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October 2007

Kama`aina Lifestyle................Holoholo............

Congrats: to Frank “Bamboo” Opperman (83 years young) and his bride Barbara O`Malley! Iwalani Kamahele, Al Tringali and I played music at their wedding/reception at Ray’s Boathouse in Seattle. Frank is a warm, personable, fun loving guy from Hawaii who looked/sang/danced like a man at least 30 years younger than his biological age! Frank says that he got his nickname because when he was growing up in Hawaii, he was sooo skinny/skinny that all the local boys called him “Bamboo”. Frank owns the large Opperman Design & Construction company of Hawaii. Lots of Frank’s staff and friends flew in from Hawaii for the event. Frank and Barbara will be traveling a lot between Hawaii and Washington State as they have homes and relatives in both areas. Frank “Bamboo” Opperman.............you da Man!

Congrats: to newly weds Kelsey Kaopuiki and Miguel Mesa! Kelsey is a lead dancer for Deva Yamashiro’s Halau in Vancouver, WA and the daughter of proud parents Byron and Mimi Kaopuiki of Vancouver, WA.

Congrats: to Dr Lani Leary Houck and her husband US Coast Guard Rear AdmiralRichard Houck! Lani is a Honolulu/Punahou HS gal while Admiral Houck just retired after 30 years of active duty (most recently as Commander of the United States 13th Coast Guard District)! Iwalani, Bernie Simeona and I played music for their party and auwe, one would think that high ranking officers (Admirals and Captains/et al) might not be able to “let it all hang out”/have fun but these Coast Guard folks were having a blast! Carrying on the Houck US Coast Guard Legacy is their daughter Whitney Houck, a Coast Guard Lieutenant currently serving onboard a ship in Hawaii!

Congrats: to Shannon Malia and Cory Kaopuiki-Delaney on arrival of their daughter Malia Pomaika`i! Proud grandma is Kathy (my better half) while the guy running around with the biggest smile ever/anywhere is yours truly: me!!! Auwe, I’m a grandpa (again)!!!!

Happy 1st Anniversary to the Aiea Grill (16165 SW Regatta Lane, Beaverton, OR). Small little place (16 seats inside, another 8 outside) but already gaining a reputation for their really ono food! It’s not a “Mom and Dad” operation but a “Braddahs” thing (owner Gerrick Adachi and his brother Darren run the place)! Both guys are Aiea HS alums (Gerrick is class of ’86, Darren is ’89) and both deserve the title of “Chef” as each graduated from culinary schools in New York City and have worked in some elegant restaurants in New York City, Aspen (Colorado) and Chicago. Gerrick wanted his own place so he moved westward to Beaverton. The Aiea Grill makes really good Malasadas so I told Gerrick that he should challenge Dale “Bully” Magsayo for the title of King of Malasadas in the Portland/Vancouver Area! But when I told him Bully was a beeg guy, Gerrick said “nah, I don’t think I want to challenge him!” Speaking of malasadas: Gerrick says that his Hamburger Steak is really, really good because instead of using bread crumbs, he mixes his prime beef meat with malasadas! Enjoying the ono food at the Aiea Grill were Allen Fuaga (Moanalua HS), Ben Calhoun (Kamehameha 2000), Kelli Watanabe (Maui gal) and Leihua Basso of Na Hawaii (Hawaiian Cultural Awareness Education, Inc of Oregon)!

On a Saturday evening, Kathy and I dropped in to Kawika Kahoilua’s Bamboo Hawaiian Grill in Portland, OR to listen to Manny Fernandez. Auwe, Manny was all duked-up in his white shoes and white pants and elegant Hawaiian shirt.....just like Hawaiian entertainers used to dress up in Waikiki a few years ago....and when Manny’s mellow voice crooned tunes of old Hawaii, auwe, was just like going back in time to the 1950-1970’s......real nice! And Mahalo to Kawika for the Poke treat (tasted sooooooo good!). The following night, we stopped in to hear the Brothers Kaloku and Keawe do their thing at Patrick Chang’s Hawaiian Cafe in Vancouver, WA. Great music.....and the Hawaiian Cafe food is always excellent!

Get involved! Lokahi Ohana O Hawaii, Inc presents it’s Fall Ho`olaulea October 7, 2007at the Chief Leschi Schools complex, 5625 52d Street in Puyallup, WA! Lots of good food, great music and hula and even more good fun....you gotta go!!! Jake Shimabukuro (Mr Ukulele) will be performing in this area: October 11, 2007 at the Kentwood HS, WA Performing Arts Center (253-856-5051); October 12 in Bremerton, WA and on October 13 th in the Edmonds, WA Center for the Arts.

Circle of life: I started this column with congrats to “new beginnings” (weddings, birth, anniversary) and difficult though it may be, the reality of the circle of life is that at some point, the cycle does end! Appropriately, I end this column with condolences to the following for the loss their loved ones.....to that very popular guy around town Bernie (“Da Great One”) Simeona on the loss of his brother Moki Simeona......to the many friends and family of Lloyd Kawehi Beck, at the loss of one of the nicest guys of our Seattle area Hawaiian community! To the Mathers family: Iwalani and I were invited to play music at a huge Memorial service at the Benaroya Concert Hall for Seattle restaurant icon Gretchen Mathers who loved Hawaii and had a home on Maui! Finally, I gained a lovely mo`opuna but a few weeks prior lost someone I called the most beautiful person I ever known, my sister Esther Botelho! Aloha Oe Moki, Kawehi, Gretchen and Esther.........we miss you!!!

It’s time to hele on but first, let’s all take a moment to tell the ones we love that we do (love them)........................a hui hou e malama pono..................Danny

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