This song is for my brother Keawe Kekuewa and my sister Natalie Kekuewa, and my nieces and nephews, Kalikimaka ,
my cousins Brett, Boyd, Blaine, Anene, Monica, Melissa, brothers AJ and my nephews, Evan, Bob, & our mother Connie,
uncle Melvin Kekuewa, uncle Gil Rodenhurst, uncle Sandy Kahanamoku , uncle Ronnie Fernandez,
uncle Gary Murakami, my step father's 1st born son born Jonathan Kekuewa (Who my step father missed & Loves)
my children, Clark, Cliff, Keenan, Sarah, & Melissa, my grandchildren Clementine & Magnolia
and in remembrance of everyone we love,
my step father Stephen David Esau Kekuewa (Who was the best father ever! That we love SO MUCH! and is with us always!)
plus Jonathan Kekuewa my step father's father who I felt I knew personally through my father Stephen
and my his mother, grandma Margaret Kekuewa ( who taught me so much and I try to be just like) and his sister, aunt Joann ( who we love):
In This Life
For all I've been blessed with in my life, There was NOT an emptiness in me
I was NOT imprisoned by the power of gold, With ALL YOUR kind WORDS you sent me free
Let the world stop turning, Let the sun stop burning, Let them tell me love is not worth goin through
If it all falls apart, I will know deep in my heart, The only dream that mattered had come true
In this life I was loved by you, For every mountain I have climbed, Every raging river crossed,
You were the treasure that I longed to find, Without your love I would be lost
Let the world stop turning, Let the sun stop burning, Let them tell me love is not worth goin through
If it falls apart, I will know deep in my heart
The only dream that mattered had come true
In this life I loved you, I know that I will not live forever, But forever I'll be loving you
Let the world stop turning, Let the sun stop burning, Tell me loves not worth going through
If it all falls apart I will know deep in my heart
The only dream that mattered had come true
In this life I was loved by you, In this life I loved you
"I live my whole life for HULA,
I have long hair for Hula, and
Love Hula Dancing!!" ~Amy
My step-father Stephen David Esau Kekuewa was my step-father since I was 6 months old. He was a quite gentleman who never cussed or said anything unkind, he liked to talk about important topics and he was outwardly loving. (All the Hawaiian uncles and Hawaiian people I grew up with were this way.) The Hawaiians I grew up with were so loving and kind that when I grew up and ventured out in the world meeting friends and their families, or people at school, or through work, not one person that I have ever met is as loving and kind in a very healthy way with serious healthy respect for others and boundaries like no other people on this earth, this is how the real Hawaiian are and were. At a certain point in my life, I could not believe that my childhood was the very best part of my life. My childhood filled me with so much love for mankind, nature and cultures that it is unreal really. I have not had to suffer any ails due to any addictions or problems, that I brought upon myself as life went by due to my up-bringing. As I aged, I started to think when I made decisions in my life, "What would make my step-father and my uncles so very proud of me?" So I did all the things they did and here I am to write this to you with great love.
Growing up from 2 years old to Jr. High School age, I went with my step-father and our family to all of his Outrigger Paddling Races, and some of their practices. It was very fun! He was the coach for Marina Del Rey Outrigger Canoe Club with Uncle Sandy, who was just like my step-father, yet he had his own personality. Back then in the late 60's to 70's Outrigger Canoe clubs were mostly Islanders still. So it was like we were on the island of Hawaii but on the mainland every day of our life. Women did not paddle that much when I was growing up so I did not consider ever becoming a canoe paddler. My lifelong dream was to dance the Hula. Here are some photos I found to post here of the canoe club.
I was an older pre-teen when my brother Keawe was born and I remember taking him on bike rides through the nearby park we lived at on these paths and one day I crashed into a tree and knocked out Keawe's teeth, I am sorry Keawe it breaks my heart to always remember, I did not mean to do it. My sister was born when I was a teenager. So I was married with children when this photo was taken above and the paddlers where not 95% Islanders anymore who were paddlers on this team. But when I was 6 months old to 10 years old the canoe paddlers were 95% Islanders. I loved attending canoe paddling races, the hula shows, the luaus afterwards, the homemade food and Hawaiian music and the hot sun all day on the beach.
This is my nephew and my grandma Margaret, I LOVE YOU to you Kalikimaka!!
I love you auntie Joann!! Forever!!
I love you uncle Mel and grandma and my 2 cousins. I just idolized Monica Kekuewa growing and and still do. I love you Monica!!
I have been a freelancer for the past 20+ years, in Graphic Design, Publishing, Illustration, Advertising Design, Fine Arts, and Mural work.
I attended a trade school in Torrance, CA. for Advertising Design, Illustration and Graphic Design at SCROC. I attended LA Harbor College and was invited into their Honor's Program and took all honors classes, 17 units. The honor's program does not encompass art classes but only art history, I was an English major in the honor's program. I also attended PV Art Center for their art classes.
I was raised as an islander and if someone were to analyze my genetics to all of my directly inherited X’s from my mother and my father, I remain mostly an islander. This is the breakdown: my father’s mother was 100% islander and I have traced her family to living on every side on several islands for 100’s of years. My mother’s father’s mother, (Amy Flora Koch) was born an islander and her mother’s side, her grandparents and more trace back to the islands of Hawaii and Polynesia for many, many, generations. My father’s, father’s mother’s side is Native American (Indian) and I traced them back to being born on Indian Reservations as long as reservations existed. My grandmothers on my Native American side lived to be 98 years old for many generations and each generation had a set of twins. My father’s father’s mother is a twin (Nita Fay and Niles). Then my mother’s mother’s side is Yiddish, a Hebrew, Lithuanian Jewish side. (You can see posted below the differences in studies between islanders and mainlanders.)
I like working as a freelancer that is based in a worldwide atmosphere, because I grew up with my Yiddish grandparents living around the corner from our islander beach home and I was very close with them, they partially raised me. This side of my family came to the USA from (Odessa to East-End London, to USA), they owned and operated a Hosiery and Draper's business, (see photos below), they lived on Church St. which became Fournier Street, in Spitalfield, UK. This side of my family Lithuanian, Hebrew, Jewish family, who's language was Yiddish, in part, I will write about first. My grandfather always worked from London, to where we lived in Hermosa Bch. - Manhattan Bch. CA, selling Hosiery his family made in the UK, across the USA. Due to my family’s Draper business, I won best dressed in school growing up.
I used to call my design business May Art because my grandpa and grandma Kaufman were people from a continent that celebrates May Day. My grandparents had a beautiful rose garden, that smelt and looked so gorgeous, (I have never seen a rose garden like theirs since), this made May Day one of my favorite days with them. On May 1st, they would cut their roses, put them in nice baskets, then place them on their doorstep and ask me to go see what May Day gift was left for me there. I would then sit at their kitchen table after finding my basket and adore the beauty and fragrance of the roses. So, I wanted my grandparents to be part of my business in spirit and have their memories with me while at work every day.
Growing up with my grandma and grandpa Kaufman was great! Grandma cooked the best food! She told me that many Jewish women came to their home and taught her, HOW-TO-COOK grandpa's favorite Jewish dishes when they were first married. Grandma & grandpa lived with grandma Kaufman's parents after they were wed, until they passed away. Grandma's father lived to be 100 yrs old. My grandparents, the Kaufman's, had an arranged marriage that was set up by my grandmother's parents. Plus my grandma's closest and favorite sister, Amelia, (who was 2 yrs younger than grandma), married another Jewish man who owned a movie studio in Los Angeles, his name was Herbert Leavitt, they lived next door to Louis Burt Mayer of MGM, on Franklin Avenue, their marriage was arranged also around the same time. Amelia and her husband had maids, a butler, a chauffeur, etc. Amelia Grace was very beautiful grandma always said. My grandparents ended up adopting Amelia Grace and Herbert Leavitt's son, their nephew, and raising him as Peter Kaufman, after Amelia Grace and her husband Herbert died at a very young age. This tragedy always stayed with grandma and she told me a lot of stories about Amelia Grace. My mother and stepfather took me to my great uncle Peter Kaufman's home for the holidays and he was a very nice man.
Since grandma Kaufman enjoyed cooking, we had nice sit-down dinners. I went to my grandparent's house weekly and we phoned each other every day. My grandparents prayed their prayers, while washing hands, lighting candles, going through doorways, etc. Grandma spent at least one hour a day or more, on her religious studies and then praying. Every week grandma would read to me the stories she liked the most from her religious studies. Grandma Kaufman’s mother prayed as much or more than grandma did. Everyone on this side of our family was born into orthodox religious families. Grandpa's Rabbi, he was the Rabbi for his family right on Church/Fournier Street at the synagogue in East-End London, he is in the photo with my grandparents, he looks like grandma Kaufman, he was a Hebrew Lithuanian Jewish, Yiddish Rabbi. (One of my sons is Rabbi Gifter's look-a-like in appearance, they have an uncanny resemblance, including their gestures, you can see Rabbi Gifter in my photos.) (The Yiddish Jews of Odesa came here and built a replica of their synagogue in Ohio and I think we are still part of that synagogue in spirit and our appearance). Another one of my sons is also identical in appearance and his gestures, to an ultra-religious Jew from the UK, with the children, in the photos. (We obviously are related to all of these Jewish people or Jewish people still look alike and can have the same gestures and appearances even if they are not all religious). My grandma Kaufman went completely, white haired at 16 years old, which has a special religious meaning and which can be is genetic for Lithuanian Jews.
As I grew-up, grandma Kaufman would also tell me the families' history, on both sides of the family, that she knew. She told me about every time Grandpa's mother would phone him from the UK, about his sisters and how my mother is just like one of my grandpa's sisters. It would have been a sister that took after grandpa's father’s side, (I think from my research) because the woman in one of my posted photos resembles my mother immensely. She told me about her other siblings, her daughter and her husband the Koch’s, their friends, Hollywood parties they attended, who they knew, and how Charlie Chaplin phoned their home regularly. Charlie Chaplin maybe one of our relatives, also, and he wanted grandma Kaufman and Amelia Grace in his movies. Then, she told me about restaurants they ate at, about maids and housekeepers they all lived with, etc. She would say, "She could have been born a writer," if I wanted to know more than she told me. These stories were life shaping, as I look back, because I learned so much.
When grandpa passed away, I took care of my grandma Kaufman. I did her grocery shopping once a week or more, took her to the bank, her doctor's appointments, plus shopping at Dept. stores and I helped her in her home. Yet, grandma always cooked, and for me, and never gave up on cooking, she cooked until she passed away. So, as I grew older and was phoning her every day, now as soon as she woke up and then by nightfall. Or went to her house to visit. Grandma and I were best friends, but she said, "Amy, we are soul mates, not just relatives." I told her every single thing about myself, always growing up. I did not let her live in a nursing home, ever!! And when they tried to put her in a nursing home, I got her out of a nursing home all by myself, when I was only 16 years old, and she never went back to one AGAIN! She lived in fine health for 10 or more years, and again, I took care of her all of those years.
Grandma arranged my marriage at a young age, because she wanted my life a certain way (she said, and there was no living in sin around her)) and she wanted me to do everything that was in alignment with all religious laws ( I said, “Fine grandma, I want to be that way, fine, men will not buy a cow if they get the milk, okay I will marry my neighbor, Gordon). Grandma got to know my first-born son, Clark. My grandparents would have loved my sons and daughter now. I named my daughter after grandma Kaufman, her favorite sister, and grandpa Kaufman’s sister. Grandma always said, "Girls are very important because they do not go off and get married always, like boys can, girls need more care and support." (I did get married though) My grandma Kaufman loved my only sister. I would put my sister in her stroller, when she was a baby and just walk to grandma's to visit, all alone with her. My beautiful sister, I helped name after a movie star who loved the ocean (my step father loved Jacque Cousteau). Grandma, my sister and I, would sit at her kitchen table and she would say, "We are so in love (to me about my sister), this child is gifted to care for others, you can tell due to her sensitivity and alertness and she knows I am her grandma!" Because my sister upon sitting at the table with us, would hold out her little baby hand to touch grandma's hand. Then grandma would cry tears, that a baby was so special to do such a thing and she was so happy that my sister was born.
Before grandma passed away she spent those years collecting Hawaiian and Native American looking children’s painted plates, she purchased. I purchased a large showcase pieces of furniture with her, for her plates she purchased and put in her living room. We would go and look at her plates and grandma would say, “I love these children on these plates!” I look back and did not know my sister and I and my brother Keawe were all symbolic to these children on those plates. And then figured out later, this is how she told us she loved us, also maybe, even though we were from another culture, maybe and she cherished us all.
Now I like to think that I live just like grandma and grandpa and love to think I am the two of them mixed, also within being raised an islander.
PS- I was named after my mother's father's mother, grandma, Amy Flora Koch who was born in Hawaii and her uncle, Nathan, was the Treasurer for Hawaii when it first became part of the USA. Amy Flora Koch's mother, Ivy, who was Nathan the Treasurer's sister was born when Hawaii was the Kingdom of Hawaii still, or right when Hawaii became part of the USA. Amy Flora Koch's grandfather Captain Wilfong was friends with the Kings of Hawaii and a few hula songs were written to him and are part of the Hawaiian Historical Society (He was captain Wilfong by the Lighthouse in Puna). He owned one of the first Sugarcane Plantations on Maui. Amy Flora Koch's father owned and operated three old time General Grocery Stores in Hawaii on various islands and the big island (I have no idea what nationality he was) and so did Amy Flora Koch's father's brother, he owned and operated an old-time general store also. And my father's Johnson, like I wrote above, his mother was Portuguese Hawaiian. My father's mother's name is grandma Mary, who was Mary Johnson and you can see her in my photos. My grandma Mary's brother worked for the Hilo Newspaper he was very good looking and you can see him in my photos, sitting next to her. My Grandma Mary's mother was born in Hawaii also on the big island and her name was Mary, too. My great-grandmother Mary's father was the head sugar-cane planter on the big island for a plantation and he came from Maderia island ( He always lived on the island and this side could have been part Sumo which was part of the Mayangna people verse the Guanche people. Amy Flora Koch, my mother’s grandma and my great grandma married a German Jewish man that immigrated to the USA from Germany, his name was Herbert Koch, this side of our family in each generation had 10 to 15 children and they were clockmakers, and Jewelers.
Postscript Again: Now that I wrote about my mother's mothers side the Kaufman's, then mentioned that I was named after Amy Flora Koch, (her father’s mother’s side) born in Hawaii and her grandfather was Captain Wilfong from Puna, Hawaii, and that my dad, Bob Johnson's mother's side is Hawaiian. (Again, see in my photos about my father's Bob Johnson's side, plus my mother's father’s side, the Koch's and my step-father, The Kekuewa’s side). Now back to my step father’s side I have a brother named Keawe and he was named after the Keawe trees in Hawaii and after the royal Hawaiian Kings and I always asked my step-father and mother to show me the Keawe trees growing up on the islands. As they showed me the Keawe trees I learned so many tales and folklore about the Hawaiian islands and culture.
My step-father who was my step-father since I was 6 months old, was Hawaiian, born and raised. He was a wonderful father, who talked to me a lot; about his job, his life on the island, his life at school on the island, about canoe paddling, surfing big waves, deep sea diving, exercise, why exercise is important, about his daily experiences working. He was always nice and never yelled or punished us or anyone. He had a great nature, he was very calm and polite and we had a quiet home. He never drank alcohol or did anything wrong. He was always a kind gentleman in all ways. He had great taste and a great sense of style. He would take me running around the park so we could get in shape when I was 7-12 years old, and he took me to his canoe paddling practices a lot. Our whole family went to canoe paddling races every month of our entire life growing up. It was so fun and we went to a big luau afterwards, with hula shows, a Kalua pig roasting in the ground, and we ate every Hawaiian dish, always. I loved it! I grew up with King’s Hawaiian bread always in a bread drawer, in our kitchen. My friends would come over to visit and eat our Hawaiian bread. He did everything for us and hugged us always and he told us that loved us always, like a great father, he treated my mother so well. I had a lot of wonderful Hawaiian uncles, and cousins also. Bret, Blaine, Boyd, and Aneenee. Uncle Gilly, Uncle Sandy, Uncle Ronnie, and Uncle Al Chang, Uncle Gary and more. Plus Uncle Rabbit was a Beach Boy in Honolulu and he would take me surfing and he found a beautiful necklace for me under the sea, I always wore. I LOVED being raised Hawaiian it was well loved favorite childhood!! I will post photos of them in my photos.
I want to add that my step-father would also take me with him, regularly, to visit his boss, Hal Goldstein, at his home and he lived in a big beautiful house in the Hollywood Hills. My step-father worked for Hal Goldstein his entire life and he never had another job but working for Hal, he was his main foreman and was part of a union. Hal ran or maybe owned in part at least, the entire chain of all the Mann Movie Theaters, Nationwide. My step-father hung the huge old time curtains that would go up and down and sideways, before, during and after the movie, at every theater nationwide, plus he built the whole theater for him also. My step-father was the bravest man in California (people would say) since he moved to the mainland and he always climbed to the top of the highest HIGHRISE building in LA and hung the huge Christmas tree each year with lights for all of LA. So at Hal’s we would go and sit in Hal's study and it was nice, I would get the hear about their jobs. I liked it. As I look back maybe the only thing we did do that was not part of the original Hawaiian culture was that our family would go to the movies and we enjoyed the candy and popcorn from the theaters growing up.
Our great great great or more Grandpa G. W. Willfong is mentioned here in the history of Maui.
I look like this girl to the right and the child below plus the man on the horse, I resemble him over the years. Because I am part Indian.
This is Wilbur Ray who is Robert Lee Johnson SR's mother Nita Fay Johnson's uncle he was Sioux Indian. He had an apple orchard and was very tall. He was very nice and married a Polish wife, he had 4 to 6 children, he was very kind, he was written about in Custer County Newspaper frequently. Wilbur Ray was born a TWIN and his twin was named Willis. I love you uncle Wilbur!
This is Clarinda, she was the aunt of Robert Lee Johnson's senior's mother Nita Fay (Nita Fay was born a twin also and her twin was named Niles). Clarinda was Wilbur Ray's older sister, she only had 1 child and she was the 1st born child to Cheyenne, Nita Fay's grandma, who was born to an orphaned Indian and raised by the Thatcher Missionaries by Indian Ladder, NY, and another orphaned Indian mother who was born to a mother who gave birth to her at 16, and died during giving birth on an Indian reservation. The parents of Cheyenne were married by a Moses on an Indian reservation that Dutch people ran in NY and had a chapel on. Clarinda is Sioux Indian.
I love you Clarinda who I bet was called Clarinda Bear all of her life, oxoxoxo
Cheyenne who was Robert Lee Johnson Senior's great grandma had these 2 children above also and 1 of them might have been CINDA who was Robert Lee Johnson SR's mother Nita Fay's mother and who taught Nita Fay everything about being Indian. ( It is passed down from mother to mother)/ Nita Fay knew what she could take home and eat that grew in a wild field for her family and my dad Bob Johnson Jr. whos mother died when she was 9 months pregnant and was Hawaiian was then raised by his Indian grandma and Nita used to run out in the field real fast and squat down and grab food and take it home and cook it up for everyone to eat and he said it was very good food. I love you all!
This is were Cheyenne and her parents lived with her children and you can see that maybe Cheyenne's father is on the porch, they lived in Nebraska here but Cheyenne moved back to the big Sioux Nation when she was older. My dad Bob Johnson Jr's grandma Nita Fay would go visit her there.
I think the Johnson family came from Chief Black Moon's tribe.
This is Wilbur Ray's who is above, 1st born son that he had with a wife he married before he married the Polish wife and had a long life with her. Wilbur Ray named this son Willis after his twin brother. I know all about Willis's life and it was sad to some degree and I am not going to bring it up. Willis's wife was named Happy. I love you Willis who moved back to Canada at a young age and no one got to share their lives with him again. MAYBE?
Cheyenne is the right of these Sioux Indians when she was young and older. This is Nita Fay's grandma who is my dad Bob Johnson's grandma who raised him.
This is Poor Dog and his family my dad Bob Johnson looks a lot like Poor Dog I think and it is funny he had a name for me growing up that was just like Poor Dog.
I have more to share later because Edna Harvey Joseph the famous genealogist, was my grandma Kaufman's who is above on this page, cousin. Grandma talked a lot about Edna Harvey Joseph to me over the years and Edna moved to NY to just do Genealogy. The Harvey family never had a slave, they were a special family that was written about in text books, they would never live on the slave side across the Mason Dixon line, plus a lot of the Harvey's married people that were African and all kinds of nationalities because they fought prejudism in the USA even back to when William Penn came over to run the 2nd state of the Union. A Harvey sat running the 2nd state of the union for William Penn also until he could come here. That is why I was born, not just because of Amy Flora Holmes Koch's side who was my mother's grandma but because of this Harvey side did not believe in being prejudice. The Harvey side never hurt or killed anyone for their race. Harvey's today are attorney's and their children again are mixed with African and all kinds of races. Sorry to anyone who does not like that. I know the Indian's suffered and the Jewish people suffered and maybe I suffer because of prejudism, but people are the same inside within different cultures all mixed with various morals and values and their love for God and nature varies like their values vary. But my message here is may we all support the family union now, and ask our relatives to not join together with other races if they want them to stay one race so people are not prejudice against them anymore and see if they will. I think that is fine if that is the value of a family. And what I am writing is that was not the value of this Harvey family and is not to this day for some reason. I loved my life as a child and I wanted to share with you the unique life I have lived and maybe the different kind of person that I am. And let me add Bob Johnson my dad was just as equally wonderful in all ways and amazing as my step father Stephen Kekuewa, so I was very lucky to have that and it is because of my mother she knows how to pick them my grandma Kaufman would say.
~Amy Koch Johnson
I will continue with my research about the orphan that was raised by the Thatcher Missionary family by Indian Ladder. I really researched this relative that is Robert Lee Johnson Sr's great, great Grandfather. This picture to the left could be someone like him in 1890ish. I met my dad Robert Lee Johnson Jr's cousin that was Wilbur Rays above great grandson or great great grandson. He was very interested in his ancestry and this nice cousin I met traveled to Custer County and phoned the Big Sioux nation and he traveled to Illinois where the Indians fled to after they were asked to leave a few Indian Reservations, esp. the what became the Seneca Indian Reservation. Then this cousin wrote letters to people he found may have answers to the roots of this grandfather, he paid for death records for many of the grandmothers on this side and this grandfather's wife but we could not find the grave for this grandfather. So this nice cousin did get some answers and he found out that this grandfather did not have a name until he was a man over 21 years of age or so, and that he was raised by the Boyd Thatcher Missionary Family in New York by Indian Ladder.
We did find out that when this grandfather was given a name it was George W. (Washington maybe) Sweet. I found out from my research that he was given an attorney's name that still lived and was close to the Thatcher family, the evidence was that he traveled with the people who worked and lived around this attorney Geo W. Sweet, etc. They all traveled from New York to Illinois. So this grandfather George Sweet I found out was an awesome farmer that was very skilled to the point that the white men put him in the newspapers with themselves and mentioned his crops quite a lot. He did plant sugar and other crops. To back track for along time I thought he was called Sweet because he planted so much sugar cane. He must have made molasses I think to myself now. Again he was wed on an Indian Reservation by a man named Moses and I found this in records, to Melvina Camp who again was born to a 16 year old Eastern Cherokee mother who lived on the Onondaga Reservation and Melvina's mother died during childbirth, but Melvina was raised by other relatives and her father who was named John Camp on Melvina's death record. I searched and search every John Camp that ever lived in NY and traced them all, I did end up at many dead ends. But maybe John Camp ended up marrying someone named Mary Camp that also moved with this grandparent couple to Illinois from NY at the Indian removal. Yet, on Melvina Camp's death certificate she had no mother. There were several Camp families that traveled from NY to Illinois at the same time. Cheyenne was the first born daughter to Grandfather Sweet and Grandmother Melvina Camp Sweet. Cheyenne gave birth to her first born daughter upon arrival in Illinois. There again I wrote above she gave birth to Clarinda. Melvina and George Sweet had a set of twin also. They may have up to two sets of twins. For sure they had twin boys who did die at a younger age in their twenties.
It is funny to me that my dad Bob Johnson's grandmother Nita was a twin and again each generation had a set or two of twins. Wilbur Ray was a twin and lo and behold I found a shot of what looked like my dad Bob Johnson as a baby with another baby laying there on their bellies that his father shot like he was a secret twin and none of us knew about this ever! And he had a secret twin somewhere and even he does not know about this the twin mystery maybe I imagined because the twin mystery in this family is a spell binder, so great in each generation. Yet no one has had twins yet on any side I know of I thought, but the cousin I met from Wilbur Ray said, "Yes, there are more twins in this bloodline still." And he named them. So this whole Sweet family packed up one day and headed toward Nebraska and of all places they lived near Custer. And in the end Melvina was buried alone and we will never find George Sweet's grave but I may know now where he is buried because I went through nights and nights of the newspaper archives from Nebraska and found out a lot, that I will not mention about this family and where they went, where Grandfather Sweet's grandchildren moved to when they were not on an Indian Reservation and had moved outside of Nebraska or South Dakota, yet one of them did move to Michigan. I am not going to tell this but I did find a record of grandma Nita Fay's brother who was very close to people who traveled to where Grandfather Sweet traveled to. I realized in the end it did not matter that Grandfather Sweet was named this name by the attorney maybe and was not called by a name he wanted to be called by because his daughter Cheyenne and all of his grandchildren including my dad's grandma Nita Fay were all written about in the Newspaper regularly in Custer County about everything they did. For I found out from my dad's cousin that someone in this family owned a newspaper and a hotel. I even found newspaper articles about Grandfather Sweet's grandson who chased coyotes.
I did find Cheyenne Grandfather Sweet's daughter at the Big Sioux Nation living with the Dakota Indians for sure in a census that I have when she was in her 70's and 80's and 90's maybe. Because Melvina Camp and Cheyenne, who were mother and daughter lived to be closest to 100 years old. And my dear ole dad is following in their footsteps and he is as with it as a 30 year old man, he still has his cute voice and my dad to me is John Two Hawks identical twin in many ways. John Two Hawks is the awesome at playing the flute. They are so much alike, I can see from John's videos. I told my dad how old these grandmothers of his lived to be and I do expect him to live up to be like his grandmas. It is very difficult to follow the Indian Heritage but it is fun to do. I did find more fun things to write about in this family but I will save that for another time.
~Amy Koch Johnson
I can share with you now a nice woman who is Robert Lee Johnson Sr & Jr's great & great great Aunt, she was Grandfather Sweet & Grandmother Melvina Camp Sweet's granddaughter and their daughter Cheyenne's daughter and Wilbur Ray and Clarinda's sister. Her name was Ida May or Ida Mae. She is in the photo above with her husband and my research showed me that they are in Colorado in this photo and nowhere else. I know they write Custer County but I do not believe it because Ida Mae died shortly after this photo was taken and I know she is buried in Colorado at a very young age. Ida May's story broke my heart and I was worried about this life she had also. I think it is very nice now after discovering Ida May that I love the name May because of my grandparents the Kaufman's and maybe Amy Flora Koch I was named after so now I found my dad Bob Johnson had an great great aunt with May in her name. The funny part about this is I insisted that my 1st born son be named Clark and Ida May has a grandson named Clark by the little girl Elsie Mae sitting in her lap. This Clark was Elsie Mae's son. Elsie Mae is the one child that looked real Indian.
Ida Mae's son in this photo who looked like his father's side in part and his name was Arthur R. Bisco, died at 89 years old which is good because I told you above that his grandmother Cheyenne and Melvina Camp Sweet lived until almost 100 and my dad is following in these relatives footsteps.
I am going to post Ida May or spelled Ida Mae's grandchildren who took after the Sioux Indian side and still looked Indian, to the left. Ida Mae had another Grandson who looked like Wilbur Ray's 1st born son who he again named after his twin Willis. This grandson resembles my father Bob Johnson as he aged and he is a military hero also. Here is is below- his name is Henry Earl “Hank” Bisco
This is Cheyenne Sweet's great granddaughter and Ida Mae's granddaughter Elsie Pearl which is a beautiful name. She took after the Indian side in her features and hair etc. You can see. Ida Mae her Grandmother had a sister name Elsie and my dad's grandma Nita Fay who again was born a twin with Niles, had a sister named Elsie and this is an Indian name for Sioux Indian people I think from watching their movies and documentary movies. I love you Ida Mae and I love you Elsie Pearl!
Here is Arthur Bisco, Ida May's son and he is like my dad some of his grandma Nita Fay's sons because they are and were theatrical people. I love you too Arthur.
Henry Earl “Hank” Bisco.
I love you Hank you are very wonderful!
Now back to my dad's parents and it breaks my heart everyday that my dad's mother, my grandma died when my dad was 1 or 2 years old. I thought that Mary and Robert Lee Johnson Sr were only wed for a long time BECAUSE OF SUGAR! I really thought this because of the fact that Grandfather Sweet was a special Sugar grower and to the people who raised him back to the Thatcher family and that Mary from Hawaii, where they met, had a grandfather who was a Head Sugar Cane Planter in Hilo Hawaii. Plus I thought they also got married because they both suffered the fact that my grandma Mary who had a gorgeous brother that ended up in a wheelchair in Hawaii, and was working for the Hilo Newspaper plus that Wilbur Ray who was again twin to Willis and his niece Nita Fay's mother I read in the Custer County newspaper that her name was Cinda and she was an excellent seamstress and she ended up in a wheel chair also like Wilbur did as he aged. Wilbur Ray was even written in the Newspaper that he had a man who traveled everywhere with him to help him after he went into his wheelchair. So I thought they had love and sympathy and similar families in part from the Hawaiian Islands to Nebraska. My Hawaiian Grandma Mary is buried with Nita Fay in Nebraska also and died in her home they write. But my grandfather Johnson sailed in the Navy to Hawaii and married my dad's Hawaiian mother Mary who was part Portuguese Hawaiian also. Here is a photo of their family below
Here is my grandma Mary and I wish everyday I knew her but I also think how LUCKY I am that my step father, Stephen Kekuewa who raised me and he was a real Hawaiian and that I was raised by all the real Hawaiians anyways is very important and special to me because I a real Hawaiian ANYWAY! Then Bob Johnson Sr is present in this photo with my dad Bob Johnson as a baby. He is cute!! I love you all!!
Grandma Mary Bob Johnson SR's wife and my dad Bob Johnson's mother below Hula dancing!!
Here I am to write to you again, I should add - From the Desk of Amy Koch Johnson - to the top of this writing below:
So we as the Kekuewa/Johnson family grew up with my grandparents, the Kaufmans around the corner of our home at the beach in Hermosa Beach, CA. My grandparents took care of me since I was about 2 years old a lot. The Kaufmans were my great grandparents! I did not add that above. Yet I was so close to them and took on their values too. My mother, Connie Koch Kekuewa wanted my grandparents to watch us a lot but after grandpa Kaufman passed away my mother was unsure about the long and daily conversations and visits her grandmother Kaufman and I had. Maybe she was worried that our grandma was a to far off generation for me to be influenced by I thought.
Also my own mother did not know very much about Judasim I realized, I thought to myself, no one in this family learned about this Judasim except me, huh? I learned about the Judasim that my grandparents came from and were very secretly still involved in I kept thinking. Yet I knew that I worked to learned about everything I could about my Kaufman family, their ancestors, relatives and all of their Jewish ways by constantly questioning my grandparents and literally searching their home in front of them, asking them questions about why they had so many candles burned down to a certain point and put away in a special place in their home? Why do you have books with this writing on it? Why is grandpa saying these words and touching a doorway while walking through it? And why are you reciting words sometimes as we wash our hands together or you alone? I even wanted to know why they ate the way they did and had to have rye bread at every meal, etc?.
And at first I did not know my grandparents kept their Jewish ways a secret and for a reason, because my grandparents did not tell me a thing about the horrific murders that were happening a time in the past to their Jewish relatives and friends, or about the issues in Germany that happened during the time of my grandparent lives while they lived in the USA. So again, my mother felt very uncomfortable with me as I aged as a pre-teen because of my comments I made to her about grandma and our conversations. But I did not say anything to my mother or other family, outside of my Kaufman grandparents when they commented to me about my grandparents and assessed my grandma Kaufman's ways. I did not defend her to them because I learned the Hebrew Jewish ways from these grandparents, which were wonderful and good to me and I loved over my entire lifetime with them. I did not explain myself to any of my other relatives because it was to much to explain I thought. And they kept it a secret for a reason I thought! And I knew the others in my family just did not know anything about Judasim. I could not believe it and it did upset me inside.
Why did my mother's mother think it was unnecessary for anyone to know very much about Judasim? I want to tell you why now. But I also do I think it was just because of the times, most likely, the era we lived in and living at the beach.
Because grandma Kaufman honestly had a saying she told her daughter, Louise Joy Kaufman Koch and myself 100's of times and it was, "When your grandfather Kaufman and I moved to the beach there were signs along the beach that said, that there are No Dogs or Jews Allowed on the Beach."
"Right here in Hermosa Beach." I would ask?
Grandma Kaufman would reply, "Yes right here in Hermosa Beach!"
I did not believe her fully really because I was at the beach and living on it, daily and with my Kekuewa family. But I would say to grandma, "Okay, I will think about this."
I honestly would think to myself, "Can I stop going to the beach for good? What would I do, if I stopped going to the beach?" I was puzzled until I learned that Jews in East End London where called Dogs in 1890. And that grandma did not want to scare the hell out of us with graphic details to give us all nervous break downs. This was how she explained what happened to Jews, and right here in Hermosa Beach. Maybe that is why I lived to tell you all this, I do not know? Maybe it is because of what I learned from Grandma Kaufman.
I will return to write to you about being a Portuguese Hawaiian and why Mary Johnson, my dad Bob Johnson jr's mother, and why moving off an island could have given her this young death. I will add that my grandmother Mary Johnson's family, relatives and ancestors- Never Lived off an island for 1000's and 1000's of years because I found all of Mary Johnson's grandfather's papers when they were baptised on the island they came from, then shipped to work, reside and live on the island of Hawaii, as Hawaiians forever more. Because when they shipped Mary Johnson's grandparents and their relatives to the island of Hawaii, I think it was a permanent deal. I do not think these Portuguese Hawaiians can return back to their original island. Yet, I am not 100% sure about this.
Here is a Rabbi that was around the Odessa area and had a synagogue that I studied and think our family in part was part of.
Here is my mother's mother, Louise Joy Kaufman Koch with my daughter who is her great granddaughter Sarah Joy Amelia.
From the Desk of Amy Koch Johnson
I decided to add to what I wrote above. about my great grandparents and growing up with them and how close I was to them some more here, instead of writing about my Hawaiian Grandma Mary Johnson's family and the original island they were from. It was Mary Johnson Grandparents that were born for 1000's and 1000's of years on an island that is considered the Garden of Eden on this earth, and this island was very interesting to research along with the outer islands around this island.
So like I wrote above my grandma Kaufman started to talk to me about her religious studies regularly after grandpa Kaufman passed away also. And I LOVED to hear about her religious studies, she told them in stories too. She did not read me lines or verses from any books. I asked grandma Kaufman at some point to buy me some of her religious books so I could read them and so she did. But that was not enough for me I knew as I read over the books she bought me I needed to read more that this I thought.
So when I was 18-20 years old (And married because grandma Kaufman asked me to get married and not ever live outside of Sin, and I said to her, "Yes, I will do that, I am sure it will be fine.") And I want to add I truly only got married young and to a boy who lived a few houses away from me since I was 7, and he knew I lived with all Hawaiian.
But grandma said to me 1000 times, "Jewish men make the best husbands."
I said to grandma, "I do not think I know real Jewish young men here at the beach. So do you think this boy Gordon who likes me is fine to marry instead?"
So grandma said, "Invite him over here to my house so I can meet him, Amy."
And I said, "Okay!"
Gordon came over after this conversation with me for a very long visit at grandma Kaufman's house to see if he would be as fine as a Jewish husband.
Grandma was not sure about Gordon fully, but she said to me, "You can not live outside of sin and you have to get married and you and Gordon can live with me here downstairs after you are married."
So Gordon and I had to get married and lived with grandma Kaufman.
As I wrote above in my married free time I visited all the local bookstores I could and bought every religious book I could and went home and read them all. I learned a lot about Monks and Jesus Christ's life and about other religions also.
Then when I was about 22 I bought the whole bible on tape and would listen to it intently and continue reading religious studies.
As I grew older I met Jewish men and women, who I love to this day and all of them because they were nice friends to me. Jewish people are friends for life. I met Jewish people who's whole family became Christians and we were friends, I met Jewish people who were super Jewish traditionally but not super religious like I liked though. I met Jewish friends that went to the Kabbalah center in Los Angeles also. These Jewish friends would invite me to go to their Friday night Shabbat and Saturday Synagogue. I would go with them. I ended up going to Beth Jacob Congregation which is a Synagogue in Beverly Hills, California. It is the largest Orthodox Synagogue in the Western United States.
So I went to Beth Jacob when I was about 30-32 years old. I went on Saturday morning and I was invited repetitively to have lunch with an older Orthodox Jewish family that was one of their main members. The husband of this Orthodox Jewish family was on the cover of a few Jewish Magazines, he was teaching to other Jewish people. This family lived down the street from Beth Jacob. They were a wonderful family, we all walked to his house after the services. I sat at lunch and said to myself, this is just like sitting with grandpa and grandma Kaufman all of my life! Oh thank G-D I am home at last!!! I just loved them so much and was so happy to learn about the Orthodox Jewish ways in a very deeper way. I was given a tour of their home and told about the Bath House, how they lived all month long and everything. So after this I wanted to be an Orthodox Jew only and I did not even use electricity at sundown Friday night to sundown Saturday night at my house. I thought, I want to be super Orthodox and not drive now and I could not go to Beverly Hills because I had to stay home and pray from my Jewish Prayer Books. I had to learn Hebrew I knew and taught myself a bit. I went to Orthodox Jewish restaurants and started to house Orthodox Jewish friends if they needed a place to stay and help them get jobs. These were people my age who were raised strictly Orthodox too. I let other Jewish people my friends knew visit me from other countries and stay at my house, they would take me to special Passovers at Orthodox Jewish homes where I met a few Orthodox families as poor as me, point blank. Now these Jewish families who were Orthodox and at my income level in a way, had a few different Jewish ways but were also the same as every Orthodox Jewish family. I just loved this one Orthodox Jewish Family so much because they did not even have a TV or watch TV on purpose to be more religious. So I grew going to a Shull, Synagogue, Chabad to the point that when I was in my early 40's I then decided to never watch TV again so I can be just like the Jewish Family that had me over for Passover that I wanted to be like. And I Amy Koch Johnson has NEVER watched Television since to be as Orthodox Jewish as I can be to this day. I pray and live for all my relatives and I pray to live for all my Jewish Relatives who's hearts were broke because of my family or any Jewish family and I love you all with ALL MY HEART and SOUL!
This is my grandmother Mary Johnson and her only surviving child is my father Bob Johnson Jr. aka Robert Lee Johnson Jr. and my dad told me that this side of his family was shipped on one ship, the S.S. Bordeaux from what was called Portugal, Madeira Island and now is just called Maderia. My dad Bob gave me a list of his mother's relative's names to research and again I found out that on the female side and the male side of this family that the men were all listed with Baptisms in Funchal, the islands capital. I learned that some of the female relatives on this side were Nuns at some point and this side of the family was originally religious.
I read a lot and watched documentaries on Maderia Island. aka, the flower island of the world, the Garden of Eden of the world. Plus I equally studied the Guanche people from the Canary islands which is close by. Online there is a lot written about Maderia Island's Sugar Cane Workers and Hawaii and history but I read something else really and studied other literature during the years I studied this topic.
What I read was that the Maderia Islanders would mix with the Guanche people (The Whistlers) and African people. I read that the King ruling over Maderia Island at some point knew that these Portuguese Islander people were soooo unprejudiced that everyone on this island could eventually be part African or become just African. (I am not trying to be mean at all but this is what I learned at the time.) I read that this was true to the King over Portugal because when a Maderia Island person would mate/marry/mix with a Guanche person from the close by Canary Island they would become physically ill working in the Sugarcane Fields, For some reason the Guanche people they write could not be hard labor workers without dying. So this left the Africans who were strong and could supersede over this island eventually. So the King or Governor, etc. over Maderia Island shipped these workers to Hawaii and I do not know part of the details but again it was to stop the Maderia Island people from all becoming Africans. Because Africa is large and they have their own land and this country just wanted to keep their land and people intact. So they stopped the Sugarcane in Maderia and it transferred to Hawaii.
I saw that my dad Bob could have had one side of his family for sure from the Canary Islands and were part Guanche and that is why when his mother moved to a environment like Nebraska with snow and all, she then died, because she did have a childhood illness they say she outgrew that returned when she was 9 months pregnant with her second child. Plus my grandma's brother could have been in a wheelchair because he was part Guanche still in his genes also and his body could not handle working in the Sugarcane fields. The Guanche people are heavily studied and they are special people who were smart people and family people who had a language that was a Whistle. This Whistler Language is part of the Government now on the Canary Islands, which means that by law every child born on the Canary Islands today has to learn the Whistler language in their school system.
A woman living on Maderia Island and I think I am just like this woman also, hair, face, skin, outfit and all.
The flower Festival on Maderia Island the Flower Island of the world.
This is how the people of Maderia Island lived and I like it I wish I could live this this on Maderia Island right now.
Maderia Island has Monk Seals also like Hawaii, I paint huge Monk Seals on canvas and I would like to just live with the Monk Seals on either island really! The Hawaiian people and the people of Maderia Island need to know how lucky they are!!