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my hales and more

Lucky We Live Hawaii...


I have shared many photos of my places of employment and thought I would talk a little about the places I called home. I changed jobs as well as residences quite a bit over the years. After my years at Estate North Star, St. Croix, the Hawaii homes needed a sense of place. 

Clipping from The Honolulu Advertiser - July 1982 Waikane Tree House.jpg
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When relocating to Hawaii from St. Croix in late June 1982, we arrived with a couple of suitcases. After starting in Waikiki in a condo, we knew that wasn't going to work.  We relocated to Kailua but took on an unfurnished apartment which required us to purchase an entire household of stuff. This was also not working.

When I looked in the Sunday, July 11, 1982, Honolulu Advertiser, I found an ad for what I thought might be the perfect location. Coming from a secluded 75 acres on the north shore of St, Croix  we needed to transition into the gathering place known as Oahu. I made the call, and set up an appointment.

That is when I first met Claire Parker Johnson. I had been in Hawaii for about three weeks but I knew I truly arrived when I met Claire. Claire stated that her son, Ro was away at college and this was his home and they decided to rent it until his return. This meeting was an interview. It didn't feel like an interview, it felt that I had known Clair for a long time. She was like my aunty. For some reason Claire felt the same about me, except for the aunty part. She told me, I was meant to be in the "treehouse" until her son returned and she didn't need to look further. We accepted the offer to not only live in the cottage but got to be part of the Johnson family for while.

Claire and Kurt lived on the shore of Kaneohe Bay along with Kurt's mother and their youngest son, Koa  and Arna lived next door to the treehouse cottage.

We lived in the "treehouse" for just over a year before Ro was to return to the islands. Getting to begin my years in Hawaii in this very special place with very special people was truly an awesome experience.


When we moved, we didn't move far. We relocated to a little house on the beach, right after the curve of Kamehameha Highway, across from Kualoa Ranch..

Ro Johnson upon his return started flying for Hawaiian Airlines as well as with the Hawaii Air National Guard. I would be on a number of Hawaiian Air flights that he flew and it was nice to chat from time to time. Ro battled with cancer and lost the fight in 2006 at the age of 51. 

See a little more about the Johnson's below.

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Claire Parker Johnson - The Flower Lady  /  Mrs. Hawaii 1960

The Treehouse

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Arna Johnson
Arna, Koa and Ro Johnson
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After leaving the treehouse for the beach house, it was a nice change to be right on the water. We lived in one house for about a years or so before relocating a few doors down to a larger home owned by Ted & Harriet Yap of Kalihi. The second beach house came with a little old row boat. It was not sea worthy, so I refurbished it to new condition with new hardware and oars. I would row around Kaneohe Bay including out to Chinaman's Hat. I would row out in the early morning and climb on top and sit and take in the incredible surroundings. Some photos above are from those visits.

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The Beach Houses

The tree and beach houses were home from 1982 to 1986, when I worked at Air Hawaii, Island Airlines Hawaii, Rainbow Islands Cargo, Seagull Air, Hawaii, South Pacific Island Airways and the very beginning of Hemmeter Aviation.  Many companies in just a short period of time, but adjusted and kept moving forward while developing new opportunities for success. In just a short period of time at Hemmeter, I relocated to Maui and this time it was a mountain house. The Keokea house was sitting on the slopes of Haleakala at 4,200 foot level. Quite a difference  from sea level. I went through 2 cords of wood in the fireplace during the winter. It was the only heat source. A few photos below.

The Mountain House

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