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January 2007


Congrats to Tamari Miyashiro (Kalani HS) and Ashley Aratani (Iolani HS) whose UW Huskies volleyball team got all the way to the Final Four in Omaha, Nebraska before losing to Stanford. UW won the Regional Finals in Seattle when they upset the Penn State team 3-1 (Tamari earned 1st team All Regional honors for her outstanding play asUW Libero) Among local fans I saw at the Regionals were Vernon Tom (St Louis HS guy who also is a Volleyball ref) and Roy and June Quemado (they’re both Leilehua HS grads…..really nice folks!) and Uncle Ed Tanaka (auwe….his Purdue ladies lost to UW in the first round) Oh yea, I also got a chance to talk to Derrick Low, the new star of the Washington State Cougars basketball team (11 wins, 1 loss in mid-December when I saw them play San Diego State at Key Arena) Derrick is a Iolani HS grad/Hawaii HS Basketball Player of the Year three times…great player and really nice guy……

Nahenahe ……is one of the most beautiful words in our Hawaiian language… one definition of the word in the Pukui and Elbert dictionary is “soft….a gentle voice”. I am a huge fan of Keola Beamer and had a chance to visit with Keola and his wife Moanalani during their stopover in Seattle in early December 2006! In my mind, Keola Beamer is“Mr Nahenahe”….his very essence, his talents, his songs, his kiho`alu style and his awesome (but gentle) singing voice are all soooo Nahenahe! Keola was in Kent, WA to do a concert (which was sold out) and did a kiho`alu work shop before his concert! It’s such fun for me to be able to watch the “Biggies” (like Robert Cazimero and Manu Boyd and Keola) teach our culture to others…Keola told his students that an individual’s music should relate directly to the individual’s uhane (soul), and said that while he can teach the student how to tune the guitar/the basic fingering and body positions for playing Kiho`alu, the music should be a smooth connecting of one note to the next and must come with Aloha from the heart! Among the students in the workshop were Alan Fukushima (Kaneohe, Castle HS), Masao Tamekuni (Kona, Konawaena HS) Deborah Ryder Vea (Lihue, Kauai; Kamehameha ’84) and her son Kekoa Caberto; Don Maekawa (whose wife Kiyo is from Makawao, Maui); and Alika Olsen from Kauai. The concert later that evening was sooooo good!!!! While Keola and Moanalani did their typically spell binding songs and dances, I was particularly impressed with John Keawe’s performance…auwe, the man has such a golden voice!!!

Seattle Ukulele Players Association …..actually, “super” would be a fitting way to describe these SUPA folks who meet monthly to eat and socialize but mostly to play their ukuleles and learn about our Hawaiian culture through the music they practice! A lot of the SUPA members are not Hawaiian Islanders but I was surprised by the large number of “locals” I met when my NWHT buddy Gregg Porter invited me to join them at their December meeting. First and foremost is the “leader of the gang”, SUPA co-founder Peter Pekelo Palisbo…like all gooood Hawaiian activities, everybody wen’ eat first and den da Man Pekelo opened the music segment playing his classical guitar to a very unique medley of “Gas” (a contemporary rock tune) followed by the classical music Bach’s Prelude in D Major and ending with Pekelo playing Keola Beamer’s slack key version of Waiulu….pretty awesome music! Among Hawaiian Islanders in the crowd: Eric Kobashigawa (Hakalau, Big Island, Hilo HS ’79) who was there with his two youngsters; also there were Glen Malubay (Iwilei, Oahu; Damien HS); Fran Leal Lehr (from Molokai, St Francis Convent grad); Vernon Tom (Honolulu; St Louis HS) and LelandChang (Nuuanu, Roosevelt HS)........then there was Gregg Porter…auwe, I don’t know another Mainland haole who has more Aloha in his heart than this guy from Iowa! Actually, there aren’t many (Hawaiians or otherwise) who have more knowledge about Hawaiian music than Mr Porter….good guy! The SUPA group meets monthly so if you get the urge to strum a ukulele, drop in…very inexpensive fun for a few hours (donate $3.00 to help pay the rent and bring some kaukau for the pot luck).

Guess who just turned TWO….Hauoli la Hanau to Hawaii General Store’s twins who turned two on 22 December. Gail & Sara’s twins are so beautifully pretty but one has lots of hair while the other has little so a bunch of us have decided to unofficially give them Hawaiian names NOHEA (Katie) and MOHEA (Laney)…

Get involved!!! With a Democratic Congress moving in, there is going to be an increased effort to get Congress to approve some type of legislation identifying Hawaiians as an indigenous people. You, me, all of us need to get informed so we know what the issues are and what is expected of us should that happen! Got to hele on….take care……a hui hou e malama pono……………..Danny

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