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Posts Tagged ‘family’


Tuesday, December 25, 2012


This year, we are spending Christmas with the family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  It’s always a treat to be back where I spent a good part of my “growing up” days.

And it’s always a blessing to be with family.

Over the years, “family” has come to mean so much more than just related-by-blood.  I am so thankful for the family that I was born into, as well as the family that we’ve adopted–or been adopted into!  Ha!

Wishing you all a day of peace.

And may we all pause to think of what we’re grateful for.  To count our blessings.

Right on.


Video Blog: HAPPY THANKSGIVING! (2012)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Aloha gang!  It’s time for another video blog!

Today, I have the blessing of being with my family in Pennsylvania to celebrate Thanksgiving.  We wanted to send a Thanksgiving message to you.

What are YOU thankful for?  Drop me a line!  I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Aloha Thursday!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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Family Resemblance

Monday, May 21, 2012

Jason Poole, Accidental Hawaiian Crooner, NYC, High Line

Mom, Dad and I on the High Line in NYC (Winter 2011)

Something startled me yesterday morning.

I was looking at my face in the mirror while I was shaving, making sure not to cut myself.  I turned my head slightly to get a better angle for shaving my chin and for an instant, it was as though I was looking at my father.

I mean, it REALLY looked my dad’s face in the mirror.  Something about the angle and the way I had my mouth fixed.  It was kind of surreal.

It made me stop for a minute and really look at myself.  I began moving my face around slightly–and with each move, it was as though I was transforming myself into another relative.  Almost like something you might see in a sci-fi movie.  If I raised my eyebrows, I resembled my mother.  If I puffed out my cheeks like my nephew does, it was like it was HIS face staring back at me and not mine.

I was blown away by the family resemblance.

And it got me thinking:  it’s not really that strange.  We all share the same DNA so we have similar characteristics.  And those characteristics have been passed down from generation to generation.


Same family tree…

Pops and I at Moʻoʻula Falls (Molokai, HI 2008)

But then I started thinking about Pops and how I resemble him even though we DON’T  share any family DNA.

I sound like him when I speak Hawaiian–his voice is the voice I hear in my head.  My reference point for the language.  I gesture like him when I teach.  I use similar examples, similar stories to illustrate a point.  And I’ve picked up his mannerisms over the years, physically resembling him, as well.  I can hear Mom Solatorio saying to me, “You look so much like Pops when you do that!”

(Fun Fact:  Pops and I made a recording one night–really late at night while we stayed up in Kaunakakai–strumming the ʻukulele and taking turns singing lead and harmony on an old Hawaiian song.  Here’s the crazy thing:  when I played it back, we couldn’t tell who was singing which part.  Our voices sounded identical at that point!)

And then I thought about how so many of of my friends who were adopted as children “look like” their adopted families–even though they don’t share DNA, either.

So I thought some more.

Maybe family resemblance is a lot more than just DNA.  Maybe it’s a combination of all sorts of contributing factors.

Maybe it just goes to show you that we’re amazingly adaptable creatures that form families–by blood, by choice.

Like Pops says, “E ʻohana mākou.”  We’re family.

And the family tree continues.

Right on.

What do YOU think about family resemblance?  Drop me a line!  I’d love to hear from you!


Aloha kākou!

Here’s this week’s question:

Which of these 4 choices is a Hawaiian word for FAMILY?





• Please submit your answer by posting a reply to this entry on the blog.
• All correct answers will be eligible to win a special email message from me.
• One winner will be randomly chosen at 11:59pm HST.

Will YOU be this week’s lucky winner?

Good Luck!

Aloha Poʻalima! Happy Aloha Friday!

**Crooner Update:

Well done, gang!  Well done!

Everyone had the correct answer this week.  The answer is B. ʻOHANA.

You know, a blog reader sent me an email recently and said, “I feel kind of guilty.  I didn’t know the answer to your question.  I looked it up on the internet.”

And my response was: I LOVE THAT!  I love that folks are taking the challenge and looking up information about Hawaiʻi on the web!  That’s awesome!  No shame!  Keep going!

This week’s winner, chosen randomly from all of the correct answers, is… (Drum roll, please…) AMY SUMMERS!  Congrats, Amy!  You’re this week’s Trivia Superstar.

I’m so thankful for all of you.

Hope you have a great weekend.

A hui hou…



I’m typing this while riding in the car.

(Note:  No… I’m not typing while driving!  I’m just a passenger.)

I’m heading back to NYC from a last-minute, whirlwind weekend trip to see my family in Reading Pennsylvania. My parents are living there at the moment.  (My father is General Manager of the Crowne Plaza Hotel.)  My partner-in-crime, and I rented a car on Friday morning and joined up with my sister and her two kids.  We all converged on Reading for some fun!

It was a blast!

Both of the kids were born in June, so we had a double birthday celebration.  We swam in the hotel pool.  We “sight shopped” (That’s what I call the type of shopping I do these days—going somewhere new and combining sightseeing with shopping.  I never really buy very much–it’s more about the new experience.)

And we ate!!

Boy did we eat!  I guess I never really realized how many moments of the day revolve around food in my family.  Come to think of it, that’s really quite similar to my experiences in Hawaiʻi.  Most things revolve around food!

The little rock stars in Amish country--2 vibrant cultures coming together. (Reading, PA 6.11.11)

One evening, the whole gang went to a smorgasbord-style restaurant in the heart of Amish country.  The kids loved seeing the horse and buggy “garages” next to the parking lot for cars.  A wonderful collision/collaboration of two cultures. (The smorgasbord, however, reminded me that I need to be conscious when I fill a plate of food.  Auē!  Who knew I could eat so much?)

I made shell necklaces for both my niece and my nephew.

They’ve admired mine for years and I recently came across shells that were similar.  They were so excited!   And I loved sharing a bit of my “dress standard” with them.  While I worked, I shared lots of stories about studying on Molokai and in Hālawa Valley.  It never fails—their eyes pop out of their heads when they hear there is no electricity in Hālawa.  No computers.  No televisions.  No video games.  Funny how that sounds torturous to them and heavelnly to me.

NYC life–even when it’s filled with a good dose of Hawaiian music–can really wear you down quickly. I write about “Plugging In to the Source” a lot.  There are times when I definitely need to recharge my batteries!  This weekend, I felt so blessed to be able to “plug in to the source”—to connect with the family that I was born into.  The family that I share DNA with.  They know me better than anyone in the world.

And next week I’ll be able to “plug in to the source” again with my hānai family on Molokai.

Having so many wonderful folks in my world that I can call “family” makes me feel like a rich man, indeed.

How do YOU plug into the source?  Drop me a line–I’d love to hear from you!