taught Manoa family
Norman Kaneshiro saysBy Rod Ohira
the business helped him
'achieve what I wanted'
The Star-Bulletin has been a part of the Mildred and Shigeru Kaneshiro family for a long time.
"Every single person in my family delivered the Star-Bulletin at least once in their lives," said son Norman, 24.
"We all did it to make extra money.
Norman Kaneshiro, 24, has been serving about 60 Star-Bulletin subscribers in upper Manoa Valley since he was 12 years old. And he's still at it.
Delivering newspapers helped him pursue an expensive hobby, pay for his college education, and learn about people.
One woman appreciated his good work so much that she once gifted him with a $1,000 check.
"Mrs. (Laurel) Kaneda told me to use it for my college tuition," said Kaneshiro, a University of Hawaii junior majoring in ethnic studies.
Norman, the youngest of four children, graduated with honors from Roosevelt High School and received scholarship money from both ofHonolulu's daily newspapers for being a top carrier.
"Being a carrier allowed me to be able to work at a young age and helped me to achieve what I wanted to achieve," said Norman Kaneshiro. "It gave me a head start."
Kaneshiro was making about $700-$800 a month delivering the morning and afternoon newspapers.
"For the amount of hours, the money's good," he said. "The money helped subsidize my Okinawan dance lessons and costumes. It's an expensive hobby."
Like his two older brothers and sister who delivered daily newspapers before him, the 24-year-old Kaneshiro took extra steps to assure customer satisfaction.
On rainy days, for instance, he placed each newspaper inside a plastic bag to keep it dry.
"By being a newspaper carrier, I've learned the importance of promptness and responsibility," Kaneshiro said. "Dealing with customers has taught me how to relate to a variety of people and to deal with various situations instantaneously.
"As a carrier, the best reward is the realization that you're serving others."
The family line of carriers started with Norman's brothers Gerald, now a Honolulu police officer; and Scott, now an electrical engineer specializing in computers; and his sister, Dyan.
Dyan Kaneshiro, currently employed by the Board of Health in Massachusetts, was also a carrier scholarship winner.
Shigeru Kaneshiro, who worked for the National Guard and the Hawaii Housing Authority, took a morning newspaper route when he retired in 1989.
Norman Kaneshiro admits that fulfilling his carrier responsibilities has not always been easy.
"Some days you just don't feel like doing it," he said. "But something inside says you got to do it because if you don't, nobody's going to do it for you."
His parents would never bail out their kids for a situation like that, Kaneshiro said.
"If there's a good reason, they'll cover," he added.
The Kaneshiros have been helping their son with his afternoon route several times a week since he's been in college.
Collection times used to offer the biggest challenge for him as a carrier, said Norman Kaneshiro.
"Asking somebody for money while standing at the door is not an easy thing," he said. "It taught me a lot about being tactful."