My earliest memories were as a young girl, Grandpa's inday
, in the muck of the waterlogged taro patch ditch behind the parched farm. I'd wear my floral sundress and rubber boots up to my thighs as Grandpa wrestled the taro roots from the black sludge. Grandpa was small and lean, a strong carmel tanned man with a wisp of hair atop his shiny head often thrown backwards in laughter. His face could cloud over in a moment, eyes flashing in anger if you did something wrong.
Long before water had been diverted from the Navy base next door creating a perennial spring shaded by thorny kiawe trees. He planted taro and sold the starchy roots and broad leaves to locals nearby. In those days, he toiled in the black water and mosquitos while I watched tadpoles wriggle in the mud.
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