Road Trip Through Forgotten Hawaii With Old-School Local

Jun 01, 2024 381.5K Views 1.4K Comments

Kauai is a unique island with some of the most interesting old-school locals. Today, we cruise around with one of these characters who shares amazing stories and shows us a side of the Hawaiian islands and culture only known by a few. It’s a rare treat to get in with a true Kauai OG.

► 🎞️ Video Edited By: Natalia Santenello

MUSIC USED IN THE VIDEO 🎵

â–ş Makana – Will I Ever See You Again?
â–ş Makana – Morning Star
â–ş Makana – Deep in an Ancient Hawaiian Forest

[bright Hawaiian music]
[Peter] Vernon, you’re 81 years old?
[Vernon] Yes.
You grew up on the island,
you never left, right?
No, never left.
This is the old pier.
The ships used to come in here
and unload all the cargo.
-The cargo for the island?
-Yes, yes.
-Right now you look down, you see stones.
-Yeah.
But me, I look down, I see food.
I see opihi.
I see black crabs.
There actually food in the water.
What did you do, Vernon?
Were you a fisherman
or what was your career?
-I’m a heavy equipment operator.
-Okay.
I run the crane,
backhoes, things like that.
And you were 16 years old
when Hawaii became a state, right?
17.
-17?
-Yes.
What was that like?
Well mixed feelings.
The real local people, you know,
they wanted to let it stay the way it is.
Lot of people said,
“You know, we gon’ get money
from the federal government
if we go into statehood.”
I look at life as you cannot stay
the way you are all your life.
That’s why I tell everybody
that I come from the old book.
I believe in honoring
thy ma and they father
but I also have new pages.
Because if you don’t have new pages
you cannot deal with
the younger generation getting up.
Because they’ll break you.
You know what I mean?
They tougher than us, you know?
And you cannot be like your grandfather.
One tree that doesn’t sway
when the wind come
because these kids nowadays
will break all your branches.
[Vernon] This is where
I kinda grew up right here.
-Out here?
-Yeah.
But only had one buildings.
And then see all the condos on the hill?
I helped build over there.
-Oh wow, so you have Portuguese roots?
-Yeah.
My grandfather, he was 10 or 12 years old.
He was a stowaway on the ship.
His uncle put him in
a wooden barrel… for one month.
-A wooden barrel?
-A wooden barrel.
-On the boat?
-On the boat.
And for one month
he had to stay in the barrel
and at night the uncle would take him out,
give him food,
let him go to the bathroom.
During the day he
had to get in that barrel
because if he get caught
there could be trouble
and he not supposed to be on the ship.
He’s a stowaway.
[Vernon] The childhood was hard
because didn’t have many jobs.
My dad had to take jobs
that were minimum wage, dollar an hour.
I remember my dad
working for dollar an hour.
-Dollar an hour? Back what year?
-Hmm.
-50’s, 60’s?
-’56.
I’m a hunter-gatherer.
I live off the mountain for 30 years.
Never bought a piece of meat
from a meat market.
I used to hunt all over here wild pigs.
All up here.
I lived down here,
you know what my rent was in the ’80s?
-How much?
-$10 a month.
I paid $60 every six months.
But when before I come down here
I never worried about food because
if I come down here my friends see me,
“Hey Vernon, take some fish.”
and then me, I’m not a taker.
You know what I mean?
They give me some fish,
I’ll go buy ’em a case of beer
or if I get something
I give them something, you know?
I’m not the kind of guy that just go take.
-I’ll share with people, you know?
-Yeah.
Don’t worry about these signs,
I know all these people.
This my friend’s place right here.
See that? That is taro.
I’ve only been [garbled].
They wouldn’t be ready yet.
-[man in distance] How are you?
-[Vernon] ‘Kay.
I still kicking. How are you?
Yeah, good.
-How you doing?
-Good, good, good.
-Peter.
-This guy’s Peter.
-This is Kaipo.
-Nice to meet you, Kaipo.
Okay, this guy here,
he got a fascinating story.
The guy that at
the end of the road where we’re going,
the guy Ken Chow,
this guy used to fish for Ken Chow.
One day they’d hook up with this big fish.
This big ahi.
Ken Chow was whipping the team,
wanted to (get) a couple more
and the rope had tangled.
-Tangle his leg or head?
-The neck was tangled.
-Neck.
The rope had tangled around his neck.
Like when slinky out of the basket rope.
The loop, it gets around his neck,
yank him right out of the boat.
-The fish is dragging the guy.
-In the water.
[Peter] How big is the fish?
I say about 180, the biggest one
but we had two on the line.
That one was 150 pounds.
This guy had put the knife
between his mouth,
jump in the water,
swim out there, and cut the rope.
-[Peter] And you saved the guy?
-[Vernon] Yeah, and drag him in.
-Yeah.
-Wow.
-Did you grow up out here?
-Yeah, right here.
-This same house?
-Right here.
Right in this area, right here.
You like ducks, Uncle?
You want to help me with ducks?
Ducks? You give away ducks?
Oh boy, look at that.
-[Kaipo] I got about 40.
-[Peter] Little chicks.
[Vernon] Oh, God.
[Peter] Guys, let me ask you this,
main lander question,
why does everyone have “Private Property”
“Keep Out”, “No Trespassing”?
If you don’t have the signs
do people come in your home or what?
The hippies would start coming.
Before you ask, Kaipo,
you leave the door open.
Wide open.
-You don’t have to walk–
-Back in the day?
You don’t have to walk on the road.
-Because everybody gon’ pick you up.
-Yeah.
-Everybody know everybody.
-Everybody, they pick you up..
Afterwards, when the hippies had come in
and start coming in our yards
and taking our papaya
they get everything
and they tell they live off the land.
They live close to the pavilion
and rip off the local people.
[Kaipo] They take fruits off the tree.
-Okay, so that’s why you have the signs?
-Yes.
When did you start doing the signs?
-Uncle Vernon, you gon’ turn in?
-Okay, sorry.
Uncle come see me, okay?
Sorry, I’ll come see you, Kaipo.
Sorry. [laughs]
[Peter] See ya, Kaipo.
Sorry about that. Hey, how’s it?
[Vernon] That’s one of the pluses
of living on the island.
I used to know everybody before,
you know?
But now get more new people coming in
and… I don’t know.
Half the people nowadays… you know?
But the ones that I used to know,
they still remember me.
[Peter] How do you feel
about the new people coming on?
Some is alright
but what I cannot stand is
when they come here from New York
and they tell us how to live.
“Oh, you cannot raise no chickens.”
“You give money,
you can go to the store, buy chickens.”
We cannot. We have to raise the chickens.
Peter, we don’t have money
to buy chickens from the store, you know?
What about our feelings, our culture?
Some are good.
Is it like 50/50?
-I think so.
-Okay.
And they contribute a lot to the island
but some,
they only want to take from the island.
[rooster crows]
[Vernon] Now here like some
old Hawaiian history.
This is Menehune fish pond. Okay?
Now the story is
this pond was created over night
by the Menehunes.
The Menehunes
are something like small people
that nobody ever seen.
-Oh.
-And they come out at night.
-Okay.
And they make
this fish pond on your right.
Now they trying to restore it.
You see the center, the black stuff?
-Yep.
-A wall over there from the early
Hawaiians, the Menehunes made ’em.
That’s what the small…
Like leprechauns, you know?
You know in the islands in Alaska
they call ’em little green men.
-Okay.
-Something like that?
-Here, we call em Menehunes.
-Menehunes?
-Yeah.
[Vernon] Okay, now down here
was like a second home to me.
I had two friends down here.
They were twins.
I would come down here,
stay down here with them,
and the parents liked me
’cause I would hustle, you know?
I would take them, go pick guavas
for we could get some
money to buy books for school.
And they had one sister
and then this creepy guy,
he went jail couple times and whatnot.
Real ugly looking guy.
Always trying to hit on young girls.
And he started calling her up
and harassing her.
One day I came over and she was crying.
So I told her,
“Vicky, what’s the matter?”.
She told me Joe Bucks had called her.
She said, “Every night he call me.”
I said, “Okay, when he call tonight
you don’t hang up, put me on the phone.”
She put him on the phone I told him,
“Hey, no let me come looking for you.”
“‘Cause if I come looking for you
you gonna be really, really sorry.”
He did hang up,
he never did bother her no more.
But, you know?
But that’s like a reputation I had before.
But I really never had to fight in school.
I never had one fight in high school.
You know why?
Because when I was 13 years old
I got mobbed
by one gang.
12 to 15 people that had pile on my friend
and nobody went to help him
and I was the youngest one in the bunch
and I went go help him.
I never tell nobody
but I pissed my pants with scared.
I was 13 years old.
The guy was way older than me.
The guy they were beating up,
Johnny Krube, a good guy.
He used to take me Lihue, give me ride.
So I drag him out in the parking lot
thinking that we can run away.
But when I looked back
the guys was coming and he never run.
Thinking, “Let’s run!
Let’s get the heck out of here!”
He never run, I stayed back and my father
told me about getting shoed.
They rip your nose off
and everything, you know?
Bust you up real bad, you know?
[tire spinning]
Start kicking me
through the ribs and everything.
I think may as well get one shot in.
All of a sudden I got together my feet
and I went for kick one guy
and they started backing up.
So I get a little bit like a hero.
These guys actually respected me a lot,
you know what I mean?
Try take off your belt.
I tell you why.
Just take off your belt
so we don’t look like tourists.
-There’s a guy behind us, huh?
-Probably Kashima.
One of the guy that live on the land,
the farmer. He’s a papaya grower.
-We’re pretty far back in there.
-Yeah, this is way back.
The houses are all gone.
This is where my friends used to live
and I used to come down here
with my horse.
-What would you do down here?
-Oh, go fishing, go hunting,
go look for bottles.
-Bottles?
-Things get washed away
the bottle float up on to the ground
-Glass bottles?
-Yeah, soda bottles.
One of the bottles
I got in the back there worth $400.
-Really?
-Yeah, I’ll show it to you, my boy.
From pre-statehood, like way back?
-Territorial Hawaii.
-Territorial Hawaii?
Yeah.
I got one bottle over a hundred years old.
-Okay, you said when Hawaii became
a state some people were for it.
-Some people were against it?
-Right.
How do you feel about it now?
-I think it was good for the islands.
We wouldn’t be where we are today
if it wasn’t for statehood
because we wouldn’t have chance to grow.
Because we wouldn’t be getting
the federal grants and things like that.
And I’m totally against the annexation.
-Oh, okay.
Maybe a silly question for you
but I’m just trying to
understand as an outsider,
do you consider yourself American
or do you feel like
that’s another world, I’m Hawaiian,
US is something else
or how do you feel about it?
I’m an American.
-I’m true-blooded American.
-Okay.
I feel like God bless America.
You know?
You gon’ notice
the less education the person has
the more…
I don’t know,
naive or ignorance, or what he has.
You know what I mean?
Like some guys…
I got one neighbor that…
I wanna ask you a question,
is your glass half empty or half full?
What is it?
-For me, it’s half full.
-Right.
That’s a positive way
of thinking about life.
You know?
But for him he say,
“You drink already, it’s half empty!”
I tell him no.
But half empty means to be negative.
Half full means to be positive.
-Okay, what’s that have to do with
being American or not being American?
Well,
what I’m getting back to
is he collects social security.
And he b*tch to me about social security.
But this guy never worked
very much in his life.
So he gets only $400 a month.
You put in what you get.
And I told him the government had pay you
ten times over what you put in already.
So what you b*tching about?
You know?
“Oh no, the government told me I pay…”
Bullsh*t.
You getting more than what you put in.
Okay, this is the Rice monument over here.
-Okay, this is beautiful.
-Yeah.
-Look at this.
These trees are over a hundred years old.
-Oh my God, it’s like a fairytale.
[Peter] Such an amazing feeling
in here, guys.
Perfect temperature, light breeze,
peaceful.
You just feel like a little participant
in the story of nature here.
You know what I love, Vernon?
I feel very small and insignificant
here with all this nature on Kuai.
You know what I mean? You feel like…
You feel like you’re nothing really.
-I have, yep.
The Rice family own all this.
-Who is the Rice family?
They were missionaries before.
Hawaiians gave them land
in exchange for the good book, you know?
Oh, I gotta get quick. Watch out.
Let me back up.
Hi.
Right on.
-Those are members of the family or…
-No.
You pay for this, you see the slit
in the mountain over there?
-Okay, yeah.
-That’s where they going.
-So you can pay for a tour to go in there?
-Yeah.
You got the right one driving, you know?
[both laughing]
-She liked it, she thought that was funny.
-Yeah.
-[man greeting]
-Hey, how’s it?
-You guys doing okay?
-We doing all right.
We see no trespassing, hands up.
Perfect.
-So where you guys going?
-All the way up, yeah.
-You know the monument at the top there?
-Yeah.
I helped with the monument.
-Oh, for real?
-Yeah, yeah.
-What is your last name?
-Santos, no relation though.
I only get relations to Villatour,
Naralisa, and Cobertos.
-Coberto?
-Yeah, only family.
My wife was married to Coberto.
-Probably family.
-[Hawaiian]
Okay bra, have a good day.
[Peter laughing] You’re relatives?
-Is that how it is here?
-That’s all…
But that’s the thing, Peter,
that I get
that my grandchildren no understand.
You be good to people
it come back on you, you know?
-Yeah.
Don’t need me I can [mumbles]
and he see that.
Like how I say,
I never finished telling you
but ever since I had that
squabble with the guys that pile us…
-Yeah.
-I get all bust up, my brother came home.
He was three years older than me.
Came home in the night, got me up,
not in night in the morning hours,
got me up and told me
that everybody talking about me.
I was the youngest one there
and I stand up to the guys.
Be good to people and only by reputation
speaks for itself, you know?
[bright Hawaiian music]
[Vernon] These buildings now
are from the old days.
-All old buildings, yeah.
-Beautiful.
-Now it’s more of a tourist place, huh?
-Now it’s all tourists.
-It’s cool if I get a little bite to eat?
-Yeah, sure.
-You’re not hungry?
-No, I’m not hungry.
[pop music playing]
[Peter] Okay, great.
-[Peter] Poke bowls… How you doing?
-[woman] Hi.
-Musubi.
-These are deep fried Spam musubi.
-Deep fried spam?
-Yeah.
Is that a Hawaiian delicacy?
Spam used to be a Hawaiian delicacy,
this is just a little bit more, you know?
-Okay.
-I’m not a big Spam guy but–
-This is the next level.
-That is gourmet Spam? Okay.
-It’s popular here in Hawaii.
[Peter] Oh, that’s awesome.
Big pieces of tuna.
-All right, thank you.
-What’s your name?
-Peter.
-Peter, Jeff.
Thanks Jeff, all the best.
Let’s give the musubi a try.
[Vernon grunts]
Nice, we got it.
-You sure? You don’t eat raw fish?
-I don’t eat.
Thank you though.
This is amazing.
Some of the best food
I’ve had for a long time
-Yeah.
-Yeah.
I don’t eat, you know?
-I love good raw fish.
-I grew up in Hawaii but my whole family
was mostly the mountain.
-Mm-hmm.
-Kind of grew up living differently.
And don’t worry about
dripping something in truck.
This truck is working truck,
if something falls don’t worry about it.
-All right.
-Don’t worry about it.
I’m gonna recommend this food for sure.
Link down below in description if you’re
in… What’s the name of that town?
-Koloa.
-Koloa.
-Yeah, K-O-L-O-A.
Amazing food in Koloa.
[Vernon] Okay, now
this is where old, old graveyard.
Get mix Hawaiians, and Japanese
and the Japanese,
they all try outdo each other.
Putting higher monuments
and whatnot but, you know?
The first people to come to Hawaii
were the Chinese.
-After the Polynesians, right?
Hawaiians was here, you know?
-Okay, Hawaiians here, Chinese…
The king had offered
these Chinese people to dig the tunnels.
Because they wanted
to bring irrigation to the mills.
So I met the original tunnel diggers,
you know?
And how the Portuguese came was
the king was passing through the Azores
to go trade with England.
He used to trade back and forth.
And he’d look, “Whoa.”
“This climate
and the people just like Hawaii.
So he’d offer them land.
He would give them 20 acres, 30 acres,
but they had to work the land for 10 years
and then the land would be theirs.
That’s how the Portuguese people
came here.
Then the Japanese started coming in.
The last ones to come were the Filipinos
and the Filipinos
are still coming till today.
[waves crashing]
The big one on the side
of the one that is shooting
used to shoot right across this road.
Used to shoot a hundred feet high.
Because of the way
structured underneath, you know?
But the plantation
in those days they had sugar cane
and the spray would go on the cane.
So they went there
and blew the whole thing up.
[Vernon] These were all
plantation homes right here.
They don’t look like plantation homes
but this was all plantation
homes right here.
-Okay, so if you worked
for the sugar company
you were given a home to live in?
-No, you rent.
-You rent from them?
-Yeah, maybe $35 a month.
And then once you stop working
with them you’re out of your home, right?
-Yeah, you gotta move out.
If you go work
someplace else you gotta move out.
-So it was really hard
to leave the plantations, right?
-Yeah, because medical.
You had free medical with the plantation.
My friend own a shop over here
[Peter] That’s a nice place.
-This is old.
-Okay.
This is original.
-You eat taro chips?
-Yeah, sure.
Okay, I will grab some.
This guy make ’em right here.
[Vernon speaking Hawaiian]
[Vernon] Okay, okay.
-How you doing, sir? Peter.
-I’m Dale.
-Nice to meet you.
This is [Hawaiian] and this is the taro.
-Oh, these look awesome.
-No more grapefruit?
I will buy these.
[mumbles]
Okay Dale, what is the total?
-Take them.
-No, no, no, no.
Not free, not a problem.
-[Vernon] Okay Dale, thank you.
-[Peter] Take care.
-See you, sir.
-Okay, see you guys. Take care.
That’s why I don’t like come,
they don’t like take my money.
-They won’t take your money, huh?
-They won’t take my money.
These look great.
-They work hard, you know what I mean?
-I bet.
You like the sweet potato?
-Ah, I’m not gonna eat now.
-My throat get a little bit scratchy.
-Okay.
-You can bust it open.
-Let’s give this a go.
Try that. Good. Really good.
[crunching]
Mmm.
-Okay, time’s a wasting, let’s go.
-Yeah.
It’s like there’s some spice in here,
there’s some sweetness, you know?
No need put belt.
-Don’t put the belt on?
-No need. We’re going right there.
This is a different type of chip.
I’ve never had anything like this.
These things I’m bringing you,
it’s something you not gon’ find.
-You would never find this place.
-No.
-No way.
-You know what I mean?
-Mm-hmm.
-See the roof?
-Yeah.
It’s plantation house.
Check his truck.
-Is that a Model T truck?
-No, no, it’s a Chevy… or Ford.
Like they did back… They sold Ford.
-So some new blood coming in here.
Some new businesses.
Some fresh paint, some old stuff.
[Vernon] This is all old.
-Hasn’t been updated obviously?
-No, no.
That’s what they look like
back in the day?
-That’s what they look like.
-Okay.
-You ever seen the swinging bridge?
-No.
Okay, I’ll drop you off.
You walk on the bridge, you come back.
Take you camera with you.
-Down towards the river, down that way.
-All right.
-Go see the bridge.
-Okay.
[Peter] This place has
a totally different feel on the island.
A bit of a step back in time feeling
out here.
Here we go.
“15 at a time.”
Suspension bridge.
So we started in Lihue today.
That would be the biggest town
where the airport is, the Walmart,
the Costco, that sort of thing, the ports.
We’ve made our way around the south
and then around this west side.
Has a much different
more classic original feel to it.
Guys like Vernon
are so awesome to meet up with
because they want to tell you the stories,
they got the time, the knowledge.
Would never get this
cruising around on my own.
Finding all these places
and getting the stories.
It’s the stories
that make it all so interesting.
I love these old stories because…
What is it, in 20 years,
you know, they’re not gonna be there.
So getting them on camera,
stories of the grandfathers
and great-grandfathers,
the histories of these places,
you know, while it’s still
verbally being passed down
it’s just I get something out of it,
I think you guys do too if you’ve
come along this long in the video.
Vernon said he’s gonna bring us to
primitive former plantation town
that still exists here on the island.
That’s what we’re off to next.
[bright Hawaiian music]
[Vernon] This is Hanapepe Valley.
When I was young, came with my dad
and used to get caves, like…
They had Hawaiians in the cave
buried in wooden boxes
and they would just leave ’em there.
-Hawaiians in wooden boxes?
-Yes.
Like this cave right here.
Oh, in these caves?
-Yeah, you see one there?
-Yeah.
I would come and I would see the box
and I would see the skeletons inside
when I was young kid.
All through this valley go up.
This is Olokele Sugar Mill.
That’s the last sugar mill left
that went down already, it’s closed down.
Robinson was the last one
for using this mill.
-Okay.
-This was their mill.
This is the guy that take care
of Robinson’s property all over.
[honks]
Ben.
I don’t know if he stay home.
This was actually we call them haole camp.
Which was the white man, the lunas.
-Yeah, the lunas, yeah, yeah.
And then right in the back
is the Portuguese camp,
and then on this side was Japanese camp
and then your Chinese camp
and the Filipino camp.
[Peter] Oh, wow.
So I was from Hawaii,
born and raised here.
-They call them Pidgin.
-Pidgin English.
Yeah, the reason why it’s Pidgin English
is ’cause all the different races.
All the different races
get their own language.
-I didn’t know why. Okay, so you have
the Filipino talking to the Portuguese?
You break down English in your own way?
-Old timers.
-You’re Hawaiian?
-No, Portuguese Filipino.
-Portuguese Filipino.
But you can understand
our language little bit.
-Little bit, yeah.
-Oh, yeah.
-So when did that sugar mill close down?
-2009.
Robinson owns
a big swath of land over here, right?
-I think it was if I’m not mistaken,
36,000 acres.
-Okay.
So what’s it being used for now
because before it was sugar,
what’s it now?
-We get other agricultural companies
leasing the land
and we get housing, a hydro plant.
-Okay, so in a way it’s good
they own all that
’cause it can’t be developed right now?
-Well Robinson actually they can develop.
They have people come here
and want to do hotels and whatnot
but they’d rather stay farm.
You know, we right now
working on development
We’re looking at Lawai
but it’s low key bungalow style resort.
So what happened to all these workers
that lived in the plantation homes,
worked all these jobs?
-Most of the workers
got laid off, furloughed off
and they still had still
the right to live in their homes.
So some of the people
that got furloughed in 2009,
they still pay about $500 a month rent.
I pay $300 with trash and water.
-For your house?
-For my house, yeah.
Your house is sweet.
This is one of the guys
that can go Niihau anytime he like.
-Are you serious?
-Yeah, he can go anytime he like.
It’s my dream to go there
but not a chance, right?
-Not anybody can go there.
-Actually you can pay for it and go there.
-On a hunting–
-Safari, yeah.
-I would want to see the people in town.
-Yeah, I know.
-They all speak Hawaiian out there still?
-Yeah, yeah.
And their Hawaiian is completely different
Hawaiian than what they teach in UH.
-Completely different.
-How so?
By they get the original Hawaiian.
And the Robinson… Bruce and Kit
Robinson, they can talk fluent.
Fluent, I remember that.
No more water, no electricity, right?
-No more.
[Peter] So what are they doing out there?
They farm, they get cattle,
and they used to do kiawe.
But they no do kiawe anymore.
-The bee, they get kiawe honey
from the bees.
-How many people are living out there?
-I think now this side about 100.
And then most of ’em is here working
and helping us on the plantation.
-Do they have a different way
of looking at things
because they live such a remote lifestyle?
-Plenty of them cannot speak English.
-The education is a bit more local.
-Yeah.
-Okay.
-But hard working.
-Do they look at themselves as Americans
or not at all?
Uh, put it this way,
the ones that work for the Robinsons
versus the one outside
is completely different.
You get all these flags,
sovereignty and whatnot.
-Yeah, [Hawaiian] and whatnot.
-Yeah.
-But totally different.
-How many people have access?
-Not very much.
Not plenty.
-Like 50?
-All the workers, probably me.
-I told him over there is different.
-Do they accept you pretty well?
-Oh, yeah, yeah.
No problem but the thing is this
over there life is different.
The husband gon’ tell the wife,
“Okay, go get some poi.”
He go down the ocean,
“What you gonna eat tonight?”.
We gonna eat moi.
Throw net, get the moi,
get one of the big ones.
That’s all, they gon’ take
what they gon’ eat for tonight.
Tomorrow, “What you gon’ eat?”
“Manini.”
He catch manini.
That’s how they live off the ocean
because they have no icebox.
-Is it like Hawaii
a hundred years ago you think?
-Is that what it feels like?
-I would say yeah.
Do you notice…
they have no internet, right?
-No.
-No.
-So no social media?
-No.
So do you notice a difference in the kids
because they don’t have social media?
-They hard working.
-Yeah, they all hard workers.
And if you’d go there we’d get about
10, 20 women eyeing you up.
[chuckling]
-Because it’s like what, 10 to 1?
-Yeah.
-10 to 1 women over there?
No, yeah, for guys. No more guys.
My friend would go with a gun.
He tell me the women waving to him.
[speaking Hawaiian]
-Why so many more women than men?
Because they die out.
-You know what I mean?
-They take off?
No, they die out.
Maybe this lady,
she get kids but she got five daughters.
You know?
And our family about hanai.
Before they no adopt.
If I get five boys and you get two girls
you need one, I give you one, here.
You give them your name, everything.
That still happen.
Still happen over here.
Hanai is when basically you adopt
a kid but you don’t really adopt them.
They just come in and live here.
No more papers.
-That’s a Hawaiian thing?
-Yeah.
But when he give it’s lifetime, pal.
And the kid could take your name.
Bruce’s wife just had hanai on baby.
-From one of the–
-Ni’ihauans?
Yeah.
-Nah.
-Mm-hmm.
-The Robinsons? Oh, wow.
-Mm-hmm.
So basically like if a kid…
you take in a kid who needs parents
and it becomes your kid pretty much?
-Yeah, you raise them, pay for everything,
send them to school, everything.
-You just don’t do the paperwork.
-And that’s in the culture like forever?
-Yeah.
It’s like me, I had three boys
that had bad family.
They came and lived with me
until they went out
and joined the army and move mainland.
-Those were hanai kids?
-Hanai kids, yeah.
You know what,
I don’t know about you, Ben,
but I’ve never heard of any bad cases
when the family come and take ’em back.
-Yeah.
-Never ever heard that in my life.
Never heard that.
This guy used to hanai us
when I was so small.
-Running around with his boy.
-[laughing]
-We lived a tough life.
-Yeah, we lived a tough life.
Many cracks.
[laughing]
[rooster crows]
[Vernon] Okay, now you take off your belt.
-It’s okay to go down here
with the camera with you?
-Ben said we could pass through.
Only when you come by the house.
-No film direct facing, you know?
-Yep.
So jut to make very clear,
people shouldn’t drive down here.
You have the access and connections,
that’s why we drove down here?
-Yes.
-Nobody should drive down here?
No, that’s why you get signs.
[Vernon] Now over here gonna be
the oldest you gon’ find.
See the old house?
-Yeah.
-Gon’ get some abandoned guide too.
-This is sort of like old Hawaii, right?
-Yeah, this all old.
Plantation also is right here.
-Are these people working for Robinson?
-Yes.
See the old garage?
-It’s like a step back in time.
-Peaceful though, you know?
-Yeah.
You see how they fish right here
right from the front porch?
Yeah, that’s great.
-Up in the morning,
throw your pole right out there.
This one abandoned here.
Oh yeah, real old.
-Yeah, the jungle took over.
-Abandoned.
Right here this guy
working for love right now.
-What do you mean by that?
Louie.
-Louie
-Mr Souza?
-You old goat you, that’s you!
-Yeah.
Pull aside.
This guy is not getting paid.
He just doing this because he like
helping the people, right?
-I tried driving up and down this road
and listen to my wife complain,
“Oh the pukas, the pukas, the pukas.”
[laughs]
So working for love also means
working for his love, his wife.
-There you go, yeah.
-Same.
-I remember you bought a house over there.
-Yeah.
I still stay there. I never change.
Stop by with…
-Okay.
-Okay, Louie.
Working for love.
How you like that?
[bright Hawaiian music]
Okay Peter, you ever heard of this place?
-This place?
“Cream Rose”.
“Western Meat Company”.
-Don’t know of it.
-Okay.
This here is over a hundred years old.
They got this stopper here, okay?
They’ll fill up the soda
and this will be in the bottle.
These don’t come out.
And you pull them up with a wire
and you lock it right here.
When you like drink you just
press this down and you drink the soda.
So this bottle is worth about $500, $600.
This is what you call a crown.
But you see it’s embossed.
So this bottle is about 300 bucks.
-Where’d you get these, Vernon?
-Find ’em.
By my past time all over.
Here’s one more here, Louie Ice Company.
-Really thick, the glass back then.
-Yeah.
-It’s very thick.
-Hand-blown.
Okay, now,
ordinary Coke bottle, right?
-You’ve seen these before, right?
-Yeah.
“Lahouie TH”.
Territory of Hawaii before statehood.
-That is cool.
-So everybody kick these bottles
thinking it is rubbish.
But this bottle is worth 125 bucks.
This here,
this is a liquor bottle.
This is I think a beer bottle.
This here,
hundred, hundred fifty years old.
It’s hand-blown
but it doesn’t have any embossment.
You know how you can tell?
They blow the tops on after.
-Hmm.
-It’s not one piece, you know?
But this is one old, old bottle.
You believe this ruler
can tell you how old you are?
-Okay.
-Did your birthday come this year already?
-Not yet.
-Not yet, okay.
What I want you to do is
I want you to find the year you born.
Wait now, wait now.
You’re birthday didn’t come yet.
-Now I’d like you find the year you born.
-Okay.
Come over here.
-What year you was born?
-’77.
Okay, look on the other side get your age.
Oh, that’s cool.
-How the hell a ruler can do that?
-That is cool.
You know what year you dad was born?
-’42.
-Okay, find 42.
He’d be 81.
Would he be? Yeah, he would be.
That’s crazy.
-81 right now
if his birthday didn’t come yet.
-You never did see this?
-I’ve never seen this, this is cool.
Okay Peter, I show you how it’s done.
C’mere.
-All you do is you hold the year, okay?
-Mm-hmm.
Because you birthday didn’t come yet
I gonna hold 123.
Because you still in 2023 yet.
-Mm-hmm.
-If you told me your birthday came already
then I going 124.
-Okay.
-Okay?
So now look at me now.
-How old you think I am?
-You’re 81.
Okay, so now you go back
to same as you father.
-I’m sage age you dad.
-Yeah.
I’m born ’41 you gon’ see 81 over there.
I born ’42 already.
Okay, now…
-Whoa.
Put these back slowly,
don’t drop anything.
Put this back up inside.
-All right, before I do I’m just gonna say
thank you for today.
-Okay.
-Yeah, that was awesome.
-Really appreciate it.
-Okay, no problem.
You had great stories.
You welcome to come anytime
and next time you come
we go a little bit further.
-Okay?
-Okay.
All right guys,
thanks for coming along on that journey.
Till the next one.
[bright Hawaiian music]

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