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September 2005



There was some serious eating going on here! It was almost like watching a game of musical chairs…someone stands up and immediately, someone else sits down….not counting the two “kiddie chairs” in the corner, there was a total of 12 chairs in the place and for the two hours I was there, no chair went empty for longer than a minute… it was like the ocean tide, constantly changing customers coming and going…Folks were coming in from all over the area! Driving up from Olympia for the ono food were Francine Alconel Schaffert (Lana`i HS ’66) and her husband Lonnie…coming from even farther away was return customer Ron Lum (Damien HS ’82) who flew in from Waikele, Oahu for a weekend visit with the Schafferts AND lunch at his favorite mainland restaurant…from the Puyallup area were Lavern Samante Carlson (Ewa) and daughters Laura, Stephanie and grandson AelijahFlabiano Dingloe III (Kaimuki HS ’94) was there as was Anastasia Fernandez (Waialua HS ’94) and from the Kent, WA area there was Shea Zischke (another Waialua HS ’94 guy) who grew up in the Northshore area and Carina Demecilio (McKinley ’83) with his daughter Stacey…whoever said that great things come in little packages was obviously talking about this place: Welcome to the “SAIMIN SAYS” restaurant, 226421 Pacific Highway S. Kent, WA. It really is a Mom & Pop operation run by Aiea gal Colleen (Shoda) and her husband Ted Keene, a Boise , Idaho guy. Both met when they were involved in the opening of the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui . After working several years in the Wailea Resort corporate world, they decided they wanted to do their own thing so they headed for the Pacific NW where it struck them that SAIMIN was the perfect food to warm the bodies and souls of folks in this cold, damp, rainy area and thus “SAIMIN SAYS” was born in January 1994.They are doing so well that they’ll be moved (just next door) into a larger place by the time you read this. Colleen and Ted want to thank all their “regulars” for the support they’ve given to “SAIMIN SAYS” through the years! What greater praise can there be than someone flying from Hawaii to eat at “SAIMIN SAYS”? You gotta go try it too!! Take the Kent/Des Moines exit off I-5, head west, turn left on Highway 99, go a mile or so and “SAIMIN SAYS” will be in a little strip mall to your left. Park and then go inside and get ready to jump into the first seat that becomes empty…well worth the drive and the wait!!!

Dis and dat kine stuff: Congrats to Kamaile Hamada and Sweetie Camacho for a rousing/over the top Mai Kahiki Mai 2005 event!!! Participants came from far and near (Halau Na Pua Lehua I Ka Ua Noefrom Chino Hills, CA; Halau Pomaika`ikalani from Honolulu/Federal Way, WA; Nani Loa Dance Company from Las Vegas; Na Hanu O Ku`uleialoha from Kent, WA, and Halau Hula Lani Ola from San Diego, CA) to compete and the ones I saw were having a ball…..several notable non-participants were in the audience including three Na Kumu Hula (Deva Yamashiro, Vancouver, WA), Lisa Chang (Portland, OR) and Moodette Ka`apana (from this area.) Also driving up from Vancouver , WA were Kaloku Holt (nice guy/winner of the 2005 Hapa Haole Vocal Competition in Honolulu ) and his equally talented brother Keawe…

Went down to Kalama , WA on August 19, 2005 to partake in the Kalama Days of Discovery Celebration commemorating the 175 th anniversary of the arrival in 1830 of a young man (John Kalama from Kula, Maui ) for whom the city of Kalama was named. John Kalama married the daughter of Chief Martin of the Nisqually Native American tribe and fifty-five of his descendants were at the celebration including the youngest (Joseph and Sonja Kalama’s six-week-old daughter Leilani Destiny Kalama) and the oldest, 92-year-old Fred Kalama! Really, really nice to have our Native American Ohana wear their Hawaiian (Kalama) name with so much pride!!!

I saw a whole bunch of you among the 2,000 folks at the August 20, 2005 Keali`i Reichel “Summer Concert at the Pier”… that Lahaina Luna HS/Maui guy is so awesome! The show centered around Keali`i’s “oldies but goodies” songs including E`O Mai, Kawaipunahele, etc. Keali`i was the m.c. (unlike other concerts) and connected with the audience with his laid back style and humor, accompanying himself on his guitar. Everything was so Hawaiian: a warm night with gentle breezes, a full moon in the sky and the scent of tuberose leis in the air; beautiful hula dancers swaying to Hawaiian voices in harmony….. soooo fun but auwe, sure made me homesick…..

I’ve always enjoyed Kuulei Gumapac’s Na Hanu O Ku`uleialoha Halau performances over the years… they just bought their very own hale ( place to practice) at 2022 SW 152 nd in Burien , WA …drop by and say hello if you’re in the area….

A quick plug for a worthy fund raiser: Da Ukulele Man Jake Shimabukuro is doing a concert at the Admiral Theater in Bremerton, WA on Saturday, October 13, 2005. Call (360) 373-6743 for more info…

Wish I had more space ‘cause there were so many happenings that I’d like to tell you about….maybe next time….until then…..take care………….Danny

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