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Nā Mana`o Ulu Wale

Random thoughts, casual observations and other bits of fluff

By Roger Close



February 2009

Were you able to find a few moments in-between inauguration festivities for quiet reflection in an effort to meet my challenge of summing up your life in just six words? If so, was condensing your life to just a half dozen words merely an interesting process or a life changing, “ah-hah” moment?

The nature of the exercise seemed to have a degree of finality which immediately propelled me into a strange synthesis of Robert Frost, Jack Nicholson, and Morgan Freeman in the form of, “But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep…” And…my bucket list is not complete! Funny how when one is devising a six word summation of one’s life, the mind wants to focus on the future and life unlived, adventures yet remaining, and dreams unfulfilled.

Nevertheless, I have my six word summation of 64 years; my memoir, if you will. Actually, it wasn’t too hard. Didn’t even take too long, because it is the way I attempt to view and live each day. It’s not too creative, pretty straight forward, and really very simple. Are you hearing the drum roll? Here it is…A great life with no regrets!

And yours? I would love to hear it, and maybe a bit about the process and thoughts you went through on the way to your six word memoir.


There is no need to dig out your feathered mask, dust off the beads, and head for New Orleans this year! Just stay home and celebrate Malassada Day in Hawai`i by eating some fried dough.

Leonard's Bakery is a popular fixture on Kapahulu Avenue in Honolulu, famous for `one malasadas.

Malassada Day (yes, the Portuguese spell it with two s’s) or Shrove Tuesday is on February 24th this year. Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. The consumption of something truly indulgent on this day is tradition. What would be more fitting than to put down a few deep-fried, sugar coated doughnuts, or…malassadas?

When was the Hawai`i-malassada connection born? Was it back in 1878, when the sugar companies began recruiting plantation workers from Portugal? Was it in June 1882, when a British sailing ship brought Arecnion & Amelia DoRego from San Miguel Island, Portugal to Maui under contract to work the sugar cane fields? Was it 33 years later when their grandson Leonard was born? Or…was it in 1952 when Leonard (Leonard was Frank Rego’s middle name, and the one he preferred to go by) founded Leonard’s Bakery in Honolulu?

No matter, for it wasn’t too long after the bakery opened that Leonard’s mother suggested making malasadas (yup, it was always spelled with one “s” on the Leonard’s Bakery sign) for Shrove Tuesday. And the rest, as they say, is history, for malassadas were a huge hit and the appetite for these tasty little buggahs in Hawai`i was born.

Today, many bakeries in Hawai`i make malassadas, but Leonard’s is unchallenged in its claim to being the first in Hawai`i to put the traditional Portuguese treat on the market.

However, since most of us won’t be anywhere near Leonard’s or Hawai`i this month, where is one to find malassadas? Please, dear reader, help us out here! We know that during the summer we can find that `ono fried dough at the Renton Farmers’ Market (Cher’s `Ono Malasadas), but what about now in the middle of winter? Tell us where we can find some to celebrate Malassada Day right here in the Pacific Northwest.

Until next time, mālama pono…


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