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April 2006


HAPA at the Triple Door….Barry Flanagan and Nathan Aweau and Charles Ka`upu were indeed back in the Pacific NW and once again played to enthusiastic audiences at the Triple Door Theatre restaurant in downtown Seattle. Their music was, as usual, pretty awesome (their combination oli-mele-hula version of Waika was chicken skin stuff, so beautifully sung and chanted and danced)….same for the oli-mele “Redemption Song”…..auwe, so sad and yet so inspiring…..then they did their signature HAPA songs “Haleakala” and “Lei Pikake” (sooo good)! Not to forget our own Marcie Wirtz who was called on stage to dance “Ka Uluwehi O ke Kai” with the HAPA dancers and did so magnificently (Marcie dances for Lei Delosantos’ Halau in Edmonds)….HAPA just finishing up a nearly month long tour and were taking off in three different directions from Seattle (Barry was flying back to the East Coast to see his family while Charles was heading down to San Diego and Nathan back to his family in Hawaii.) The evening was pretty special too because Kathy and I were joined by Bernie Simeona and his lovely wife Louise…in our lives, all of us have acquaintances and friends and family….then there are those who are something more to friends, people (though, not relatives) who are as special as Ohana….Bernie is one of my special people…great singer, great bass player, great golfer, great personality (is it a wonder that we have dubbed him “Da Great One”?) HAPA does “Lei Pikake” better than anyone BUT next time you see Bernie on stage, ask him to sing “Lei Pikake” and trust me, you may even think (like me) that Bernie does it as well as HAPA….

Kahaua ika holoholo ka`a… .. get in the car, step on the gas and let’s go for a ride…go `akau (north) first…Bobby’s Hawaiian Style restaurant in Everett is still the place to go to meet Hawaiians…I ran into McKinley HS ’82 grad Tia Moe Jr. and William Bill Richardson (Kamehameha ’86,) chowing down (Bill wanted me to let folks know that his wife (Malaea Rasmussen-Richardson) has started her Halau Hula O Mana`o I`o and anyone interested in dancing the hula in the Everett/Marysville area should call her)…. also at Bobby’s were Melanie Panoke (who was proudly wearing her Hawaiian Kau Inoa tee shirt) while Kaleolani Green Garcia (Kailua HS 91) and her really cute daughter Jessie were seated at another table…A little further north is another of my favorite places to go for some good fun and great haole kind food (the best Prime Rib lunch/dinner in all of Wakinikona/Washington for about ten bucks) and that’s at the Tulalip Casino in the Marysville area. If you go, look for one real big, good looking Hawaiian guy all dressed up in his real shaka black suit and tie and shiny shoes; go congratulate da man ‘cause he just got promoted to a Security Supervisor position: congrats to Paul Kalani Zoller (Nanakuli HS ’72)…another of the staff there is Norbert Kaimuloa Mendez from Manoa…

Places and faces…you know these folks? Dean DeSantos (Waipahu HS ’76) retired US Air Force guy) and his wife Laura Romento DeSantos (Kaneohe born but grew up in the Tacoma area) now live in Roy, WA and were shopping at the Hawaii General Store when I met them….then I ran into Lea Henderson, (Waianae HS ’93) in the Tacoma area…

I’m having some extensive remodeling done at my hale (‘cause it’s getting old and broken down like me) and the guy who delivered my new plumbing fixtures was born in Nanakuli but grew up in Kona on the Big Island: Donald Kaopua, Konawaena HS ’88 has lived in the Bellevue area since 1994 and really likes living up here…speaking of remodeling: Matt Bridges and Andy Harper, the two young guys who are doing the work on my hale (house) do exceptionally fine work and I recommend them highly if any of you need some work done!

For over thirty years, Kathy and I have driven up and down I-5 and looked up the hill to that majestic looking restaurant across from the Tacoma Dome that overlooks downtown Tacoma. In March 2006, we went down to watch the “baby” of Manu Tuiasosopo’s family of athletes play in the Class 4A State basketball tournament at the Tacoma Dome (Ashley Tuiasosopo is a junior, a great player who starts for the Woodinville HS wahines basketball team)…the Tuiasosopo Ohana was there enmass (Manu, Marques, Zach, Tina, Grandma and a few dozen more) but sorry to say Ashley’s team lost their game. After the game (and after thirty years of wanting to) Kathy and I finally decided to dine at that majestic restaurant on the hill….let’s see, how to describe Stanley & Seafort’s restaurant best? Elegant, actually kinda tropical setting with lots of Bird of Paradise flowers; good food but very pricey, crowded with a long waiting line, fantastic view of downtown Tacoma and points west. I would equate it almost to that Canlis place in Seattle, the kind of place we all need to experience at least once in our lifetimes… yeah, maybe you can wait thirty years and then go, but you gotta go at least once…

Lots and lots of Hawaiian activities are taking place as summer comes on…too many to give details here…listen to the Hawaiian Radio Connection programs on Saturdays for up to date info on where/when/what’s happening….for sure: go support them, especially the “little”/grass roots ones like Hula Halau fund raisers as Halaus do so much to help keep our culture alive….

Gotta go so until next time, get involved and become a part of Hawaiian activities in your area; it really is good fun stuff and pi`i ka maika`i (makes you feel good)!!! A hui hou…Danny

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