Ho’ike begins the year
The Aloha Hula Studio in Granada Hills kicked off 2011 with their 3rd Annual Polynesian dance recital at Birmingham High School’s Performing Arts auditorium in Van Nuys. What a spectacular show it was! Las Vegas revues aside, this one was an experience that compares to Waikiki night club shows for tourists and malihinis flown in to the islands. The drums, bright colors of the skirts, headbands, and feathered gourds (ipus) mixed with the lyrics from Hawaii, Tahiti and Tonga painted a canvas of what Ho’ike represents!
So long, to a good guy
The big business aspect of college football was made apparent at the cost of Norm Chow and UCLA’s football team. Wins and losses are determining factors on whether a coach remains or is let go. So, for Punahou High School alum, Norm Chow, his tenure was ended prior to spring practice by head coach Rick Neuheisel. But, as the losses continued to mount for this year’s team, even the head coach became a non-factor at season’s end. We wish them both the best (Norm is now the head coach at University of Hawaii, and Rick Neuheisel was hired as a college football commentator on cable television). It all works out at the end.
Ho’olaule’a kicked off the summer
Sadly, there was no Hawaiian Festival in Northridge in 2011. But, Long Beach, Cerritos, Alondra Park, and Irvine made their celebrations known and welcomed once more. Summertime is festival time for polynesian folks here in Los Angeles. There are multiple venues now, with an opportunity to at least get in one or two of them during May through October. Ah, the smell of teriyaki barbeque on the grill, some kalua pork and lau lau, and don’t forget the macaroni salad on the side of our rice. We’re right at home.
It’s all in the mele
One of the Southland’s busiest Hawaiian musical groups, Mehana, played at various Hawaiian music venues from Huntington Beach, to Newport Beach and into La Mirada. No Hawaiian festival, film review, or ukulele festival was complete without Mehana performing for a few numbers. Auntie Geri, Auntie Carol, Rick and Bucci always give their best from “the heart” shows to appreciative locals here in Los Angeles.
One last Aloha, to Mr. Bill Tapia
And, to end our 2011 year, we fondly wish Mr. Bill Tapia many more songs to sing on his journey. Bill Tapia, Mr. Jazz Ukulele, master of the guitar and ukulele, passed on in his sleep before he reached the age of 104 years. What great stories he told, great memory for his age, and of course, exquisite skills on the ukulele as he would accompany himself as he sang all of them ol’ songs that our parents and grandparents had grown up with. We’ll miss you, Bill. Keep on strumming.
Hauoli Makahiki Hou.