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My godfather Juan Gali's oldest son, John and I had one close tie which was his maternal grandmother. When I was about 7 or 8, I learned to love her as my hanai gramma. I never saw her leave the house but she knew where all the heiaus and caves which had bones and stuff were on the Big Island, especially in Ka'u, where we were born. In my keiki days I had one hot temper and when tutu stayed with us, she was a great influence in calming me down.

"Leave a gift if you can when we enter a heiau, no whistling when you fish and pick opihi, but more important don't turn your back to the ocean when fishing" she would say. Small kid time we listen but wen cum big - no listen. Later, on dat.

John's uncle wuz too good foh make crossnet and trownet and his fadda wen give us one old crossnet with plenty pukas. We wuz so glad becuz now we can catch plenny fish from Abe's pond. So every Friday wen he wuz around 13 and me around 16 we wen meet down da road and catch cane truck to go to Honuapo and crossnet and pick opihi. We wen catch plenny ahole with the net with the puka and pick plenty opihi and wen we cum home we give'um all away. Auwe, we nevah tink about selling 'um, but as okay cuz we had good fun down da beach from Friday aftanoon until Sunday aftanoon cum home time. John wen cum onny red because wuz in the sun da 'hole time. But me wen cum really papa'a every time. John had light haiah and skin because his mudda was part German an his fadda I t'ink get Spanish or sumt'ing.

Wun place we used to go was the pali we call Puhina. As wea some people wen make foh pick opihi becuz get ruff watta. Wen the cane truck drop us  off we had to walk around half mile to the pali but halfway had one cave that tutu told us, "No go insi' as kapu da kine." Wen we go pass we make shua we walk all da way aroun' so no go even neah. So one day we reach da pali wea you gotta clime down an da watta wuz real flat, no mo' waves. Hoo boy we wuz happy like hell becuz the lava rocks was black wit' opihi an we wen go nuts foh fill da bag. So now me wun smaht 16 yeahs an wuz whistling and singing an eat opihi an t'row the shell any kine way. An den I wen turn my back, still whistling and den wun big buggah wave cum an crash on me an drag me an I wuz scratch up and poke my lower nihu t'ru my mout' an wuz soah like hell. Good t'ing wuz pahoehoe kine not a'a uddawise would be mo bus'up. E' as wun true story, no laff, why you like I slap you head? Afta dat da watta wuz flat again. Hoo boy, now I believe tutu but wuz too late, wen happen awreddy.

Yeahs latah I wen join da Army an John wen be wun marine, so nevah see each udda long time. Wen John came home he fish foh living an da buggah wuz brave cuz Scuba all wun man, no sked. Wun time I wuz wit my new wahine in Ka Lae, we call Sout' Point an I wen see wun guy cumming in from way out an he wuz by hisself. Me an wahine went to Kamilo an wen we came back da guy had plenny fish and lobster. An you kno' wat? As wuz John!

Now dat me one kupuna, my keed sista wen call me from Waianae ( been in Kaliponi since pau army) an sed, "Eh Boy (as my small keed name) you kno' about John?" an I sed "watt?" She said "they found his body floating but nobody kno' watt wen happen."

That wuz my fren John. He wen live just the way he like an nobody wuz his boss excep' da ocean. John, he live in da ocean an make in da ocean. Aloha John, I love you my bruddah an so long. "Boy"


About Author

I was born in the village of Hilea (where Mary Pukui was from) mauka from Punalu'u black sand beach. Lived mostly in Na'alehu, spent most of the war years in Papaikou and back to Ka'u.  I wen join the army after pau high school. Lived in Northridge CA, owned an Ad Agency, PR and Marketing but today, I kanikapila when I can. Mostly I practice and teach Tai Chi and Chi Gong (you can see me on youtube: Tai Chi Maku).The oldtimers still call me Boy but I'm uncle Maku to most locals and Maku to others. A hui hou!

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