Moose: Life of a Twig Eater

NATURE: Moose, Life of a Twig Eater


High up in Canada’s Rockies, by a crystal-clear lake rimmed with old-growth forest, a moose is born. At the best of times, the odds are stacked against this leggy 35-pounder surviving its first year. Now, with moose populations across many parts of North America in steep decline, scientists are trying to understand what happens in the first year of a moose’s life. This stunningly intimate episode, filmed over 13 months in the spectacular wilds of Jasper National Park, takes viewers deep inside the world of a moose calf.






Cold Warriors: Wolves and Buffalo


For thousands of years, wolves hunted buffalo across the vast North American plains, until the westward settlement of the continent saw the virtual extinction of these vast herds and their eternal predators. However, this ancient relationship was not lost altogether and continues uninterrupted in only one location: the northern edge of Canada’s central plains in a place named Wood Buffalo National Park. Today, the descendants of those ancient buffalo and wolves still engage in epic life-and-death dramas across this northern land. Their story is captured in thrilling cinematic glory by a lone filmmaker who has followed them for more than 20 years.


Ed Ginoza


Ed Ginoza has dedicated his life to educating Maui’s public school students in science – in the classroom and beyond. His personalized approach to education has made its mark on countless young minds, earning him several top teaching awards throughout his career, including Hawai‘i State Teacher of the Year. Now retired, Ginoza coaches Maui High School’s team for the Hawai‘i Science Bowl, which they have won six times under his mentorship.


This program will be rebroadcast on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 11:00 pm and Sunday, Dec. 4 at 4:00 pm.


Ed Ginoza Audio


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Mom kept it pretty secretive as to the hard times. But the hard times were more a result of not having maybe what some of the other kids did. Like a few of the families had cars, some of ‘em had telephones, eventually they would get television. Like we never got a television until … no, we never got a television until … I don’t think they ever bought a television, to be honest with you. We didn’t get a phone until I was in high school.


This Maui native, who struggled as a student in his early years, would go on to win Hawaii teaching honors. Retired public school chemistry teacher, Ed Ginoza, next on Long Story Short.


Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox is Hawaiʻi’s first weekly television program produced and broadcast in high definition.


Aloha mai kakou. I’m Leslie Wilcox. Ed Ginoza didn’t realize he could be a good student until a teacher encouraged him. He became a teacher, who in turn, encouraged many students to excel, introducing them to the world of science. For nearly three decades, Ed Ginoza of Kihei taught chemistry, math, and physics at Maui High School. Many of his students have gone on to study science at top colleges, including MIT, Yale, and Stanford, and they’ve had successful careers in the field. And Ginoza says it was important to treat everyone equally, because he knew what it was like to feel less-than as an Okinawan kid growing up on a plantation in West Maui.


I was born in Puʻukoliʻi. It’s a little plantation village. I wouldn’t say little-little, but it was … actually, at one time, it was quite a large village. And we had six children; three boys, three girls. I was the fourth of the six. And Dad was an irrigator, and that’s all I knew him as, an irrigator. My mother … she was a housewife, pretty much. And so finances were real tough. We never got a car until after I left.


So, did it feel like you were getting short-shrift? ‘Cause sometimes people learn they have abundance, even when the money is low, and sometimes it just seems really hard.


I don’t think we felt that deprived, because most of us were pretty much in the same situation. I mean, you’re on a plantation, and all the kids are almost in the same situation. Some people are worse off than others.


What was it like small-kid times on the plantation? You talked about how the family had trouble, you know, with hard times. What else?


You know, grammar school up to the fourth grade was okay. Fifth and sixth grade was kinda bad. I’ve already said that. Seventh grade was bad. Eighth grade was okay. But actually, living in community in some ways was good, because you know, we were all pretty much friends. But being Okinawan had some drawbacks, made you feel a little bit insecure.


Weren’t there a lot of Okinawans on the plantation?


Not where we lived at. There were just three families of Okinawans.


And what was everybody else?


From all over the place. They were considered Japanese; we were considered Okinawans.


And you were always very conscious of that?


I’ve always been conscious of that. And with ourselves, we weren’t treated badly, but my sister was. She suffered some prejudice.


How so?


Because we’re different.


They teased her?


No; I really don’t remember what, you know, exactly what she went through. But I remember my mother or my sister saying, yeah, she had some prejudice against her by certain individuals. So, it was pretty much of a normal life, as far as growing up. We went to the Methodist church and we were part of a youth group, so all our friends were there. But it was a segregated place. I mean, Japanese Camp, Filipino Camp, the Portuguese. And the segregation, a lot of times, came out in fights with the kids,. Because I remember some of my friends would fight with the Portuguese kids.


Because the Portuguese kids’ parents were the lunas.


Right; right. And I don’t know why, but it was just—yeah; yeah.
With kid stuff, it could be anything.




It doesn’t have to have a reason.






Right. And there would be fights with some of the Hawaiian kids. But prejudice was kind of widespread at that point.


And you were a small minority, with only three families who were Okinawan. Now, what would be the discrimination against Okinawans?


In Puukolii, the boys didn’t suffer that. But I know that on Oahu, actually, it was worse, where people would get divorced if they married an Okinawan.


And that was because Okinawans were … country folk?


The Japanese were really almost—you know, their culture is a very homogenous type of culture. Right? They don’t approve of Koreans. Even the great baseball player, he was Korean, actually. But they’re very prejudiced against outsiders. They call them gaijin, or hakujin, they call the foreigners, they refer to them as. But we growing up, I never really felt that with most of my friends. With my friends, anyway. But I remember my dad had some feeling about Filipinos, because my sister was thinking about going out with a Filipino boy, and they objected. Which was always very fascinating, because I have a Portuguese uncle, and you know, he seemed to be all right.


After high school, Ed Ginoza went to college in Colorado, where he graduated with a degree in chemistry, and later earned a master’s in education. Ginoza says his parents initially balked at sending him to college, but ended up sacrificing to make it happen.


Fortunately, Dad and Mom had an endowment insurance policy for about eighteen hundred dollars. The endowment policy doesn’t exist anymore; they made it illegal. But they would get a cash payout after, you know, twenty years or something like that. And they finally agreed to send me to college with that endowment. I look back now, and I think, Wow, they spent their entire life savings to send me to college.


That’s amazing. Where did you go?


I went to a small school in Colorado, Adams State College.


Did you know you wanted to go into science when you started in college?


Actually, I wanted to go into engineering. Don’t ask me how I knew about engineering, but I said, Okay, I like math, I like science, so I wanted to go into engineering. So, I went there with the idea of taking the pre-engineering course, and then after a year, they offered me, you know, National Defense Loan. At that time we had this NDA loan which was three percent interest. And so, they offered that to me, and then my chemistry teacher said, Why don’t you just stay here and major in chemistry, physics, and math, instead of going to engineering school.


And so, what did you get offered? It was a scholarship or a loan?


I had a scholarship for the first quarter, which paid my in-state tuition. Then, during the third quarter of walking down the aisle and the dean of the college—you know, small school, so he asked me how things were, and I said, Oh, it’s going pretty good, I think I’m gonna get a 4.0 grade point average this quarter, while working fulltime in a Chinese restaurant.


Oh, you didn’t mention the fulltime in a Chinese restaurant.
Yeah. Yeah; I worked, well, pretty close to fulltime. I would go in at four o’clock, and I wouldn’t get back until ten o’clock. And so, I reduced one course; I carried twelve credits, and then did that. And so, the dean said, You know, if you want to go to summer school, I’ve got this money that you can have. So I talked to my parents, and my parents says, Go ahead. And the loan actually covered my tuition, my books, and living expenses.


Because you did well in your early days in college.


Yeah; yeah.


Socially, what was it like?


Socially, it was different. There weren’t too many Hawaiʻi kids there. In fact, when I got there, I think there was three of us. Yeah; socially, it was little difficult, because we were different.


And it must have been confusing to people, ‘cause you’re a Japanese guy working in a Chinese restaurant. When did you decide you were gonna be a teacher?


After I graduated, I decided. By then, I had most of the credits to be a teacher. So, I just needed like student teaching, so I said, Okay, maybe I’ll just complete that part.


Now, I’ve heard that you were actually offered a couple of jobs teaching, but you wouldn’t take them, even though you were unemployed, because you felt strongly you wanted to work at a public school.


Yeah; that was after I came back. I went to Baldwin, and we have what they call vice positions, which is a one-year … you know, you’re only obligated for one year. And after 1972, all of us who were probationary teachers were released. So, a friend of mine and I—Peter Martin, he’s now a big developer on Maui, were up at USIU, which is United States International University. And so, we were at the site taking a class, and the head of USIU asked me if I ever considered working with the university. Because they were trying an experimental school, where they were taking high school sophomores, kids after their sophomore year, they were trying to put them in the university. And I also met Dr. Melrose’s wife, who was the head of Seabury, and she asked me if I would consider working at Seabury. But I decided that wasn’t the route for me. I wanted to go back to the public school.




I’ve always been a strong believer in the public school. I’ve always felt that, you know, public schools is where I grew, and I felt that we need teachers in public schools just as much as any place else. And I just, I guess, felt there were certain other benefits that I like about teaching in the public school and working for the State. One was, I knew the retirement system was much better. But at that time, I don’t know why; I just felt like, Okay, I’m going back to public schools.


After one year at Baldwin High School, Ginoza was hired as chemistry teacher at Maui High School, where he wou ld work for the rest of his career, and pick up awards for his teaching. Ginoza firmly believes that being a great educator means helping students in the classroom, and beyond.


Teaching is really almost a creative art that most people don’t realize. You can’t just throw a subject matter at kids. You can’t just stand in front of a class and expect them to love you, or whatever. You have to have, you know, experiences, and you need stories.


So, you need to build a bond.


You need to build a bond. Right; right. And it’s a bond and it’s a trust issue. You need to get the trust of the kids, but you have to develop a relationship with the kids. And this is where I say that most of the relationships I developed, or a lot of it, was after school hours. Like in the 70s, I would take the kids and started a science club, and we’d take the kids hiking all over the island. We actually even went to the Big Island one year. And we would always go through the Haleakala Crater. And what the kids remember is those trips that we took.


So, you you bonded over activities that had to do with—


And classes, too. Because I would keep my room open so the kids would eat lunch there, and they would play chess, or they would ask for homework help. And I actually had classes like on Tuesday nights when I was teaching AP. So, the kids would come. But it was also very social.


That means a lot from you, taking time off from your days off, and taking them to do things, having classes open.


Yeah, it was.


When other teachers might have had some quiet time.


Yeah; most teachers went into the lunchroom, or had quiet time. But I found out, hey, you know, the kids need help, I’ll be there. I gave up my prep period every day after school to work with the kids. Which meant that I would have to do my prep at night, so it was always ten o’clock at night before I’d quit. And weekends, I would be working on their papers. But I also did certain things, I think, that were really powerful. And one of the things I did early on was, when kids took exams, I would always have the results for them the next day, even when I went on a trip.


During the time of mainstreaming, you had a science class, and one of your students was blind.


Yes; I got him when he was a freshman. And I was really very reluctant, because I had to completely change the way I taught the course. And maybe it was good, because now, I had to prepare everything three weeks in advance.


Oh, preparation again.


Yeah; it was. And it forced me to prepare three weeks in advance. Because any written material would have to be first brailed.


Oh …


And I told you about, you know, how his previous teacher had treated him.


How was that?


She would explain something, and then point to the board, not realizing that he was blind. And she had no regard for how he felt. And he was kind of quiet, but that happens a lot with kids. You know, even if they don’t understand, they remain quiet. But then, later on, it would come up. And so, I made sure that everything I said was not only on the board, but I had to verbally give instructions, I had to verbally explain how to do things that would normally require … easiest way to do it is put it on the board. But for example, I remember trying to teach him what they call dimensional analysis. Dimensional analysis is nothing more than doing conversions either from centimeters to millimeters, to inches, or cups to quarts, to gallons. But I had a specific way that I wanted them to do the work. And at first, he had a little difficulty, but the instructions finally took hold. Because one day, he said he was on the bus going home, and he said, I understand how it’s done. Then when he graduated, he came to see me and said, Mr. Ginoza, thank you very much. He said, You made science crystal clear, and I could actually see the universe.


The achievements of Ed Ginoza’s students in science caught the attention of recruiters from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


1971, 72, when I had my first student going to MIT, there were very few people that were going into MIT. And I just so happened to get the recruiter, who was the past president of the MIT Foundation that ran the place. And he told me; he said what we did at Maui High was very, very unusual. Because at that time, they didn’t look at the applicants from Hawaiʻi as, you know, like a primary recruiting area.


But Maui High stuck out on the list?


Maui High stuck out on the list, to the point where my principal came back, and one of my principals said people in Oahu were talking about how we had the key to the back door at MIT, because we started putting kids in on a regular basis.


You said your kids nominated you for Teacher of the Year in 1988, which you won. What did they say about you? Did they say, Whoa, he’s really rough, but he’ll give you a fair shake?


Yeah. Interesting, because yeah, I was considered as a real tough teacher. But apparently, you know, the impact that I had on them was interesting. I wish I had brought my little book with me that one year after I got that, then the kids had a luncheon in Koho’s, a restaurant Downtown, and they invited me. And all the kids were there, and they presented me with a thank-you book.


Why did you win Teacher of the Year? What was it?


Actually … the kids recommended me. I mean, my students; it was actually the students that decided what teacher they were gonna put for Teacher of the Year. And actually, I got put in twice. In ’87, I went for district; I didn’t picked. Then actually in ’87, I got picked. ’86, I didn’t get picked. But I found out why I didn’t get it in ’86. Because my essay was a little bit too negative.


About what? About the DOE, perhaps?


Yeah, it was about the DOE. I said that it’s unfair for kids to leave in all these classes because of student activities. So, when I got picked again in ’87, then I decided, okay, that didn’t go over too well, so I wrote another essay on a more positive side.


Political adventure there.


Yeah; you know, it’s how you approach. You know, I learned from that first experience that, don’t be negative.


Can you tell when you’re helping kid, that this is going to mean something to them? Or is it not clear at the time whether it’s taking sometimes?


That’s the interesting part. You can tell not by what they say, because a lot of times, the kids will look at you and say, Yeah, yeah, I understand. But you know if it’s not taking hold. I know when it’s not taking hold, so I have to take a different approach to it.


So, at some point, can you see a little light bulb go off?


Oh, yes.


Can you actually see that?


Oh, yes.


You’ve had some students go on to some terrific science positions. Can you recall any of them for me right now?


Yeah; the one I remember, the one that always fascinated me was, I had this girl when she was a junior and senior. And I had taught her, again, dimensional analysis, which is a very powerful tool in teaching physics and chemistry. And she went on to the University. She wasn’t very confident that she could handle engineering. But she wrote back to me and she said, I went to the University, I took chemistry, and I maxed the first exam. And then, she said from there, she went on to Stanford for her master’s in electrical engineering, and she wrote to me from Intel.


Ed Ginoza retired in the year 2000, but he continues to share his passion with students. As a Hawaii Science Bowl coach, Ginoza mentors Maui High School students who are vigorous contenders and high performers at the competitions.


There’s so much time and effort put into that. What does it mean to the students who participate?


For them to participate, and the ones who really take it seriously, it really builds their backgrounds. It really solidifies their background. And the one thing sometimes that I don’t mention is that I actually have them doing the teaching.


They teach themselves?


No. You know, when you teach the kids, some kids are gonna progress much faster than others; right? And like right now, I’ve got a procedure where if one kid is answering all the questions, then I hand him the questions, and he runs the session. Like for example, I have one kid doing it right now, and he’s using the techniques that I taught him. So, they become the teacher. And the interesting part is, these kids come back, and they love to teach. The graduates a lot of times will come back and help me with the math, or whatever. Like, I have kids from MIT coming back and actually doing the teaching; they will teach them some advanced stuff.


You’re not getting paid for it; right?




And it’s not part of school credit, so it’s a labor of love, but it’s also very hard to make it happen.


Yeah; and we’re having actually our twenty-fifth anniversary. But I think sometimes, you know, we look at reward by monetary means. But I felt that there’s things that I did that money can’t buy, because of the success of the kids. I mean, you can’t buy that type of gratification that you get. Money doesn’t … yeah, it would be nice to get paid. People always ask me, Why do you do it? You’re not getting paid for that? And you know, I say, everything’s not about money. I mean financially, I guess, I’m set, so it’s not a problem too. Yeah.


But being a math guy, have you ever computed how many hours you’ve spent training Science Bowl competitors?


I have.


Okay. So, what’s the deal? How much money would you have made if you got paid?


I have never figured out how much money I would be paid.


So, how many hours?


Well, you can figure at least two hours every day, minimum. And not counting prep time, vacations. We go summer, we go Christmas vacation, we go Easter breaks. I don’t know; maybe five, six hundred hours, maybe more. Twenty-something years of doing that.


You mean, not five hundred per year?


Oh, yes; per year.


Five, six hundred per year, times decades.


Pretty close to that; yeah. Maybe not quite five hundred. Yeah, I would say maybe four hundred.


Wow. And it was worth it; it’s all been worth it?


It’s all been worth it.


What about when Punahou beats you?


I’m not too happy.


Well, you beat Kalani, my alma mater.


Well, we beat Kalani, we beat Punahou, we beat ʻIolani. Yeah. ʻIolani’s not too happy when we beat them. And since 2002, we’ve taken six science bowls, so you can figure that we’ve probably won as many as the private schools. You know, any private school.


Makes you feel good to say that, doesn’t it?


Yeah, it does.


Ed Ginoza met his wife in a college physics class. They raised two daughters. And at the time of our conversation in 2016, they’d been married for fifty-one years. Mahalo to Ed Ginoza of Kihei, Maui for sharing your story with us. And thank you, for joining us. For PBS Hawaiʻi and Long Story Short, I’m Leslie Wilcox. Aloha, a hui hou.


For audio and written transcripts of all episodes of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, visit PBSHawaii.org. To download free podcasts of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, go to the Apple iTunes store, or visit PBSHawaii.org.


There must be something about having taught on an island for so many years, and then you see not only your students, but your students’ kids, and their kids, and relatives. I mean, what’s that like?


I found it to be actually kinda nice. I had an optometrist, and he gave me a free pair of glasses. He lost the bill. Sometimes, I see one of the students I had in high school who I was very close to, and she’s a pharmacist at Kaiser. So, it’s kinda nice in a way, because when you do a good job, the kids also respond in a like manner.




Larry Lindsey Kimura


Larry Lindsey Kimura of Hawaii Island was just a child when he began to sense that the Hawaiian language his grandmother spoke fluently was on the verge of extinction. Ever since, he has committed his life to the preservation and perpetuation of the language, as a teacher and developer of innovative programs, including Punana Leo, the Hawaiian language preschools.


This program will be rebroadcast on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at 11:00 pm and Sunday, Nov. 27 at 4:00 pm.


Larry Lindsey Kimura Audio


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Every once in a while, we slaughtered our own chickens, so we would have chicken hekka. And I thought hekka was a Hawaiian word, but it’s supposed to be a Japanese word. And then I asked people from Japan, and they have no idea what I’m saying. So, I said, well, I’m sorry, I speak the Japanese I heard in Hawaii, so that’s the word we use.


So, what happened with chicken hekka at your table?


Well, then at the dining table, my Japanese grandfather had made this table special. So, he had cut out in the center of the table a square that you could put a shichirin. Shichirin is where we put the charcoal into this little stove from the furo fire, and charcoal. And then, we put the cast iron skillet on it to cook our hekka with all the vegetables.


Right at the table.


Right at the table.




The best meal we could have. And I still miss it. I don’t have a stove like that anymore. You have a gas stove, maybe. That’s the closest thing you could do; yeah.


Larry Lindsey Kimura of Hawaii Island grew up with a Japanese father and Hawaiian mother. He was exposed to both the Japanese and Hawaiian languages through each of his grandmothers, but it was the Hawaiian language that he resonated with more. His lifelong passion for the language, and determination to keep it alive, is one of the reasons the Hawaiian language is flourishing today. Larry Lindsey Kimura, next, on Long Story Short.


Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox is Hawaii’s first weekly television program produced and broadcast in high definition.


Aloha mai kakou. I’m Leslie Wilcox. Dr. Larry Lindsey Kimura, associate professor of Hawaiian language and culture at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, is often called the grandfather of Hawaiian language revitalization. And for good reason. The results of his dedication to perpetuating the language can be seen and heard across the islands through the ever-growing number of Hawaiian language speakers. His interest in Hawaiian language started when he was growing up in the 1940s and 50s in the ranching town of Waimea on Hawaii Island. The only people who still spoke fluent Hawaiian were his grandmother’s generation, and he sensed then that the language was on the verge of extinction.


My father is pure Japanese, Isao Kimura, and he’s Nisei, second generation. My grandparents are from Hiroshima, Japan. Came over like most of the Japanese here in Hawaii, for the plantation, sugar plantation. And unusual for a Japanese family to get involved with ranching. On my ji-chan’s side, my Japanese grandfather’s side, as soon as his contract was up in Kohala, then he worked for the Hind Ranch at Puu Waawaa in North Kona. And then, from there, went over to Parker Ranch, and then continued his family there, where my father was born, raised. So, like my mother as well, my mother from the Lindsey family, and her mother is a Purdy. So, that’s how we have the Purdy and Lindsey combination.


So, part-Hawaiian. How much Hawaiian?


Oh, she always said she’s Hawaiian. And I said, How could you be pure Hawaiian if your name is Lindsey? She said, Well, that’s all I know. But she’s half-Hawaiian. Yeah. She finally proved that to the Hawaiian Homes. A little bit more than half. Yeah.


And spoke Hawaiian.


Yes; as she grew up. And I heard Hawaiian, you know, from her. And my father, of course, is a native speaker of Japanese, ‘cause that’s his first language with his siblings.


What language did they speak to each other?


Between my parents, of course, English. Yeah.


And you had grandparents, one of whom spoke Japanese, and one Hawaiian.


Yeah. No, I only knew my Japanese grandmother and my Hawaiian grandmother, ‘cause both of my grandfathers had died before I got to know them. So, when they got together, they would conduct their conversation in real broken Pidgin. You know, lots of Hawaiian words. I always thought my Japanese grandmother was saying Japanese words, and they were really Hawaiian words when she’s talking to us, as well. She didn’t speak to us in fluent Japanese, except when we needed scolding.


So, when you were born, what was your father doing, where?


By the time I could remember, he was already working with pasture, noxious weeds, to getting rid of panini. You know, the cactus was getting out of hand, and lantana, and things like that getting out of hand, and working with all of these botanists on what the best solutions would be. And then also feed; the best kinds of grasses that would grow in different sections. The ranch was huge, of course. Is huge. And different weather conditions, all of those things. And this where he got to know the land like the back of his hand. So, although on my mother’s side, of course, my grandfather on my mother’s side was the head of the cowboys of Parker Ranch since 1906 or so, and until his death. But of course, you work on the land, so you get to know it. And I thought all of those life experiences from my father and grandfather’s side made an impact on our lives about a place, and knowing a place, and how to respect it, especially because of what was happening with the land, how it was being used. And you know, I didn’t really appreciate that so much until moving away.


During this time, are you learning Hawaiian?


The Hawaiian that I got to learn is when I was in the company of basically my Hawaiian grandmother. Because she would socialize in her language. And if you spoke English, she could speak English, but she wasn’t comfortable speaking English. So, she was more normal with her own gang of people, her generation, and people who spoke the language. And there were still people in our community who spoke it very fluently, who were, you know, speakers of it.


You were so impressed with the Hawaiian language. Did the Japanese language not appeal to you in the same way?


It did appeal to me, but it didn’t appeal to me in the same way. Right. And how I got to make that understanding for myself, you know, I can’t rationalize that now, but I knew that the Hawaiian language had this place, Hawaii as its place, and that Japanese was not. I knew that from a very early time in my life, so it wasn’t difficult for me to think that this language, Hawaiian, won’t be here for long.


You thought that as a young boy?


Yeah. Because I saw that the people who were using it very naturally in their lives were older people.


So, you had a sense that the language might need saving?


Well, I didn’t think of it that way, you know, earlier. Until later.


M-hm. You thought of it as something that wasn’t gonna be happening in the future much. You know, you’re one of the few people I know who as a child had a sense of something, and an attachment to something, and you know, as you grew up, you know, you wouldn’t know how you would ever monetize it or make a career out of it, or have it be something that stays with you. But you did. There was a career that unfolded for you in Hawaiian language.


Yes; a career unfolded. I didn’t think of it in those terms, that I was going to make this a career. ‘Cause I didn’t know what to call it. I just knew this is what my passion is, and this is what I’m gonna be working in, whatever it’s gonna be called. I didn’t know what the name of it was going to be.


Were you confident it would come? That it would be would be something that you—


I was confident that that’s what was I was going to dedicate myself to. But you know, as I said, who’s gonna pay me for it? Is this a job, or is this a profession? It didn’t um, enter my mind that way.


Larry Lindsey Kimura didn’t speak Hawaiian growing up beyond what he learned from spending time listening to his grandmother and her friends. It wasn’t until he was at the Kamehameha School for Boys in Honolulu that he had his first Hawaiian language class. And that didn’t go very well.


We were given a six-week course at the eighth grade, and I almost flunked the course, because I didn’t feel it was taught correctly. In my opinion.


Because it didn’t sound like what you learned at home.


Yeah; it was trite. It wasn’t taught like it was the real thing. And for me, it was a bit offensive. So, I didn’t take to it. So, when another opportunity came up—this is very rare. Colonel Kent, the president of the boys’ school, I didn’t know was interested in Hawaiian, and he convinced this person who is a native speaker of Hawaiian—she had just retired teaching her whole life in Hawaiian music, that is Dorothy Kahananui. She retired from the University, he convinced her to come in my sophomore year, and she was to teach Hawaiian she’s never taught before, and write a textbook for high school. A textbook to teach Hawaiian. And she was there just for those three years I was there, and I happened to have a free homeroom period when she came, enrolled in the class, and just loved it. And that’s how I got to be trained enough to speak it to my grandmother when I got home during the summer breaks that we went home, you know.


What did your grandmother say when you came home speaking?


Of course, I was a bit hesitant and frightened what her response would be. But luckily, I had been writing to her in Hawaiian, in letters. And she responded. And so, she had this idea about my becoming … well, she thought I was just becoming interested in Hawaiian then, but actually, I was interested in it way before. And so, actually, it it felt very comfortable using Hawaiian. And with my granduncles and grandaunts, you know, that group of people back home, they were not critical at all. They were very supportive. So, I was lucky. Maybe Mrs. Kahananui taught me well enough, so …


So, you were loving Hawaiian at Kamehameha, talking with your Hawaiian grandmother in Hawaiian, but you still didn’t see how this would be of benefit to you in a profession. There was no such job that you knew of, right, to move along to.


No. I was just, you know, engaging it as much as I could, to learn as much as I could.


And was there anybody else around you who wanted to do this?




Buddies of yours? No?


Everybody thought it was a crazy thing, I’m sure. I just didn’t want to discuss, I didn’t know how to talk about my interest with anyone. Because at that time, people would probably think I was crazy.


And even your grandmother didn’t know how interested you were.


No; she didn’t know. Until she saw the letters that I wrote when I was in the tenth grade, eleventh grade, when I was taking Hawaiian.


So, just a personal consuming interest that you kept to yourself mostly.






But obviously, as it became more outward, people recognized it; yeah.


Well, after Kamehameha, it was on to UH?


Well, I didn’t know. You know, counselors at Kamehameha didn’t counsel you to go into Hawaiian, actually, back then. There was no place to go, first of all. So, the only thing left for me to do was to stay at home, which I did, and I went to the two-year college at Hilo. Back then, it was only a two-year university campus. And then, you finished up here at Manoa. So, when I was in Hilo, luckily, you know, that gave me the opportunity continue meeting up with my grandparent generation, my grandmother and my aunts and uncles on weekends. And they were my teachers that helped me to become more fluent. And I was brave enough to begin to try and record some of our speakers of the language, older people. Yeah. And in fact, I saw that when Mrs. Kahananui brought this tape recorder, this huge seven-inch tape recorder to class and played this Bishop Museum recording of an interview of a native speaker with Mrs. Pukui. And I said, When my grandmother comes for my graduation, I’d love for her to be recorded like this person was recorded by Mrs. Pukui. You think Mrs. Pukui will do it? Oh, I’m sure she would. Why don’t you just … well, I think we could ask her. So, I did; I just found out where she lived, and introduced myself. And I said in Hawaiian, My grandmother is coming, would you interview her? She said, Of course, I would.


Wow; that was a big step forward.




She was the reigning authority.


So, that gave me, you know, this whole interest in understanding the value of trying to record as many of these people as we could.


And what did they think of you trying to record them?


Yeah; they probably thought I was pretty weird to be interested in what they would want to tell me in Hawaiian. And so, they were pleased to have somebody to actually take an interest in what they knew.


What did they talk about for the purpose of language?


Everything and anything. And I didn’t care. You know, of course, I tried to find out about them, naturally. Their life, where they come from, and things they did, and all of those kinds of things and all. So many different topics.


Larry Lindsey Kimura’s audio recordings of the last generation of Native Hawaiian language speakers have become a priceless community resource not only for language learners, but for his documentation of a way of life that is now long gone. After finishing his first two years of college in Hilo, Larry Lindsey Kimura went on to the University of Hawaii at Manoa to finish his undergraduate degree. It was during this time that he started meeting other students and young people interested in the Hawaiian culture.


Before I graduated from the University of Hawaii, I got involved with some young musicians, young male musicians. It was a rare thing to have younger, like you know, my—well, back then, they were twenty-two, twenty-three or so. And in Hawaiian music, lots of the Hawaiian music was being played for tourists and that kind of occupation. But when this group of people, men, young men got together, it was more about seeking a profession, maybe, in Hawaiian music. Not necessarily for the tourist industry, just that maybe they could do some recording. And maybe they could find some job. I don’t know exactly. But I was not a musician. I only got involved because of my connection to Hawaiian language. So, Palani Vaughan, Frank Vaughan’s girlfriend was in my class, one of my anthropology classes, and she knew that I knew some Hawaiian songs, unrecorded ones. And she asked if I could help her boyfriend, ‘cause her boyfriend was interested in doing some Hawaiian songs that had not been recorded. And that’s how I got to get involved with the recording industry, if you call it that, with Hawaiian music, because of my Hawaiian language connection. And so, this is where I got to meet Peter Moon, because he was one of the musicians for Palani Vaughan. The Sons of Hawaii, an older group of men, Gabby Pahinui, Eddie Kamae, and them had formed this group called Sons of Hawaii. And they were trying to bring out the old Hawaiian music. And then, there was this young group, the Sunday Manoa, just upstarts in Hawaiian music. And I think that affected the enrollment in language. And most of the students who enrolled in Hawaiian were ethnic Hawaiian students, and which was rare. I mean, the percentage of Hawaiian students at Manoa was very low at the time. Although, there were other non-ethnic Hawaiians who had enrolled in Hawaiian as well, just people from Hawaii; local people.


You think music drove their interest in language, then?


I think it kinda caught the ear. Then, another thing that was happening, of course, it was ten years after statehood in ’59, so this is ’69. The expansion of the urban sprawl of Honolulu out into, you know, Kuliouou, Aina Haina, and all of that. We became a state to make decisions about development that caused some concern about agriculture. And among the agriculturalists were some pig farmers, Hawaiian people who were being evicted.


From Kalama Valley.


From Kalama Valley.


Which is farther east.






So, I think those three things were signs or indications of this beginning of the renaissance; the Hawaiian music, the Hawaiian language enrollment at Manoa, and eviction of pig farmers in Kalama Valley.


Displacement. Huh.


Yeah. Because Hokulea and Kahoolawe came after.


So, it felt like there was increasing interest, but you couldn’t tell that it would actually develop into a phenomenon that would change many, many lives, and the course of history.


Yeah. It’s strange that, you know, language seems to be something subtle, and yet, it is very powerful. And that’s how come it’s so easy to lose language, because people take it for granted, and they don’t realize when it’s not around them anymore, ‘cause they feel that they’re still Hawaiian, or whatever national affiliation, if I can use that word, or a place, your own place. But it’s not just music, and it’s not the food, and all of that, that keeps you who you are, you know. It’s your own language.


Larry Lindsey Kimura started teaching Hawaiian language at the University of Hawaii at Manoa before moving back home to Hawaii Island to continue teaching language and culture at the UH Hilo. At the time of our conversation in early 2016, he’d been teaching for more than forty years, while also working from the grassroots community levels to achieve his goal of restoring the language.


You’ve had this very amazing role in the Hawaiian language, a number of really amazing roles. For example, you helped to found Punana Leo.




The Hawaiian language preschools.


Yeah. Because we knew that just teaching it, you know, at college or in high school, those kinda classes like you would teach a foreign language is not going to get the language back to life. So, we knew that we had to get to the babies as young as we could. And the setting that could provide that for us would be like a preschool setting. Although we knew very little about preschools, except we heard the word preschool, and that’s where parents take their babies to get some early education, childhood education.


So, you educated yourself pretty quickly on how to start a preschool.


Yeah; a good environment to have children, and then just speak to them in Hawaiian while you’re educating them about all kinds of things.


Another amazing role was—well, is Hawaiian Lexicon Committee. You get to help invent new names in the language.


Well, it came out of, you know, the engagement especially with the younger kids, the younger children, two and a half, three-year-olds, because you needed to have words for cubbyhole, or how to do you say playhouse in Hawaiian, or you know, all of these words that are used in that kind of a program. And we had, of course, words coming out of our college classrooms, but not at the rate that was impacting us when we started these preschools. And then, it continued.


How do you say pacifier?


Yeah; all those kinds of things. And you know, they did circles in the morning, and they would have their literacy lessons in reading, writing, and beginning to recognize alphabets, and all kinds of things like that. And the content of the material, and the stories that we were—well, we didn’t have a place to buy little books for our children, or nice posters with beautiful colors, so we had to take what was in English, you know. I’d go to the Salvation Army store, get a book for ten cents, and just cut and paste things on top of the English language, so that our Hawaiian teachers could read them to our children. And the context sometimes, there were words in it that were very foreign to Hawaiian. That’s how we started. You know, now, we’re getting a little bit more from Hawaiian into Hawaiian, but we still have to contend with the onslaught of a whole new world that our language was separated from for so long, that we need to catch up on. So, this Lexicon Committee or Hawaiian New Words Committee started officially more like from the beginning with the Punana Leo in 1983, 84, 85. ’87, we became a little bit more official, because in ’87, the Department of Education allowed our children from the Punana Leo preschools to enter into the kindergarten Department of Education programs. So, the first so-called Hawaiian immersion programs started, one at Waiau here at Pearl City, at Waiau, and also in Keaukaha in Hilo. Those were the first immersion schools. And that, of course, even made more words for the Lexicon Committee to consider.


More work!


Mahalo to University of Hawaii at Hilo associate professor Larry Lindsey Kimura, dubbed the grandfather of Hawaiian language revitalization, for sharing with us your lifelong passion and dedication to the Hawaiian language and culture. And mahalo to you, for joining us. For PBS Hawaii and Long Story Short, I’m Leslie Wilcox. Aloha, hui hou.


For audio and written transcripts of all episodes of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, visit PBSHawaii.org. To download free podcasts of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, go to the Apple iTunes store, or visit PBSHawaii.org.


Do you think knowing Hawaiian enables you to think in a different way?


Oh, yeah.


Do you think in Hawaiian?


Well, before you get to think in Hawaiian, you begin to see how that thinking is, yeah, before you can begin to think yourself. Because becoming a native speaker when you’re not is a journey, and so, becoming fluent enough takes a while. But as you’re learning and becoming more fluent in it, more native in it, then you begin to see how different it is to see the world around you through that language. You know, growing up on the ranch, you know, they talk about the seasons and they talk about the naulu. And I say, Oh, and how important the naulu is, and you know, I have to hear that language, the word, and then I have to understand what that means in connection to its importance to the place. Because it’s a rain that comes and drifts across the land when it’s hot, during the summer months especially. But that little moisture makes the grass grow greener there, and it’s a salvation. You know, to recognize those things, because the language tells us that.




Bigger Than T.rex


Almost a century ago, paleontologists found the first tantalizing hints of a monster even bigger than Tyrannosaurus rex, perhaps the largest predator ever to walk the Earth: spectacular fossil bones from a dinosaur dubbed Spinosaurus. But the fossils were completely destroyed during a World War II Allied bombing raid, leaving only drawings, lots of questions, and a mystery: What was Spinosaurus? Now, the discovery of new bones in a Moroccan cliff face is reopening the investigation into this epic beast. What did it feed on and how? Why did it grow so big?


We follow the paleontologists who are reconstructing this terrifying carnivore piece by piece, revealing a 53-foot-long behemoth with a huge dorsal sail, enormous, scimitar-like claws and massive superjaws, tapered toward the front like a crocodile, hosting an army of teeth. Bringing together experts in paleontology, geology, climatology and paleobotany, this NOVA/National Geographic special brings to life the lost world over which Spinosaurus reigned more than 65 million years ago.



From BIllions to None:
The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction


The centenary of this recent extinction offers an opportunity for this film to sharply focus new attention on habitat conservation and species survival ― and help us avoid the fate of the passenger pigeon for future species. With cutting-edge CGI animation techniques, this film recreates the glory of passenger pigeons in flight as well as the ways in which 19th century humans destroyed them all ― with ruthless, no-limits shooting. The film highlights the important lessons of the past to offer solutions to the immediate challenges species face.