The station was created in 1938 by the newspaper publisher Garden Island Publishing Co. KTOH debuted with three solid hours of live Hawaiian music. It boasted programming in English, Japanese and Ilocano. It became a witness, and a mirror, to Kaua'i's plantation society.
In the 1940s, KTOH transmitted live from Lïhu'e Store, holding radio parties at which housewives competed for free housecleaning supplies in contests of penny-pitching and dart-throwing. KTOH was there, holding a microphone up to catch the sound of the ribbon being cut at the opening of the Hanapëpë-to-Waimea highway. When a new fangled technology became available-the tape recorder-KTOH went into neighborhood schools, even into people's kitchens, to record and broadcast daily life from one Kauaian to another.
Reading Ashman's memories, presented as a series of episodes, is like tuning in to a transmission from yesteryear.
Published by the Kaua'i Historical Society, distributed by the University of Hawai'i Press. www.uhpress.hawaii.edu. $18.
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