Scenes  of  Kaua'i                                                                     



        My high school years in Honolulu at Kamehameha Schools (1944-1949) exposed me to streets crowded with GIs and all the chaos that brings. The animosity between the GIs and locals surprised me, my school uniform and shoes irritated me. But I learned a lot about world politics, girls, and dove for coins when the Lurline arrived. Spearfishing adventures provided relief and a desire to be a fisherman. My parents had other ideas.  While on a driving trip on  the continent I witnessed racism which made me wonder about my place in life.                    


                                      My first ten years on Kaua'i were barefoot and spent exploring the reefs, making kites, and surfing on an old wooden iironing board. Then in 1941, the bombing of Pearl Harbor changed our lives: fear of invasion, fear of internment, military rule, rationing, blackouts, and learning to use a gas mask by sniffing the gas. Pineapple picking taught me to work hard from age 13. My parents' big theater, Roxy, in Kapa'a was a failure until 40,000 GIs landed to protect us and for jungle warfare training. I developed entrepreneurial skills as a shoeshine boy and ran errands buying cigarettes and candy for GIs. My pals and I mimicked the machine gun nest at the reef near my home by digging a hole in the sand and placing large palm tree branches for a roof. Grenades were pinecones. The islands were 40% Japanese originally imported for plantation labor who proved their loyalty to America by enlisting in the military and earning more medals for units of their numbers than any other. Part II is dedicated to them. I conclude the book when I am sent to Honolulu to attend Kamehameha Schools for children of Hawaiian ancestry. I didn't want to go.


           My family built one of the largest movie theaters in the islands in 1939, Roxy. The small community of Kapa'a wasn't big enough to fill the 1,050 seat theater.  In Rainbows Over Kapa'a I introduce you to my family and their desire to succeed as half Native Hawaiians in a plantation controlled society.  As the bank started to foreclose in 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, and within a few months, the island was filled with GIs seeking entertainment. My friends and I had many adventures during those years despite the fears and stress. The story of the Roxy ends when Hurricane Iniki strikes in 1992. Filled with old photographs.


Hawaii Like You've
Never Read about It Before

Call: (855) 279-7253
Kapaa, HI 96746-1521

  The Kaua'i Made Products seal is awarded to products unique to Kaua'i, using Kaua'i products and made on the island. These books are written by a Kaua'i resident, Bill Fernandez, about his life on the island, and were written sitting in the old house his mother bought with her pineapple cannery earnings.



Kepler's Books

7:30 PM to 9 PM at  1010 El Csmino Real, Menlo Park, CA

Book talk with PowerPoint and book signing