Entries Tagged as 'In Memoriam'

A Paniolo’s Life is Timeless

Time stood still for me yesterday. I got the phone call that said, “Bad news. I’m sorry. Daddy passed away on Monday.”

Joe and Queenie

“Screech!” There’s the sound of that phonograph needle across the record of time. The memories came trickling in until I found these old pictures in an old photo album — then the memories came flooding back! So did the tears.

A huge father figure in my life, Joaquin (Joe) Joseph, Jr. may be gone, but he’s far from forgotten!

Remember the Polaroid SX-70? You know, the ones where you would take the picture, it would slide out of the camera and we had to wait for it to develop? We thought they were the best cameras back then! I used a lot of that crazy film. The pictures lasted and, while they’re certainly not the best pictures, they’re all I have.

Unloading the grass cutter from the truck

The Polaroid was not the only thing that was an advancement in technology. I remember this grass cutter that Joe and one of his sons are seen here unloading from the truck. It was noisy and clunky but it sure beat the sickle for cutting all the grass needed for the horses.

Although the pictures aren’t the quality we see in today’s digital cameras, the sight of the old stables in the background with its tin roof and the Waianae mountain range behind that, was enough to make my tears fall even faster.

I would not have had those memories if it were not for this man who worked so hard to keep food on his family’s table and who struggled all those years with the financial difficulties of survival and raising thirteen children and one stowaway… me. His wife, Diane, endured it all right by his side. This has got to be a hard time for her!

Life there was hard work but full of fun and a great family community. I miss the sound of the rain falling on the tin roof, the roosters in the morning and the smell of the stables with freshly strewn sawdust. We were brats but we had fun! Joe and Diane had their hands full with their own children and I was around a lot more than they probably would have liked.

Joe shoeing a horseIf it wasn’t some drama with the kids, it was a crisis or must-do event with the animals. Both required a lot of care and a lot of reprimanding. So much of what I remember of my years growing up I have to credit to Mr. Joseph and his firm hand.

Time moved on and I had to deal with college, growing up and finding a job and all that junk. Over time, the family members who still remained moved with Joe and Diane to the Big Island.

Over those years in Waianae Valley on Oahu, there were many joys but a lot of sorrow too. We lost many much-loved animals over the years and the family eventually lost two of those thirteen children to accidents or teenage stupidity. Through it all, Joe persevered. He was a true patriarch and will be a very hard act to follow.

In 2002, thank you Google, Joe was among the seventeen cowboys inducted into the Paniolo Hall of Fame. I missed it. I didn’t know and I had been separated from the family for too many years. Malia Zimmerman shared the story through her article, Hawaiian Cowboys Recognized for Making Paniolo Culture Legendary over at the Hawaii Reporter.

* Joaquin Joseph, Jr. of McCandless Ranch & Tongg Ranch, Oahu

As the first-born son and namesake of a McCandless Ranch cowboy, Joaquin had ranching in his genes. “I was born a cowboy type,” he says. Known among his peers for his roping ability, Joaquin says His favorite part about being a cowboy was riding out on the range, catching cattle and bringing them in for branding. But he also had to be a jack-of-all trades in his job. Back then, a cowboy had to do just about everything -– fix fences, shoe horses, and work with cattle. But Joaquin is proudest of his skills as a horse trainer.

“I’m going to be 72 this month and I still train,” he says. “When I ride, I like to feel the animal under me.”

He probably inherited his love of horses from his father, Joaquin Joseph, Sr. He remembers that when his father was dying and had come home to spend his final days, he looked out at the arena and asked to be put on a horse. He wouldn’t rest until he was sitting in the saddle.

“That’s going to be my last wish too,” Joaquin says.

The rest of the article is great and very accurate when talking about the look in their eyes. Life was rugged but in between all of that Joe smiled a lot and tended to the physical and emotional needs of both animals and children.

He taught me a lot more than just riding, roping and barrel racing. It would do me a lot of good these days to remember his patience and endurance. We all should live more by such an example.

Apparently a few days before he died he knew his time was near. He told family members he was going to go. On Monday, he did. Dad will be buried on the Big Island, next to his son Albert. Albert and I graduated from Waianae High School at the same time. He was a brother to me and a very dear childhood friend.

I was lucky — a few months ago Joe’s wife, Diane, and his daughter, Ivy, managed to come and see me at work here on Oahu. I’m so glad that they did. At least I got to hug him and hear him say to people, just one more time, “This is my haole daughter.”

~ Joaquin Michael Joseph, Jr. ~
September 15, 1930 – December 16, 2007

Love you, Dad! So much of who I am was molded by your example! I know Red is standing there at the gate waiting to greet you — that’s one beautiful stallion who has waited for his rider a very long time. As you ride the rainbows and lasso the stars, rope one for me!

An Unhappy Clash of the C’s!

PavarottiSome things transcend all borders. Luciano Pavarotti died yesterday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. I hate the “C” word! It has cost us much and now it has taken the King of the High C’s! Luciano was 71 years old. Did he come to Hawaii? Yes, we were fortunate to have him visit and sing for us a couple of times. The media reports this morning are giving him credit for “expanding” or reviving an interest in opera. One can only hope that this vocal art will thrive.

Honolulu and the rest of the world say aloha to a man whose name is synonymous with opera. His name has become a household word and will be representative of his genre for years to come, I’m sure. Few things are more beautiful than a clear, crisp tenor voice! Was he my favorite of the tenors? No, but he had one thing that always amazed me — not only control, but comfort.  When hitting those high notes was a struggle for some and work for others, Pavarotti just did it naturally. He didn’t flinch or strain, he just sang! He is one hard act to follow!

For opera fans, the 1982 comedy, Yes, Giorgio, just became a tear-jerker. Aloha menemene from Homespun Honolulu to the family and friends of Luciano Pavarotti, and to the opera fans across the world!

Peculiar Events Lead to Artistic Revelation

It was a normal thing to do on a Saturday afternoon. To go run. I needed to pick up a prescription for Mom, so I went a little further than usual. I was passing Linekona School, now known as the Academy Art Center. Linekona has a history of being many things (mostly educational) and is now primarily an art school and a place that hosts small art exhibits. This charming building sits across the street from the Honolulu Academy of Arts.

Linekona School Entrance

Now, on Saturday, while passing this historic-looking building, I was a intrigued by a large camel on the lawn. “What the heck?” I had to investigate this. Well, it seems that this camel was… well, just there. I was informed that there had been other camels on the lawn too but that they had already fallen over. There was an art exhibit going on but that camel had nothing to do with the exhibit on display. It didn’t matter, this peculiar dromedary, which was about to collapse like the others, was what led me inside.

Camel on lawn at Linekona School

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Who is John Dominis?

One of Honolulu’s more high-end restaurants has kind of left me on the fence. I like the location, the view is wonderful and the architecture is attractive. Parking, however, is problematic. It does not leave a good impression when you need a handicap stall and are told to either use the valet or drop off and go park about a hundred yards away.

So, I’m going to tip a valet to park in the stall that is right where I am standing and if I want to park my car myself I have to walk the length of a football field? (That’s a rocky, lumpy, not-made-for-heels football field.) This is not customer service. That’s strike one in the parking lot before we even get into the restaurant. I’m sorry, I am a strong believer in tips because I know staff are notoriously underpaid, but I also believe in tipping for a reason, i.e. service provided. There was no service to be had in the parking area! Valet service is supposed to be there to assist, not to hinder.

Road Entrance to John Dominis

Now, we’ve left the parking-lot incident behind us and decided we would go in and try it anyway. Everyone is very nice and there is a warm reception from the hostess at the front door.

Restaurant Entrance

We were seated by an attentive and friendly matradee. The food looked and smelled wonderful. What a colorful variety!

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Honolulu Remembers Elvis

The memory of a man who loved Hawaii, as much as Hawaii loved him, was made tangible at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu last Thursday.

Close Up of Elvis in Bronze

Full picture of Elvis statue There are few places across the country, and maybe even across the world, that wouldn’t boast a fascination and admiration for this pop-music icon. But, I don’t know how many of these places could say that the feeling was, and still is, mutual.

There are many who have memories of his visits and many who tell stories about the concert that this statue commemorates. These 1,100 pounds of bronze immortalize the “Aloha from Hawaii” concert that took place in 1973.

According to some news reports, the concert was broadcast via satellite feed to 40 countries and had an estimated 1.5 billion viewers.

Elvis Statue

So who’s behind this? TVLand.com, with the permission and participation of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc., enabled this life-sized look alike to make its home on the grounds of Blaisdell Center.

There are still women who remember getting close enough to touch him or people who still have an article from that concert. Even after more than thirty years, the parking lot at Blaisdell was full of several hundred fans, all waiting for the unveiling of our newest tourist attraction.

People still have his pictures and memorabilia decorating their homes. Even at my house there’s a picture on the wall, with a piece of paper with what portends to be an original Elvis Presley signature.

Honolulu Bids Aloha to Barbara Cox Anthony

Bougainvillea flowersForbes billionaire, Barbara Cox Anthony, died this morning at the age of 84. According to the evening news, she had been ill for a while.

She was quite a lady. She was one of those people that had money but didn’t flaunt it or live ostentatiously. I knew she was on the Board of La Pietra: Hawaii School for Girls and that she had philanthropic interests but I had no idea that she was also a contributor to the Veterinary School at Colorado State University! That took her up a notch in my book!

Barbara Cox Anthony was a lady with a life story. Maybe we’ll hear more about it on the Biography Channel someday!

Statesman.com reports it like this:

Anthony died Monday at 84 after a long illness. She died in her sleep at her home in Honolulu, with her son and daughter by her side.

“She could run with the foxes or bay with the hounds,” said her son, Jim Kennedy. He described his mother as a fun-loving and sassy woman who was as comfortable dining with her ranch hands as with the Duke of Edinburgh, a woman of deep generosity who was dedicated to the environment and who loved animals and her grandchildren to distraction.

Until her death, Anthony served on the board of directors of Cox Enterprises. She also was chairman of the corporation that publishes the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News.

It’s a great article with a wealth of information about her family, her life and her fun-loving personality!

Aloha, Barbara, this is a loss to us indeed!

Friends, Family, Entertainers & Politicians Say Aloha to Don Ho

It looks like the rest of the evening will be made up of performances and remembrance speeches.

We have heard from very young keiki singing their little hearts out. There have been friends who flew in from the mainland just to be here.

Known entertainers have gotten up and said their farewells and sung a song that they felt Don would have liked them to sing.

For those familiar with the local scene, the following names are just a few of those present to send Don off in style, Hawaiian style:

The Brothers Cazimero, Marlene Sai, Jimmy Borges, Iva Kinimaka, Sam Kapu, former Governor George Ariyoshi, Mayor Mufi Hanneman, Melveen Leed, Willie K, Ed Brown (in from Los Angeles) and others whom I either missed, don’t remember or don’t know. A lot.

Aloha, Don! You will be missed and your memory will never die — not with all this love and with such an extended ohana!

Papa’s Mementos

You can see the lyrics and hear the audio by going here. They played this and “I Will Remember You” at the end of the private memorial service. How anyone could have been without tears at that point is beyond me! Even the mayor, they said, was choked up.

You can purchase this here. Ya gotta love Amazon at times like this!

One of the news casters told us that the chanter said that one of the canoes will probably huli (that’s to flip over) because that was Don’s sense of humor. Sure enough, one of the canoes got caught full of water and sinking!  Don is laughing.

Don Ho Memorial Commentary

I’m assuming that you guys are coming to see if there is information about the farewell services. I have no video but I can write updates as I see them on the live TV channel(s) here.

Hoku and one of her sisters, Don Ho’s daughters, sang at the private service. There was a nice sermon and a military gun salute. Don was a veteran. They played the recording that Don made — I will go find the link and post it in a minute.

The conch shells were blown, there was traditional Hawaiian chant, and people boarded the canoes. They then took his ashes out many others followed. People stood on shore watching. There were a lot of tears during the service, but I can only imagine what emotions were like out there on the ocean!

The last time a traditional Hawaiian memorial service like this was performed was for Duke Kahanamoku.

Memorial Services for Don Ho

Don Ho memorial service schedule

KHON Channel 2, bless their hearts, will be televising the services live during their newscast tomorrow evening.

If you are in the State of Hawaii, you should be able to catch this. I have tried to search for a live webcast for everybody else, but am yet to find one.

I will keep trying and post it as soon as I find anything.

Apologies to KHON for “borrowing” their lovely artwork. Please tune in if you are able!

KGMB Channel 9 banner for Don Ho Memorial Services

In all fairness, KGMB Channel 9 will be doing the same and they will have extended coverage all the way to 10:00 tonight.