February 2014 Newsletter

The February 2014 issue of The Lana’i Connection is online! Click to download the 20-page newsletter to view online or print.

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Da Tabura Braddahs and the Amazing Food Truck Race

Via The Pineapple-Coconut Wireless and Mom “Helen Tabura”

Last year, I got a call one day from numbah one son, Lanai, telling me that he and his brother Adam are going on a two month cross-country competition with the Food Network’s “The Greatest Food Truck Race.” My immediate reaction was “WHAT? What for?” My Son said, “RACE!” Me: “What kine Race?” My impatient Son: “Ma, don’t you watch the Food Network show?” Me: “No!”

Then Lanai explained how a friend asked him to do this food truck race and they decided to include his chef brother, Adam. Naturally, Adam asked, “What’s in it for me?” Number 1 Son explained, “$50K and a Food Truck if we win!” There were details and rules for the race including elimination of teams.

Meanwhile, I am the worrying Mom concerned for their regular jobs. Lanai explained it’s like the Reality Show of food truck cooking. Both Tabura boys wanted to do it and said they would work out the details with jobs and family. My advice was on point to Lanai, “Well, you’re all men and if that’s your decision then go for it! Only one thing, braddah, NO FIGHT with your brother! If you do, Adam is going to walk off!” Later, my Chef son called and expressed the same mana’o that this would be a good experience for both of them.

Evidently, competition was going to be fierce with eight food trucks going cross-country and cooking and selling their creations within the specific rules for each stop! Little did I know how intense this food truck race would be and its impact of Aloha in action upon our extended family and friends (new and old) across America, in Hawaii nei and on our little island of Lana’i.

Before you know it, they are in California and preparing for the Great Food Truck Race. The first competition stop was in Beverly Hills. The Food Network gave each team a budget per meal to prepare and to sell. The negative risk of that first week was if any the team was eliminated the first week they would be out immediately! The first day of the competition in Beverly Hills was to make and sell 25 plates of hamburgers for $25 a plate. The Aloha Food Truck sold nine (9) plates and the other teams sold 10 and 11 plates. Luckily, there were no eliminations and the race was on! Yippee!

Next – San Francisco — they did “not do too bad” selling plates and was still in the race!
Onwards to Oregon where they learned really fast about the competition. They would call friends and the Pineapple-Coconut wireless went out over the Internet and the team even created a page on Facebook to update everyone on the team’s stops and progress and where to buy the food! Idaho, Minnesota, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C.

The incredible support of the Hawaiian expats community at each stop throughout the race was overwhelming; it made the boys cry in appreciation! Thankfully the guys also survived the stress of being with each other 24/7. Many calls went back and forth with motherly advice to both sons “no fight”…”you came this far, cool head”…”cool head and relax”….and so on.

Initially, Chef Adam told brother he would be in charge of Sales and Marketing and collecting the money. Friend Shawn and third guy on the team was the driver and responsible for gas, water and oil, plus check everything before the daily journey. Shawn also assisted Chef Adam with tasks like buttering the bread, washing the veggies and other assorted cooking tasks. Eventually, Lanai did the promotions and collected the sales while Chef Adam focused on cooking. The guys adjusted to working, cooking and selling from the food truck’s limited space with minimal disagreements (that’s another story of three braddahs working in a small food truck).

Meanwhile, the Food Truck race is getting huge attention from Hawaiians living on the Mainland and they show up to support the Aloha Truck Team with music, hula and eating all the food creations!!! At home, it became a weekly gathering with family and friends to cheer them on! Everyone was excited to see how well the Hawaii team was doing!

Toward the 7th week, Lanai called and told me what a genius Adam is. I asked, “… I am so happy it took you this long to figure him out and what a compliment. Thank you, Son.”

Two days later, Chef Adam calls and compliments his brother saying, “Mom, you have a gifted son! Ma, he knows so much people in this world! Amazing my bradda!” I said happily, “Thank you for complimenting him that is nice, Adam.”

That brotherly appreciation of each other was one of the best outcomes of the food truck race by working together and focusing on what they each did best – Adam with his food expertise and Lanai with his networking expertise!

Right now the Aloha Food Truck is in Los Angeles and the team is overwhelmed with the offers for it. There had been some promotional events and perhaps more in the future. The food truck race was a life experience for the three guys to compete with others, to make new friends and to see the Aloha Spirit in action across America!

Mahalo from this relieved and happy Mother and to the Food Network for giving them that opportunity to broaden their horizons. Mahalo nui loa i ke Akua for taking care of all them throughout this exciting adventure and journey.

Congratulations! They won the whole competition!

Cheers for Molokai and Lanai High School

On January 29, 2014 a fundraiser was held to supplement the athletic transportation budgets for Molokai and Lanai High Schools. The street party was fully hosted with heavy pupu and cocktails by Murphy’s Bar and Grill and Hukilau throughout the evening from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Attendees helped themselves to savory island delicacies, beverages and also enjoyed lively top-notch entertainment.

Rallying to the call from the Downtown Athletic Club Hawaii was former LHS Alumni Les Tamashiro, Jacob Hueu and Ricky Tamashiro, pictured with Governor Neil Abercrombie.

Block 35 of Yore

By Roy A. Del Rosario, class of 1945

Reflections whence I had lived the southeast end of Lanai City known as Block 35, where I grew up from age 9 to 17 except it was not always Block 35. Current Lanaians will attest my presumption to be credible. Utilizing datum derived from an old map & coupled with what I remember back then, my phenomenal memory lends credence to the origin of block 35.

Between early & late 1920’s the southeast corner of the city was mostly cleared area with only a row of eight houses scattered within the vicinity. It was likely than the area might have not yet been designated as a numbered block nor was the road fronting it had been given a street number or name.
I was 9 years old when we resided at block 33. Our home was fronted by Lanai Avenue. Other families in our row I remember were the Godinez, Daniel, Sipe, Mano & Endrina’s. Close to us were the Petaluna family, Funada’s & Morita’s.

Between 1938 & 1940 – the area adjacent to Block 33 across from the baseball park & Lanai Avenue was cleared off to accommodate families that were being relocated from Kikki Camp at Palawai Basin. When all the houses from Miki Camp were completely situated at the newly cleared site, it became a new home for the summer seasonal employees & dubbed as the new block 33. Henceforth the old block 33 became the new block 35.

In the ensuing years all the bachelor type houses in block 35 gradually converted into family type abodes where the Goshi’s, Pagay’s, Ohashi’s, Enfield’s, Alboro’s, Obado’s, Del Rosario’s, Tadios, Dimaya’s lived.

A small Army Signal Corps unit arrived in 1942 where a temporary billeting area for the military unit was housed until a small army camp was developed in the pineapple field between the city & Kaumalapau.

I left the island 58 plus years ago to enlist in the US Marine Corp in 1952. I hardly can recognize anybody now.

Residents of Bock 33/35 well into their golden years are likely to recall & still able to “talk story” growing up block 35. As indicative by the brown & yellow T-Shirt they proudly wear, sporting “ALWAYS IN OUR HEARTS, BLOCK 35, PLANTATION DAYS”…

Click here to download the full article by Roy A. Del Rosario.

Artist: Larry Endrina CD: Lana`i

Larry’s latest recording “Lana`i” is a compilation of his favorite songs, including tributes to his Mama and Papa. Kauna`oa musicians are Matthew Mano, AJ Vargara, Claude Huerta and Garek Eligado. His sisters JoJo Timbreza, Christine Hickman and Francine Costales joined him on Wailele `O` Akaka. Nephew and niece, Duane Feig and Tisha Lincoln additionally lent their beautiful talents. Original songs Lana`i and Haleakala Sunrise were arranged and composed by Larry and Matthew. Larry is an accomplished musician who has performed on Maui, O`ahu and the mainland for many years. He has been performing at the Four Seasons Lodge at Koele and Four Seasons Manele Bay Resort for more than 20 years. Individually the 14 songs have significance to Larry and his home island of Lana`i. All photos are on the island of Lana`i by photographer Ron Gingerich.

You may purchase through Pine Isle Market Lana`i, Lana`i Art Center and the Four Seasons Resorts Lana`i. On O`ahu; Na Mea Hawai`i Ward Warehouse, Tamura’s Market, and Waianae Market. You may also purchase through CD Baby and iTunes. It will available soon at additional outlets.
You may also purchase the CD directly through LD Productions, Inc. CD’s are $20.00 each inclusive of shipping and handling, payable to LD Productions, Inc.

Mail your check payable to:
LD Productions, Inc.
P.O. Box 630486
Lana`i City, HI 96763-0486

Letter from Ricky Macabio

My name is Richard (Ricky) Macabio. I grew up on Lanai along with seven other siblings. My mom was Rose Santiago and my step-dad was Placido Malunay, the plumber. I currently live on Maui and try to go back to Lanai as often as I can to fish, hunt, or just get away for a while.

There seems to be familiar talk these days when I go back and the phrase goes like: “Oh, you don’t live here anymore, do you?” At best it reminds me that I am no longer a resident. At worst it makes me feel like I’m not welcomed. As you can guess I find that kind of language hurtful because not only did my parents make Lanai what it is, so did our whole family. We are just one story out of many others whether or not they still live on Lanai. Not only was I a plantation baby but I also worked the pineapple fields during the summer for about $1.25 an hour.

I’m really happy to see Mr. Ellison bring more jobs and improve the lives of those still living on Lanai. As I wait for the boat going to and from Lanai, I hear the conversations of those who are trying to get a foothold on the island. They speak openly that there is money coming and they want to be on Lanai to get their share of it. What’s sad to me is that they can get a driver’s license with a Lanai post office box number and now they are the “kamaainas” instead of me.

I feel that I have paid my dues many times over to be called a Lanai Boy and I still care deeply about what happens to my island. I am not looking for an economic opportunity, only to be able to still enjoy the island of my childhood. One of my most prized possessions is a photo taken of my daughters with their Tutu Rose down at Manele a few months before her passing.

I have no issues with change but it should always be for the better. There are many others who no longer live on Lanai. I would hope that our contributions will be treasured and now thrown out and forgotten like an old pair of slippers.

Ricky Macabio

“Mr. Aloha”: Randy Piena

By “Ghostwriter”

Richard Miyazaki & Randy Piena
Richard Miyazaki & Randy Piena

Randy who had to cancel his trip to attend LACA/VEGAS Reunion due to illness, we’d like to share about this wonderful man who embodies the Lana’i Spirit & has given of his time to LACA.

Randy comes from an old time respected family of Peter and Mabel Piena, while at Lana’i High School, Randy was known as a lively, gutsy, spirited football player. He attended Lana’i High and Elementary School, but transferred to Leilehua High School as a sophomore where he earned the nickname “Bull”. In later years, he actively supported youth baseball and was an announcer at the baseball games in Waialua.

When LACA was established 18 years ago, Randy served as an ubiquitous and conspicuous emcee at our Vegas reunions and annual social gatherings held on Lana’i and Oahu. By popular request at socials, Randy entertained attendees with his vocal renditions of Hawaiian and popular songs.

To LACA’s Man of the Hour who is also dubbed “Lana’i’s Mr. Aloha” a heartfelt Mahalo nui loa for service rendered!