Pacific Northwest News
UH Alumni Party Up in the Pacific Northwest!!
The president of the University of Hawai`i Alumni Association Pacific NW Chapter Earle Oda (bottom left) and the rest of the UH Alumni in the area gather at Bobby's Hawaiian Style Restaurant in Everett, Washington for a 2006 Holiday Mixer.
Photo by Steve Kajihiro
By Ed Horie
On one frigid winter night last week, my wife Kalena was on her way home when she drove past one house that had lights on illuminating its front yard. The owner was actually having a yard sale, at night, and it was below freezing! Nobody has yard sales when it's this cold. This wen intrigue her and so she decided to stop and check it out. Looking around at all the different knick knacks, she noticed that had some that looked like was from Hawaii and so she asked the elderly lady of the house if she was from there, and the lady confirmed that she was. Kalena then told her that I, her husband, was born and raised on Oahu, anden the lady replied by asking her what part of Oahu I was from. After Kalena told her that I was from Kuliouou valley, the lady's eyes opened wide as she said, "That's where I'm from!"
However, being that Kalena doesn't really know much about the valley where I grew up, she just chit-chatted with the lady for a little while more before heading home to tell me about what had just happened.
I couldn't believe it. There was actually somebody else from my small, obscure, but beautiful valley back home who was also living way out here in the southeastern desert area of Washington state, or "Daboonies" as I like to call it. So I told Kalena that we going back right now to that lady's house before she goes to sleep so that I can meet and talk story with her and also see if I might remember who she was. So we drove back, knocked on her door, and after recognizing my wife's face, the lady warmly welcomed us into her home.
Come to find out she's a very friendly late-60-ish-looking 82-year-old lady named Kathy who's been living here with her daughter for a few years now, but her face was unfamiliar to me, probably because she had left Kuliouou valley way back in 1967. And so we sat and talked story for quite a while about what she remembered of the valley and about the old-time families whom we both remembered and who still live there today.
Well, the time eventually came when we had to go because it was getting pretty late for all of us, but before leaving, I asked Kathy whether she liked to eat kim chee. Ho! Her face lit up and she said long time she never eat kim chee! And so I took out from my plastic grocery bag, that I had brought along with me "just in case", a chilled bottle of Kohala Kim Chee and gave it to her. It was as if she was looking at gold! Anden she suddenly got all excited and told us to wait right there while she went upstairs to call her daughter, Donna, to come down and meet us. Donna came down and was all smiles after hearing what had happened, and so we all talked story for a little while more until we really had to go.
As Kalena and I got up again to leave, I asked Kathy and Donna whether they liked to eat poi because not everybody likes the taste of poi. Ho! Both of their faces lit up as they exclaimed their LOVE for poi, but that they hadn't had any for a really long time! The expressions on both of their faces were priceless as I pulled out from my "magic sack" a frozen one-pound bag of Taro Brand poi that I had also brought along "just in case".
But the magic wasn't over just yet as Donna turned to me all wide-eyed and asked, "By any chance do you eat pipi kaula?", to which I replied, "Pipi kaula?! Do fish have lips?! I LOVE pipi kaula, but I haven't had any in ages!!" Anden we all started laughing as Donna left and quickly returned with a one-gallon plastic bag that she had retrieved from her freezer, and as she handed it to me, I looked at her all wide-eyed and asked, "Wow!! Is that really pipi kaula??", to which she replied, "Hey!! Do fish have lips??"
As we drove away from Kathy and Donna's house, Kalena and I waved aloha to two very happy and smiling new friends, and the chilly night air somehow felt quite a bit warmer than it did before.
Honolulu-born Ed Horie grew up in Kuliouou valley and wen grad from Kalani High School. He met his wife Kalena on the internet many mahinas ago in one online chatroom called IzChat where the late, great Braddah IZ held court every night talking story and being his loveable, kolohe self. Kalena apparently went fishing for 'oama in IzChat one night and ended up reeling one bumbucha ulua all the way back to her hale in Kennewick, Washington where Ed now hangs his 'ukulele.
Copyright © 2004-2009 by Northwest Hawai`i Times