Virginia Simmons

Virginia Simmons
Age: 80
Birthplace: Wahiawa, Hawai`i
Photographers: Malcolm & Marcus Nichols, Ages 12 & 13  (Grandchildren) ~ Wahiawa Middle School
Mrs. Simmons was born and raised in Wahiawa where she remains today along with other members of her extended family.  She particularly likes Wahiawa’s cool weather where “it’s not too hot, not too cold, not too rancid, but just right!”
It’s a shame when I was growing up that people really didn’t take too many pictures. It would have been a good way for us to look back at the past. But, I remember a lot like Castner’s store where McDonald’s and L&L are now. It was a variety store that as a little girl I loved because it had everything in life you could want: fabric, makeup, toys and more. As I got older, I liked Galloway’s Pharmacy. They sold delicate things like glass figurines and had a lunch counter that served the most delicious shrimp chop suey. But, the best place to eat was Kemo`o Farms. My mother and I would go there on Sunday mornings when my father was golfing. “Frocks & Frills” was located downstairs and is where my mother bought me one of my favorite dresses made of black taffeta with a sweetheart neckline.
I remember there was also a cemetery in lower Wahiawa adjacent to Ka`ala Elementary School. When the pineapple company was sold, they moved the bodies, including some of my relatives, to Mililani.
There have been a lot of changes to Wahiawa since I was a little girl. The future is always a surprise. Every day brings something new: a new book to read, a new show to watch, a new rainbow.
No matter how anyone in life treats you, you must treat them with aloha, otherwise, you have let them change you.

Marcus and Malcolm Nichols

My family has a long history in the Wahiawa community.  Me, my mother, grandmother and great grandmother were all raised in Wahiawa.  I wanted to do this project to be able to help preserve our Wahiawa roots and learn more about what Wahiawa was like when my grandmother was growing up. She is usually a very quiet person but opened up when I asked about her memories of this area. I love that Wahiawa seems like everyone is a part of one big family even though it has grown and changed over the years. Marcus Nichols
Age 13
Wahiawa Middle School
Photographer: Lisa Uesugi
I have been studying hula for four years with Kumu Hula Sonny Ching and Kumu Hula Lōpaka Igarta-De-Vera of Hālau Nā Mamo O Pu’uanahulu. This is my life outside of school. One day I hope to attend the University of Hawaii at Hilo or Manoa and major in Hawaiian Studies, become a kumu hula and open up a Wahiawa-based halau.  I also enjoy playing volleyball for the Wahiawa Middle School Lancers.
I have lived in Wahiawa all my life and wanted to do this project to learn more about my community. I think it’s important for people to know about Wahiawa and what it was like back then and how it’s very different now. I love that in Wahiawa, everyone basically knows everyone. I hope that Wahiawa stays culturally diverse and that new development doesn’t ruin our beautiful scenery, like the botanical gardens and our view of the Waianae Mountains. Malcolm Nichols
Age 12
Wahiawa Middle School
Photographer: Lisa Uesugi
I like to play football, basketball and basically any sport. I hope to be a professional football or basketball player when I grow up. In the future, I would want Wahiawa to get a movie theater again like I heard my grandma tell me about. I’m not sure if I’ll stay in Wahiawa when I grow up, but I know that Wahiawa will always be my home.

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