he weather was spectacular during the
ASTA meeting in Hawaii last week. The temperatures were in the
mid-80s during the day and dropped to the comfortable 70s in the
On my last day in Honolulu, I had a little free time and walked
along Kalakaua Avenue in the heart of Waikiki. The old Hawaiian
Regent hotel, whose opening I had attended in 1971, is now a
Marriott. I stopped there briefly, remembering another time in the
late 1970s when I was there with my young sons. It was hard to
believe that those boys, then 10 and 7, are now 35 and 32.
Just inside the hotel, I found a store specializing in Hawaiian
art and bought a small print with a view of Diamond Head by a local
I took a taxi to the Ala Moana Shopping Center where I searched
for CDs of Hawaiian music to bring home to my daughter. I try to
bring her recordings of the local music from wherever I may be.
There was a kiosk in the mall devoted to the music of the locals
including recordings by two fine musicians who had just performed
at the ASTA meeting, a young electric ukulele performer named Jake
Shimabukuro and a singer named Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom.
Shimabukuro had given, no pun intended, an electrifying
performance at the convention, turning his ukulele into a symphony
orchestra, and Gilliom had sung a few Hawaiian songs with great
warmth. I bought albums by both of them.
Incidentally, if you want to order Hawaiian music from the store
I visited, they have a Web site at hawaiianmusicstore.com with their full inventory.
That evening, I attended a dinner sponsored by TravelAgeWest at
the Halekulani Hotel, one of the great hotel gems of the world.
I arrived well before the hosts and their guests and had time to
sit on the terrace and listen to a Hawaiian band playing alongside
The breeze was soft and warm and the Pacific was there before us
in its quiet majesty.
For just those few moments, before the crowd arrived, I had the
luxury of feeling good to be alive, and grateful to be in such a
beautiful, peaceful place.