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PAU FOR NOW
So here it is, the first column that I don’t want to write. I knew the end of this column would come at some point, but I figured it would be when all the people who did not attend Iolani or Punahou would gather up and protest outside NWHT headquarters, demanding that my column mention other schools or be replaced by cruise ship coupons.
A lot of you may be asking, “Why is it ending?” Sure, it could be the economy. The NWHT sought bailout funds from Carol Kai and for the last three months has outsourced the color pages to a journalism sweatshop in India. Okay, I don’t know either of those to be true but what I learned from Fox News is first you say it then you wait for someone to believe it. Then you say it again.
Actually, the reason the paper is ending is the same reason that most heavy metal Goth punk bands break up. During the last NWHT live tour (Localpalooza ‘09) Uncle Danny trashed the tour bus with a canoe paddle, Gregg Porter was selling knockoff ukuleles in the alley and Roger Close decided to pursue a solo Hawaiian community column career. And my addiction to Cherry Tussin DM didn’t help matters either. Say it then say it.
It has been four and a half years since I was first invited to occupy page 3, and I have been honored to share that home with advertisers, corrections and “continued from page 1.” It has been wonderful to know that the column was being read by the person driving home from the Hawaiian or Asian store and by the person sitting in a Hawaiian or Asian restaurant (or more specifically, Hawaiian or Asian restaurant toilet).
I’d like to take a moment to pay my respects to all the columns that will now cease to be. There are many moments that I will never write and I’d like to peek into the future to see what we’ll all be missing.
How about this gem from September of 2009: “Kikkaida’s special effects were, at the time, amazing for a 6 year old kid but today look like a home video for youtube made by two drunk guys playing with Transformer toys.”
Or how about this treasure from July of 2010: “The difference between Hawaii’s shave ice and the mainland’s snow cones is that shave ice is less than paper thin and melts at the touch of the tongue; snow cones are like a cup of hailstones peppered with gravel.”
Want more? Sure. Here’s one from November of 2010: “Mochi is not only tasty but in a pinch can be used to repair drywall. When you eat mochi off your finger you lose two layers of epidermis.”
Here’s another piece of magic from January of 2012: “I’m out of ideas. Seriously. I need you to email some ideas. I’m not kidding. Even I’m tired of the Iolani-Punahou jokes. Help a writer out here people! Is this paper going to go on forever? I mean come on!!”
It has been my honor to be a part of this team, and a great team it is. Gregg, thank you for your tireless passion and love for Hawaiian music. It’s so impressive when you realize that there is not one Hawaiian expert on Iowa music (Oh sure, my Dad likes Andy Williams but that’s about it).
Roger, thank you for starting discussions. Whether it’s watersheds, registries, or childhood memories, you found things that were worth talking about.
Uncle Danny, thank you for being Hawaii. Your column is not about finding the spirit of Aloha in our community but finding the reflection of the spirit of Aloha that you take with you. You are the embodiment of the Golden Rule and you’ve stored up so many Karma points no one would blame you if you did actually trash a tour bus with a canoe paddle.
Roy , thank you for teaching. And not just about our history, but how to be in the present. You carry yourself with class, dignity, and grace. The details were amazing and the stories important. It has been a joy reading your work.
Thank you to the other Roy. You have had a monthly paper route that requires steroids to complete. You get the paper out by car, ferry, and occasionally having to ride a horse through old western towns. Without you, many would never have seen the paper.
Of course there are thank you’s to the sponsors, the readers, other contributors, locations that carried us, and to Dog the Bounty Hunter, without whom over 100 jokes would have had to be about other topics. And thanks to my lovely wife who would remind me of deadlines five, maybe six times if needed.
But most of all, thank you to Rochelle DelaCruz. You are a gifted writer and editor and this little idea of yours turned out to be something pretty special. You created a place for the community to meet and you did it purely as a labor of love. You also taught a guy who only wrote jokes for live drunken audiences to write prose for distant readers (who may or may not be drunk). I can never thank you enough both for the opportunity and for your patience. As a staff member AND as a reader: MAHALO NUI LOA.
Over these 4.5 years I have received tons (I mean tens) of emails from you, the fans. I can’t thank you enough. It has been one of the greatest experiences of my career. Please email me if you’d like updates on shows or projects or maybe a book of columns I once wrote for a community newspaper:
Thank you all for this great chapter in my life. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an interview with the Western North Sandwich Isle Gazette Chronicle.
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