I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. I am, in Hawaiʻi, what they call “hapa.” That means that I’m half Asian, half Caucasian, Korean on my dad’s side and a mix of Norwegian, English, Scottish, Irish and a few more on my mom’s side. My folks met at the University of Wisconsin, Madison after World War II, my mom a West Side Chicago native, my dad from a small town named Kekaha, in the Waimea District of the island of Kauaʻi. They met by chance in the UW’s Memorial Union, in Der Rathskeller, and the rest is history.
I earned my B.A. in English at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, then my M.A. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, then, after quite a hiatus, my Ph.D. back at UHM. I am also a proud graduate of University High School (aka University Laboratory School), which is situated right across University Avenue from UHM. I attended the Lab School from age three through grade 12.
At UHM I was a member of the first class of Ph.D. candidates. The program began in fall of 1987, and I finished in fall of 1992. My dissertation, Hours of Operation: Life Sketches from the Archipelago, is a loosely connected series of 43 short stories, and as the second person to complete the program, I was the first to write a creative dissertation.
In addition I published a memoir about my journey from the decision to major in English as an undergraduate, to my move to Madison for the M.A., and then a circuitous meandering along the winding road that ended with being accepted into the Ph.D. program at UHM. It’s called From Point A to C to Y to B: A Sentimental Journey Through Hawaiʻi and Wisconsin, and can be purchased on Amazon along with my collections of love haiku and of Shakespearean Love Sonnets, a collection of poems entitled Tellings of Aloha: Songs from Hawaiʻi, and my continuing series of Lieutenant David Chan Hawaiʻi-based crime stories.
Aloha to all you visitors, and mahalo for reading. A hui hou (until we meet again) and peace be with you.
Once upon a time there was a little girl from Chicago,
City of the Big Shoulders,
and there was a little boy from Kekaha, Kaua‘i,
Tiny Town of Big Cane Fields,
and the little girl grew up to attend the University of Wisconsin, in Madison,
City of Oscar Mayer and Rennebohm Drug Stores,
to where the little boy from Hawai‘i also made his way
before World War II, left to serve, then returned,
and they met in Der Rathskeller,
renown Dining Hall on the Badger Campus,
where I was essentially conceived, although not actually until 1954,
on the Island of O‘ahu,
Land of Diamond Head – Lē‘ahi as it is called here –
and of Waikīkī Beach, a name held famous around the world,
was then born in Kapi‘olani Hospital
(where Barack Obama would be born seven years later),
grew up in Honolulu,
City of State Government,
attended the University of Hawai‘i for my undergraduate education,
went off to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin,
where I sat down to have a beer in Der Rathskeller,
and toasted the chance meeting between that Chicago girl and that Kekaha boy,
who lived out their lives happily, for the most part, ever after.