Alger: Why do I get to ask all the questions?

Stepping out of the Lihu‘e airport for the first time last week I realized something: I knew absolutely nothing about Kaua‘i. Between the initial rush of finding a place to live, a car and the local grocery store, a flood of questions entered my mind in those first few days.

Do I say Aloha at the start and end of a conversation? Does it really rain here all the time? Where can I find a good sports bar and will that rooster really wake me up like that every morning?

Questions are an amazing thing, because more often than not, you’ll find answers. In my first week here on Kaua‘i I’ve asked many questions and I’ve gotten a few answers. Supposedly it doesn’t rain here ALL the time. I hear there are a couple of great places to grab a beer and watch a game. And yes, that darn rooster will ever-so-pleasantly wake me up at five every morning, although I answered that one on my own.  

No matter how acquainted I get with this island and the people of Kaua‘i, I will always ask questions. The best stories and tales are given to those that ask.

For those of you that I have the pleasure of talking with in the future, here’s a heads up: I’m going to ask a lot of questions. But, who am I to ask all of you questions? Why am I privileged to ask personal questions of you, when for the most part, I’m a complete stranger? That’s the beauty of this first column. I believe I owe all of you the service of telling you a little about myself before prying for your personal details.

The first thing you should know about me is that I’m a Seattle sports fan. For those not up to date on the treachery that is athletics in the Pacific Northwest, the last team from the area to win a national title was the Seattle SuperSonics, who now comfortably reside in the beautiful oasis of Oklahoma City. The Mariners haven’t been to the playoffs in a decade and the Seahawks are  painstakingly mediocre. Everyone talks about how loyal and devoted Chicago Cubs fans are for rooting for a team that hasn’t won a World Series in over 100 years. As a Seattle fan, I say that’s one more than we’ve got.

The second thing about me is that I am — or was — a hockey player. Growing up in a small town in Alaska where frigid temperatures rule nine months out of the year, hockey was a haven. Up north you’re lacing up the skates right around the same time you learn to tie your shoes. I started when I was seven and have been playing ever since. This culminated in three great years playing for The University of Montana, where I warmed a lot of benches and happened to lose a tooth in an on-ice fight. But don’t worry, you should have seen the other guy. He had broken bones … like the ones in his hand from smashing my face.

But most importantly, I’m a journalist. I’m going to do the best I can to provide Kaua‘i with the best sports coverage possible. Some stories will be happy. Other may be sad or take a serious tone. It depends upon the story. I can’t quite tell you how everything is going to turn out. But, what I can tell you is that I will be respectful and fair in the way I go about my reporting. And in the mean time, I will keep asking all of those questions.

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