I read a cool article recently about a quiet town called Manoa that exists beyond our island shores and in the Quaker State of Pennsylvania. After doing a little more research, I think it’s safe to say that Pennsylvania’s Manoa is much like Hawaii’s Manoa, except with snowy winters and less emphasis on the “a” sound (note the kahako over the “a” which creates the long vowel sound). Manoa valley travels thousands of miles away to Pennsylvania.
The snowy Manoa came second, after a postman’s visit to our islands. He returned to his hometown and renamed his store the “Manoa General Store.” Because mail went to the town’s general store, people started addressing their parcels with “Manoa,” and the name caught on.
Pennsylvania’s Manoa gives off that mellow mood vibe just like the one in Hawaii, where cookie-cutter houses and lush lawns make life seem so simple. The farther into the valley, the more peaceful. Noise from the elementary schools and district park at the mouth of the valley gets carried out with the trades and into the hustle-n-bustle of Honolulu.
I usually walk my dog there after work, when scents of different home-cooked meals fill the valley that often times cut my walk short. It gets pretty nostalgic for me, too. Memories of riding home on my bike as a kid just in time for Mom’s dinner usually cross my mind.
And I’m sure if Hawaii’s Manoa had a general store, it’d be at Manoa Shopping Center – the valley’s hub for grub and other necessities. There’s a deli that even serves a few East Coast favorites like meatball sandwiches. Wonder if there’s some kind of connection to the mainland Manoa?Manoa Shopping Center at its busiest time of day – lunchtime.
One thing’s for sure, though. Both Manoas have their own variation of unpredictable weather. While Pennsylvania’s Manoa gets as much as 70 inches of snow some winters, Hawaii gets its share of rain on the daily. Manoa Valley has to be one of the wettest places on the island, with at least one light rain a day.
I hope to visit Pennsylvania’s Manoa one day, even if just for a couple of hours. There probably isn’t a manapua factory nor a crack seed store, but from what I’ve heard, the people have tons of Aloha.
Posted by: Bruce Fisher