OH WHAT A FEELING! Passion leads to 200 interviews and 100,000 words

In 2003, curious about Hawaiian culture, wanting to know more about the people who live here, I began writing a column in Lahaina News. Call my career bookends. Beginning after college as a journalist for Business Week in Chicago, in 1962 I interviewed and wrote about people like Martin Luther King and many titans of business.

I left journalism for 40 years, holding a variety of positions in the public relations field.. Then as the ending part of the bookend I returned to journalism by writing the popular column offering insights int this place rarely presented.

My wife and I fell in love with Hawaii on our honeymoon.in 1969, so much we traveled on vacation to Maui for 27 years before becoming full-time residents in 2001.

I showed my passion each year the day before returning by listening to two songs: “I Am Going to Maui Tomorrow” and “Oh What a Feeling from Flashdance played at the highest possible volume This was this passion that led me to write about Maui in order to know more about the culture, Hawaiians and the people.

Over the course of 10 years I wrote 200 columns 60 of the best included my fourth book. The journey has been an ever higher learning curve.

The last few years in an awards program sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists, Honolulu my column won honors twice as one of the top ones in the state. Writing news for the paper, I was also named one of the top independent journalists in Hawaii.

Over 10 years I wrote of monarchs, missionaries and sugar barons. There is fascination in these stories and recognition that Hawaiian monarchs were the most progressive that ever walked on this earth. There is fascination in how they unified the islands and lost their kingdom. These stories are rarely told these days in concise form.

Two things you never think about when writing a book is you will be asked to autograph it. Also, when you write a column that includes your picture, strangers will often say Aloha Norm on the Ka’anapali beach path.

This is an indication that more than 200 interviews and writing an amazing 100,000 words makes it all worthwhile.

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