It was in early 1920s. Local working class kids like me swam at places like Waikalulu pond off School Street. Of course we all wanted to swim at Waikiki beach. We knew we weren’t suppose to be swimming there. We knew it was only for haoles. This of course made it so much more enticing.

This one time, I was about 10 years old, I snuck through the beach front properties to get to the beach. I was so thrilled and proud. I couldn’t wait to tell my friends at school that I did this. I got to the pier that was in back of the Moana Hotel and leaped into the water. I hit my head on the coral and gashed it right open. I was bleeding plenty. The blood was flowing all over my head and my face.

I never had the 5 cents or whatever it was to catch the bus so I walked all the way to Queen’s Hospital to get my head fixed. I know now that sounds far but back then we did stuff like that. The doctor who fixed my head was Dr. Chock. I met him again later. He remembered sewing up my head. I still have the scar right here.

Mits Wilfred Oka, 2003