I just got back from touring 10 states and doing about 30 gigs and Hawaiian Slack Key guitar and ukulele workshops in 44 days on the road! We (Led Kaapana, Uncle Richard Hoopii and I) even landed a review in the NY Times for our efforts -see the previous Blog post here or go to the NYTimes.com website. [“Virtuosic Keepers of a Cultural Flame” by Nate Chinen. [ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/17/arts/music/masters-of-hawaiian-music-play-at-subculture.html?_r=0 ]
I really got recharged being on the road with Nancy and the gang. I looked at over 50 books in Portland OR and read about 4 books cover to cover and wrote a half dozen stories for my next book, “A Hawaiian Life Volume 2.” I re-read “The One Straw Revolution” by farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka (1913-2008) – A natural farm I had visited in Japan in the late 1970’s. I got really excited about meeting my college classmate Tom Walther and the book he turned me on to by Jeff Walker called “Launch”. I’m also excited by the book “Greenhorns – the next Generation of American Farmers,” and also Tom Petherick’s “Biodynamics in Practice- Life on a Community Owned Farm”. When I arrived home back on Maui- my hanai nephew Elliot Prestwich, who handled our farm and Maui show while we were gone these 44 days, turned me on to Brother Noland‘s “The Hawaiian Survival Handbook!” In Denver CO we stayed at Joe & Jill Ozaki‘s house whom we met in Branson MO a few years back. They recently returned from a hiking vacation from rural England and they brought back and turned me on to a book by Amanda Owen called “The Yorkshire Shepherdess.”
Staying with Joe and Jill and reading 2 or 3 books at a time while writing stories for my own book really was a luxury because back home on the farm, we are so busy planting, weeding, harvesting, fencing, mulching and fixing, plus playing our regular gigs at Napili twice a week, plus our monthly Full Moonlight Concert at the Bailey House plus all the community and political events we play for to give back to our community. It’s a wonder that we can come out of this and be sane! Nancy loves being on the road because she gets to have more of my undivided attention and she doesn’t have to share me with my back home Maui farming mistress, Mulch.
Being on the road gives us a breather from our daily life on the farm. Yes on the road, we go from gig to gig, driving some times 8 hours in a day or getting up at 3am to catch an 8am flight with a 3pm-5pm ukulele or Slack Key guitar workshop, followed by a 6pm sound check in our next city with a 8-11pm concert and then we Hana Hou and do it 29 more times again, catching a meal at our favorite places like Cracker Barrel or In-N-Out Burger or buying fresh fruits, veggies, sour dough bread and cheese and cold cuts from Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or Fred Meyers that we find along the way.
Believe it or not, even with all that hectic on-the-road routine, Nancy and I found time to hold hands and go for long walks at least once every other day, and stay in luxury hotels and go for swims and steam rooms with hot tubs and exercise rooms. She got to go shopping and I got to go fishing! Wow what a life! – hey, maybe that should be the title for my next book! “Wow, What a Hawaiian Life!”
We saw in nature, a family of wild coyotes living side by side a housing subdivision in Solterra CO. We walked on concreted bike and walk trails and saw doggie parks in action. We ate buffalo rib eye at the fort in Red Rocks CO. We ate moose burgers, elk salami and reindeer sausage, wild salmon and Halibut in AK. We visited museums and book stores and got to play tourists.
Meanwhile, back home, Sterling Seaton, Garret Probst, and Peter De Aquino kept our twice-a-week Slack Key Show going strong and did their part in their daily lives keeping Hawaiian Culture Alive! With an invite and guidance from Elliot, the boys bow-and-arrowed one of our wild roosters, and made chicken papaya. Meanwhile Sterling caught a 9 pound mahimahi on his paddle board. This past Thursday morning, Peter D helped me fix broken fence line, where our escape artist goats were getting out!
Only time will tell… For now, this morning from 7 am- 10 am, I’m mentoring Shem Kahawaii on his Senior Project at Kekaulike HS. Then we going weed and mulch until 10 am. From 11am-4pm we are at Kaahumanu Church in Wailuku for the Aloha Malama Vote Concert! …I still gotta put into practice how to say no!