A Sansei Reflects On a Magical Time and Place

Aileen Hanai-Wills
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

Fields of sugar cane lined the rural road that led to their home. As we traveled deeper along the route, it felt like we were being swallowed up among the tall stalks with their fluffy tassels. Suddenly, the road turned abruptly, dropping us like a roller coaster ride at our destination — Grandpa and Grandma Asato’s house.

My two brothers and I quickly jumped out of the car, leaving Mom and our baby sister behind. Grandma greeted us with a wide, generous smile. I remember her dark, leathery skin, toughened by her years of hard work under the sun. She laughed when she saw our eager faces and pointed to the collection of empty tin cans and glass jars that lay discarded by the banana trees. That should keep us busy, Grandma said, as Mom carried my sister and followed her toward the house. From the landing on the porch they could watch us play around the amazing pond.

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