Rainbows Over Kapa'a describes this special town on the Hawaiian Island, Kaua'i, where rainbows dance among the clouds, and Bill Fernandez, retired judge from Santa Clara County, CA, was born and raised in the 30s and 40s. Everyone who settled there starting in the mid-1800s struggled after finishing their plantation labor contracts and all helped each other in the spirit of aloha. Bill's hometown grew like a lotus out of the marshlands on the east side of the island, a place the island sugar plantations did not want because the soil was too wet to grow sugar. It was one of the few places where one could buy a small plot of land and be free of plantation control. Chinese laborers came first, growing rice, then Japanese, Koreans, Philippinos, Mexicans, Europeans, even Russians, settled in the area along with native Hawaiians. Once the pineapple cannery arrived to process the fruit grown in the area, the town sprouted as small shops opened, farms created, and families grew.
Bill was born into a large family mix of native Hawaiians, Europeans and Asians. His parents, poorly educated half Hawaiians, built the largest movie theater in the islands in 1939, Roxy Theater. Deep red velvet curtains covered the large silver screen and state of the art sound thrilled audiences. It turned sleepy Kapa'a into a lively town, drawing people to its bright lights. The theater survived tsunami, storms and competition from television. Then Hurricane Iniki struck.
Walk barefoot with Bill and enjoy his childhood adventures by the ocean, building tin canoes, surfing on an ironing board, and making his own toys and spear fishing equipment. Learn how he became an entrepreneur when thousands of GIs arrived after Pearl Harbor. Chuckle as he describes playing war with his Japanese friends right behind the American machine gun nest at the beach. Taste the delicious foods he enjoyed in his multi-cultural, multi-racial hometown where everyone struggled and everyone shared with aloha. Shinto Temples stood next to Christian Churches near the Okinawan-owned store. Relive the unique cooperative fishing, hukilau.
His colorful description pulls you to the excitement at the beach. Filled with photographs dating back to his pure Hawaiian grandmother in the late 1800s, the book brings back warm memories for many who grew up in small towns or farms.
Printed in the United States