Welcome to Maui Then and Now

It will be interesting to see how many denizens of the Web have an

There's a lot happening on Maui, but sometimes you just want to hang by the beach with a good book!

interest in such an esoteric subject as the history of Maui. We already know that lots of people are interested in contemporary Maui. The word “Maui” has become shorthand for all that is warm and sunny and just exotic enough to be a great place to get away from it all. You’ll find it used this way in novels and television programs, as in “Darling, let’s run away from our jobs as highly paid international assassins and flee to Maui.”

But I live on the real Maui, the one where we argue about cane smoke and GMOs, fight traffic on Dairy Road, pay big bucks for groceries and shelter and everything else. That modern-day Maui was shaped by things that happened in the past—by history.

Remembering the Past

I believe that you have to understand the history of Hawai‘i even to understand today’s headlines. So when I started a class for newcomers to Maui some years ago, it included quite a bit of history. I also gave participants a little handbook, which eventually expanded into Island Life 101: A Newcomer’s Guide to Hawai‘i. It includes not only practical hints for new arrivals but a written version of the history I had been telling the class. Thus, my book for the island’s newest immigrants begins by telling the story of the first residents, those intrepid Polynesians who discovered these islands.

I’ve made a good portion of my living writing about Maui history (plus history as it happened, in my newspaper days), and I will be sharing on this blog some of the nuggets I’ve discovered. I’ll dig through files to find stories that are as interesting today as they were years ago. (And after more than 40 years writing on Maui, I have rather a lot of files.) I’ll talk about the treasure hunt that is historical research—Queen Liliuokalani’s hand-written list of garden plants, anyone?

 Living in the Now

I will write about Maui now as well as Maui then. So much goes on here worth writing about. As the people of old lived lives that gradually became history, so we are living through times that will shape the world for centuries in the future. The material for new stories just keeps on coming.

And, because as much as I love this island, I know there’s life outside Maui, I’ll write about my travels, about things in the world that intrigue or irritate me, and about whatever I think my readers might find interesting, then or now.


2 thoughts on “Welcome to Maui Then and Now

  1. I am excited to start reading your blog. I lived on Maui from 1969 to 1991 Raised on Oahu, married to a popular musician. I was a bartender in so many off the wall places. In Paia, The Scarlet Lounge, now Charlies. The best nightclubs in Wailuku. Mikado. Opened up the Hotel Intercontinental Wailea in the Imu Imu room. I live in Belize now, on a small island with an art Gallery. Such great times on Maui. 5 of my girlfriends from Roosevelt high school moved there 1969. There was a populare restaurant called FUKU TWO, in Kihei by Kihei Kai Nani, we dated David Crosby, who was always there. The Eagles bandmembers were there alot, not famous yet. Erik Estrada used to hang out and remember Doc on Gunsmoke, he lived in Kihei what a great man, so nice. Also little known fact. Jimi Hendrix last concert was on Oahu at the Shell. We met him as well on that last trip of his. Back then these guys were just people. Went sailing with Cousteous son. I better stop. Dont have time to do a blog, but will read yours. I come back to Maui often, so proud of the conservation, the turtles are thriving, no plastic or paper bags…

    • Lancashire

      Wow, Debbie, there’s some history there, huh? I’m sure we must have crossed paths at some point. Thanks for subscribing. I’ll try to keep it lively!

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