This is pertaining to my hānai son, Jason Poole. I call him Iakona. He's been with me for quite some time now. I've always admired this young man. I invited him to join me. I took him in as a son.
How did Pittsburgh-born, classically trained singer Jason Poole find himself knee-deep in mud, gutting fish on the remote island of Molokai?
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
May you rise with the roosters and drink in the endless Hawaiian skies and spectacular sunrises.
Love you guys.
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Yesterday I had the chance to reconnect with Pops.
Man! It felt like a lifetime had passed since we’d spoken to each other on the phone. In reality, it had probably been about two weeks.
We’d been playing phone tag, leaving voicemail messages for each other. Sometimes just a few brief words: ”Aloha. Love you. Let’s talk soon. A hui hou.”
Because there’s no cell phone service in Hālawa Valley, actually speaking with him can be a challenge. In order for him to make a call, he has to drive out of the valley and call from the nearest cell phone spot. Often, he’ll call from a place we call the Nēnē Phone Booth. It’s a spot on top of hill that looks out over the Pailolo Channel. There’s a Nēnē Crossing sign there that marks the spot. (Nēnē is the Hawaiian state bird, the Hawaiian goose. Branta sandvicensis. And for the record, I’ve never seen a nēnē up there. Just cars pulled to side of the road as folks make their calls.)
He called while he was in Kaunakakai yesterday. He and Mom had gone to town to take care of some things. He tried calling from the post office, but cell reception there is poor. He’d left a garbled voicemail message for me. It sounded like he was making the call from 20,o0o leagues under the sea. Thankfully he called back a few minutes later and this time we connected.
We didn’t talk about anything that was ultra-important. It was a simple conversation.
But it was so important. We needed to connect.
One of my favorite Hawaiian sayings is: Nānā i ke kumu. It means “Look to the source.”
(Re)Connecting with my source is crucial in my work as someone who teaches and shares the traditions of Hālāwa Valley. And as someone who treasures our relationship.
Share the Aloha folks.
**How are YOU reconnecting to your source? Drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.**2 Comments
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
I’m sitting at a gate at the Boise airport while I type this. We’re doing some traveling this week–and not work-related, per se. Well, I can’t say that; not really. I mean, even though I didn’t set out on this journey for “official” Accidental Hawaiian Crooner business, I can’t ever really stop working when my job is sharing Aloha. Right? It’s something that you just do all the time. Like breathing.
Traveling through an airport has become somewhat predictable. When I reach the TSA security checkpoint, I put my ‘ukulele up on the belt to be x-rayed. Without fail, someone always asks, “What’s that? A violin?” And I smile and say “‘ukulele,” pronouncing it Hawaiian-style: oo-koo-leh-leh, which normally leads to their eyebrows going up like question marks. Then I say it, again, but this time I pronounce in a more-familiar-to-western ears way: yoo-koo-lay-lee, and they smile. It gives me the opportunity to tell folks that I play traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music and they smile. Maybe they’ll ask another question (“Like Don Ho?”) or maybe we just leave it at that.
I give ‘em a shaka as I pick up my ‘ukulele on the other side.
Yup, even an action as simple as that is a way of sharing Aloha. A way to share a smile and just a little bit of love in what’s normally a stress-filled situation.
It’s an honor to continue the tradition of Hālawa Valley: carrying Aloha in my heart and planting seeds wherever I go.
May we all find ways to plant seeds of Aloha today.0 Comments
Monday, June 9, 2014
Aloha, gang! Yesterday I had the great pleasure of working with NYC-based filmmaker, Allan Piper. We spent the afternoon together, filming the NYC-portion of the upcoming documentary, Return to Hālawa: The Life & Music of ‘Anakala Pilipo. It was pretty unbelievable. Why? It started back in November of last year when I was on Molokai … Click here to read more…0 Comments
Friday, June 6, 2014
Aloha, gang! It’s time for a new VIDEO BLOG post! And this one talks all about 3 of my tried-and-true home remedies to make myself feel better when I’m sick. May they be of help to you, too. *And please share some of YOUR home remedies with us here in the comments! Happy Aloha Friday! … Click here to read more…0 Comments
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Wow! ʻAnakala Pilipo Solatorio–my beloved Hawaiian teacher & my Hawaiian “Pops”–turns 75 today! That’s something to celebrate! This man is an example of living Aloha. He truly “walks the talk.” And it’s an honor to be his student and hānai son. HAUʻOLI LĀ HĀNAU, POPS! Right on.0 Comments