About the only people who called me “Kaniela” were my grandparents whom I loved very much....then there was one other lady (whom I also loved very much) who called me “Kaniela” and she was such a very special lady that most of Hawaii went into mourning when she passed away recently. Her name: Aunty Genoa Keawe! I was helping out during a pre-concert sound check for the “Hawaiian Aunties Concert” at the Benaroya Concert Hall in Seattle a few years ago when Aunty Genoa, who was sitting at the side of the stage called to me and said “Kaniela.... come, come sit with me”! Auwe.....I had a once in a lifetime experience as Aunty would say to me “Kaniela...you know this song?” and she would proceed to play her uke and sing the song and then another and still another...it was just she and I so I had my very own, unforgettable half an hour “concert by Aunty Genoa”. We reminisced about Hawaii and Lana`i....then she told me that one of the funniest things that happened to her was when a tourist (trying to impress Aunty) told her: “I knew both your husbands”....Aunty cracked up ‘cause she had only had one husband, her beloved Edward Punawai Keawe-Aiko, with whom she had twelve children. The tourist guy knew Aunty went by Genoa Keawe and her son by Gary Aiko so he thought he’d show off by telling Aunty that he knew BOTH her husbands (the Keawe guy and the Aiko guy)....auwe, talk about putting foot in mouth!!!! We are all going to miss that wonderful lady........
Our heartfelt condolences go to Faith Kane Estores who lost her Dad (Hawaiian music icon Raymond Kane) shortly after Aunty Genoa died. Uncle Raymond’s inimitable nahenahe style kiho`alu will be remembered forever by Hawaiians and Hawaiian at heart people who love slack key guitar music. Nina and her husband Ninyo and their ohana live in the Olympia, WA area and both are very active in our Washington area Hawaiian community.
Aloha oe Aunty Genoa and Uncle Raymond.....mahalo nui for the wonderful memories!!!!
Want current, almost daily updates on Hawaiian athletics? Steve Kajihiro, who now lives in the Everett, WA area and his brother Dave (who lives in Hawaii) just opened up a website (Island Sports Media, LLC) with stories about Hawaiian Islander athletes plus other informational tidbits about places to go, things to do.....go check it out!!
One of my favorite musicians Kila Lapeaga left the Seattle area a few years ago for his home in American Samoa where he spent the intervening years helping build a church for his people there. The church has been built and Kila (to the joy of many of his fans) has returned to this area and plays music (with Billy Ka`aihue and Bobby Nakihei) at Bobby’s Hawaiian Style restaurant in Everett most Saturdays. Go listen to them (goooood music) and enjoy the g-re-a-t food! Kila invites all of you to attend a Luau on April 19th at the St Pius Church complex in Mountlake Terrace that his PCC Chapel Church is holding to raise funds for their church here and in American Samoa.....
Update on our Kauai guy Benny Lagmay: Benny is still being treated for his heart condition while friends and family are continuing efforts to raise funds to pay for his ongoing heart treatments/future heart transplant operation. A four person team/scramble golf tournament fund raiser for Benny is scheduled for May 24, 2008 at the Blue Boy Golf Course in Monroe, WA. Go play in it...Benny needs all the support he can get!
Congrats to Maile and Ryan Lono Butera on the March 12, 2008 birth of their daughter Schaller Kua`aina Lono Butera! Maile has always been a special person to me because of her passion for her Hawaiian culture. Maile says that “Kua`aina” means “from the country” while Schaller is the name of her Grandpa Schaller Bennett who was a champion saddle bronc rider. Like her mom, Schaller Kua`aina is very, very pretty!
Get involved!!!! The April 5th, 2008 Lokahi Family Spring Ho`olaulea in Puyallup, WA is a MUST SEE!!!!! It is one of the largest Hawaiian cultural events (over 5,000 people attend the Lokahi Ho`olauleas each year)....lots of tremendous musicians and dancers plus vendors for every possible Hawaiian kine stuff you would ever want to buy will be there and ono/ono food!
The Pacific Lutheran University students will be having their Hawaiian Club 11th Annual Luau on April 19 (808-497-3482 for info). The U of Washington Hawaiian Club is also having their Luau on April 19th!
For the many Kamehameha grads who have been asking about the date for the All Classes KS Alumni Reunion in Las Vegas: it’s October 30 - November 2, 2008. The only point of contact I have at this time is George Oishi (office 808-847-4918) who is handling hotel reservations for The Orleans in Vegas which will be the “home base”.
Auwe....time to hele on....a hui hou e malama pono..................Danny
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