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May 2007

Holoholo……….

We’ll all miss him……Don Ho was a year ahead of me at Kamehameha, pretty much one of the BMOC guys of the class of ’49…great athlete, smart, good looking and even though he was tough on us underclassmen, he was a pretty nice guy. Don Ho was truly an Ambassador of Aloha and represented all Hawaiian Islanders well in his lifetime. One of his hit songs was “I’ll Remember You” and I, for one, will remember him.... Aloha oe Don Ho!

Kui Lee, a classmate of mine at Kamehameha, wrote some of those wonderful songs like “Lahaina Luna” and “I’ll Remember You” that helped Don Ho become an international star! My personal favorite Kui Lee song is “Days of My Youth”! With Don Ho’s passing, the song reminds me of the legacy that everyone of us has in our ohana, especially in the opio/youth who will carry our hopes and dreams into the generations to come. I saw the beaming looks of pride, joy and aloha in the eyes of parents Erin and Adam Foster and grandparents Reidar/Sharon Smith at the first Hauoli la Hanau (birthday) Luau for Addie Keahi Foster! I saw the same looks (pride, love, and in this case, a little incredibility) on the faces of Anela and Mike Lemanu when their 6 year old mo`opuna said “Grandma, I know this song” and walked out on center stage at the Lokahi 2007Spring Ho`olaulea and began dancing all by herself in front of hundreds of people….it didn’t matter that she had never danced “Hi`ilawe” before, but Corrine Keohookalani just seemed to let her ike hanau (Hawaiian instinct) guide her body in a graceful, flowing dance after which the audience gave her a ringing ovation! Vivacious Keana Lian Kanani Lono will be marching down the aisles in the Tacoma Dome with her fellow 2007 graduates from Kentwood HS on June 16, 2007..Keahi and Keohookalani and Keana are but a few of the many Hawaiian youth who are our future............

Simply Awesome!!!! In my thirty plus years here in Rain City, USA I’ve gone to ninety percent of the concerts performed by major Hawaiian entertainers like the Brothers Cazimero, the Makaha Sons, Jake Shimabukuro, Aunty Genoa, Amy Hanaiali`i Gilliom, et al and while everyone of them was really good, the concert by HAPA at the Shoreline Community College theater on April 14, 2007 is the one I’ve enjoyed the most! The theater was nice but plain and the stage was pretty bare (auwe…the fake Ficus trees sure didn’t look “tropical”) which made the outstanding music and dancing even more memorable! Barry Flanagan (the haole half of HAPA) is a one-of-a- kind/extremely talented/very creative musician and song writer…..Nathan Aweau (Farrington HS guy) has a fantastic voice and plays a great 7 string bass…..Pi`ilani Klein (Waimanalo gal, Kailua HS) and Malia Peterson (Miss Aloha Hula 2002, Honolulu gal, University HS) are beautiful dancers….finally, Charles Kaupu (Master chanter, Kamehameha HS) is the glue that blends the show together. HAPA did all their hits (Haleakala/ Kaopuiki Aloha/Lei Pikake/Redemption Song/etc) but especially impressive was their Hana Hou song when they paid tribute to our military personnel serving overseas with a song called “Like A Road”! Aunty Genoa is the sweetest Hawaiian entertainer I’ve met…next to her, Nathan Aweau and Barry and Charles Kaupu are the nicest (really down to earth, easy to talk to)….the Naipo Ohana drove all the way up from Lacey, WA for the show....newlyweds Bianca Kamai (from Kihei, Maui) and hubby David Kamai (Ewa Beach/Kamehameha) were also there! Ruby Farinas (Baldwin HS Maui) was running the lei stand with her buddy Lolie Farinas; Kohala HS Matia El Moussa was there as was Marc Matsui (Makakilo) and Jon Abe ( Pearl City ). Also there was Lea Mau Cook, leader of the Danny Couchfanaddicts club who says that Danny just opened up his new show at the Princess Kai`ulani Hotel in Waikiki!

Auwe …you could not help but notice the beeeg smiles on the faces of the Arreola-Tialeva ohana as they entered the Saimin Says restaurant at 26218 Hiway 99 South in the Kent/Federal Way, WA area! They were smiling because they were stopping for a little lunch before they took off for their first visit to Hawaii in 7 years! Dad is Ken (Farrington HS), Mom is Liz (St Francis HS), sons are Dan (Leilehua ’75, an aspiring actor with the Asian Theater group in Seattle ) and Scott (a high school freshman). Also at Saimin Says were: Cyrus Yi (St Louis HS 91) who helps operate his family owned Bayshore General Store/76th Union Gas Station on Hiway 3 in Shelton, WA while Derek Ebesu (Kapaa HS ’95) and Greg Chaves (Pahoa HS, Keaau, HI guy who now resides in “Honolulu II”/ Las Vegas ) were having a business lunch meeting. Derek runs a trucking firm here while Greg is Regional Manager for Kitty Hawk Cargo (if you need stuff moved anywhere on the Pacific Coast, Greg and Derek are ready, willing and capable). Also there was Honoka’a HS 2000 grad Tyson Ferreira who says if you need a good professional photographer, he is your man……If you have not been to Saimin Says recently, go….my favorite is their Curry Saimin, really gooooooooood stuff!

Gotta hele on…..until next time, a hui hou e malama pono………Danny

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