HAWAII: The Big Change

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The life of the land is preserved in righteousness.*

—Hawaii's motto

In the village of Kilauea. on the northernmost Hawaiian island of Kauai. the workmen from the sugar plantation began to drift in to vote about midmorning. Tony Castro, 53, a naturalized Filipino-American, had been up since dawn, when he started the day by opening the mountain gates for the morning's irrigation. As he edged through the throng toward the paint-flaked schoolhouse, he was besieged by election workers who begged a vote for their candidates. Castro shook his head wordlessly. Behind him, wearing dirt-streaked khaki pants, sweat-stained shirt and heavy shoes, Louie Pacheco, 44, operator of a harvesting machine, broke through the campaign workers with the cheerful promise to vote for everybody. "Hey, Louie!" yelled a friend. "See you pan hana [after work]? Plenty feesh at Kapukamoi!" Replied Louie in pidgin English: "No more da car. Da ole lady bin go Lihue today." "I pick you up?" offered the friend. "Hokay!" yelled Louie, as he ducked into the schoolhouse.

Three hundred miles to the southeast, on the "Big Island" of Hawaii, workers from Kona coffee plantations and leather-faced cowboys from the Parker Ranch headed toward the polling places to mark, their ballots. On Kauai and the Big Island, and on each of the other luxuriant, diamondlike islands of the chain, the people of Hawaii were casting their votes in the first major election since Congress enacted the statehood bill last March. Never before had such a pageant launched an American state. To the polling places came men in bright aloha shirts and slacks, women in cotton-print Western dresses and loose-fitting, ankle-length muumuus.-They were Japanese, Chinese, Korean. Filipino, Puerto Rican, purebred Hawaiian and haole (Caucasian), and combinations thereof, and they represented together the broad racial spectrum that gives Hawaii its unique vitality.

Hello & Goodbye. As the hours passed, that vitality began to bubble and rise like an awakening volcano. In downtown Honolulu (est. pop. 311,000), impromptu motorcades crisscrossed the crowded streets, as passengers happily shouted campaign cries and drivers leaned heavily on their horns, all drenched with the celebrated spirit of aloha, that flavorsome. catchall Hawaiian term that means peace, warmth, kindness, hello and goodbye, and good luck. And this time, even aloha had an added special flavor injected by the general awareness that Hawaii was on the threshold of a new epoch, sharpened by the fact that there were 81 different elective offices at stake—in the state legislature (25 in the senate, 51 in the house), in the U.S. Congress (two in the Senate, one in the House), and in the posts of Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Biggest prize: the governorship, since Hawaii's chief executive will control no fewer than 750 job appointments, and in this way affect Hawaii's political posture for years to come.

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