About the Author
Steve Soone, weaned and educated in Waikiki, spent a decade traveling and working on the mainland before returning to Waikiki for good in 1968. He is one of the few Hawaiians who do not claim to be of royal descent. Friends and friends of friends were Hawaiian activists and a few were involved in illegal activities. Throughout the years informative and enlightening conversations were held over food and beer which provided plenty of material for this novel. Being a Waikiki bartender for almost half a century also provided much information.
Plastic Leis and Hawaiian Hearts tells the story about SAM KEAHI who believes in Hawaiian sovereignty and for Hawai`i to secede from the nation. He believes all Hawaiians deserve a better life and wants to be the one to make these changes for his people.
Lacking any economic power to achieve his goal he becomes a beach boy and playboy until ten years later he meets DIANE RICHARDSON and falls in love. After visiting her in California he realizes he could never afford to give her a life she deserves. Disillusioned, he returns to Hawai`i and asks his UNCLE KEAWE and AUNTY LOVENA if he could live and work with them on their Hawaiian homestead on Moloka’i where he eventually grows a marijuana plantation. UNCLE KEAWE’S good friend, JOHNATHAN GAY, a former IRA warrior, mercenary, smuggler and gunrunner in Southeast Asia mentors Sam and they launder the money through legitimate businesses. Sam succumbs to financial success and casts aside all the Hawaiian values that he believes in.
SAM’S best friend, JERRY KANEKOA, leaves the corrupt Honolulu police department and goes to Vietnam and returns a war hero. With SAM’S influence JERRY becomes the next police chief and together they gain control of Hawai`i through politics and organized crime. SAM’S favorite cousin, GEORGE LEE, who has the most influence over him, comes back to Hawai`i after living and working on the mainland for fifteen years and guides SAM back to Hawaiian values and to a more balanced life.
DIANE RICHARDSON reenters SAM’S life and introduces him to HAUNANI, the daughter he never knew existed. Sam believes his life is now complete until GEORGE is murdered by one of his former Hawaiian employees. Reality sets in for Sam when he realizes that Hawaiians are no better or no worse than any other people. There are subplots that interweave with the main plot.