Hoala Greevy


Original air date: Tues., Feb. 2, 2014


On this episode of LONG STORY SHORT, my guest is Hoala Greevy, founder of one of the earliest locally owned email spam and virus filtering companies, Pau Spam. The son of Hawaii community activists, Hoala is intent on his career and dedicated to his business, sometimes working so late he sleeps in his office. Later in life, he intends to be part of the solution in addressing social issues affecting Native Hawaiians. Many Native Hawaiians believe children grow into their name. Hoala’s Hawaiian name, which came to his mother in a dream, means “awakening” or “new beginning.”


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The earliest career I wanted was when I was in Kapahulu, and they had the trash day, and those garbage guys were pretty cool. So, taking out the trash, that was the first job I wanted to have. ‘Cause they’d be whistling and running, and the compactor’s coming down, and they’d be throwing stuff right at the right moment. I remember kids would come out, and I wouldn’t be the only kid watching them. So, I guess in a way, that’s what Pau Spam does, is take out people’s garbage.




Hoala Greevy discovered his passion for software development in college, and at age twenty – four created Pau Spam, one of the first locally – owned computer spam and virus filtering companies. Hoala Greevy stays on the forefront of the latest technology while saving some time to pursue other interests. Hoala Greevy, next on Long Story Short.


Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox is Hawaii’s first weekly television program produced and broadcast in high definition.


Aloha mai kakou. I’m Leslie Wilcox. Hoala Greevy is a successful entrepreneur and businessman. He’s a strong believer in public schools, and a proud graduate of McKinley High School in Honolulu. His young life was also shaped by his two parents, Ed Greevy and Haaheo Mansfield, who were community and political activists.


Your father was known for being this wonderful behind the scenes photographer who was the only person with a camera, using it well, at really just touching moments in community activism protests. Save Our Surf, for example.


Yeah. From what I understand, he made friends with Uncle John Kelly, and he noticed when he was at these meetings and rallies that he was doing all the talking, but no one was taking any pictures. So, that was their bond. He’d take the pictures, Uncle John would do the talking, and then … yeah, my dad just has this knack of disappearing in a crowd. Which I don’t know how he does it with five cameras. [CHUCKLE]


But he was always there. It was a labor of love, he was working; he wasn’t just attending a rally.


Right; yeah, hobby. He had a day job. A lot of it was Save Our Surf, protecting all these spots from development. And then, out of that, kinda spurring the Hawaiian sovereignty movement. And then, they started helping out these other groups of people. And then, yeah; so, in some circles, my dad is regarded as the documenter of the Hawaiian renaissance of the 70s and 80s.


Did your parents tell you much about meeting at the Stop H – 3 rally?


No. But there’s a picture in my dad’s book. They went into the Wilson Tunnel, I think in 1975, 76. And they were just cleaning the walls, but of course, there was letters behind it, and so that one of their clever marketing techniques about a rally they were gonna have at the Capitol. Stop H – 3 rally, Capitol, three o’clock; whatever.


Oh, they put it right in the tunnel.


Yeah; so they were just cleaning off the walls, and …


But they didn’t clean some parts of the walls.




I see. Did your parents explicitly give you life wisdom and rules for life?


My dad is an artist; he’s very much an artist. And my mom is very practical, Hawaiian, loving. And they’re both very supportive of whatever I chose to do. Except football; they wouldn’t let me play football.


You are one of those people who’ve done very well professionally, having gone to public school all the way.


Oh, yeah. I’m a big fan of public schools.


Starting with Hokulani School.


Yeah. Went to Hokulani, and then Washington, and then McKinley.


Washington Intermediate had some town tough guys, and so did McKinley.


Yeah, yeah. [CHUCKLE]. So, I learned in college, all you needed to do was ask: You know what is search take? And people who went to private school, for obvious reasons, don’t know what that means.


Search take; no.


Yeah. So, you’re in the cafeteria, and the bull walks up and he’s like, Eh, I like dollar. And of course, Oh, I no more. And then, the guy: Oh, what, search take? Oh, hold on a second. [CHUCKLE] But I thought that was just normal stuff.


How often did that happen to you?


Freshman year, quite a bit. And then, it was good to play baseball, I guess, and kinda keep out of that.


They didn’t bother athletes?


Yeah, ‘cause their friends would be on the football team, or whatever, and like, Eh, no bother that guy, he’s on the baseball team.


So, in that sense, athletics was an escape and a passion?


Yeah, yeah; I love baseball. So, that was my thing in high school.


Did you worry that you wouldn’t get to go to college?


No, I figured I was gonna go. My parents were pretty adamant about that. And I was lucky enough to get a scholarship, so that’s why I got away to Portland State in Oregon.


Hoala Greevy’s parents encouraged him to pursue his dreams. A gift from his father at a young age turned out to be an inspiration for his future career.


How did you begin your journey with computers? When did it start?


My dad got me a Commodore when I was kid.


How old were you?


Ten, I think. And then, so that was cool.


Big, hulky thing?


Yeah; yeah, yeah. Five and a quarter disc. And then, when I got to college, when I first logged in on that, what, ninety – six – hundred baud modem, and I was in some friend’s room, and just connecting on the Internet was just … I just knew it. I was like, Wow, all this information, all these people … wow.


So, in college, that’s when it really got sparked as far as what you could possibly do with it.


Yeah; I was sitting in a computer science class in Portland State, and they had a job posting board. And someone wanted a small utility app that was almost identical to the homework we just turned in. And I couldn’t believe no one else had called, or maybe they had. So, I followed up as soon as I could, and I don’t know, four or five days later, I met the guy in a Safeway parking lot with a three and a half inch disc. And my friend Andrew Lanning [PHONETIC], he says, You know, in business you can have it good, fast, or cheap. So, he got it good and fast, but it wasn’t cheap. [CHUCKLE] He wasn’t too happy about that, but that was fine.


Because you valued your work, and you charged big time?


I thought it was; for college, yeah, it was a pretty good crip. And he popped it in his laptop, it worked, he kinda mumbled about signing the check. And then, that was it. So, to me, it was solving a problem and being creative about it. So, that was kinda neat.


But that’s so interesting to know that meeting in a Safeway parking lot, you valued your work, and you said, This is what it’s gonna take to get you this.


I could tell he was motivated. So, I guess maybe the salesman in me came out.


Were you making it up as you went along?


Yeah, pretty much. [CHUCKLE]


You weren’t quite sure what you were gonna charge?


And then, I split it with my buddy back home, ‘cause he had a compiler that I needed. So, I had the code, he had the compiler, and we split the profits. So, it was fun.


So, that was the first business transaction.


I guess; yeah. And then, just kept doing stuff like that. Staying up late, sleeping at the office, all – nighters, things like that.


You’re in college, still, at this point; right?


Oh, even out of college, sleep at the office, for sure. I think it’s maybe a subconscious thing that if you’re sleeping at the office, then you must be doing something right. [CHUCKLE]


[CHUCKLE] You’re ready anyway; right?


Yeah; yeah.


So, whatever it takes, you’re gonna do it. If it takes sleeping over, you’re gonna do it.

Yeah. I remember reading in the late 90s, this reporter was doing a profile on the two Yahoo cofounders. I think it was Jerry Yang. He would routinely sleep under his desk in a sleeping bag, and I just thought that was kinda neat. This was in the late 90s, so when Yahoo was on a tear.


How did you get the resources to start business? Did you go seat of the pants at first?


Yeah; just bootstrap. Yeah, I don’t know. Just make it happen.


You didn’t major in business.


No; geography. [CHUCKLE] Hard one; the hard major.


And why was that?


I just wanted to get out of school. I was a computer science major, and then I figured that was gonna take me about seven years to get out. I was on scholarship. I was like, Nah, let me just take something I like. And then, I just studied in the computer labs, and still pursued computer stuff, but just took something I liked, just to graduate.


What excited you about software? Were you trying to do any particular thing, or just go wherever it went?


Oh; I just thought it was a way to express yourself and be creative, and solve a problem, and help people. And I still feel like that. I mean, I think it’s just getting started. We’re in the midst of a huge mobile adoption that’s just getting started. And that’s really exciting.


What kind of a mind do you need to be a really successful software developer?


Naïve. [CHUCKLE]


Thinking it can be done, and then having to work.


Yeah; forcing it.


And sleeping overnight to make it happen.


Yeah, I guess so. Shoot; I mean, there’s a lot of different types, I think.


Well, what are the problems you wanted to solve, and did, with your development?


Well, I worked at an email company in the Bay Area. I moved back home in 2001. I was doing some Linux consulting, which at the time was really hard to explain to people. It still is. It’s an open source operating syste And then, the few clients I had were complaining about the same thing over, and over again, viruses and spam. So, I just sat down and pulled a few all – nighters, and came up with Pau Spam. And then, used that as a subscription – based model to help people out, and restore productivity to business.


And how rare was that contribution you made and that business that you created? I mean, because a lot of businesses have fallen by the wayside; but not yours.


Oh; yeah, I don’t know. I guess no one’s really put the stamp out on spam. It’s still a huge problem. Probably ninety – four, ninety – five percent of all email on the Internet is rubbish. So, I guess, just got lucky in that regard that it’s still a service that’s needed.


Well, you’ve had to keep upgrading and working on opposition, and competition.


Yeah; sure. It’s constant cat and mouse, upgrades, features. For sure.


Do you like that?


Yeah; it’s fun. I mean, it’s always changing, it’s never boring.


It sounds like you’ve found an area that will always require work, and so it’s great job security if you can keep up with demand.


Yeah. We’re seeing some changes on the landscape the last couple years, so definitely gotta think ahead and plan for what’s next on the horizon. And I see that as mobile. I mean, without a doubt.


I just read a stat, and this is 2013 as we’re speaking. But mobile video use exploded by thirty – seven percent last year.


Oh, yeah. And I think the amount of Smartphones on the market was one billion last November, projected to be one – point – eight billion this December. And then, five billion by 2015. Seventy – five percent of all mobile usage is a game or a social network. People check their phones every six minutes, or a hundred and fifty times a day. And you’ve got this wild adoption of Smartphones, with no end in sight. I mean, I just don’t see any stop to it. I think it’s super – exciting.


And people are saying, I don’t need a personal computer anymore; I can do this on my phone.




Do you like that, working in a field where it’s just changing all the time, and you’ve really got to be on your game all the time?


Yeah; it’s a lot of fun, for sure. I mean, we’re seeing now with apps that people use, it’s impossible to advertise your way to the top. So, what they do is, they create a habit for you. And so, the top apps have actually created habits out of people. So, when you ask someone, What do you when you’re bored?, a lot of Millennials, they’re not gonna say TV or call a friend, they’re gonna say, I’m checking an app on my phone, that’s what I do when I’m bored. What do you do when you need a laugh? There are some huge shifts in human behavior, all within the last four or five years. So, that’s pretty exciting, I think.


And are they going to the app store and just looking at whatever there is, or are they looking at some other means to find like the ten best apps? Or do they go word of mouth?


Facebook, word of mouth, the viral effect, stuff they see on You Tube. Yeah; it’s pretty interesting right now.


You’re very lucky to have found out in college what you wanted to do. It doesn’t happen to very many people. Some people go their whole lives, and don’t know what will really jazz them in terms of a career.


Yeah; I did get lucky, I guess. I mean, we have this app called DareShare that we released in June, which is a spinoff company. And it’s an app that gets people to do silly, funny things and share it. And that excites me to no end. I mean, we’re in forty – three countries right now, we’re trying to grow our user base. And to express yourself to all these people out there, and hopefully a lot, lot more. I mean, that’s really fun.


It must be hard to talk to non – tech people about what you do, because it is, quote, technical.


I think on the general level, people can relate. Especially for what we’re doing now with DareShare and being an app, and something silly and fun and new. I think it transcends boundaries and language, and culture.


That’s interesting, that you do one really practical and necessary thing, Pau Spam, and then this is silly. But you could argue it’s necessary to have a joke and to blow off stress.


Yeah. To me, mobile, ferality, silly things, photo sharing, those are really big macro trends. And I think DareShare is greatly affected by my interpretation of macro trends going on right now in the world. So, it’s a scientific approach to being funny and silly, is what we’re doing.


That sounds kind of just like you.




Scientific approach to being silly. [CHUCKLE]


In addition to his passion for developing computer software that will make people laugh and protect people from unwanted email, Hoala Greevy has another side to him, a hobby that probably would have pleased his great – great – grandfather, who was an expert fisherman.


Your middle name, I don’t know if there’s an okina, but it can either mean king or fish.




Is it fish?






Moi; fish.






And you have become a fisherman.


Yeah; I got into it. Yeah. I enjoy kayak fishing, for sure. Yeah.


Oh, I’ve seen some crazy videos on You Tube with people hooking huge things, and being dragged in the kayak.




Real dangerous, especially getting it onboard.


Yeah, yeah, yeah.


With a gaff.


That’s the lure, man. That’s who’s hunting who? [CHUCKLE]


What kind of fish are you looking for?


Oh, well, on a kayak, you can almost catch anything the guys on a boat are catching. But, when I first started, I was like, Man, what’s the biggest, baddest fish in the water? It’s marlin, right? So, I’m like, Okay, I want to get that.




So, I kinda chased that fish for about three years, and I got lucky, and a couple years ago, I caught a couple, and that was exciting.


Don’t they have bills? I mean, you know —




That could just stab you, it could go right through you.


It’s the only fish with a weapon of its own, so that was a big, big lure for me to hunt one of ‘em.


And they go deep, they try to drag you under; right?


Yeah; aerials, turn you in circles, all kinds of stuff.


And you don’t have a lot of protection. I mean, you’re in a kayak.




Out far.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, it just feels kind of primal. I don’t know what you want to call it, but definitely you versus the fish. Yeah; there’s no boat to anchor you down or anything. If it wants to take you, it’s gonna take you.


Have you rolled over, or had a real close call?


Oh, that still happens. But when I caught those marlin, I got lucky, I didn’t huli. So, just stabilized the best I could. Yeah.


And they’re wiggling, they’re flopping around next to you in the kayak?




Oh! What other things have you caught? What other kind of fish have you caught?


I mean, the mahi, ono, the usual stuff.


And mahi are strong, too.


Yeah; they’re good fighters, and they give you the aerial display, and it’s kinda neat. And then, I got lucky this year. It’s an ugly fish, but I got the State record for the fine scale triggerfish, or hagi most fishermen call it.


What does a triggerfish look like?


Ugly, trigger, big gross thing. And I just got lucky and … I don’t know. State record, and I submitted it, and it became a world record.




For that particular fish.


And how big was it?


I think it was about fifteen or sixteen pounds. So, kinda big for that.


What was the challenge in getting it in?


[CHUCKLE] It was so ugly.




I didn’t know quite what to do with it. [CHUCKLE] Yeah; not a good – looking fish. But I figured, just bring it in and see what happens.


Was it good eating?


No; no, no. My friends ate it, and they got sick.


Oh! But you got a world record.


Yeah. So, yeah, I don’t know if it’s any consolation to their stomachs, but yeah, I got the world record.


So, it’s obviously dangerous, but nothing has happened to you that scared you out there?


No; I mean, it’s humbling, but I haven’t had any close calls yet. We carry radios, our phones, I have an EPIRB emergency locater. So, we try our best.


So, what happens to you if you go over?


Yeah; you gotta try your best to stay with the kayak and your paddle. But I don’t know; I guess that’s part of the mystique, I guess, is maybe harkening back to olden days, and guys paddling out on their canoes, and stuff.


Do you feel something Hawaiian from your Hawaiian side about that?


I do. I mean, we have more equipment, sonar, fish finder, bait well, things like that. But, a lot of the spots are the same, the techniques are very the same. A lot of it involves catching opelu, which is, kind of a family fish.


That’s really different from what you do for a living.


Yeah, I guess so. But to me, the water is an escape, and humbling, playground, vast, infinite. Kinda neat. You feel so small and nothing.


In addition to his affinity for fishing and the ocean, Hoala Greevy feels a deep connection to the Hawaiian culture in other ways as well. Many of his Hawa iian values come from his mother.


Why is your name Hoala?


Well, my mom had a dream, and I don’t know what was in the dream, but they said, Hey, name your kid Hoala.


And what does it mean?


Awaken, or new beginning. So, it’s either a family member, a dream, or something happening at the time of birth; those are usually the three ways people get their names.


Yours is a dream name.


Yeah; and I think what I do after business will be the realization of that name. Why would a person like my mom have that dream? And if you’ve ever met my mom, she’s a pretty interesting and special person. Why would she have that dream? How do I go about realizing the meaning of that?


But interesting; you don’t think it’s in the tech field, especially.


To some degree, but I want to create something that outlives me. So, yeah; I think that’s something special.


Let’s talk about being Hawaiian.




What does that mean to you?


A vibrant, beautiful past, a troubling present, and an uncertain future. That’s what it means.


Do you think tech could help, will help?


Yeah. I mean, I think it can help in a lot of ways. But I’m so focused on — yeah, I don’t know. I think that’s down the road.


That’s not where your passions run?


No; later. Later, I’d like to do stuff. But right now, it’s business and hit that homerun, and then go hit another one. I mean, for sure; business is definitely where it’s at right now, for me.


How many hours a week do you work? Do you have any idea?


No. Probably not as many as you. [CHUCKLE]


I don’t know about that. I’m not sleeping at the office.


[CHUCKLE] Yeah; I don’t if that’s a good thing, still. But, I think there’s a lot of good and a lot of troubling things about being Hawaiian now. And so, I’d like to help out with that. My mom’s a social worker, right? So, you see or you hear about stuff, and there’s a perpetual cycle of poverty, and how is that in Hawaiian culture. And it’s like, you got the self – medicating drug abuse, you got issues at home, not going to college, and it kinda spins upon itself and perpetuates through generations. And I don’t know if I know the answer to that, but you know, I’d like to help out with that at some point. For sure.


So many causes.


Yeah. I mean, incarceration, diabetes, domestic violence, drugs, alcohol. I mean, I don’t even have to look farther than my own family to see all of that. And I think ninety – eight percent of every Hawaiian out there, if they really think about it, it’s all right in front of them.


You have a passion that you’re deferring to better the condition of Hawaiians, if you can.




What are your thoughts about quality of life today? You keep your business here because of quality of life.


Yeah. I mean, I think, shoot, since maybe the recession in 2008, I think a lot of the middleclass has gone down to a notch below that, especially on the Hawaiian side. We see this a lot with other minorities on the mainland. It’s a larger class teetering on the poverty line. So, like the disappearance of the middleclass, I think is a definite reality in a lot of Hawaiian families. And then, we see the wealthy side getting exponentially richer. Which I don’t know if you can fault people for that, but within the last five years, there’s been a big vacuum, I think, in the middleclass.


And that’s a cause for concern; right? And also, not having a college degree really affects people’s ability to work in an era where it’s the knowledge era, it’s the information era. And that means tech.


Yeah. I’d really like to make an impact on people’s going to college, for sure, once I get some other stuff done. For sure. [CHUCKLE]


Competitive business and hardcore fishing now, activism and altruism later. Mahalo to Hoala Greevy, founder of the computer spam and virus filtering system Pau Spam, for sharing his story with us. And mahalo to you for joining us. For PBS Hawaii and Long Story Short, I’m Leslie Wilcox. Aloha, a hui hou.


For audio and written transcripts of all episodes of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, visit PBSHawaii.org. To download free podcasts of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, go the Apple iTunes Store or visit PBSHawaii.org.


Are you still close to people you went to school with?


Yeah; more so my college friends, I guess. But, I still keep in touch. I’m still very, very into McKinley.


I know you’ve participated with the McKinley School Foundation, which is just an awesome supportive fundraising arm of McKinley.


Oh, yeah.


Or supportive of McKinley.


We created our own Class of 1994 Scholarship. We have a two – year and a four – year category. The amounts aren’t big, but it’s a good start. And I think that our society, college is the equalizer. It’s your ticket out, so the more people we can get in college, I think it just helps society as a whole.


Rachel and Lorraine Haili


Original air date: Tues., Mar. 26, 2013


Leslie Wilcox talks with Rachel Haili and Lorraine Haili Alo, the second generation of the family behind Haili’s Hawaiian Foods. Growing up, their mother encouraged her six children to take pride in their Hawaiian and Chinese heritage. Rachel and Lorraine recall childhood memories of gathering and preparing food with their parents. The sisters say their family’s teamwork, along with business savvy and determination, have contributed to the success of Haili’s Hawaiian Foods, now in the hands of younger sister Lorraine.

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I know that there’s other native Hawaiian business owners out there, but our claim to fame is that we’ve been in business for over sixty years. And my mom and dad always stressed that you’re Hawaiian, you and your sisters are Hawaiian, and you need to make us proud.


Food keeps us connected with our cultural traditions, and an enduring example is the culinary legacy of Haili’s Hawaiian Foods. Rachel Haili and Lorraine Haili Alo, next on Long Story Short.


Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox is Hawaii’s first weekly television program produced and broadcast in high definition.


Aloha mai kakou, and welcome to Long Story Short. I’m Leslie Wilcox. Since the 1950s, Haili’s Hawaiian Foods has made mouths water for steaming laulau, chicken long rice, poi, and delicious poke. Founded by the late Rachel Ching Haili and husband, Peter Davis Haili, the family-run enterprise continues to offer authentic and hard to find traditional Native Hawaiian dishes. Growing up in this Hawaiian-Chinese family meant that every family member was expected to contribute their time to help with the family business, located at the Ala Moana Farmer’s Market across from where Ward Center stands today. The second generation of Haili’s to take over the business are Rachel Haili and her sister, Lorraine Haili Alo. They’re Daughters Number 4 and 5 from a family of six girls. They credit the continuing success of the business to family teamwork, determination, and the business savvy inherited from their mother.


Yeah; my father was the silent partner. Whatever my mother said, it was, Oh, okay, honey.


My mother was pure Chinese, and my father was pure Hawaiian. So, you had these opposite personalities. My father was happy-go-lucky, and very outgoing. My mother was outgoing too, but in a different way. And my mother was very task-oriented. But they were both very family-oriented. Like, even though they were busy working, they always made time for us on Sundays. We’d all get into our station wagon. We had one of those green banana station wagons.


It was a Woody.


A Woody; yeah. [CHUCKLE]


With the wood panels.


Green, with wood panels. So, our job was, while they were working in the morning, we had to get baskets of clothes ready, baskets of food ready, so by the time they came home, we loaded everything up and we went to our auntie’s house in Kaaawa. And we’d spend the day there with our cousins. We’d go on a boat to catch squid.


Was the squid for the restaurant, or for fun?


For the store. [CHUCKLE]


Oh, so you were gathering supplies.


We were just talking about that. I remember being in the boat with my dad, my younger sister and I, and he’d have the squid box. And we’d be sitting in the boat watching him dive down there. And we were like five, six years old, we don’t really know how to swim, but we’re in the boat with our dad, and we’re just kinda looking over, watching him go down for squid and come back up with it. And you know, it was these long tentacles moving around. Yeah.


To make squid luau.


And raw squid.


Raw squid.


Back then, yeah, it was a lot of raw squid. And then, we’d have to learn how to dry it too, so we’d have to learn to pound it. So, even though we enjoyed the beach a lot, we also had to learn to go pick limu. Because that was another thing we needed for the store.


The store went seven days a week, so we never really had family vacations, how people would pack up and fly, and go somewhere, go to the outer islands. It was always a Sunday outing with our parents, so we never really felt like we were being deprived. Because my mom and dad always had time for us. I remember my mother and father taking us to, like, roller derby and wrestling on Wednesday nights. We did a lot of fun things. My mom would just close the business down at five o’clock in the afternoon, be home in time. She’d call us and say, Okay, we’re going to wrestling tonight, or we’re going to the roller derby.


Oh, how fun.


If you want to go, have the rice cooked.


Live action.


Yeah; yeah.


At the Civic Auditorium?


Civic Auditorium.


They used to have the football games at the stadium over on Isenberg. Back then, we had to make our laulau’s at home. So it was the same thing. My mother said, You folks have to get everything ready, because before we can go to the football game, we have to make all the laulau’s. So, after school, we’d come home like on a Friday night. Okay, you set the tables up, you start washing the luau leaves, you start cutting the pork.


How many did you have to make?


Five bags of taro leaves every —


That’s a lot.


You know, that’s like twenty-pound bags. So, that’s a hundred pounds —




— of taro leaves that we’d have to —


And back then, you had to peel all the taro leaves too. So, it was like, Okay, we gotta get organized or we can’t go to the game.


Your reward was the game. Did you resent doing all that work?


No, ‘cause we had to do it.


It was just part of — that was us, that was part of what we needed to do.


And it was fun too, because we’d have friends come over and help us. We’d have our cousins come over and help us.


And aunties, and everybody knew their —


And we had cake afterwards.


— position at the table.


And so, what happened on school days? I mean, you went to Kamehameha, and you went to Punahou and Kamehameha, right?


On school days, my sister Carol and I, it was after school, we got on the bus and we went straight down to Ala Moana Farmer’s Market. And we needed to be there — when we were teenagers. When we were little, we went to school right across the street from our house. We grew up on Gulick in Kalihi. And we’d come home, and we’d have to do our chores at home. Take care of the dog, sweep up the yard, get the garage ready because everybody’s gonna come home and make laulau’s tonight, and we’d have to have the rice cooked. We had chores to do.


And then later, you would go to the store.


Later, yeah. Later, when we were teenagers, we didn’t have time to participate in club sports, or do things after school on campus. We just needed to get down to the store to help our mom and dad close up, clean up.


It was very clear that it was a family enterprise.


Oh, yeah.


And everybody got counted in.




And Saturday and Sundays, there wasn’t any beach time or hanging out time with your friends. I needed to be at work.


And that was life? You didn’t say, Just one time, I want to go hang out at —


Oh, we tried. [CHUCKLE]


Didn’t work?


It didn’t work. [CHUCKLE]


Well, when I was boarder at Kamehameha Schools, so I lived on campus. And then Saturdays, I got to come out for the day. And I went to the market and worked, because that was what I was supposed to do. And I didn’t resent it. It was good. And then, plus, I was like, really popular because I got to go out and bring all the food in to my friends who didn’t go out from the outer islands. So, it was no resentment. It was fun.


The Haili family’s first business venture was a bar and grill called Family Inn. As the matriarch watched her family grow, she decided a liquor business was not an appropriate setting for her daughters. In the late 1940s, she started a fish market that evolved into something else. Established in the 1950s, Haili’s Hawaiian Foods became a kind of second home for the Haili family, and a fixture at Ward Farmer’s Market. Among the many vendors offering an array of food items, Haili’s specialized in traditionally prepared Hawaiian cuisine, and it was one of the first places to offer poke to go.


My father’s specialty was aku, because he was Hawaiian. Way back when, aku was like a rubbish fish. People didn’t eat that; that was like the lowest thing, and it was very cheap. So, he specialized in that, because he learned to do all the different things, like dry it, make it raw, or they could fry it. So, before, you couldn’t go to the store and buy one pound of poke; you had to buy the whole fish. And then, the vendor would clean it for you, and they’d prepare it how you wanted. So we’d have this lady come in from Waimanalo every week. She’d buy three twenty-pound aku’s, and that was for her family for the whole week. And she’d say, Okay, cut one aku for me for frying. So he’d cut it all into steaks. And then the other aku, I want you to cut for drying. So he’d have to cut it. And then she said, And then make me poke on the last aku. Well, my father got to where he was so busy, we couldn’t keep up, and so we had to learn how to clean fish. Then, he figured out, well, let’s just pre-make some of these things. So, he’d have a batch of fish already cut in chunks, so people could come in and say, Okay, I just want poke, I don’t want fish for drying this week. That’s how it kind of evolved. And then, people would say, Oh, I want my poke made with shoyu.


And so, that wasn’t available other places at that time? ‘Cause now, we see it in —


It’s so common.


In every supermarket, grocery store, anyplace.


We’d buy all these different other kinds of fish, and he’d say, Okay, make some of that for poke. And we’re like, Oh, you can eat this for poke too? And he’d say, Oh, yeah, the old Hawaiians, this is how they ate it. You put a certain kind of limu. The combinations with the fish were different. So we had to learn how to do all of that. But nowadays, most people just eat the aku and the ahi and the swordfish. But back then, you did the oio, the awa, you know, the uhu. And so then, he’d have to learn how to do all these different things. Like save the liver from the uhu to mix in with your poke.


When I was little, I would watch my dad clean the aku. And then, he’d save the head for aku palu. And back then, people would use the eyeballs of the fish, and the stomach and the intestines, and the heart of the aku, and the liver. And I would be like, How can anybody eat that? [CHUCKLE] But anyway, all along the intestines, there would be like, little … pockets of the fat of the fish. And that was a delicacy. And my dad would take the time to clean it, and just slide all of that out. And he would keep it in a jar in the refrigerator, and he’d only bring it out when his good really, really good friends came, which was Pops Pahinui, and all of the guys from, Refuse. They would be off of work early in the morning, and they’d come over and they’d talk story with my dad, and he’d bring out this jar of fish guts.


And they would love it.


Yeah, they would love it. And they’d be playing music out in the back, and my father would be sneaking out in the back. And my mom is like, Where’s your father? [CHUCKLE]


And at the time, was Gabby Pahinui a renowned …






— slack key guitar guy?


No, not yet.


And singer.


He was already, a known —


With the locals and his friends, he was like the person they all paina’d with, and stuff.


But he hadn’t gone viral yet.


He didn’t go viral yet.

Wow. Who else came to the shop, that other folks would know?


Auntie Lena Machado. Well, my father’s grandaunt is Clara Inter Haili, also known as Hilo Hattie. And she was always there at the store, coming by to say hello.


What did she like to eat?




Ake was her favorite.


What is ake?


It’s raw liver; raw beef liver. And we’d have to flush all of the blood out, and then you de-vein it. Then you salt it, and you mix it with kukui nut and some limu, and chili pepper, and you ate it like that. So somebody’s really Hawaiian if they can eat ake.


That’s a lot of work, too.


Yeah, it is.


It’s very time consuming.


De-veining it.


Yes, it’s all done by hand, so … my mother was an expert at that.


Do you still do that?






You still do that at the shop?


We still do that; yes.


Wow …


There’s no machine that does that. [CHUCKLE]


And how many people ask for it?


A lot. There’s a lot of people that come in and ask for it. That’s one of our specialties that we still do.


Because a lot of people don’t serve it anymore.




Because of the labor.


It’s a lost art, actually. Not even my children know how to do it.


We make loko too. And not to waste all of the kalua pig when they kalua the pig, so we’d have to learn how to clean the liver. Yeah; and then you saved the blood from the pig also. And then, you had to cook it up with the kalua pig. So that’s like one thing that not too many people eat, that we still do also. And the naau, we still do that. It’s the …


The pig intestines. But now, everything needs to be certified.




We’re culturally certified, so we don’t have any homemade or home slaughtered pork, pork parts.


Organs; yeah, You buy it and you cook it.


I see.


Everything needs to come in from the mainland. We’ve seen a lot of government regulations put on the foods that native Hawaiians are used to eating, so the generation now, they’re missing a lot of the traditional ways of preparing things. But I think health wise, and for the safety of everyone, something needed to be done.


People who love Hawaiian food don’t know some of these Hawaiian foods, because they’re not available in any quantity elsewhere.


Yeah. Like dried fish. Before, on the Big Island, all of the dried akule, everything came from the Big Island, milolii, akule, opelu. Now, there isn’t any, so a lot of the fish that needs to be sold, it’s imported fish from Asia, and then you improvise.


So, you buy the dried fish, and then you do all —


Right. You buy it frozen.


Yeah; you buy it frozen, and then we dry it. Process it in our way. Yeah.


In our parents’ generation, my dad would buy by the pounds. And back then, it was called kau. The Hawaiian way of measuring was the kau.




K-A-U; yeah.


And what was that?


It was like, so many pieces of dried opelu or dried akule was one kau. So, when you ordered it from the fisherman, you’d say, I want three kau’s of dried opelu. And they knew what you were talking about.


Rachel and Lorraine Haili’s mother was of Chinese ancestry, and she encouraged her children to take pride in their Hawaiian and Chinese heritage. After the birth of each of her six children, the matriarch would visit a Chinese temple to ask the fortuneteller to bestow a Chinese name on each daughter, according to the time and day of her birth. All of the girls were given Hawaiian names as well. The Haili family continues to honor this practice.


‘Til today, we still do a lot of the things that my mother respected and taught us to do. You know, like, we still go to the cemetery for Ching Ming, and we do it for my father, my mother, my sister, and my aunties, just because it’s something my mother taught us that we should do for our ancestors.


Do you think your children will do it?


My children, yeah. They’re very involved with the cultural things that we do.


So, you’re pretty sure that’ll be continued.






I think so.


Lorraine is very culturally in tune. She’s a grandmother, and for a young generation grandmother, she wants to be called Popo, you know, which is the Chinese name for grandma.


So, my grandchildren call me Popo, and my grandchildren are multicultural. They’re Tongan, Samoan, Hawaiian-Chinese, and then, my granddaughter is Hawaiian-Chinese, Caucasian. And it’s like a melting pot at home.


Now, why did you choose Popo? Is that because your mom was Popo? Because you could have said Tutu, or Puna for Kupuna.


Puna; right. When my first grandson was born, I said, No, I waited this long, and my children grew up with a Popo. My mother was Popo to all of the grandchildren.


But your father was not Gung Gung.


He was.


He was Gung Gung?


He was Gung Gung.


He was a Hawaiian Gung Gung.








He was Gung Gung. And that’s what my grandkids call my husband.


Oh …


Gung Gung.


In the late 1960s, Rachel Haili had just graduated from college in Ohio. When she returned home to help run the family business, her mother, at age forty-eight, had suffered the first of a series of debilitating strokes, and only a few years later, Rachel’s father died at age fifty-three. Rachel took on the job of supervising her sisters and the other relatives who worked at the store. It’s now her younger sister Lorraine’s turn to carry on with the family business that presents challenges each year.


When I was young, I always said to myself, You’re going to study really hard, and you’re going to go away to college, and you’re going to get a good job. You’re gonna be like a college administrator or something.


You’re never gonna de-vein another liver in your life.


I’m never gonna clean another aku. I’m never gonna do that again. And, it turns out, I had to come back and do exactly what I had said I wasn’t going to do. But, luckily, my family had prepared me for that. They had taught me how to do everything that was necessary to run the business, and then I think going away to college, I learned to be a little more independent and to make decisions. And I had been taught all my life that family is first and you need to take care of your family, so it was a no-brainer for me.   I had to get everybody set. I thought, well, by the time my younger sisters graduate from school, I can go back to school. And time just kinda went along, and I was enjoying doing what I was doing, and it just flowed. So, by then, I was like forty, and I was like, well, do I want to start from the bottom all over and go get a job and work for somebody else? I had already worked for myself.


And look who’s running the business now.


I’m glad she has —


It’s my turn. [CHUCKLE]


I think it’s so wonderful that one sister has passed the baton to another, and now, you are the only sister working in the shop after six did.


But I also have my nephew, Kaulana, who is the son of our youngest sister, Carol. And so, he’s stepping in and learning the ropes. And then, my children come in. My two sons are firefighters, by the way, so they come whenever I need help. And my daughter teaches, she’s a schoolteacher, so she’ll come on weekends or special events. And all of the other grandchildren, whenever we need help, they all step in. And business now, it’s so different as far as the way things are done. There’s no garage laulau making nights. Everything needs to be on a schedule. You have employees, you need to make sure that you have all your materials and supplies there when your employees come in, otherwise it’s wasted time. And time is money when you’re running a business, so that’s what I need to get my children to understand.


And you’ve learned all that on the job. You’ve seen all the transitions.


That was the difference; we learned it on the job.


Well, I chuckle now, because back then, I used to tell Lorraine these things, and she’d just say, Yeah, yeah, yeah. Or I tell my sister them these things, and they say, Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so now, I hear Lorraine almost echoing me.


And the kids are saying, Yeah, yeah, yeah. [CHUCKLE]


Yeah, yeah, yeah. [CHUCKLE]


But you’ve done this for a long time, and you have the energy and the spirit to keep going.


This is what we know. And I still have a passion for it. I credit my mom and my father for allowing us, or letting us fly out of the nest for a little while. Rachel got to go away and go to college, she got her degree. My sisters, they all held other jobs. I was able to go to live in Chicago and New York, because I was a flight attendant for United Airlines, and decided this is not for me. I didn’t feel like I belonged there. It was a fun job. When you’re young and you’re in your twenties, it’s exciting. But then, you come back home to Hawaii, and it’s like, I really don’t want to go back to the mainland, I want to stay here.


And so, what made you decide to go back to the family business?


Because at that time, there was a need for me to be there. And my obligation to my family was very strong.


And my mother always stressed that even though she was pure Chinese, she always told us, You’re half Hawaiian, and you need to be proud that you’re Hawaiian. And that was a time when, you didn’t speak Hawaiian, and being Hawaiian wasn’t, something that you kind of touted, I guess. So, she always told us that. Be proud of who you are.   In a way, our family has made a little bit of contribution to helping to preserve this Hawaiian culture, by offering Hawaiian food, good Hawaiian food.


We never thought that —


Yeah; we had no intention —


— Hawaiian food was so important. Any kind of food to a culture, it’s important. It’s very important, because people will sit and share the food, and share conversation. And, it’s always like when you parties.


We always gather around the table.


What kind food did you have?


Right; it’s like a language.






Yeah, it’s a coming together. Like they say paina, and you come and you share. You not only share food, but you share good times, and camaraderie, and everything. But we never thought when we were doing this that, oh, we’re learning this because we want to be able to preserve the limu culture, or whatever.




And it’s just kind of like, when you look back and you say, Wow, when I say limu lipepe, everybody —


People look at you and go, What is that? [CHUCKLE]


Do you have regulars who come for the kind of foods that they don’t see other places, and they come regularly to you for it?


For ake and raw squid.


And you know when they walk up, you know what they want.


Yeah, I already know what they want. There’s a man that’ll come for lomi oio once a week. I have to make sure that it’s there on Fridays. And if I don’t have it, he’ll give me scoldings.


Isn’t oio really bony?


Yeah, but the way that the lomi oio is prepared is, it’s scraped, and then … by hand, all of the pin bones are pulled out of the fish.


Yeah. That’s why you have to learn how to clean the fish correctly, so when you cut it, the bone stays on one side, and when you scrape the meat off, it’s easier.


Ah …


Rather than getting everything in there.


And you’ve got all these other things going on in the shop, but you’re basically making sure the bones don’t go in the meat in this one oio fish.






I really valued what my family had built up, what my parents had established. And I’m hoping that along the way, somebody else in our family is going to recognize, what this is, and what it could be, and what opportunities their grandparents and their parents, and their aunts and uncles have created, and can perpetuate some of this. Because there is value to their lives, if they could just recognize and accept it.


In 2009, after nearly sixty years as a tenant at the Ward Farmer’s Market, the Haili’s Hawaiian Foods family operation lost its lease. The business went through a spell as a lunch wagon, and then found a modest new home in Kapahulu. With its sit-down restaurant atmosphere near Waikiki, a now expanding tourist clientele can experience a first taste of authentic Hawaiian cuisine. And of course, Haili’s continues to be a favorite gathering spot for local people to enjoy traditional Hawaiian foods like lomi oio, ake, and raw squid, coming not from a recipe book, but from the heart. Thank you, Rachel Haili and Lorraine Haili Alo for sharing your long story short. And thank you, for watching and supporting PBS Hawaii. I’m Leslie Wilcox. A hui hou. ‘Til next time, aloha.


For audio and written transcripts of this program, and all episodes of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, visit PBSHawaii.org.


God, I remember when all the whole beach was covered with seaweed, and you just have to walk on the shore and pick it. We should be concerned about too, is how can we bring back all of these limu’s and preserve our culture. ‘Cause nobody knows now when you say huluhulu waena, or lipoa, what those limu’s taste like.


Where do you get your limu now?


Commercially, we have to buy ogo. We get ours from the farms, the limu farms. And then, there’s still limu kohu in the ocean, so whenever there’s fishermen that come into our store and they say that they have limu kohu, I’ll buy it from them. Because a lot of the fishermen are still dependent on the ocean for their livelihood.


Hawaii as Home


Original air date: Tues., Nov. 13, 2012


Leslie Wilcox presents stories from previous guests about being at home in Hawaii. Some guests reminisce about their neighborhoods and families; others talk about how they embraced Hawaii as their new home. Kū Kahakalau, Corbett Kalama, Derek Kurisu, Nola Nahulu and Puakea Nogelmeier are among the guests featured.


Download the Transcript




Aloha mai kakou. I’m Leslie Wilcox. In this special edition of Long Story Short, we celebrate Hawaii … our home. We look back on conversations with Hawaiian language professor Puakea Nogelmeier, educator Ku Kahakalau, cultural consultant Kepa Maly, bank executive Corbett Kalama, grocery store executive Derek Kurisu, and choral conductor Nola Nahulu. Stories of Hawai i as Home, next on Long Story Short.


Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox is Hawaii’s first weekly television program produced and broadcast in high definition.


We begin with a story from Puakea Nogelmeier, a leading Hawaiian language scholar. You might recognize him as the voice of The Bus on Oahu. Born Marvin Nogelmeier in Minnesota, he set out on a post-high school adventure. Hawaii was only supposed to be a stopover on the way to Japan, but Hawaii is where he stayed.


Lost my wallet in the San Diego airport. So we had driven cross country, gone to San Diego, we had an airline ticket to as far as Honolulu. I would pick up a passport here. I don’t even have a license, I don’t have a birth certificate, no money really. I had my plane ticket. Came to Honolulu, had to call and say, Okay, you know, big adventure, I already blew it, lost my wallet. You know, Mom.


Send money. [CHUCKLE]


Yeah, Mom, get me a birth certificate. The money came first, birth certificate took probably a month. By the time the birth certificate came, it just seemed there was no rush to get to Japan. So, put that off, and put that off.


Why did you decide to stay? I mean, what happened in that month?


Oh; from the airport, we ended up going out, we stayed at Makua Beach.


How did you find your way to Makua Beach from the airport?


The two kids I’m traveling with actually knew people here. There was a Minnesota house at Makua Beach. A lot of that was Vietnam War folks, you know, guys who had come back. They weren’t ready to go back to the states, and a whole bunch of folks ended up out there. So, we end up in this handmade little nadas in Makua Beach. I lived there for three months. Maybe the nicest three months of my life, really. Just blissful ignorance. I didn’t read a newspaper, I didn’t think about anything, just wandered along, enjoyed water, enjoyed sand. [CHUCKLE] And I guess, they would have thought of this as homeless, although it’s really the most organized homeless that I’d ever seen. They were full houses, fully equipped.


And this is right on the edge of the beach?


Right on the edge of the sand, up against the keawe trees and the haole koa. I mean, it was really a remarkable place. There were probably fifty people. The Minnesota hooch had two bedrooms. Two like formal [INDISTINCT] and a bunk bed. It was made out of plywood, made out of leftovers that were found all over the place. Kept very tidy, actually. Full kitchen setup, dishes, everything. It’s not exactly the way the homeless are running today. It did fall into decline by the late 70s. They were doing cleanups, and should have, it had gotten pretty … just a lot of rubbish. But it was actually tidy, nice place to be. The beach was pristine. Stayed there for three months. I actually got an infection on my foot and had to go to the hospital. They would not let me out of the hospital if I didn’t have a residence, so I ended up moving into Makaha, moved in with friends in Makaha.


Puakea Nogelmeier confesses that his first means of support in Hawaii was living off his unemployment checks. Then, he linked up with a community of artists in Waianae, and became a goldsmith.


Oh; that was my career. That was something I could do for the rest of my life. And I’ve not done it now for thirty years. But who would have thought? One of my co-craftspersons was Mililani Allen, who became my kumu hula. She did beautiful silk batik with Hawaiian motifs, and just beautiful things. But one day, she was talking about, Well, I’m teaching hula. We didn’t know she taught hula.


I want to open a men’s class, but guys are so gun shy they won’t take it. And so, we pretty much said, We should open your class, we’ll take your class. Would you? Okay; so now, we’re all committed. So, her class of men started up with a motley crew of craftspeople. They were not dancers.


What was the name of the halau?


Halau Hula O Mililani. [CHUCKLE] Which, that was her name. She had been teaching maybe two years. She had graduated from Maiki Aiu Lake, she had been teaching women. It’s very formal halau structure. Classes run for an hour, once a week, et cetera, et cetera. So, she opens the men’s class. We’re all dummies. We don’t know anything. I didn’t know any Hawaiian history. I didn’t know Hawaii had a kingdom or kings, or I didn’t even know they had a language. I came as an empty calabash. And I’d been here for a while, but I learned Waianae stuff, not necessarily Hawaii stuff. So, we step into class, and it’s just a doorway to a whole new world I didn’t know was there.


Speaking of a whole new world, our next guest, educator Ku Kahakalau, grew up half a world away. Jazz music was on the rise in Europe in the 60s, so Ku ’s musician father moved the family to Germany. Ku did her best to adapt, but in her heart, she knew she wanted to return to Hawaii, back home.


We spent several years in Europe, and my father really, really liked it there. He liked the part that they took good care of the environment there, he liked the part that a handshake and a promise really meant something, and he liked the part that when they did things, they did it the right way, or they did it at a level of sophistication and rigor that our Hawaiian kupuna also did things. And so, he saw many things that were very similar they way people acted in Europe, compared to how his Hawaiian kupuna taught him.


You know, it just occurs to me that you must have been around people who didn’t realize you’re Native Hawaiian.


Definitely. That would be something that not anybody figures out right away. [CHUCKLE] And that’s perfectly fine, because I know who I am, and … the way we grew up, I mean, people never really knew who we were in the first place. And I always felt people have to accept you for who you are, no matter what nationality you are, what ethnic background, or what your IQ is. And so, I haven’t had a big problem with that, actually. I’m proud of my German heritage, I still practice some of those pieces, or at least don’t deny that or don’t want to have anything to do with it. But my dad was the only Brown person in town when we first got there, and it was not easy, even though we physically would fit in. But when your last name is Kahakalau no matter what, you can’t hide that.


And that was the reason you didn’t fit in? It was the name and the Brown father?


It was the color of it, but then also, my father’s very unconventional lifestyle certainly didn’t help either. All the other fathers worked every day from whatever it was, eight to five kind of a thing, and my father never had a regular work schedule in his entire life. So, I think those things certainly didn’t help either. And so, we just always felt a little bit odd. And then, as we got older, we met so many military people that were stationed in Germany, and I worked for the military for one year after high school to make money to come home. And the more we sang the songs, and the more we tried to eat the food it became like, What am I doing here?


So, when you hit high school graduation, at that point, you were making money to get home.




No question?


No question. That was one of those single-minded decisions and without any concrete plans as to where to go from there. There was no doubt in my mind. As soon as I had enough money for an airplane ticket and a couple more thousand dollars that could hold me over for a little while, I was gonna come home. And I did.


For cultural historian Kepa Maly, Lanai is home. Growing up, he immersed himself in stories about Lanai from his hanai, or adoptive parents, Tutu Papa Daniel Kaopuiki and Tutu Mama Hattie Kaenaokalani Kaopuiki. As a gift for Tutu Papa and Mama’s seventy-fifth wedding anniversary, Kepa wrote a song based on those stories from his childhood.


A stronger section of the verse, a softer section of the verse being Tutu Papa and Tutu Mama, who always covered him. Gave him that softer, you know, those qualities that made life easier. And recently, woke up crack of dawn with these words in my mind and this melody. And it was celebrating story of places of Kaa Ahupuaa, which is the northwestern end of the Island of Lana‘i, Keahiakawelo, where you and I visited. The quote, unquote, Garden of the Gods. And the very point is Kaena, the beach, this miles along of white sand beach, Palihua, cove of eggs, because the turtles nested there. And that’s celebrated in one of the few ancient mele of Lana‘i for the Pele migration, where Pele, you know [CHANTS]. Calling, [HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE] is Pele. She wears a garland of ieie that is woven for her. As the lines of the mele go on, it describes that Pele eats of the turtles of Polihua. It was okay back then, because it was in their cultural context, yes? And, it talks about these places, though, and about standing on top of Kanepuu and looking up to the heights of Lana‘i Hale. And you can see the cloud layer going down like a garland at Maunalei, which means Mountain Garland. So the song speaks of some of those famous places.




Now, we’re gonna go up to Kanepuu and look up to Lana‘i Hale. We were there.




The last line of the song is nine verses, so I’m not gonna do ‘em all.




So the last line says, These are among the storied places of Lana‘i which is beloved and set there in the calm. And this comes from Tutu folks, their stories, the stories, the traditions that are handed down. And so, we need to keep people connected to this beauty. It’s all that we have that no one else has.


Our next guest learned about the importance of keeping connected with family and community at a young age. Corbett Kalama, the Kamehameha Schools trustee and First Hawaiian Bank executive vice president, grew up in Kailua, Oahu, which he calls a playground. And growing up with ten siblings, Corbett never ran out of playmates. Including Corbett and his parents, the Kalamas were a family of thirteen. The family home was a one-bedroom, nine hundred square foot house. With a large family came certain responsibilities.


One important responsibility was, the oldest sibling was responsible for the younger ones. That’s automatic. The other thing was to make sure we took care of our clothes. Right, because we knew that our siblings would have to use the clothes, especially those of us who were going to St. Anthony’s grade school; they were uniforms. So we were very careful. Where kids would be scraping their knees and tearing the pants, for example, we couldn’t afford to do that. Right? We had to do that.


Because you were thinking of the next kid.


Thinking of the next kid. We’d help my mom wash clothes. We had an old washing machine, the old scrub type thing, and wring it out, put the clothes into a big pan with starch. Starch it, and then we’d do the ironing and different things. But we did whatever we could do. We never had, as a child, a lot of apples and those types of things, so in retrospect, it was probably very healthy for us, because we’d go into the mountains, we’d pick guavas and mangoes, and mountain apple, and lychee, and just everything there, and mangoes in the tree. And you learned to pick enough. We’d sell mangoes, we’d do different things. There was a golf course nearby when we moved over to Kailua, Mid Pac Golf Course. It wasn’t unusual, I loved tournament days, I’d sit out there in my tin canoe, and a foursome would come by, at least two would be in the water. Dive in with scoop net and my goggles, and either try and sell it back to them, or else I’d sell it up at the country club. Just trying to make ends meet and to help my parents take care of all of us that way.


Was that something your parents told you, you should be doing?


No, no; we just realized. You know, love runs deep and different things, and we shared everything that we had. My father shared all the knowledge that he had, we spent a lot of time in the ocean. We lived a lot off the ocean. I don’t necessarily go out of my way to eat lobster or those types of things anymore, because it was right there in our front yard. But we learned the right way to pick lobster and not to damage the hole. We were very, very protective of sustainability, as they talk about it today. But we learned that way, so we all had to pull our load.


What was the fishing out Kailua way like then, compared to now?


Unbelievable. Unbelievable. Kailua Reef used to be like an aquarium. You had every type of fish that you could think of. There was white coral; you could go just a little further outside that, deep enough to where you’d see a lot of black coral that was there. There were lobster holes everywhere in Kailua. You could walk right from the sand into the water, and find a lobster hole, octopus holes. It wasn’t unusual for us to take that small island off Kailua Beach is called Popoia Island, they refer to it as Flat Island. But we’d go out there, and we’d go surfing. It wasn’t unusual where we’d just take a bottle of water, some matches, and we’d hide an old refrigerator grill, and then we’d junk and po at about lunchtime to see who was gonna go in the water to pick slipper lobster. We’d go out there, and it was two apiece. One person would have to dive in the water and pick it, and that’s how we lived. We’d go out there and do that. So we had a park that was there. We were windsurfing before there was windsurfing.


Did you see other people taking too much? Was there some kind of a neighborhood—


As a child, no, you never saw that. The neighborhood was very, very protective of each other. So even when you went fishing, you went to visit the other families to make sure that they had enough food too. So it wasn’t unusual. But see, with that responsibility, they also had the responsibility of the discipline aspect of it. So no, it wasn’t unusual, it wasn’t unusual for the neighborhood kids to just sleep on the beach as a group. It wasn’t unusual to be sleeping at someone’s house, and know that everybody was okay.


When you have something, you always share.


You share it. You share it. And it worked out, and kids talk about that. Now they’re all adults or grandparents, they talk about coming to our house when we were youngsters. And my dad, at a very young age, even though we lived in that small house, it wasn’t unusual for him to go around and pick up the homeless in those days that were in Kailua, and bring them home to our house.


I think that’s so true that so often, it’s the people who have less who give more.




Do you find that?


I still see that. And I think it’s just finding the opportunity for those that do have to help connect them to the group. ‘Cause, a lot of the work that I do in the community now, it’s not for a lack of desire on the part of individuals that are a little better off than others, but it’s trying to make that connection.


Hilo’s Derek Kurisu also knows the importance of connections and community. He and his siblings, including younger brother Duane Kurisu, the entrepreneur, were raised in plantation communities on the Big Island. There, Derek saw for himself how everyone pitched in to help their neighbors. The value of collaboration continues as he serves as executive vice president at KTA Superstores, Hawaii Island’s locally owned grocery chain.


The great thing about living on a plantation, there were so many great people; right? And everybody had some kind of strength. And the key, too, is that you know, people in their different strength area would help each other. For instance, your car break down, a mechanic would come and fix it; right?


And he wouldn’t charge you?


Oh, he wouldn’t charge you.


But what would you do for him?


Oh, no, and if you went fishing, you had fish, you’ll bring fish over to the home. So a plantation family wasn’t just made of five or ten people; it was thousand, it was family of families. And that’s what made it so great living on the sugar plantation. I have an older brother. His name is Hervy.




And for him, I mean, when I look at him [CHUCKLE], he reminds me of these plantation men. They’re so kind, sincere inside and then, if they’re your friend, they’ll just do whatever it is to make something happen. Lot of these plantation guys, they wouldn’t tell you anything. But you’ll learn a lot from them just by looking at them, by observing, by watching. ‘Cause they don’t say stuff. Let me give you one story. Okay. I used to enjoy going bodysurfing, swimming, and all that, as a youngster. We used to make our own body board, right? And I never had one, so I used to go bodysurfing. And one of these plantation men told me, Eh, Derek, tomorrow after work, I’ll come and I’ll get you something. We used to make our own body board, right? And I never had one, so I used to go bodysurfing. And one of these plantation men told me, Eh, Derek, tomorrow after work, I’ll come and I’ll get you something. So I said, Okay. So all my friends went surfing, and I went down to the gym. I was waiting for that man. He got through—came out of his truck, told me to follow him home. So I went down to his house, and there, I saw this big table. And I looked at the table. I go, Ho!


And it was like those ply board, a thick one like that. And I can still remember being under that house. Then he told me, Oh, Derek, draw your surfboard on this thing. So I drew my surfboard on his nice table. Then he grabbed a saw, he cut it. He made for me one board. That’s the plantation kinda thing, yeah?




Then he put on the skegs for me, and he said, Come back tomorrow, I’m gonna go and waterproof the thing. But that is what it was all about. You know, I think why I was real fortunate, that I had a great-grandmother. And she used to live up close to the forest line of Hakalau. All of our families, my aunties, uncles, and my grandparents used to gather at my great-grandmother’s house every week, at least once. Used to get about forty or fifty of us. And I think for myself and my brothers, we have learned a lot of the values, the cultures things and also traditions from that. And we have also learned, and they always used to remind us, to make sure not to bring shame to the family. [CHUCKLE] And I think that ingrained in each one of us. They really took care of us, they gave us everything. Met all our needs, our life was very simple. And I still tell myself, Wow, I better make sure I’m on the right path. I guess for me, that was like the foundation of my life.


Seeing yourself as part of something larger.


Oh, larger. So whatever I do now, I know if I do something bad, it’s a reflection not only me. All my families, all my ancestors, all my friends that helped me out, KTA Superstores where I work, all of the employees gets affected. And you know what? To me, that is very, very important. I try to make sure that I don’t go and upset anybody or make any enemies. And I guess this whole thing about an obligation to the family or to the organization or whatever you belong to helped me keep a straight life, and motivated me to move ahead.


For over three decades, Nola Nahulu has brought out the best in Hawaii singers of all ages. In this next clip, the respected conductor shares some of her earliest memories as a Japanese-Hawaiian girl on Oahu’s Waianae Coast.


My sister and I went to Waianae Elementary School. And to date us, that’s because there was no Makaha Elementary School at the time. My parents would wake us up in Makaha, we would drop off at our Obachan’s house, ‘cause she lived right across the street. Then the routine was, go Obachan’s house, have breakfast, go school … go back to Obachan’s house, have guava ice cake that she would have made. And then, go to Japanese school.


Where was Japanese school?


Japanese school was at the Waianae Hongwanji. And everybody went. Sometimes, we even got to ride our bikes there. And for those now, in this day and age, it’s right behind the McDonald’s in Waianae. But at that time, it was an open-air theater. Waianae town had two theaters; one regular theater house that was covered, and the other one that was open-air.


Was it a drive-in theater?


No, it wasn’t a drive-in; there was just no roof. And there were seats, wooden seats, and the screen.




Yeah. And around fourth, fifth grade, we had the opportunity to take piano lessons. I keep on saying we, because my sister and I got afforded the same opportunities. So, we took piano.


Did you take piano because it was a good thing to do, or because you had a yearning, desire to take piano?


You know, our parents said, Do you want to take piano? And we said, Yes.


Really? Because I said, No. I had no desire to take piano when I was a kid.


We had nothing to gauge against. It was an opportunity that came up, and there was a piano teacher that moved into Waianae, and so they asked. And we were, Yeah, okay. And then, we actually got a piano. And we know that was a big sacrifice. But one day, a piano showed up in our house, and we know that our parents invested in that. So we got to take piano.


What was your parents’ background?


Dad’s from Nanakuli. Well, Nanakuli via Lualualei, via Laie.




And my mom’s Waianae, plantation. My grandmother, my maternal grandmother was a picture bride. So she came over early 1900s as a picture bride.


So your mom was Japanese. Was your dad full Hawaiian?


Yeah, he’s full Hawaiian. And my mom’s Hiroshima-ken.


How many Hawaiian-Japanese families were there around you?


Not many.


Not a common combination back then.


Not a common combination. It is an odd combination.


Was there any feeling between sides of the family?


Well, I know at first, the Japanese were very concerned about my mother marrying a Hawaiian. Of course, you need to realize, the Hawaiian-Japanese combination is pretty cute when they’re babies. And we were the first two grandchildren, so it seemed to work. We never felt any kind of resistance being brought up. We were always cared for, and loved, and …


Did you grow up with a sense of, as many part-Hawaiians do now, you know, I have to learn my Hawaiian culture, my Hawaiian values?


No. And let me say no, because we were learning them. It wasn’t like I needed to learn them. Both sides, Hawaiian and Japanese, we were learning the culture from our family and from community activities. And we were learning who we are. I didn’t have to say, I am Hawaiian, or I am Japanese.


You didn’t have to choose?


No. To this day, I’m both. I’m keiki o ka aina, I’m from Hawaii.


Thank you to Nola Nahulu, Derek Kurisu, Corbett Kalama, Kepa Maly, Ku Kahakalau, and Puakea Nogelmeier for sharing personal stories about home in Hawaii Nei. On behalf of PBS Hawaii, and Long Story Short, I’m Leslie Wilcox. A hui hou kakou.


For audio and written transcripts of this program, and all episodes of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, visit pbshawaii.org.


Sam Low: Raising Islands


As a crewmember on the Hokulea, waterman Sam Low experienced the chicken skin moments when, as the canoe would approach a Pacific island, the island itself would appear to be raised out of the distant horizon as the canoe sailed closer. As a documentarian, author Sam Low heard the vision, fears and dreams of master navigator Nainoa Thompson and those involved with sailing the canoe.




Nainoa has said that early on he’s been hindered by a fear of failure. Do you know how he resolved that? Because he certainly succeeded.

Courage. He resolved it by being courageous, I think. It was Nainoa’s job to be the first Hawaiian in perhaps a thousand years, after that devastating accident, devastating loss of Eddie Aikau, to take the canoe as navigator on the first voyage in a thousand years that a Hawaiian has navigated. So, naturally, he was fearful. He was fearful for his own ability, but he was fearful for his people. Because if he failed, that would have been, Oh, Hawaiians, yeah. I have the feeling that his father helped him understand that there’s a deeper mission. That everything is based on helping your community, helping your people, and that your fear or your immediate reluctance is nowhere near as important as pushing through it to get that mission accomplished.

In researching his book, Hawaiki Rising, Sam Low spent hours interviewing his cousin, Nainoa Thompson, talking to him about the double-hulled canoe Hokulea, and what drove his dream to voyage in the wake of his ancestors. Sam Low, next on Long Story Short.

Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox is Hawaii’s first weekly television program produced and broadcast in high definition.

Aloha mai kakou. I’m Leslie Wilcox. Sam Low was born and raised in Connecticut. His Hawaiian father left the Big Island to attend prep school on the Continent, where he got married, never to return home again. Their son Sam inherited his father’s love of the ocean and of boats, and grew up spending summers at the beach on Martha’s Vineyard, where he still lives at the time of our conversation in 2014. Sam Low made his first trip to Hawaii as a young naval officer, and has been coming here ever since, connecting with his family that includes Nainoa Thompson. Sam’s background as a documentary filmmaker, his ocean skills, and his family connections eventually led him to become a crewmember on Hokulea, where his role on the voyaging canoe was that of the documentarian. His job was to observe, and through that, he got to experience what life is like sailing on a canoe in the middle of the ocean, thousands of miles away from land.

My role on Hokulea has always been as a writer, as a documenter. Usually, on Hokulea, you’re a crewmember, and so that’s basic. You know, you stand your watch, and you do all that. But you have another role as well, which is, you could be a cook, you could be a watch captain, you could be a carpenter, or you could whatever. And my role was as documenter. And so, that fit, you know, what I had been doing for so many years prior to that, going out and documenting, either filming or writing about, or doing a thesis at Harvard about a way of life that I wanted to bring back and I wanted to give you, wanted you to have this gift. I have seen this, I have been there. And now, I want you to have it. And that was a perfect blend of what the job was. As a documenter, the kuleana, or actually as any crewmember, the kuleana on Hokulea.

Isn’t it interesting that all your interests sometimes come together and inform each other into one wonderful culmination?

Yeah. I probably never would have gotten on the canoe if it hadn’t have been that I did have this skill of being able to write. And of course, it didn’t hurt that Nainoa was my cousin, and I had a relationship with him. I was invited on the voyage to Rapa Nui. And that was actually my first trip on the canoe. The voyage to Rapa Nui was supposed to be the hardest voyage, because the prevailing winds are against you. And so, Nainoa had predicted that it would have to be tacking into the wind. So, this would be a zig-zag all the way. So, what was maybe, I think about seventeen hundred miles could easily become three thousand miles, if you had to tack. So, he chose a veteran crew. He had on board those folks like Tava Taupu, and Michael Tongg, and Snake Ah Hee, and Bruce Blankenfeld, and you know, Kalepa Baybayan. The best of the best. They set off. Now, I should say that this was the first voyage that I was actually invited to go on. But Nainoa wasn’t quite sure about me. I had made one voyage on the escort boat, and that went fine. So, he just wasn’t sure, and he put me on the escort boat and he said, You’re gonna be on the escort boat for four or five days, we’re gonna see how it goes, and if everything’s going okay on the canoe, then we’ll bring you over.

Why was Nainoa unsure about whether to have you on the Hokulea? ‘Cause you’re a waterman, you’ve been around water all your life in different kinds of craft.

Right; but you have to remember that on that voyage, there were the tested men, they were the best of the best. These men had probably voyaged thirty thousand, forty thousand miles. Not only that, they’re surfers, and they’re athletes.

And did Nainoa figure you could document it just as well from the escort boat?

I think he knew I couldn’t do that. But I think he wanted to just be sure. I think he wanted to go out and to see, and if it was a slog, and it was what he expected it to be, the most severe test of endurance, then maybe I would have stayed on the escort boat. But it didn’t turn out that way; it turned out to be easier. And so, I think that’s why he invited me.

So, it had to do with physical conditions?

Physical training.

Not fit?

Not fit. Not like those guys. No; uh-uh. Those guys, well, look at them. I mean, look at Tava. You know, look at Snake. All of those guys are watermen, all the time. You have to remember, New England, it’s the winter, so I get to swim four or five months out of the year. I was not in the kind of shape that those guys were, so I think that’s what his reservation might have been. So, I think on the fifth day, we got word that they wanted me to go over. And I’m like, Yes! And it was one of those rainy, kind of drizzly days, not a lot of wind, and I was rowed over by one of the crew on the escort boat. And Hokulea is up here, and I kind of crawled in. You crawl over the hulls, and then you crawl up over this canvas kind of space shield. And I remember crawling out and looking up, and there was Mike Tongg. His appearance is like this gentle, loving Buddha, you know. He has that kind of loving appearance. And the rain was just dripping down off his face, like this. And he was looking down at me with this beneficent smile. He didn’t say a word; just … Welcome, good to see you. And so, I just immediately felt at home with Mike’s blessing. He’s such a veteran on that canoe. But Nainoa had felt that we had to be prepared for the slog of wind. But as it turned out, fortuitously, at that time of year, down in the roaring forties … I hope I’m right, but I think that we were probably up around twenty degrees south. And down around forty degrees south, there were a number of low pressure areas that were spinning storms up toward us, spinning wind up toward us. And so, they broke the trade winds, and they created following winds. So that Nainoa seeing that, set off basically in a storm, and sailed along with the wind coming from behind, spun up by these storms down in the roaring forties, until that storm went through, and then we were kind of the calm. And then the trades would fill in again, and we’d do a little tacking, and then another storm would come along. And we made the trip so much faster than what was predicted, that we got there a week before our welcoming party.

Nice when storms are your friends.

Yeah; yeah. So, it turned out to be a lot easier in terms of the crew, and in terms of the endurance than we thought it was gonna be. More difficult from the navigation point of view, because often you would have cloudy skies. In fact, on that voyage to Rapa Nui, two or three days before Nainoa found the island, we started to have cloudy skies, and he had no real sight of his guiding star. He was steering pretty much by swells, and he was navigating by dead reckoning. So for three days, he was navigating by instinct, trained instinct. And on the day that we sighted Rapa Nui, the winds shifted. He was going to do a zig, and instead of doing a zig, the wind shifted and kind of pushed us in the direction that he thought we wanted to go. And he said, We’ll follow the wind; we’ll just stay, we’ll follow the wind. Hokulea knows where she wants to go.

Now, when you can’t navigate by stars, does he sleep at all? I mean, because he’s always watching current conditions.

Yeah; he is. Well, when you’re not navigating by the stars, you’re navigating pretty much by the swells and the wind. Of course, the wind was gyrating around and changing, so he was using the swells to navigate. Normally, if he’s alone on a voyage, then he will sleep in catnaps. He’ll sleep for maybe twenty minutes, thirty minutes, and then jump up and be awake for, say, eight hours, and then lie down for twenty or thirty minutes, and jump up. And he’ll do this for thirty days at a time. One of his great fears on that first voyage in 1980 was he wouldn’t be able to stay awake. That’s Mau’s secret, not mine; I can’t do that. But it was one of those first, as he calls them, the doors of perception had opened. One of those first doors that opened was that when they set sail out of Hilo and started on the voyage, after about fourteen hours, he decided he was really tired, he was gonna take a little nap. And he lay down, and he lay down for about fifteen or twenty minutes, and he jumped up and he was refreshed. And he said that was the first kind of sense that there is something in navigation, there is something in accepting the challenge and the risk that comes from another level, and that he was able to that, on that first voyage. And that’s what he normally does. On this voyage, the Rapa Nui voyage, he had Kalepa Baybayan on board, he had Bruce Blankenfeld on board; he had trained navigators with him. So, he could sleep.

If you don’t have enough sleep for enough time, I mean, I would think your judgment becomes impaired. So, I guess you have to have a limited goal in terms of time? How do you do that?

He does it for a month at a time.


I have no idea; I couldn’t do it.

So, maybe because you have a goal and you’re trained, and you’re generally in good shape, you can manage your mind and your brain cells for that amount of time.

Yeah; it’s a mystery to me, how he can do it. You know, it’s always chicken skin if you’re crew, and/or a documenter particularly, my job being to watch everybody, and to record. But you know, I’ve watched Nainoa pretty intently, and it’s always that moment when he says, Post lookouts, land is near. And then, I would get to go ask him, Well, what’s going on? He’d say, Well, I think Rapa Nui is there. And he put Max Yarawamai, who is Carolinian, who has great eyesight, he put him on watch. And about five hours later, there it was, Rapa Nui. And it was pretty much where he said it was. And Rapa Nui is tiny. And so, he found this island after seventeen hundred miles.

After sailing to Rapa Nui, Hokulea navigator Nainoa Thompson invited Sam Low aboard the canoe for the trip home. This second experience gave Sam even more insights into how Nainoa used nature and his intuition based on experience to guide him to exactly where he wanted to go.

The second voyage I got to make was from Tahiti to Hawaii. And we’d been at sea for, I think, about twenty-four, twenty-five days. Had lots of storm on that particular voyage, lots of squalls. I’m going to say it was the twenty-fifth day, I forget exactly, Nainoa turned the canoe downwind. We’d been headed into the wind all the time to get to the east of the Hawaiian Islands, and he turned downwind. So, we knew something was up. And steering downwind on Hokulea, the sails are on either side, wing-on-wing, ‘cause the wind is directly from behind. And we were steering that way for a while. We couldn’t see anything; there was this gentle mist wafting over the canoe. You could feel the sun, but you couldn’t see it. Visibility ahead was maybe oh, I don’t know, half a mile.

And during this time, do you say, Hey, Nainoa, what’s going on? Or do people not talk about what’s up?

Well, I got to be bratty, because I was the documenter. So, I didn’t say anything for a while, but we went wing-on-wing, and then the wind changed slightly, and so one of the sails came over. So, now, we’re sailing like this. We felt that. And around six o’clock, I saw Nainoa was just back there on the navigator’s platform, just peering intently ahead. Again, this mist was coming over. We couldn’t see anything; I couldn’t see anything. So, being a documenter, I get to go back and say, you know, What’s going on? He said, Well, Hilo is right there. After twenty-five hundred miles, twenty-five days, Hilo is right there? So, I said, How do you know? And he said, Well, do you remember when the sail, when we couldn’t sail wing-on-wing? Well, that’s because we got into that place where the winds are coming and being broken by Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, and churning around the island. And so, that wind shift, that gentle wind shift told me that we’ve gotten into that zone where the winds are breaking. You know, these mountains are fourteen thousand feet high. And he said, Look ahead, you see that mist seems to stall, it seems to slow down. So, I looked. Yeah; okay. Keep going. I know I couldn’t see it. And he said, If you look—the sun was starting to go down. If you look on either side, you can see it’s kind of dark ahead of us, and it’s a little bit lighter there.

You couldn’t see it?

I couldn’t see it. And so, I wrote it all dutifully down. And then we sailed on for a while, and then he tacked. And I said, Well, why’d you tack? He said, We’re on the Hamakua Coast, and I don’t want to get too close. Of course, none of us can see this. This is after twenty-five days. I don’t want to get too close, and Hilo is right over there. And so, I said, Okay; write it down. And then, we all felt it. And we all went over to the rail, and the whole crew is standing there looking, and Nainoa said Hilo is there, and they know Hamakua must be there. And we waited for about fifteen minutes, and then fortuitously, that low cloud layer lifted; just lifted. And there it was, the twinkle of the coast, Hilo over here, the lighthouse. And at that moment, Nainoa just said, We’re home.


After twenty-five days. So, that’s the chicken skin, that when you’re navigating with someone like Nainoa or Kalepa Baybayan, or Bruce Blankenfeld, or Chad Paishon, or Shorty Bertelmann, any of these great navigators who have dedicated their life to merging with the signs of the sea, and you have the privilege to be on a canoe after that much time, and to see land is there, exactly where they say it is.

What happens over the twenty-five days, say, of a voyage? Is there a lot of talk? Is there a lot of laughter? What do people do, day-by-day?

I think it depends a lot on the crew and on the chemistry of the crew. And I think it’s all of that. But if I think back on it, I think more of a kind of … quietness, actually. I don’t think so much of laughter; there’s that. I don’t think so much of talk; there’s that. I don’t think so much of music, although there’s that. I think of the quietness of being at sea, and the feeling of being out in an immense ocean, completely alone, and you don’t see another ship, you don’t see another person, you don’t see land, and you get into kind of a rhythm of watch-standing, of being alert, and being relaxed, and being alert, and being relaxed, of the stars turning, and the moon and the sun. And there’s a blending with that diurnal rhythm so that it’s a meditation you get into. I think it’s a mediational state. I think it’s a very relaxed state. I think that even in storm aboard a vessel like Hokulea, which is so staunch and so seaworthy, and so sea kindly, that you’re not afraid. You know that if you do everything right, if you follow the instructions of your captain, if you bring the sails down, if you stand your watch properly, you’ll be fine. So that’s not it. It’s not anxiety, it’s not fear; it’s contemplation, it’s meditation. And actually, I think for most of us, say after five or six days, you’re just in the rhythm, and then when the canoe turns down and the navigator says, We’re there, we’re almost sort of like saying, Well, that’s good, we can have a hamburger, we can have a beer, but you know, why don’t we just keep going. ‘Cause you’re in this world. You’re with your crew, you’re with the weather, you’re with the canoe, you’re in this meditational almost Buddhist, Hawaiian meditational state, and you don’t want it to stop.

Sam Low started working on a book about Hokulea after he returned home from the Rapa Nui voyage in the year 2000. At first, he didn’t know what would be in the book, but it finally came together, and Hawaiki Rising was published in 2013. It tells the story of Hokulea, Nainoa Thompson, and the Hawaiian Renaissance.

There was a period of time, and I think it was uh, 2010. See, I’d been working on this book for ten years. I mean, I didn’t really know that I’d been working on it for ten years. I was just recording, and I was writing articles. The first idea for a book would be a picture book, and then I went off and did my grandpa’s book. And I got partway there, and then I came back onto this. But there was a time, I think it was 2010, when I did have a chance to interview Nainoa very extensively. I was living in the family compound, and the guest house is, you know, a hundred yards from his house. And I would sit and wait, and every time he came out, I’d say, Hey, Nainoa, how you doing? You know, and he’d say, Not today, Sam, not today. Okay, okay. And then, How you doing? Yeah; okay, come. And so, we’d sit and spend two or three hours with a tape recorder, and I think the exchange did help him bring together all his experiences. Well, it was certainly great for me, because I was able to get this raw material for Hawaiki Rising. But I think it also helped him bring together his own experiences and correlate that, and put it together into kind of a set of values and a philosophy. It’s his philosophy, but I think in being able to exchange with another person who he was fairly intimate with, that it did help him in that. And at that time, about three years ago, the concept of moolelo became very important. And he expressed that; he said, You know, we stand on the shoulders of heroes, and it’s very important that as we move forward around the world, that we look back, and that we celebrate and bring with us the spirit of those people who made all of this possible, and the lessons that we learned from them, from his father Myron Pinky Thompson, from Mau Piailug, from Wally Froiseth, from Ben Finney, from Herb Kane, from all of those who had built the canoe, who had the vision of the canoe, who had sailed the canoe, and that evolving vision, that gift that they gave to all of us who’ve sailed on the canoe. He wanted that to be celebrated, and part of that was the book, Hawaiki Rising. It is a celebration of those heroes whose shoulders we stand on today. He expresses in Hawaiki Rising very clearly how fearful he was of that time of his first voyage. You have to understand that everything depended on it, that the canoe had capsized, that they had lost Eddie Aikau, and that Hawaiians were on the cusp of being able to, through voyaging, and all the other arts as well, not just voyaging, but Hokulea was the symbol of the Renaissance. Through voyaging, to recapture this great pride of ancestry. And the canoe had capsized. There was a great deal of anxiety, which he expresses in the book. And he pushed through, and he discovered deeper reserves, I think, of courage and of a sense of connection to his ancestors that allowed him to enter a world of understanding and of comprehension that was deep and that was powerful.

You went back and talked to a number of the people we associate with Hokulea over the years. What did some of those conversations yield in terms of insight about the voyages?

Well, they were key. The book is made up of what I like to think of as a chorus of voices. See, I’m not in it. It’s not my story. I’m the person that’s behind the camera, if you like, or that’s writing the story, singing the song, I hope. And I had this opportunity to interview dozens and dozens of crewmembers, and I wanted the book to be a chorus of voices. I wanted it to be told in the voices of the people that experienced it, not an impersonal narrator, a personal narrator. And I didn’t know that that would work. It’s like an oral history. And I’ve been very interested in oral histories, something told directly, authentically from the person who experienced it. So, the opportunity—and of course, I was very kind of shy and bashful. I mean, Tava Taupu, and Snake Ah Hee, and Herb Kane, and Nainoa and Pinky, and Marion Lyman-Merserau, and Dave Lyman. I mean, these are heroic figures to me. So, to have the honor that they would sit down and talk with me was terrific. And I didn’t want that to end. You know, so writing the book, you have to eventually do that; right? But the great pleasure was to have those moments, those intimate moments with people on whose shoulders we all stand on, and to have them tell me their story. That in itself, was the process, is sometimes more important than the product.

Through the eyes and ears of Sam Low, we all get to experience what it’s like to sail aboard Hokulea as she makes her way across vast oceans, guided by the stars and other natural elements, to faraway destinations. Mahalo to Sam Low for sharing his stories with us, and mahalo to you for joining us. For PBS Hawaii and Long Story Short, I’m Leslie Wilcox. A hui hou.

For audio and written transcripts of all episodes of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, visit PBSHawaii.org. To download free podcasts of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, go to the Apple iTunes Store, or visit PBSHawaii.org.

Pinky evolved a philosophy that came out of voyaging. He said, You first have to have a vision, and you have to have a vision of an island over the horizon. And once you have that vision, then you have to formulate a plan to raise that island from the sea, Hawaiki rising. And then, you need to have discipline to train, to achieve that plan. And then, you need to have the courage to cast off the lines, and then you need to have the aloha to bind your crew together to find the island. So, those are values that were inherent in Pinky’s view in voyaging, and also in the world, and also all cultures of the world. So, he brought this philosophy from the past, brought it to the present, and made it a possible future. And Hokulea is voyaging around the world with that philosophy in mind.





Sig Zane



Original air date: Tues., Aug. 23, 2011


Leslie Wilcox talks story with Sig Zane, a Hilo fashion designer who’s been in the business for over 25 years. Sig originally considered careers in architecture, law and real estate before discovering Hawaiian culture and fashion design in the 1970s, when he moved to the Big Island. Sig is one of the first designers to incorporate native Hawaiian plant imagery into his clothing designs, a reflection of his strong affinity for and commitment to Hawaiian culture.


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The designs came about because of my mother-in-law always saying, Share, share what you know. Because … we need to teach our own, we need to teach our people, so that our children will have culture.


Designer and cultural practitioner, Sig Zane, next on Long Story Short.



Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox is Hawai‘i’s first weekly television program produced and broadcast in high definition.


Aloha mai kakou. I’m Leslie Wilcox. Hawai‘i clothing designer Sig Zane is known for his distinctive limited edition prints that combine contemporary graphic elements with Hawaiian cultural values. The Sig Zane Design store in downtown Hilo has been selling this iconic Hawaiian wear for more than twenty-five years. His designs reflect an intimate knowledge of the Hawaiian culture. It ’s knowledge that he acquired, and continues to glean, from his wife, Nalani Kanakaole. She and her sister, Pua Kanahele, are kumu hula of the renowned Halau O Kekuhi. Nalani and Pua are the daughters of the late Hawaiian culture expert, Edith Kanakaole, who was a key influence in her son-in-law’s life. In contrast, Sig Zane’s Chinese great-grandfather on his mother’s side, and Chinese grandfather on his father’s side, both immigrated to Hawaii to work on farms.


Sig’s father, Benjamin Zane, had an interest in the arts, and provided Sig and his three sisters with opportunities to travel and visit great museums.


My father’s father grew up in Kohala, but jumped ship to come to Oahu and moved to Haiku as soon as he could, refusing to speak English, just wanting to speak Hawaiian and Chinese, but a fisherman and a farmer.


And then your father and mother; tell me about them.


Father was a insurance man for, mm probably ‘til the 70s, and then he started doing real estate. My mother mostly was a housewife, and she did go out and do some retail at one of the bigger retail stores, but most times at home. My father always entertained, so that was something that I think we all got from him, in the sense that he was so mm, friendly, always could make conversation. My mother was one of the best dressers. To me, she was the Jackie O, yeah, she … totally perfect. So I think that they, in their unique way, really set the path for us.


And your given first name is?


Sigmund. [CHUCKLE]


And why?


[CHUCKLE] That’s a long story. [CHUCKLE] My mother wanted to be a Catholic, and everyone in her family were basically atheist. They didn’t believe in religion.


But when the time came for her confirmation, there was nobody that would be her godparents. So, at the Lady of Peace Cathedral downtown, she walked up to this couple, and she said I’m gonna be confirmed, but I need godparents; will you be my godparents? And this German couple said, Sure. Well, his name was Sigmund.




And so, she promised him, If I have a son, I’m gonna name him Sigmund. [CHUCKLE]




Growing up with that name was a challenge. Still, today, everybody pronounces it totally wrong.


For example?


Zig Zag. [CHUCKLE]


But Sig is a nice, snappy nickname.


Yeah, especially with Sig Zane, it …


It works.


It works. [CHUCKLE]


It’s a good design name.




Much to the dismay of his parents, school was not a priority for Sig Zane. He instead threw himself into surfing and fishing. After graduating from Roosevelt High School in Honolulu in 1970, he left for Spain, where he lived for two years as a child, to rekindle fond memories from his youth. Within two months, he grew disillusioned, and returned home. In 1971, he tagged along with a friend to attend college in Hilo, and go fishing. It was here that he met an extraordinary family and began a lifelong love affair with the Big Island.


So, running down to Hilo Bay we immediately caught. And this was just amazing. Day three in Hilo, and here we’re catching papio. Yeah, I have to admit that I didn’t go to much schooling. [CHUCKLE]


You started at school, but you …


I went to the other school, school of papio. [CHUCKLE] But the papio really took me all around the island. I was not catching them regular style by bait, I was whipping. And so, using a lure, it meant that you had to traverse a lot of coastline. But that’s how I got to see the island, and got to appreciate it, and really see places that I felt that, wow, probably the last person who walked here was a Hawaiian. ‘Cause we were way out in the sticks. And I think that that exposure really got me to love the island, the spirit of the island, that mana that kinda is not visible here. Got to go places in Kona that, the Emerald Seas, that very isolated bay, and then being rewarded with this ulua now, not just a papio, but ulua.


From the shore?


Yeah. It was just amazing. [CHUCKLE] So I think that that was the first thing that got me there. But, I really have to give credit to the Kanakaole clan. Meeting up with Edith Kanakaole, my mother-in-law, I didn’t know who she was. I just remember seeing this jovial wahine, and how she served the poi. We went to this little paina, and there she was, serving poi, and how she just did this, and with a big smile on her face, and I just went, Wow, what is this? But that night, I recall we were on the shoreline of Keaukaha, and she having her halau. Her daughters had just kinda taken over running the halau, and I remember before moving to Hilo, that oh, I think that I want to dance, I want to learn everything about hula. This was the renaissance in the early 70s, and I heard the first chant, and they were doing the Pele’s. And growing up in Oahu, you really weren’t exposed to the fire clan, you were mostly exposed to Kalakaua’s, you were exposed to the pahu dancers, dances that were kind of slower. So listening to these fire dances, I went, Holy macaroni.


Holy papio. [CHUCKLE]


Unbelievable. I remember Nalani sitting off in the dark, and totally naïve to who she was, I just walked over and said, Okay, what is this, what’s going on here? This is just unbelievable. And you know, when I think back how everyone was kind of afraid of my wife, and her demeanor, and her power, they never approach her. And here I was, totally naïve. Well, what’s your name, what’s this? [CHUCKLE] But that was the start of this love affair and really, the immersion in the Hawaiian culture of this depth in that foundation.


And what did Nalani make of you?


She probably thought, Oh, this crazy Pake guy from Honolulu. [CHUCKLE]


And that was the beginning of a career in hula for you, as well, right?




You still dance?




And you run the halau, right? Or you are very much a part of the halau management.


Yeah, I guess. I carry all the implements, I carry the pahu drum, I carry her ukulele. I help dress them, and I help do costumes. But, I still dance, mostly auana now, kahiko is a little challenge for the body. But yeah, very much in.


The Kanakaole’s are a strongly matriarchal family, aren’t they? So it must be hard for guys, sometimes.


[CHUCKLE] Damn hard.






How does it work?


We know who the boss is, and mostly because of that kuleana, just carrying that tradition. Right now, it’s seven generations. And I realize my role, my function is really to take care of that kuleana, and take care of her, because of that responsibility that she has. And when I came to that point in my life all doors opened. It’s just amazing where we’ve gone, what we are privy to. And really, it is just honoring that responsibility.


And what did your parents make of your transition to very Hawaiian values and lifestyle?


My father didn’t say anything. I guess he probably could think of his father, and how he did things Hawaiian. But my mother was totally baffled. She came up to me and said, Well, why? Why? [CHUCKLE] Why? But I think now, she sees the value. It took her a long time. I remember when I said, Ma, you’re going to have a grandson, and she said, I know, I know your sister is hapai. I said, No, you’re going to have a grandson. And she said, What? And I think that was a change, that I could bring up a Zane. You know, ‘cause there’s no other Zane left. I have three sisters, so they all took their husband’s name, and at least I could provide a Zane. But for her to embrace Nalani, who doesn’t speak much, and who really lives in a very Hawaiian style way, to this day, is often challenging for my mother. But I think she sees the benefits.


Well, tell me about the Hawaiian way in which she and you live.


It took me a long time to learn that. [CHUCKLE] I, who come from the city, going to Hilo, I learned a lot. And I think that to this day, Nalani has taught me about the power of the word. If it is spoken, good or bad, it has consequence. And so, in just that small little rule of thumb, that has changed my life totally. Being cognizant of what we put out there, I think is what’s the greatest gift I gained from learning things from Nalani. I think also, language. It isn’t just the literal, but really, it’s the figurative. The many, many, many layers of the meaning has helped me define design. It has helped me really put out something, I believe, that is applauding things, what the Hawaiians have done.


After attending college in Hilo in the early 1970s, Sig Zane spent a year in Chicago as a flight attendant with American Airlines. Later, he moved back to Honolulu to work with his father in real estate. Sig would travel back and forth to Hilo, always with special gifts to court his future wife, Nalani Kanakaole.


I wanted to make gifts for her that no one else had. And so, I learnt silk screening. And so, I started making these plant forms, because I knew that in hula, all these plants were important. So the liko, the very tips of the ohia plant were symbolic of new growth. And especially in a dancer, that means you are projecting the very best, the very tops of the plants, the maile to bind, the olapa. You know, just like in the forest. So those became the first designs, because I wanted to gift her something that meant something.


Did you know you had design and art talent?




You didn’t have any training.




Just did it?


Well, nature is the best teacher. How better can you do than nature? So I just copied nature. The designs came about because of my mother-in-law always saying, Share, share what you know. Because we need to teach our own, we need to teach our people, so that our children will have culture. I was invited to a party, and they said, You have to wear an aloha shirt. And I didn’t have aloha shirts. I was basically a surfer, I wore all surf clothes. And I remember going to the store, and I told Nalani, Let’s go, I have to get an aloha shirt. And we were kind of surprised, we didn’t see any Hawaiian plants. They were all—


No Hawaiian plants on aloha shirts. Isn’t that amazing?


And they were all called Hawaiian shirts, aloha shorts. And so I remember at that moment telling Nalani, we have to make real Hawaiian plants on aloha shirts, then they can be real Hawaiian shirts. And that started it. We started the line, and basically, that was it. But, along with that, we really wanted to share that story of why the maile is important, and why maile is good for weddings, and why people shouldn’t wear the puhala tree, especially if they’re going for a job or running for office. Yeah. [CHUCKLE]


Okay; you gotta tell us all these things. And I know you explain this in you r shop.


Well, oftentimes, studying nature is the best way to define the meaning. And that’s what the Hawaiians believe. You study how a plant grows. Like for example, the maile, how it entwines the trees; it kinda embraces its host. Same thing as the meaning of maile, is to bind, is to grow together. And for a wedding, what best metaphor for a design? Koa; koa is a real good example. Oftentimes, when people are applying for a job, we say, You should wear koa, just because koa, first of all, means fearlessness, yeah? But it also means warrior. But if you study how it grows in the forest, it becomes the mother of the forest. It is the one that hosts the community. Under a koa tree, the understory is beautiful, because it is a nurturing ground. So in that whole thing about a koa, it’s not just fearlessness or strong, but really, it is to care for that community. So all those things, we try to share with every shirt that leaves us. We want to that story to go, so that that story is retold. The ulu, the breadfruit is very, very important to us. Not only that it feeds us and that it provides shade in our Keaukaha yard, and one of the most beautiful motifs graphically, but our pahu drums are made out of ulu, our poi boards are made out of ulu, the bowls that we use in ritual are made out of ulu. Certainly, it has its meaning of this plant of provision, but ulu also means to inspire, to grow, not only in physical sense, but mostly in mental sense. So, I wore this today just because I feel that oftentimes, that kuleana, that responsibility to share what we know is very important, especially in today’s world, when you put on your computer, you go searching on that internet. You’re fed so many different things, but it’s really important for our people to know, and have a good foundation. And so, I wear ulu, hoping that something we say today is inspiring to someone to search deeper into their own traditions.


Oh, that’s a nice thought. You do other things in the shop. Tell us how your shop works.


It’s fun. You know, after twenty-five years, it’s become my playground. One of the neat things that I love to do are the displays, especially the window displays. And I really consider myself lucky that I get to do anything in that window. The store is becoming a fun place where we also play with display. Just trying to tweak things, so that whoever comes in gets an experience visually, not only print wise, but how it’s displayed. I like to do things that get people to think, Wow, I should have thought of that. I like that. Yeah, I use the store as a staging, as a place where we can each express ourselves.


In his youth, Sig Zane aspired to a career in architecture. He and Nalani have shared an interest in the subject for many years. Sig sees the next step in his creative process as applying his designs to works of architecture.


My wife and I talk about that, that we have thirty years of architecture behind us. Because as soon as I met her, we started cruising. There’s not much to do in Hilo, yeah? So we would cruise around and go all through the neighborhoods, and we’d pick our favorite houses, and we’d discuss it. What characteristics we liked, what kind of roofline, what kind of nuances that set that house apart. I think that the design, or the sense of design that we can bring to architecture will define sense of place. And especially here, Honolulu especially is getting so modern, and trying to be like other people. But we have a sense of design that is so totally uniquely Hawaiian, that can convey a sophistication that I think needs to be done. And actually, there’s been several discussions about that, that we can apply, especially like the ohekapala, the bamboo stamps, how we decorate kapa. Those have a meaning that is so deep that I think that intention of putting that kind of meaning into architecture allows Hawaii to stand right up there with everything else. For example, a lot of the Polynesian cultures still create bark cloth. They still make kapa, and they still decorate it in many different fashions. Some with a little hala brush, some with stencils. The Hawaiians had a chance to take it to another level with bamboo stamps, and still, no one else uses these bamboo stamps. It allowed them to refine that art of decoration. Thinking about those stamps that that artist created, it isn’t just a simple geometric, but it is a symbol. Like for example, the simplest one, the triangle can often mean a favored puu or hill. Like if the artist lived in Puowaina, Punchbowl, that may be part of that decoration for that kapa. Well, we use it often in hula, back in Hilo. We ask everyone to decorate their own costumes. We do not go out and solicit other designs, because we want that to be a story that belongs to that dancer. So oftentimes, we take chants, and the line of a chant talks about, say, maybe the canoe that mounts a certain wave that is in seek of the new home. So that symbol now becomes that line of that chant. So that meaning is transferred to that audience who is visualizing this now costume. So I think the same thing in taking that form, that artform into architecture, we now are developing our storyline in a grander sense. Something that really has meaning.


But where does the Chinese come in? In business?


Uh … no. [CHUCKLE] I can make pretty good fried rice.




I can cook. Maybe that was the Pake. You know how the Pake always cooked for the Hawaiians. I think in my artform, because I still hand-cut everything, it comes easy. And so, I think that maybe my ancestors were paper cut artists. I also am a dragon, born in the year of the dragon, but also because my birth in November, I’m that scorpion dragon. So I think that that part of the Chinese is very strong.


And what does that mean about you, scorpion dragon?


Lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky.


Lucky Sig Zane points to his son, Kuhao, as the keeper of the flame in the next generation of Sig Zane Designs. Already an established graphic designer, Kuhao has the passion to uphold his cultural traditions, and the technical savvy to meet the challenges of the 21st century. The entire family collaborated in June of 2011 on an exhibit named for the ID code for Hilo International Airport, reflecting this ohana’s near constant time on the road. The show, titled ITO Travelwrights, was a ten-day art and design event in Waikiki. It included a pop-up boutique and an art exhibition of creations by each family member. Mahalo piha, Sig Zane, for sharing your long story short, and thank you, for watching and supporting PBS Hawai‘i. I’m Leslie Wilcox. A hui hou kakou.


For audio and written transcripts of this program, and all episodes of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, visit pbshawaii.org.


The community of Hilo has been one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. I have become who I am because of the land, of the people. Really, the humility, the elements have really taught me a lot.




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Edwin Gayagas*

Edwin Gayagas Audio

Edwin Gayagas Transcript



Heather Haunani Giugni

Heather Haunani Giugni*

Heather Haunani Giugni Audio

Heather Haunani Giugni Transcript




Ed Ginoza*

Ed Ginoza Audio

Ed Ginoza Transcript




Sam Gon*

*Audio not available

Sam Gon Transcript




Shep Gordon*

Shep Gordon Audio

Shep Gordon Transcript




Ralph Goto*

*Audio not available

Ralph Goto Transcript



Alice Greenwood

Alice Greenwood*

Alice Greenwood Audio

Alice Greenwood Transcript



Hoala Greevy

Hoala Greevy*

Hoala Greevy Audio

Hoala Greevy Transcript





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Richard Ha

Richard Ha

Richard Ha Audio

Richard Ha Transcript



Wong Hadar

Jasper Wong and Kamea Hadar*

*Audio not available

Jasper Wong and Kamea Hadar Transcript




Rachel and Lorraine Haili*

*Audio not available

Rachel and Lorraine Haili Transcript




Frank Haines

Frank Haines Audio

Frank Haines Transcript




Al Harrington

Al Harrington*

*Audio not available

Al Harrington Transcript Pt. 1: A Cup Half Full

Al Harrington Transcript Pt. 2: A Life of Gratitude




Leslie Wilcox

Hawaii as Home*

*Audio not available

Hawaii as Home Transcript




Gerri Hayes

Gerri Hayes*

Gerri Hayes Audio

Gerri Hayes Transcript




Holly Henderson

Holly Henderson

Holly Henderson Audio

Holly Henderson Transcript



Will Henderson

Will Henderson*

*Audio not available

Will Henderson Transcript Pt. 1: Humble Beginnings

Will Henderson Transcript Pt. 2: Life Lessons




Jeannette Paulson Hereniko*

Jeannette Paulson Hereniko

Jeannette Paulson Hereniko Transcript



Sharon Hicks

Sharon L. Hicks*

Sharon L. Hicks Audio

Sharon L. Hicks Transcript



Jessie Higa*

*Audio not available

Jessie Higa Transcript



Marion Higa

Marion Higa*

Marion Higa Audio

Marion Higa Transcript



Ryan Higa

Ryan Higa*

Ryan Higa Audio

Ryan Higa Transcript



Hokulani Holt

Hōkūlani Holt

Hōkūlani Holt Audio

Hōkūlani Holt Transcript



Pegge Hopper

Pegge Hopper

Pegge Hopper Audio

Pegge Hopper Transcript



Mamo Howell

Mamo Howell

Mamo Howell Audio

Mamo Howell Transcript



Claire Hughes

Claire Hughes

Claire Hughes Audio

Claire Hughes Transcript



Mahina Eleneki Hugo

Mahina Eleneki Hugo

Mahina Eleneki Hugo Audio

Mahina Eleneki Hugo Transcript





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Senator Daniel Inouye

Senator Daniel K. Inouye*

Senator Daniel K. Inouye Audio

Senator Daniel K. Inouye Transcript



Robert Iopa

Robert Iopa*

Robert Iopa Audio

Robert Iopa Transcript



Mike Irish

Mike Irish*

Mike Irish Audio

Mike Irish Transcript





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Denby Fawcett and Bob Jones

Bob Jones and Denby Fawcett*

*Audio not available

Bob Jones and Denby Fawcett Transcript





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Kū Kahakalau

Kū Kahakalau Audio

Kū Kahakalau Transcript



Kawika Kahiapo

Kawika Kahiapo

Kawika Kahiapo Audio

Kawika Kahiapo Transcript



Clarence Boogie

Clarence “Boogie” Kahilihiwa

Clarence “Boogie” Kahilihiwa Audio

Clarence “Boogie” Kahilihiwa Transcript




Corbett Kalama

Corbett Kalama Audio

Clarence “Corbett Kalama Transcript




Mick Kalber

Mick Kalber Audio

Mick Kalber Transcript




Danny Kaleikini

Danny Kaleikini Audio Pt. 1: The Early Years

Danny Kaleikini Audio Pt. 2: Ambassador of Aloha

Danny Kaleikini Transcript Pt. 1: The Early Years

Danny Kaleikini Transcript Pt. 2: Ambassador of Aloha



Amy Kalili

Amy Kalili

Amy Kalili Audio

Amy Kalili Transcript




Eddie and Myrna Kamae

Eddie and Myrna Kamae Audio

Eddie and Myrna Kamae Transcript




Sam Kamaka Jr. and Fred Kamaka Sr.

Sam Kamaka Jr. and Fred Kamaka Sr. Audio

Sam Kamaka Jr. and Fred Kamaka Sr. Transcript



Shim Kanazawa

Shim Kanazawa*

*Audio not available

Shim Kanazawa Transcript




James Kauahikaua*


James Kauahikaua* Transcript



Sabra Kauka

Sabra Kauka*

Sabra Kauka Audio

Sabra Kauka* Transcript




Thomas Kaulukukui Jr.

Thomas Kaulukukui Jr. Audio Pt. 1: Legacy of Public Service

Thomas Kaulukukui Jr. Audio Pt. 2: On Leadership

Thomas Kaulukukui Jr. Transcript Pt. 1: Legacy of Public Service

Thomas Kaulukukui Jr. Transcript Pt. 2: On Leadership




Barbara Kawakami

Barbara Kawakami Audio

Barbara Kawakami Transcript




Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki Audio

Guy Kawasaki Transcript




Sarah Keahi

Sarah Keahi Audio

Sarah Keahi Transcript





Kealoha Audio

Kealoha Transcript




Brian Keaulana

*Audio not available

Brian Keaulana Transcript




Nora Okja Keller

Nora Okja Keller Audio

Nora Okja Keller Transcript




Quinn Kelsey

Quinn Kelsey Audio

Quinn Kelsey Transcript




Harry Kim

Harry Kim Audio

Harry Kim Transcript



Larry Lindsey Kimura

Larry Lindsey Kimura*

Larry Lindsey Kimura Audio

Larry Lindsey Kimura Transcript




Samuel P. King

Samuel P. King Audio

Samuel P. King Transcript




Terence Knapp

Terence Knapp Audio

Terence Knapp Transcript



Victoria Kneubuhl

Victoria Kneubuhl

Victoria Kneubuhl Audio

Victoria Kneubuhl Transcript




Nanci Kreidman

Nanci Kreidman Audio

Nanci Kreidman Transcript



Ku'uipo Kamakahi

Ku’uipo Kumukahi*

*Audio not available

Ku’uipo Kumukahi Transcript




Derek Kurisu

*Audio not available

Derek Kurisu Transcript





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Kitty Lagareta

Kitty Lagareta*

Kitty Lagareta Audio

Kitty Lagareta Transcript



Olin Lagon

Olin Lagon*

*Audio not available

Olin Lagon Transcript




Jimmy Lee

Jimmy Lee Audio

Jimmy Lee Transcript




Juliet Lee

Juliet Lee Audio

Juliet Lee Transcript



Lessons on Leadership

Lessons on Leadership Audio

Lessons on Leadership Transcript



Sam Low

Sam Low: A Hawaiian Yankee*

Sam Low: Raising Islands*

Sam Low Audio Pt. 1: A Hawaiian Yankee

Sam Low Audio Pt. 2: Raising Islands

Sam Low Transcript Pt. 1: A Hawaiian Yankee

Sam Low Transcript Pt. 2: Raising Islands


Patti Lyons

Patti Lyons

Patti Lyons Audio

Patti Lyons Transcript





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Makia Malo

Makia Malo Audio

Makia Malo Transcript



Kepa Maly*

*Audio not available

Kepa Maly Transcript Pt. 1: Lanai and the Spirit of Place

Kepa Maly Transcript Pt. 2: A Sense of Connection



Daniel Martinez

Daniel Martinez*

Daniel Martinez Audio

Daniel Martinez Transcript



Victor Marx*

Victor Marx Audio

Victor Marx Transcript



Coralie Matayoshi

Coralie Matayoshi*

Coralie Matayoshi Audio

Coralie Matayoshi Transcript



Colbert Matsumoto*

Colbert Matsumoto Audio

Colbert Matsumoto Transcript




Kevin Matsunaga*

Kevin Matsunaga Audio

Kevin Matsunaga Transcript



Linda Coble and Kirk Mathews

Kirk Matthews & Linda Coble*

*Audio not available

Kirk Matthews & Linda Coble Transcript



The Maunakea-Forths

The Maunakea-Forths Audio

The Maunakea-Forths Transcript




Chris McKinney

Chris McKinney Audio

Chris McKinney Transcript




Glenn Medeiros*

Glenn Medeiros Audio

Glenn Medeiros Transcript



Peter Merriman

Peter Merriman*

Peter Merriman Audio

Peter Merriman Transcript




W.S. Merwin

W.S. Merwin Audio

W.S. Merwin Transcript



Maile Meyer

Maile Meyer

Maile Meyer Audio

Maile Meyer Transcript



Marie Milks

Marie Milks Audio

Marie Milks Transcript



Tom Moffatt

Tom Moffatt*

Tom Moffatt Audio Pt. 1: The Making of a Showman

Tom Moffatt Audio Pt. 2: A Life of Entertainment

Tom Moffatt Transcript Pt. 1: The Making of a Showman

Tom Moffatt Transcript Pt. 2: A Life of Entertainment


Susan Moore

Susanna Moore*

*Audio not available

Susanna Moore Transcript





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Nola Nahulu

Nola Nahulu Audio

Nola Nahulu Transcript




Anne Namba

Anne Namba Audio

Anne Namba Transcript




Nanette Napoleon*

Nanette Napoleon Audio

Nanette Napoleon Transcript




Warren Nishimoto*

*Audio not available

Warren Nishimoto Transcript



Puakea Nogelmeier

Puakea Nogelmeier Audio Pt. 1: Advocating and Promoting Hawaiian Language

Puakea Nogelmeier Audio Pt. 2: A Puakea Nogelmeier on the Hawaiian Language

Puakea Nogelmeier Transcript Pt. 1: Advocating and Promoting Hawaiian Language

Puakea Nogelmeier Transcript Pt. 2: Puakea Nogelmeier on the Hawaiian Language


Keone Nunes

Keone Nunes

Keone Nunes Audio

Keone Nunes Transcript





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Frank Padgett

Frank Padgett

Frank Padgett Audio

Frank Padgett Transcript



Norbert Palea

Norbert Palea Audio

Norbert Palea Transcript




Richard Parsons

Richard Parsons Audio

Richard Parsons Transcript




Bill Paty

Bill Paty Audio

Bill Paty Transcript




Catherine Payne

Catherine Payne Audio

Catherine Payne Transcript



Ginny Pressler

Dr. Ginny Pressler*

*Audio not available

Dr. Ginny Pressler Transcript



Sean Priester

Sean Priester

Sean Priester Audio

Sean Priester Transcript





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Karen Radius

Karen Radius Audio

Karen Radius Transcript



John Rampage

John Rampage

John Rampage Audio

John Rampage Transcript




Wayne Rapozo

*Audio not available

Wayne Rapozo Transcript




Neva Rego

Neva Rego Audio

Neva Rego Transcript



Keali’i Reichel

Keali’i Reichel Audio

Keali’i Reichel Transcript



Benny Rietveld

Benny Rietveld Audio

Benny Rietveld Transcript




Joe Rice*

Joe Rice Audio

Joe Rice Transcript




Monty Richards

Monty Richards Audio

Monty Richards Transcript




Sarah Richards

Sarah Richards Audio

Sarah Richards Transcript




William S. Richardson

William S. Richardson Audio

William S. Richardson Transcript



Henk Rogers

Henk Rogers

Henk Rogers Audio

Henk Rogers Transcript




Crystal Rose

Crystal Rose

Crystal Rose Audio

Crystal Rose Transcript



Skylark Rossetti

Skylark Rossetti Audio

Skylark Rossetti Transcript





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Marlene Sai

Marlene Sai Audio

Marlene Sai Transcript




Pat Saiki

Pat Saiki Audio

Pat Saiki Transcript



Roy Sakuma

Roy Sakuma

Roy Sakuma Audio

Roy Sakuma Transcript




Ty Sanga

Ty Sanga Audio

Ty Sanga Transcript




James Scott

James Scott Audio Pt. 1

James Scott Audio Pt. 2

James Scott Transcript Pt. 1

James Scott Transcript Pt. 2


Susan Scott

Susan Scott

Susan Scott Audio

Susan Scott Transcript



Bob Sevey

Bob Sevey

Bob Sevey Audio Pt. 1

Bob Sevey Audio Pt. 2

Bob Sevey Transcript Pt. 1

Bob Sevey Transcript Pt. 2


Hedda Sharapan

Hedda Sharapan*

*Audio not available

Hedda Sharapan Transcript



Pono Shim

Pono Shim*

Pono Shim Audio Pt. 1: Through a Child’s Eyes

Pono Shim Audio Pt. 2: ALOHA Moments

Pono Shim Transcript Pt. 1: Through a Child’s Eyes

Pono Shim Transcript Pt. 2: ALOHA Moments


Jake Shimabukuro

Jake Shimabukuro*

*Audio not available

Jake Shimabukuro Transcript



Ari Southiphong

Ari Southiphong (Andy South)*

*Audio not available

Ari Southiphong (Andy South) Transcript Pt. 1

Ari Southiphong (Andy South) Transcript Pt. 2




Sr. Joan of Arc Souza

Sr. Joan of Arc Souza Audio

Sr. Joan of Arc Souza Transcript




Mihana Souza

Mihana Souza Audio

Mihana Souza Transcript



Stacy Sproat-Beck

Stacy Sproat-Beck Audio

Stacy Sproat-Beck Transcript



Candy Suiso

Candy Suiso

Candy Suiso Audio

Candy Suiso Transcript



Aung San Suu Kyi*

*Audio not available

Aung San Suu Kyi Transcript





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Kelvin Taketa

Kelvin Taketa Audio

Kelvin Taketa Transcript



Ramsay Taum

Ramsay Taum

Ramsay Taum Audio

Ramsay Taum Transcript



Cha Thompson

Cha Thompson Audio

Cha Thompson Transcript




Nainoa Thompson

Nainoa Thompson*

Nainoa Thompson Audio

Nainoa Thompson Transcript



Tin Myaing Thein*

*Audio not available

Tin Myaing Thein Transcript




Michael Titterton*

Michael Titterton Audio

Michael Titterton Transcript




Monica Toguchi

Monica Toguchi Audio

Monica Toguchi Transcript




Rose Tseng

Rose Tseng Audio

Rose Tseng Transcript




Lawrence Tseu

Lawrence Tseu Audio

Lawrence Tseu Transcript




Harry Tsuchidana*

Harry Tsuchidana Audio

Harry Tsuchidana Transcript



Leslie and Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu*

*Audio not available

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Transcript





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Kent Untermann

Kent Untermann Audio

Kent Untermann Transcript





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Emma Veary

Emma Veary Audio Pt. 1: Hawaii’s Elegant Musical Treasure

Emma Veary Audio Pt. 2

Emma Veary Transcript: Hawaii’s Elegant Musical Treasure




Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic Audio

Nick Vujicic Transcript





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Meli Watanuki

Meli Watanuki Audio

Meli Watanuki Transcript



LONG STORY SHORT - Kimi Werner: Shaped by the Sea

Kimi Werner: Shaped by the Sea

Kimi Werner: Shaped by the Sea Audio

Kimi Werner: Shaped by the Sea Transcript



Kimi Werner: Life in the Deep

Kimi Werner: Life in the Deep Audio

Kimi Werner: Life in the Deep Transcript




Betty White

Betty White Audio

Betty White Transcript



Chipper and Hau’oli Wichman

Chipper and Hau’oli Wichman Audio

Chipper and Hau’oli Wichman Transcript



Leona Rocha Wilson

Leona Rocha Wilson Audio

Leona Rocha Wilson Transcript



Alvin Wong

Alvin Wong

Alvin Wong Audio

Alvin Wong Transcript



Wong Hadar

Jasper Wong and Kamea Hadar*

*Audio not available

Jasper Wong and Kamea Hadar Transcript





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Susan Yamada

Susan Yamada

Susan Yamada Audio

Susan Yamada Transcript



Takeshi “Tak” Yoshihara*

Takeshi “Tak” Yoshihara Audio Pt. 1: A Quiet Struggle

Takeshi “Tak” Yoshihara Audio Pt. 2: An Historic Journey

Takeshi “Tak” Yoshihara Transcript Pt. 1: A Quiet Struggle

Takeshi “Tak” Yoshihara Transcript Pt. 2: An Historic Journey





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Zig Zane

Sig Zane

Sig Zane Audio

Sig Zane Transcript






Nathan Aweau, Award-Winning Vocalist


Nathan Aweau, award-winning vocalist and former member of music group Hapa, performs in this special recorded at the PBS Hawaii studio. In between songs, Nathan reflects on his work from scenic Kahana Bay on Windward Oahu.


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