Nurtured by showers swept in on the tradewinds, the town of Hilo is fertile ground for The Sound of Hilo Rain, a heartwarming Big Island memoir from native son Roy Kodani.
Populated by the colorful characters of small-town Hawaii, Kodani’s collection of vignettes captures the joys and sorrows of coming of age in a simpler time. From ghosts in the night to the devastating tsunami of 1946, from plantation stores to swimming holes, childhood pranks to lessons learned, the spirit of Hilo shines brightly in The Sound of Hilo Rain.
“It was a time of fewer choices, when relatives, friends and neighbors imparted their moral values to younger people,” recalls Kodani, who was born, raised and educated in Hilo in the 1940s and ’50s. “The Big Island constantly suffers from natural disasters, but everyone helps each other, develops a sense of community regardless of race, color, religion or economic background, is always hopeful for the future, and is generous and gracious.”
It is this spirit of optimism and community—the personal relationships nurtured between neighbors and schoolmates—that Kodani honors in his book and sees as part of the universal human experience.
In his youth, Kodani worked as a summer field hand at Keeau Macadamia Orchard and as a sales clerk in his father’s hardware store in Hilo.
He is a graduate of Hilo High School, Lafayette College and George Washington University Law School. He is currently an international attorney in private law practice.
The Sound of Hilo Rain (ISBN 978-1-935690-58-0), priced at $16.95, will be available at bookstores, other retail outlets and online booksellers, and can be ordered direct from the publisher at www.bookshawaii.net.