"The following are memoirs written by Aunty Ulu"

Here is what I want to tell my children about their grandmother and grandfather. Its not much but I would like them to see my parents through my eyes.
Her name is Virginia Lola Kealoha Kakalia born August 23, 1915 in Honolulu Territory of Hawaii.
She married Thomas Kaiulani Kakalia and bore 8 children. She lived in Honolulu until such time as she and my father acquired the homestead land at Nanakuli Lot #51 which is now 89-524 Farrington Hwy.
We (my brothers and sisters) grew up in a very strict home. My father did most of the disciplinary actions. My mother usually made us stand in the corner or as I remember once she tied me and Bobbie to a Kiawe tree because we got up early one morning and started to fight about who was going to play with the tire swing. She had my brother climb the tree and cut the rope and tied us to the tree for about an hour, but it seemed like the whole day. I know it wasn't the whole day because we also had to clean the house and could not go to the beach. Now when I look back at that incident, I can't help but laugh! She taught Bobbie and I how to cook, wash, and clean. Mostly she taught Bobbie but I was not too far behind even though I hated to clean the bathroom. I always delegated my younger sisters to clean the bathroom. She would also be the one to help us with our homework. She loved to sing and to write songs as did her father. She was an active member of the community and she would substitute at school singing and teaching the hawaiian language. She encouraged all her children to sing and our home was always filled with music.
She would take us on a picnic or around the island and we always had lots of fun. She was short and round in the middle and always had a smile on her face. She loved her children and gave of herself to them. She died at a young age, and I will always remember that day..I did not know she was saved, but as the years went by, and I came to know the Lord as my personal Lord and Savior, I look back to see my mothers life and I realize she got saved before she died. Praise the Lord!
When she knew that a ship would be coming in she would have all of her children help to pick up flowers so she could string them together to make pretty leis to sell to the tourist. I was fortunate to be able to go with her to sell these leis. That was exciting for me, I got to go aboard the ships when they came in to port, just to look around and wish that one day I would be able to ride one of these ships somewhere. Anyway, she and my grandmother and grandfather would go to Honolulu to sell these leis.
She died in the year 1952, before she saw any of her children graduate from High School. I believe she would have been proud of them all. Here are a couple of songs that she wrote that never got published. Maybe its time I did something about it.

Tommy went hunting with his bow and arrow
To shoot the little bird in the cherry tree
The little birdy said "Tommy don't shoot me"

This is one verse of a song she and my dad would sing as a duet.

Another that she wrote is called "Proud"

Proud when I see you walking
Proud when I hear you talking
I'm mighty proud of a baby like you
Proud when I see you dancing
Each little step entrancing
I'm mighty proud of a baby like you
I have bought a gold ring for your finger
Wedding bells will ring so please don't linger
Proud of the clothes and the way you wear them
Proud of the way you care them
I'm mighty proud of a baby like you.

Another one is called "Nancikuli" for "Nanakuli"

Goodbye I'm on my way to Nancikuli
I'm leaving at 11:30 be there by noon
With my omole and my ukulele
And my muumuu, in a miomio style
So to Nancikuli, where the gang is waiting for me
Where the ocean breeze and the kiawe trees
The moon does something to me
Goodbye Honolulu, I'm on my way
To dear Nancikuli, down by the sea (down by the sea)

The one I want to write about now is my Dad. I loved him and will always remember his smiling face and shinning bright eyes and those big hands.

Thomas Kaiulani Kakalia

He was born on March 7, 1908, to David Kakalia and Minerva Nakila Kakalia. I don't know too much about how he grew up except for some little things. For instance, he was the eldest of five children. He worked hard while growing up with his mother. He had a job at the Young Hotel as a bus boy. I do know that he was widowed before he married my mother at age 28. He was eight years older than my mother, and they lived at 1856 Liliha Street, Honolulu Oahu Teritory of Hawaii.
I am not sure of his first wife's name, but they had Claude my step-brother who was raised by my Aunty Nani's family who lived in Kapahulu. I loved my brother and respected and admired him.
My dad used to do a lot of spear fishing and once he caught a turtle and he marinated it and cooked it on a make shift grill, boy was that good eating.
Every once in a while he would take one of us to work with him. We would get up at 5:00 a.m. and drive to Honolulu and have breakfast at one of the restaurants on Kekaulike St. He worked for the City and County of Honolulu. In those days he had two or three extra men working with him and they would lift the 50 gallon drums and throw it up into the back of his truck. Now days it is automated and only the driver gets to pick up the barrels.
One day a reporter from the Advertiser (news paper reporter) asked to ride along, and they let her ride with my dad on his route, which was Wilhelmina Rise and part of Waikiki. She was very surprised to see the amount of work those men had to do in order to pick up trash. People on his route liked my dad because even when he wasn't suppose to pick up their trash he would do it anyway. By this I mean the trash wasn't tied or was too big, or to heavy. Anyway they would give him clothes for us and coupons for towels, exotic plants.
There were times he would have parties at our house, and the people he worked with would come down to our house and sleep overnight. He and my mom enjoyed themselves with singing and drinking and having a good ole time.
He also would do a luau for people. One party I remember very well was a luau that lasted for two or three weeks. This was done at my neighbors house for relatives of hers who was in the Navy. The Sub-base, baseball team wanted to have a luau so Florence asked my dad if he would do it for them. It was a luau to be remembered even though I was a very young child at that time.
By 1952 and eight children born to he and my mother, the youngest child is nearly 4 years old, he becomes a widow again. Friends and family tell him that it would be better for him to give his children to others to help raise, because he definitely wouldn't be able to watch over them and feed them and care for them without a mother. I remember him praying and asking God for guidance. He called all of us together and told us his decision to keep everyone together. He has taught me some valuable lessons about family - and how to love and care for each other. Hopefully I've done that with my family.
He continued to work at the City and County Refuse Dept., and most of the house work falls on my sister Bobbie who is the oldest girl at fifteen. She literally had to pack Jr. my youngest brother off to school with her. That is another story.....
My Dad had his hands full and did all he could possibly do for his four girls and four boys. I believe he did a very good job with all of us.

Return to Reunion Homepage