Yesterday I learned that many herbicides were developed and tested by aerial spraying on Kauai in the 1960s. I spent years in Wailua River Lots. I have been extremely ill since I was a teenager there - progressively more ill every time my health relapsed. From the research I did last night, I learned that aerial spraying took place on Hanahanapuni which drains directly into the Wailua River. We had a canal in our backyard that came off the Wailua River between our house and Coco Palms Hotel. I swam there often, fished there and paddled my board down the canal to the river. Another aerial spray site is listed as "Waikoko block." I rode horses regularly with my favorite person, Kaipo Chandler, as a child on Hanalei Beach. Another location is called "the Sam Thronas area." Never heard of that, but it may be near Kapaa High were I attended 8th grade and part of high school. I also attended summer school there.
If you will remember (who can forget), everyone who was inclined to pay attention to this type of thing during that time was watching the Forest Service grab all the land. I can exactly remember the day I drove down to Haena and saw my friends all sitting on their porches doing nothing. Banned from subsistence hunting and fishing we were all told we were so lucky to be able to go wait on tourists. I refused to do that so I got a job at the pineapple cannery where I was uniquely untalented. I was already sick by that time and having coordination problems - cans all over everywhere. I can also exactly remember my mother being sweet talked by Forest Service personnel and given a big fancy coffee table book full of photos of the Na Pali Coast. I exactly remember her setting the book down and saying, "The worst thing that can happen to a place is to become part of the United States." Amen.
During that time, there was a big John Wayne recruitment effort around Kauai and many of my friends were hooked into the Marines. They loved the Kauai boys because they were acclimated to the tropics and could climb around like goats. Many of them had never been off the island. Many of them became helicopter gunners and did not return home. I remember a friend of mine telling me he was going to go to the mainland and join the Black Panthers to fight. Nobody knew what to do. The insidiousness of the spraying, recruitment and land grab are mind boggling.
Even though I was so ill forever, I had periods of time when I could go to college and function. I managed to have a fairly kickass life working in Civil Construction Management (more toxic chemicals) all over Alaska, New Mexico, California, Arizona and the Navajo Nation. I went to college on and off for about 12 years trying to figure out how white people think and what motivates them. I am one, but I don't get it. I took History of Art and economic classes with the mathematics, etc. I could have learned it all in one minute - it all has to do with money. After years of college, all I wanted to do was sit on a horse or a tractor so I worked on cattle ranches and hay farms in several states. I am still doing that now.
I used to ride a horse owned by Mr. John Hanohano Pa. His name was Camrus. I was the only one who could catch some of those horses out there in Haena - no fences in those days. I started doing that when I was about 11 years old. I used to pray for rain so the bridge would wash out and I could be stranded with the horses. One day it rained 6 inches in a couple of hours and my prayers were answered. Once I caught a mare with a foal in Haena and tied her to the stilts under our house. Of course she pulled back and almost pulled the house over - disaster narrowly averted. My other favorite horse was named Kakau. She was owned by Kaipo Chandler. Kaipo would ride his fine stud horse named Na Molokama and I rode Kakau. We gathered cattle in the swamps sometimes. A couple of years ago I met a woman in New Mexico who had recently been Kaipo's girlfriend. She was about 45 - guess Kaipo is doing OK. If I could have chosen my dad, it would have been Kaipo Chandler. And my grandpa would have been John Hanohano Pa.
Please don't forget the victims of these toxic crimes. It's always the indigenous people who suffer the most. I am extremely chemically sensitive and have peripheral neuropathy. I can't live around row crops or other agriculture or near cities. I rarely have a functioning computer. Even though I am the most suspicious person I know, I did not discover this for 45 years. Better late than never. Every time I meet someone who has become too sick to work, I tell them to stop saying they can't "work." They are going to do the hardest work they have ever done in their lives.
That was all before the illness started. Now I am 59 years old. Still live remote on a ranch at 8,000' with my four unemployed cow horses. They are fat pets when my health gives out again like now. I was very upset last night reading about the spraying of Agents Orange, Blue, White, diquat, paraquat, PCP, Picloram, HCA 245T and Endothall. Because I worked on plenty of state and federal construction projects I know there are no accurate records regarding what really was done. The feds liked to keep vague records so nothing could be tracked. My method was to keep detailed records, make copies of them and take 100 photos a day to back them up. I was the most upset by the thought of the land I loved so much, the land and sea animals (even the centipedes and jelly fish) and my smiling friends being sprayed with poison. When the Iraq war was started I was living on the Navajo Nation. All I could think of was that the recruiters were going to show up and try to get all the innocent Navajo boys because the land is so much the same. That is exactly what happened and one of the first killed was a Hopi mom.
Note: When the government showed up on the Hopi rez to put on a big hoopla at the funeral, the article in the paper said they were stunned or something like that because the Navajo Nation didn't send representatives. That would have been hilarious if it had not been so tragic. Not only are the Hopis and Navajos the same enemies they were a thousand years ago, but the whole issue of death, dying, etc. is NEVER discussed. Not a good idea to even mention it. I knew right then that the whole mess in the middle east was going to be horrible for everyone. It's a tribal thing. If the US government is still screwing up everything so badly with the tribes here after 500 years of practice, how would they deal with countless tribes in the middle east? All they really wanted was a photo op. And what luck! An Indian woman! The dynamic never changes.