil on the front, black gloves and...a pair of Hanes...South Pacific was the color. She, of course, told me exactly what I was to purchase. She also wanted to tell me how to speak clearly, not the way we speak back use my manners...there were other things she told me...I don't remember them all now.

Grandma had a sister that lived in Oakland and she had gotten a bouquet of anthriums that I was to take to my grand aunt...Auntie Ida. I had her phone number and so after my luggage was claimed, we found a pay phone to make the call. One of her daughters, Dorothy, got on the phone and told us how to get to Auntie's house. I knew Dorothy and her husband as they had visted Hawaii a few times.

We found the house without too much trouble and when we were invited in, Auntie's whole family was seemed they all got together on made sense being a Portuguese family. I had met Auntie once when I was a little girl so I remembered her. She immediately wanted to feed us. We declined as the uncle we would be staying with was expecting us for dinner. Auntie loved her flowers and knew exactly what her sister would be sending her. The visit was nice although I was so shy and didn't say a whole lot.

After a short visit, we drove to Castro Valley, to the apartment of Charles and Alice Long. Charles was the youngest brother of my then father-in-law. Charles and Alice had been married about a year, Charles had been laid from his job and Alice was going to beauty school. They had a one bedroom apartment. They allowed us to have their bedroom for a few days and they slept on the hideaway bed in the living room. We then changed the arrangement. I was so unhappy to be there and felt totally out of place. John was actually a patient at Oakland Naval Hospital and would get leave whenever he could. He would also have to hitchhike to get to Castro Valley. During the day I was alone with Charles in the apartment and was totally uncomfortable.

For dinner that night, Alice fixed tacos for dinner. I had never had them before and I sure didn't like them. They were very spicey and I drank more ice tea than I ate...I also didn't know what ice tea was...I liked it, though, and still do.

I was totally exhausted from the long trip and was emotionally drained, all I wanted to do was go to sleep.

And so ended my first day in California...50 years ago.

There is more to this first few months in California...I'll tell it later.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sacramento Breakfast Club - Today

The breakfast club got together today. It was our turn to pick the place to go. We've had a Groupon coupon for The Omelet Professor so we chose to go there. We got there right at 8am. Eric Rench was waiting....strangely enough the restaurant wasn't open. They are open from 7am to 1pm according to the sign on the door. There was no sign on the door saying they'd be closed. So Gerry suggested we go to a place in Orangevale called "Ashley's Country Kitchen. Another couple had driven up. So they followed us over to Ashley's and Eric was going to wait for anyone else that showed up.Here is the breakfast I had...half of a Belgian waffle, 1 scrambled egg and 1 sausage link...with OJ to drink. It was perfect...I think it was called Silver Platter on the senior menu. Gerry's bike club had gone here on Wednesday. They've been open about a month and have a sister restaurant in Granite Bay called Jessie's Country Kitchen.

My breakfast was good and I actually "cleaned" my plate. The group numbered 10 people today. Gerry said a Burger King was there and then a Mexican restaurant.

We started going through boxes that have been stored in our spare bedroom today. There is stuff all over the living room floor. I had 3 piles going on...keep, trash and Goodwill. The trash has been taken out, the Goodwill stuff is in the back of Gerry's van, plus the totes that need to get taken to storage. I've set aside stuff that I want to keep...I will probably go through it again and see what I can do without.

As I was going through each box, I realized that the reason the boxes were in the spare bedroom is because it is things I don't want in the storage I've got to figure out where to put them or just part with more.

Elizabeth came over and she took home two big shopping bags full of stuff for she and her girls. She was also going to see if Jenni wanted anything...what they don't want will be saved for the girls youth group to put in their annual spring rummage sale. The stuff I've designated "Goodwill" may go that route too.

Our mobile home park does a garage sale in May...I don't want stuff sitting around until then. I did find the choir picture I just posted and I'm excited about that. I will work on more tomorrow.

By the time Elizabeth left, we were tired and starving so we drove over to Brookfield's for dinner. It is 3 blocks from our is a little more than a Denny's type restaurant. I had a chopped steak dinner (hamburger patty with onions, green chilis and cheese on top of it, covered with gravy) and Gerry had meatloaf. I didn't think to take pictures...

Kailua High School Choir, School Year 1959-1960

Here is a picture of the Kailua High School Choir, school year 1959-1960. We had performed a Christmas concert at the then Kailua Intermediate School. Mr. Shigeru Hotoke was our director. I was in Mr. Hotoke's 5th period class, we were the "Select Class".

I have looked for this picture several times over the years and was never able to find it. Gerry and I are in the process of cleaning out boxes that have been stacked in our spare bedroom. In one of the boxes was an album that had some old pictures in it. I was taking the pictures out and putting a post-it note on the back of them. Towards the back of the album, was this picture. What is awesome too is that on the back of the picture are the names of the classmates who were in that 5th period class.

I just scanned the picture onto my computer and wanted to post it. I will be sending it to Rodney Inefuku, who is a 1961 graduate. He has kept the classmates connected through email. Some time ago, I told him I had this picture and then couldn't find it.

Oh, I am on the left side, 4th row, 3rd person from the end. Standing next to me (the 4th person) is Shirley Davis. We reconnected a few years ago.

Note: Click on picture to see the entire choir. I wish there was a way to zoom in on it.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Siblings and A Cousin

Here's another picture from days gone by...I think it was taken either in 1947 or 1948.

Left to right: my brother, Edwin Ernest (Eddie), our cousin Keith Kaneta, my sister Puanani Rowena (Nani), me Violet-Elizabeth (Betty) and my younger sister Ernestine Kealoha (Ernie). Another sister, Agnes Naomi (we call her Naomi) was born in December 1948 and our brother Samuel (Sam) was born in August 1950.

This was taken at Ala Moana Park (I think). The five of us were always together; usually we were lined up according to age...Keith is older than my brother Eddie...can you tell that I am fairer than my siblings?

I was named, partially, after Keith's mom. Her name was Elizabeth...she went by Eli...she was my mom's younger sister. I was also named after my father's sister Violet. I don't have a middle name and my first name is hyphenated. Brother Samuel doesn't have a middle name either. Brother Eddie was named for my mom's brother, Edwin and my father Ernest. My sister Ernie was also named for my father (my father was hoping for a boy) and her middle name was my mom's middle name. Samuel was named for Samuel in the Bible. I don't think sister Nani was named for anyone.

I think I've told the story how I got my nickname "Betty"...if not, I'll tell it some other time.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dinner Tonight

I made stir fry for dinner had been a while since I made some...used beef, string beans, red bell pepper, celery, onions and mushrooms. It was really good.

I got the Christmas stuff packed up...just need to get the totes back to storage. We have several boxes in our spare room. Gerry asked me if we could go through them. He wants to get them over to storage. So much of the stuff that is in those boxes can be either thrown out or taken to Goodwill. Of course, I've been wanting to do it for quite some time...getting him to be in the mood doesn't always happen. :) We'll see if I have to do it by myself or if he will actually help me...

My Momma and I - 1959-1960

Last summer we were cleaning out some things from our storage unit to put in a garage sale. We found this picture in one of the boxes. It is my momma and I taken in front of Kailua Church of the Nazarene after church one Sunday morning. I was a senior in high school. My momma made the outfits we are both wearing.

I scanned it to my computer so it is rather grainy and not real clear. I was so skinny then... :)
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Monday, January 2, 2012

Today's Evening Sky

We had some errands to do this afternoon. We got back home a little after 5 pm. As we drove down the street towards our mobile, the sky towards the south was pink and purple...just gorgeous. In the few short minutes it took to get in the house and grab my camera, the sky had completely changed. Where it had been pink and purple was now gray with just a sliver of pink at the very bottom. It is clear towards the west. It is amazing how quickly things change.

Joyce, Wendi, Katie and Emma drove up to Sacramento on Thursday for a belated Christmas with their mom and other family. Yesterday afternoon we went over to Elizabeth's to visit with them. They headed home this morning. Katie and Emma both had Christmas programs at school so they sang a couple of songs for us from their programs. It sure was cute watching them.

I had planned to start taking Christmas decorations down today. Unfortunately, that didn't get accomplished. Oh well, there is always tomorrow...laundry didn't get done either...just the bed sheets...

We had the leftover casserole I made the other night for dinner tonight. I think it was better tonight than the night I fixed it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou/Happy New Year

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou/Happy New Year to you!

Were you able to stay up until midnight? I tried...made it to 11:30pm...I did hear the gunfire going off at midnight. Fireworks are not permitted, although I wouldn't be surprised if there is some of that going on too. There is always gunfire...that is against the law too.

We went to Nagato's Sukiyaki & Sushi restaurant for dinner last night. Their food is so good. It is a family run restaurant...they've been in business for 40 plus years. It could probably be considered a "hole-in-the-wall" type of restaurant. It is nothing fancy...just authentic Japanese food and lots of it. We were both stuffed when we left.

A story about Nagato's...back in the late '70' younger sister lived in Sacramento...I lived in Fresno. Denise and I would come to Sacramento to visit and a couple of times, we went to Nagato's to eat.

I moved to Sacramento in 1980...shortly after I moved here, I met Gerry...we were engaged shortly thereafter. One Friday night Denise was invited to a birthday party so we had about 2 hours before we had to pick her up. I took Gerry to Nagato's for dinner. I kidded was a test, if he ate Japanese food and liked it, I would marry him. Well, obviously he passed the test.

Nagato's is one of the places I go for lunch...once in a while...I absolutely LOVE Japanese food and could eat it every day.

We came home and spent a quiet rest of the evening.

I am looking forward to a great new year. I have several projects I want to I will enjoy good health...I still need to have my cataract surgery.

A very heartfelt thank you to all who read my blog or find it in your searching for other things. Hope you like what I "ramble" about...

Have a blessed New Year!!