Hawaii Moments

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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 evenings.

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 artist.

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 beachfront.

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.

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