Small Town

Monday Musings from Melinda M. Chiara M.

In the twelve years I have lived in our small town of Hilo, I’ve noticed the connection between everyone is strong. As in, everyone knows everyone. Literally.

Our family is on Maui but they have other family on the Big Island that we see often.

For example, if you were in a big place like… let’s say… California. You could see someone for a whole day and never see them again. Ever. Unless that is you made plans or something. But here, you could see someone for the whole day and probably see them again a few days later in KTA or something.

You even might see your pal outside the KTA in Waikoloa as you buy Chinese pretzels!

And everyone is related to everyone. No kidding. Like the little girl that always jumps on my back at swim practice? Yea, turns out her grandma is my uncle’s sister and she’s married to my coach or something. My science teacher? My grandma’s great niece-in-law’s (or something like that) descendent of some kind is her husband. Boom. Mind blown. (Insert explosion sound and hand gestures.)


Everyone in Hilo knows my dad, or so  it seems.

It always seems like everyone knows my dad. I could be walking in Target or the mall or some store and I will have a 88 percent chance of getting stopped by someone saying “Eh, you Mizuno’s daughter?” or “Eh, you know Harold Mizuno?” or even “Eh, is Mr. Mizuno your dad?” and I just kinda stare and smile and say, “Um…yea?”

Ever since I can remember, people have asked me, “Are you Mr. Mizuno’s daughter?”

I even get stopped by kids that’s how crazy it is! And everyone thinks I look like him so that doesn’t help much either.


The last thing about living in a small town is that you can’t get away with anything. Anything. You can’t talk trash either because the person you might be dissing and the person you’re telling it to, that person might be related to that person and then tell that person… you know what? Lesson is, don’t talk trash, kids because that person is most likely gonna hear about it and then you’re in deep doodoo.

In Hilo, there’s no mistaking my sister and me; we are Mizunos!

There are many different ways people could look at our small town and different ways to feel about it. I choose to love it. The connection is great and beautiful. I really do love it.




  1. Well said Chiara! I see (and hear) a lot of your mom in you too! Living out in NYC, it’s rare to bump into anyone you know (except the ones you don’t want to see!) I’m glad you know how good it is to be surrounded by people you know and love.

    Liked by 1 person

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