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From: David Boulton []
Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2000 10:12 PM

Subject: An article proposal...

Hello Lester,

I am a Kauaian resident who is deeply interested in education and children. I am writing for two reasons - 1) to introduce myself to you and to share some of my educational work with you... 2) and most immediately, I had a wonderful experience the other night with my daughter who shared with me a magical story that reveals the very best about teachers. I haven't finished writing it but I wanted to give you a sense of it. If it is something the Garden Island might publish then I will finish it with whatever editorial slant or bias you

In celebration of one of Kauai’s best teachers.

My wife Risa and I, our 7 year old daughter Deanna, and the Hansen’s, a family of four vacationing with us, were out on a night walk. We had walked past the Anahola Beach park and up the trails that lead to the Anahola beacon. There, near the base of the beacon, where a slim trail descends steeply down to a rocky cove is a very special place – a place Deanna affectionately refers to as ‘her house’.

The wind was up and the moon was cloud hidden, Risa and the Hansen’s were about to descend the trail when Deanna said to me “Dad, we can’t go down there. I didn’t push the button at the gate and get permission. If we try to go down there we will all die”.  Well, I had some mixed signals coming off the Hansen’s about the danger of descending the trail in the dark and in the wind so given this warning from Deanna I said to everyone: “lets just head home and we will do the trail another time”. Everyone agreed and soon we were all heading back.

On the way back I asked Deanna what she had meant by the button and the gate and she proceeded to tell me of her first visit to her house.

Apparently a couple of years ago she was out on a field trip with her preschool teacher Noreen and her classmates. They were walking around the rock-covered cove when Deanna discovered an old book and on its cover was written:


Deanna was quite in awe of the idea that an old book would have her name in the title and be written for her. She went on tell me that the book was written by an old and wise native Hawaiian. The book was the man’s dieing gesture and it was written just for her. Deanna told me how the book was about this sacred place, which the Hawaiian man referred to as his house. As he readied himself to die he wanted to entrust his house to a special person who would take care of and honor his house and so he decided to give his house to Deanna for he knew she would be the one to take care of it and love it.

She went on to describe many details of the house’s history and the life of the old man. She told me of its ‘security system’ for keeping the uncaring people out (the one that she had not shut off and had caused her concern about our walking there).

 After quite a lengthy exposition had passed, I said “wait a minute…you couldn’t read when you were in preschool, how did you know what the book said?”. With a wonderful twinkle in her eye she described how she had brought the book to Noreen who read the book to her and her classmates that day on the rocky cove.

As she did, it hit me. This was Noreen’s way of giving each of her children a special place. A place they felt proud of, a place that meant something. All these years, I had never known the story, now that I did I wanted to share it and my hope that Noreen’s wonderful example of connecting with her children would inspire others to follow her beautiful lead. Thanks Noreen!

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