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My Life So Far
By Will Arts
I was born on June 26, 1967 on the big island of Hawaii in the town of Hilo at Hilo hospital, the second child (older sister Naomi was born one year before) of Spanish, Filipino (-father), Italian, and Romanian (-mother) ancestry. After my brief stint in the hospital I went home to 375 Ululani St.
As an infant, I enjoyed the house, for I loved to travel about and explore. For the first two years of my life, my mother reared me carefully, exposing me to certain experiences that might have a positive influence on my intellect while my father was in a far away land fighting a war in a place called Vietnam as a U.S Army Ranger.
Sometime in 1970 my father returned, I remember standing on the asphalt at the Hilo airport watching a bunch of green clad army men unload from the back of a huge gray airplane, one of them with a thick black mustache trying to pick me up as I tried desperately to escape from him.
My memory seems to be only fragmented pieces for a while from then, a younger sister born (Athena), yelling, dishes breaking, moving, more yelling, and then the divorce.
My memory clears around the age of 4 as my father settled down back in his hometown of Papaiko just north of Hilo and enrolled me in a nursery school situated on the grounds of a Shinto temple.
The Japanese architecture looked foreboding as I prepared to meet the nightmarish Mrs. Nasty, a torturer of four-year-olds whom I assumed I would find as my teacher. Still, I enjoyed the days as a nursery toddler, grasping the skills of reading, writing, and speaking as I discovered how to interact. From Mrs. Fujimoto\'s communal hootenannies, comprising of "hop-scotch" and "London Bridge," to our daily excursion to the playground, I shaped the life skills that would ultimately determine my social direction in years to come.
Though I did not have a large group of friends, I found a group of loyal comrades with whom I could run, jump, skip, and ride the tricycles like miniature versions of the Hell’s Angels destroying any bug, slug, or snail that dared cross our path.
Shortly after while getting my usual ‘high and tight’ haircut at the old Filipino man’s barbers shop in downtown Hilo I was introduced to my future stepmother by my father.
She seemed liked a nice person, but my older sister disagreed and had a ‘Who the hell are you?’ look on her face, she questioned how the "interloper" would affect us. It was then
on that I would never second-guess my older sister’s intuitions.
From that moment on our lives changed forever.
Her name was Francis and had a “tribe” of her own, suddenly we had four older sisters and four older brothers, all many years older then us, and we found out quickly that they came first and we where last. And you thought Cinderella had problems.
With the advent of a much larger number of people joining membership to our family, my “parents\'” decided that a much larger home was required.
On moving day I had strong fears – as most five-year-olds do – that the new area might teem with monsters and other frightful things. But reluctantly, I did accede to my parents\' wishes.
I realized for the first time how chaotic life would become as Francis threw out most of our precious collection of toys that took a life time to acquire, with what she didn’t toss out was quickly confiscated by our new siblings, who fought over the good stuff like a pack of wild dogs.
From that point on it was nothing less then a struggle to keep anything for myself, from clothes to school supplies, this continued for many years until one day my older sister had enough and got my grandmother on my mother’s side to get her a ticket to Texas where my mother resided. I soon followed; it was a move I never regretted.
After becoming situated in the new domicile, I began to notice things I never noticed before while in Hawaii, like the weather, language, and nature. Actually I had to notice if not you’d get hurt by lightning
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