Stark, Ric - Hawaii Calling
"Round Trip, Fourteen Nights-$550," the newspaper ad read. When a March vacation in 1986 offers an escape from yet another brutal Minnesota winter, it turns into an unexpected calling. In a leap of faith, Ric d. Stark leaves his mainland home behind and moves to Hawai'i, changing the course of his life forever. In intimate and poignant stories of loving friendships, bizarre encounters with Hawaiian spirits, and the challenges of navigating an unfamiliar cultural landscape, Stark invites readers of Hawai'i Calling to join him on his journey to make the Islands his "heart home." Revealing his personal struggles to discover his identity as a gay man and his place in the Islands, Stark observes, "I often feel that I'm the one oddity that doesn't quite belong. Not just the 'belonging in Hawaiʻi'-it's larger than that, and deeper too. A universal, human condition-don't we all search our entire lives to find some communion with larger humanity? I answered with enthusiasm the deep, undeniable call of my spirit to live in this tropical home. Yet once here, I am forever just one more haole boy from the Midwest mainland." The Hali'a Aloha Series publishes personal essays, memoir, poetry and prose. The series celebrates moments big and small, harnessing the power of short forms to preserve the lived experiences of the storytellers.