BLUE BRIDGE BASH 2006
(L-R) Carey Camacho of San Pablo, California, Ricky Chang from Yakima, Ed Horie and Onie Randall from Tri-Cities, Washington are amazed and entertained by what they're reading in the Northwest Hawai`i Times.
Necessary ingredients for any gathering of locals:
L-R: Shaka from Kalena and Ed Horie from Kennewick and
Pat Johnson from Idaho gets ready to hula.
Kanikapila at the Blue Bridge Bash (L-R): Peter Tabali from Tacoma, Washington;
Carey Camacho from San Pablo, California works the sound board
From the Garden Isle to the Palm Springs of Washington?
By Duane Shimogawa
Most say your home is where you lay your hat.
And that’s how I’d like to think about my recent journey from Kaua`i to Yakima. Except instead of a hat, it’s a microphone. It’s a pretty big change to say the least, but most of the time, following your dreams requires you to jump out of your comfort zone.
Yakima may seem like a whole new world, but not entirely to me. I graduated from Central Washington University a few years ago, so the region is fairly familiar. However, as I’ve told many local people in Yakima, I hardly traveled east down I-82 to make an appearance in the Palm Springs of Washington. Miner’s, a famous hamburger joint in Union Gap and several trips to Old Navy are the only instances I recollect making the drive down to the main city in Central Washington.
After graduating from CWU with a broadcast journalism degree, I scoured the region for TV jobs, but found no luck. So it was back home to the Garden Isle to visit with family and friends for a month.
Living with mom and dad was fun at first, but I began to understand that it’s only a high school or college stop. After a few weeks at home, I got a job offer at one of the local radio stations as the afternoon drive announcer. It was a great opportunity for me to gain broadcast experience, so I took the offer. After a year at FM97, I stumbled upon another great media job.
The Garden Island newspaper offered me the sports editor’s position. Sports broadcasting is where I want to end up, so it was another can’t-miss opportunity for me.
After a couple of years covering everything from rodeos to canoe paddling and surfing to football, I felt the urge to get into TV, so I began applying once again. Right at the same time, I received an e-mail from a former professor at CWU and that’s when the ball started rolling. He notified me of a reporter’s position at KNDO-TV in Yakima. I then rushed my demo tape and resumé to the station.
I heard back from the news director and he liked my tape, so we moved ahead with the process. Come to find out, a former classmate of mine at CWU, currently held the position but was moving on to be a photographer in Spokane. He put in a good word for me and so did my old professor. It must’ve helped because the news director offered me the job within a week.
It was a tough decision, but when it came down to staying or leaving, I knew deep down inside that I had to make the move in order to start my career in television. So here I am, all the way, deep in the heart of Central Washington. I’d like to think of it as sort of a homecoming. But more importantly, it’s the beginning of a dream that’s just about to get started. Also, it was the start of meeting new friends from the region and the 50th state.
After a couple of weeks on the job, I got a phone message at work from someone who said he lived in Selah, but was originally from Hawai`i. I immediately called him back and that’s when I began to realize that although I’m far away from home, I’m still close to my old stomping grounds.
The next morning I headed out to the Teriyaki Grille of Selah, where I met more people from Hawai`i . After having a few cups of coffee with the trio of Hawaiians and some `ono ribs, I decided to make the trip down to the “Blue Bridge Bash” in the Tri-Cities held that weekend.
It was comforting to see so many Hawaiians in the middle of nowhere. There were a few halaus and just a lot of singing and eating. and just like back home, I took home a hefty load of food, which made my breakfast, lunch and dinner menus throughout the week.
I’m glad to be here in Central Washington for many reasons and meeting Hawaiians in the area just created another reason why this is a place I call, “My home away from home.”
For a picture of last year's group, Click HERE.
Duane Shimogawa Jr. was born and raised in Lihu`e, Kauai and currently resides in Yakima, Washington, where he is a news reporter/photographer for KNDO-TV. After graduating from Kauai High School in 1998, he went off to college at Graceland University in Iowa. After a short two-year stint, Duane transferred to Central Washington University and graduated with a broadcast journalism degree in 2003. He then returned home to Kauai and worked as a radio announcer and the sports editor for The Garden Island newspaper before heading back to the Mainland. He is the proud son of Duane Sr. and Cynthia. He has one sister, Shantelle, a brother-in-law, Eugemar and a 2-year-old nephew, Cody. When Duane’s not on TV, he’s doing anything that deals with the outdoors, especially golf!
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