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 October giveaway - stories of aloha
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Mika ele
Ha`aha`a

USA
1485 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2007 :  11:08:24 AM  Show Profile
I am almost speechless and not quite sure what to say. . . Those that know me may find that hard to imagine. . .

Some of you may know that my family and I were "affected" by the fires in San Diego County. Mine; however is a happy story as my home is only covered in ash and soot but is still standing and intact.

About 0200 on Monday morning the Santa Ana winds were really blowing against our house -- steady 25-40 knots with gusts up to 60+. Humidity had dropped below 10%. The plumerias in my back yard were knocked over and the palm trees and my fencing were making a real racket -- even the house creaked in the oscillating winds gusts. When were turned on the TV we learned that downed power lines had started a fire a few miles upwind of our house. Then we learned that the development just upwind was given a mandatory evacuation order and they were all packing up. I got in the car to see what the danger to us was, as there was little to go by in the news. I saw the fire in question, the "Discovery Hills" fire was small and buried in a deep ravine two hillsides north and east of my home (although upwind) and it looked like it was going to stay small, so I went back home, told my wife and went back to sleep.

However, at about 0500 we got the reverse 911 call from the local police telling us to evacuate, and this would be our only phone call. This was for a much bigger fire that was further south and rapidly heading our way in a relentless race to the sea. The Witch Creek Fire was heading toward us. We had packed and were determined to stay until we had to leave. The winds had turned the smoke cloud horizontal and kept it concentrated and close to the ground -- a huge orange and brown mass. I finally was able to witness the sunrise of a dark brown sun that was easy but eerie to look at. At about 0930 the winds shifted (or the fire moved more north) and the full fury of the smoke cloud enveloped us and our home. Since my wife and daughters all have asthma we needed to "punt" and get out. Without a concrete plan of where to go I called my folks in Rhode Island to let them know we were on the march.

Since our immediate families all live elsewhere, my wife and I were debating about where to go when her mobile phone rang, it was our old friends from high school. They had heard on the news that we were told to evacuate, said their house was in clear air, and they had prepared rooms for us to stay there -- please come, they said.

So off we went, a caravan of cars, dogs, frogs, food, clothes, and precious possessions (of course my Taylor guitars and KoAloha ukuleles were in my trunk). The drive south through the smoke was slow, sobering, and frightening. We didn't know what our house might look like when we returned.

When we got to their house we were welcomed with open arms and smiling faces. The sky was clear and the fires were well north and south. What a relief. Shortly after, my friend's sister was evacuated from her home in Rancho Bernardo and we all welcomed her in. Then, in the middle of the night, we got a call from the nursing home that his Mom was being evacuated from the facility and would be sent to a local High School. Instead, he and his wife went off, cruised very near the fires raging down Mount Miguel, grabbed his Mom and returned home only to remember that he had to go back and retrieve her medications.

We were all welcomed in and made to feel at home. If not for the uncertainty surrounding us all it could have been a party. The love and true "aloha spirit" to take us in with shelter and concern was overwhelming. There are heroes in every day life. And the small acts of kindness truly bring us together.

Those of you that don't live here would be very happy to be a part of this community. The public support and "aloha spirit" has been utterly awesome. Before state and federal agencies could get involved, private citizens and businesses had donated food, water, blankets, and cots to the evacuation centers. There were even people who had donned their clown outfits to entertain the nervous kids temporarily housed in the Jack Murphy Stadium evacuation site. Although not part of Hawaii, this is an Aloha State.

E nana, e ho'olohe. E pa'a ka waha, e hana ka lima.
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Hula Rider
Lokahi

USA
215 Posts

Posted - 10/25/2007 :  12:39:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit Hula Rider's Homepage
Beautiful - Mahalo for sharing that wonderful story of Aloha in action.

Malama pono,
Leilehua
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Kapila Kane
`Olu`olu

USA
945 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2007 :  08:53:01 AM  Show Profile
Well, all the stories are so good,
I humbly submit my Aloha story to be in on the game, and to share...
If I took more time, I'm sure more and mo' betta aloha stories might emerge from the foggy, foggy, mist.. but for now...

Karen and I were going to the Big Island, and I had contacted John Keawe, to see if he might give a lesson when we hit Hawi.
First I called a month ahead from Colorado, and John said, "call me when you're closer"...
So 3 wks later...same drill... e-mail or phone, I don't recall...
then we stopped in California on the way, and he said--same thing...

Finally we got to BI, and I'm in the music store near airport to rent guitar, and I ask if the store guy if the plywood rental would be good enough for some slack key...
and the store person say,
" I don't know, why don't you ask that guy next to you?
It was John, and he said "good enough for now, call when you get into Hawi"...
Two days later we're sitting in the modest little lobby, and he coached and showed me stuff for almost 2 hrs...The hotel person kinda looked surprised...and excited..like an Elvis sighting....even in his home town...a person of honor....teaching this haole his abc's...
He didn't charge enough, so I later I finally insisted that a few more bucks were in order...still a million dollar memory for cheap...
Everything else on Hawaii tends to cost what I call "rain man" standard fee...about 100 dollars...everything...one night in modest hotel, a meal, snorkel stuff, toothbrush, hairbrush (saved that expense), gas...etc...BUT ALOHA AND SLACK KEY memories are a steal...and as they say, priceless.
g
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Admin
Pupule

USA
4525 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2007 :  09:27:10 AM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Send Admin an AOL message  Send Admin an ICQ Message  Send Admin a Yahoo! Message
quote:
Originally posted by Kapila Kane

Well, all the stories are so good...
Just a reminder that this is not a contest to see who tells the best story. Simply share your story, and you'll throw your hat in the ring to win a CD. CD winners will be selected at random. All stories are great!

Andy
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gfoster
Aloha

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2007 :  06:26:47 AM  Show Profile  Send gfoster an AOL message
Hi all, been reading for a while, but thought I'd share my "aloha story". My wife is hapa (hope I spelled that right) and her mother's family lives on Oahu. I finally got to go over and spend a week or so meeting all of them and although it wasn't my first time to the islands (and I was already enamored with them) it was the first time I truly felt a part of them.

I think the part that I enjoyed most was helping my father in law set up a little lawn tent outside (like a gazebo) to keep all the bugs off everyone, and then every night after that the whole family would come over and sit outside talking story and sharing food. The aunties were feeding us non stop and the uncles were all playing their ukuleles and talking story.

Well, being a good Irish haole and a pretty good story teller in my own right I have to say I like to think I held my own in the talking story department and really enjoyed myself. I don't think anyone has a leg up on the Irish in the talking department :). I'm not a musician though, but I enjoyed singing along while everyone else played.

I also enjoyed getting up early in the morning with my father in law and joining his tai chi class on the beach, then going for a quick swim before breakfast. I'm trying to convince my wife that we need to move there, but she's still reluctant... /sigh

I did pick up a decent ukulele and have been practicing so I can join in with the uncles next trip. I'm starting from square one with no experience, though... but hey, I am 41 and if I'm ever going to learn I better start now! I've also been trying to teach myself slack key on my Taylor accoustic 6-string, and picked up some songbooks by Keola Beamer and Ozzie Kotani. I'm making pretty decent progress for an Irish haole, I think :). I am not in any danger of becoming a professional guitar player, but I have to say that late at night, sometimes, I still hear the stories and the songs in my head and can smell the phantom smells of ginger plant and tuberoses and I have to get up and play, very quietly, for an hour or two to quell the spirits so I can sleep. They seem to be happy with my progress thus far and my wife isn't cringing anymore when I play manuela boy so I must be making progress!

-- Gary F.
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Lawrence
Ha`aha`a

USA
1576 Posts

Posted - 10/29/2007 :  06:36:56 AM  Show Profile

Top o' tha day to yuh Gary...

Welcome to the patch!




Mahope Kakou...
...El Lorenzo de Onda Sonora
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Pua Kai
Ha`aha`a

USA
1007 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2007 :  2:23:58 PM  Show Profile
Long time ago on Maui - - past resorts, past Honolua Bay.... rough road, miles of pineapple fields - - - and my son was Oh so carsick so we stopped on a bluff. Another car was there.... lady came over asked what was wrong. She said best way to fix was to suck on an orange.... What, I didn't have an orange? So she opened up her trunk and produced several oranges from a whole case of them! And sure enough, sucking on the orange, my son was able to get back in the car without mishap...
I think it's lots of little things that make up aloha.
mahalo,
n
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catheglass
Lokahi

USA
312 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2007 :  8:37:12 PM  Show Profile
Aloha kakou:

Missed the deadline, but oh my, so many stories of aloha whiwch could be shared.......

On one of the first trips i took to the Big Island, I drove down to Ka Lae, just another older haole hlady in a white rental car. It was very hot, I had no water (duh, never again did I make that mistake) and hadn't eaten yet that day.
The beauty of the area and the vastness of the ocean, the two currents drawn togther and speeding southward to Antartica were overwhelming. It felt otherworldly and I was definately disoriented.
Presently, and old Portugese fisherman came over to the rock where I was sitting and started to talk story. I was so out of it I could hardly follow his words. He asked me if I had any water, and when I said no, shared his bottle. He also shared his lunch of pilot bread and sardines, and told me storied about the fishing in the area and how the boats were winched up and down the side of the cliffs, and who first came to the area and his family history.
This caring uncle pretty much saved me from pilikia with dehydration and heat.
Aloha nui, uncle!

cathe
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chunky monkey
`Olu`olu

USA
902 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  10:36:01 AM  Show Profile
I know the deadline is past, but I was reminded of an incident. Bear with me because this incident of Aloha happened in the Cook Islands. I was running around the island of Aitutaki one morning. It's about 12 miles and it was hot. I had estimated a much shorter route so I wasn't carrying any water. I got lost and stopped at a small home (re: hut) to grovel for water. Keep in mind that on Aitutaki, there is no municipal water; like the Big Island, they rely solely on simple rainwater catchment systems (off the roof into a 55 gallon drum). The point of the story is that the woman had NO water. She opened a tiny top-loading freezer and gave me her entire supply of liquid - a 20 oz plastic coke bottle filled half way with frozen tea. I declined and thanked her and eventually made it back, feeling somewhat humbled in my $100 running shoes.
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Admin
Pupule

USA
4525 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  11:16:23 AM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Send Admin an AOL message  Send Admin an ICQ Message  Send Admin a Yahoo! Message
So nice that the aloha stories continue after 10/31. By unsupervised but definitely random drawing, the winners are:

Do you have these CDs already? Let me know, and I'll send something else. Please email me your mailing addresses.

Mahalo everyone for posting and sharing your stories of aloha!

Where is cmdrpiffle? I'm looking for him to send him his CD from the September giveaway.

Andy
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Mika ele
Ha`aha`a

USA
1485 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  12:32:38 PM  Show Profile
Andy,
Don Kauli'a is perfect! I just purchased Herb's new CD at his "smokin'" workshop on Monday!
::=={o }

E nana, e ho'olohe. E pa'a ka waha, e hana ka lima.
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rendesvous1840
Ha`aha`a

USA
1055 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  12:49:03 PM  Show Profile
Congratulations Julie & Mika ele, and to all of us enjoying the stories. I move to let this thread continue.
Paul

"A master banjo player isn't the person who can pick the most notes.It's the person who can touch the most hearts." Patrick Costello
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markwitz
`Olu`olu

USA
836 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  12:57:17 PM  Show Profile
I second the motion. The world needs all the Aloha it can get.

"The music of the Hawaiians, the most fascinating in the world, is still in my ears and
haunts me sleeping and waking."
Mark Twain
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da_joka
Lokahi

361 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2007 :  5:56:59 PM  Show Profile
ditto! Andy, great topic! Congrats to Mika`ele and Julie!

Mika`ele, I like da ::=={o } :-)

If can, can. If no can, no can.
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