treatment of ed

Hawaiian Legends

In the recently published book, Wrong Side of the Tracks, Hawaiian history, culture and heritage
are profoundly discussed, not only providing background and setting for this succinctly touching
autobiography, but a unique look into the not so distant past of this 54 year young United State. Of
course, the Hawaiian Islands are well known for the laid back lifestyle, picturesque surf, hula feasts,
lei’s and spam recipes galore. Not commonly known however, is how little has actually changed with
the Native Hawaiian people and a striking similarity to the injustices suffered by American Indians in
the founding of our country. Enlightening us dating all the way back to 1898 up to recent generations
of his own family, Ron McElroy takes us deep into the sugar cane fields of Molokai with its endlessly
permeating red dirt landscape and soul enveloping surf. He delves deeper still into the heart of the
continuing struggles with Hawaiian Homeland property rights and a 200 year oppression of the true
Hawaiian spirituality. An honest and scarcely discussed explanation of the Ho’olehua (Hawaiian
Homelands) property struggle is detailed, including the contrast between the intentions of the
Homestead Act and modern day struggles with bureaucracy. Poignantly reminding us all that it’s not
always another day in paradise on the islands of pineapples and palm trees.

In the very personal struggle for this land, the family of author Ron McElroy, fortunately had his business
savvy, real estate experience and Hawaiian pride to facilitate “making it right”, unlike so many other
Native Hawaiian families. Devastatingly, he even describes th e ugly property battles between inheriting
family members, non-Native Hawaiians, and an insatiable greed that “Sometimes Hawaiian Homelands
property is just abandoned because resolving all the difficulties surrounding its use is just too much
trouble.” Sadly described is the historical priority of financial and militaristic government influence and
disregard for the indigenous people that tolerate haole’s with a smile and a lei.

Spooky ghost stories, legends and lore are bravely shared, along with details of superstitions that are
as serious as religion. Stated eloquently by McElroy in the book Wrong Side of the Tracks, “Hawaiians
by nature are very superstitious, particularly when it comes to respecting the power of nature”, a
viewpoint that more cultures should try embracing, just without the salt ritual perhaps! Reflected in
the inherent respect for elders, the deep rooted historical ritual of the hula, and the ever present spirits
always watching, the Hawaiian people are simple yet complex, as author McElroy explains through
his journeys. In this memoir he navigates us through his personal history of Americanization, modern
day ‘Californication’, and ultimately discovering that his Hawaiian roots are deep and always with him,
when he’s on the mainland or not. In Wrong Side of the Tracks, Ron McElroy makes a convincing case
that Hawaii truly is the brightest star on the United States flag!


2 Responses to Hawaiian Legends

  1. hi!,I like your writing so a lot! percentage we communicate more about your article on AOL? I require a specialist in this area to unravel my problem. Maybe that’s you! Having a look ahead to see you.

  2. Ron, I do see much of the same discrimination and change to way of life much of the same way of the American Indian.

    Having been on the islands numerous times I have seen firsthand the change in the last 40 years since my first visit. Most native Hawaiians still do not want to change but have been forced to.

    One of my employees father was a supervisor on Molokai in the pineapple fields for many years until change force him out.

    How is it that outside interests continue to influence change with money.
    I have many Native American friends and see the earth in a much different way.

    Take no more then you need and protect the environment.


    Steve Schellert

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