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Lanai: Larry's Photo Shoot

On the afternoon of my last full day on Lana`i, I had scheduled a photo shoot with my friend Larry. I gathered my gear and walked to Larry and Darlene's home — as I mentioned, Lana`i City is rather small so it was only a couple of blocks from the Hotel Lana`i to their house. As is fitting for the Pineapple Isle, they have a pineapple plant growing on their lanai (porch) — Darlene just put the crown of a pineapple in some soil and, voilà, she got a pineapple plant.


The photo shoot was in preparation for Larry's new music CD that he is working on — so I completely forgot to take a picture of Darlene — besides, she probably would not have been willing to sit for it — she just had not prepared herself. So this is a photo that Larry took a year ago and is on her website (that I developed for her).

I have known Larry and Darlene since the mid-1980s when we all lived on Maui. Darlene is originally from New York and her accent persists even as she fills her conversation with Hawai`ian pidgin. You know — let's "talk story" — meaning let's have a conversation. I can even hear her saying it in my head.

Darlene is very smart with a wonderful personality. She managed a travel agency on Maui and later opened her own agency. She also used to be very active with the Miss Maui Pageant (part of the Miss Hawai`i Pageant) and, in fact, roped me into doing contestant interviews the year I lived on Maui.

She is very active in government committees and councils at the island, county and state levels. She has taken her skills and experience to develop and deliver her "Life Seminars". You can learn more about her professional side by going to her website — www.seminarsbydarlene.com.


We picked out several shirts for Larry and grabbed his guitar then headed up to the Experience at Koele golf course. They know everyone on the island (literally, not figuratively) and were able to arrange to borrow a couple golf carts from the golf pro. So we headed to the hole shown in the photo to the right — this is their signature hole.

It is a beautiful hole (as you can see) but also very challenging for the average golfer. I played this course some years ago and all you have to do is hit it straight and the ball will go forever. Of course, anyone who plays golf knows that it is much easier said than done.


And this became the locale for our first photos. Larry and Darlene liked this photo so well, that we will probably use it on the CD that Larry is working on — although they would like me to blur the background so you cannot tell it is on a golf course.

By the way, look at that guitar! Is that beautiful or what?!! And everyone knows that beautiful instruments make beautiful music — and this one definitely does. One of the evenings that I was on Lana`i, Larry was performing with another musician at the Great Hall at the Lodge at Koele. Darlene and I were in the audience and I loved every minute of it. The highlight was their rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas using Hawai`ian gifts instead of the traditional ones.

Numbah One Day of Christmas
(The 12 Days of Christmas local style)
- by Eaton B. Magoon Jr., Edward Kenny, Gordon N. Phelps

Numbah One day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
One mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Two day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Two coconut, an' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Tree day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Foah day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Five day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Five beeg fat peeg... foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Seex day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Seex hula lesson, five beeg fat peeg (that make TEN!),
Foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

 


Numbah Seven day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Seven shrimp a-swimmin', seex hula lesson,
Five beeg fat peeg, foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Eight day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Eight ukulele, seven shrimp a-swimmin', seex hula lesson,
Five beeg fat peeg (that make TWENNY!), foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Nine day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Nine pound of poi, eight ukulele, seven shrimp a-swimmin',
Seex hula lesson, five beeg fat peeg, foah flowah let, tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Ten day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Ten can of beer, nine pound of poi, eight ukulele, seven shrimp a-swimmin'
Seex hula lesson, five beeg fat peeg,
Foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

Numbah Eleven day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Eleven missionary, ten can of beer, nine pound of poi,
Eight ukulele, seven shrimp a-swimmin', seex hula lesson,
Five beeg fat peeg, foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree.

(Numbah Twelve day of Christmas the bes', and the bes' stuff always come las'...)

Numbah Twelve day of Christmas, my tutu give to me
Twelve TELEVISION, eleven missionary, ten can of beer,
Nine pound of poi, eight ukulele, seven shrimp a-swimmin',
Seex hula lesson, FORTY steenkin' peeg,
Foah flowah lei, tree dry squid, two coconut,
An' one mynah bird in one papaya tree!

Music and lyrics published by Hawaiian Recording and Publishing Company, Inc., and copyrighted in 1959.


You can tell from the photos that Larry has a great smile which hints at his great personality. Larry is the kind of person that everyone loves. In fact, run into anyone on Lana`i and tell them that you're friends with Larry and Darlene (last name not needed) and you are adopted into this wonderful extended family. Darlene is everyone's auntie and Larry is everyone's uncle.

Of course, Larry has one advantage — he was born and raised on Lana`i. In fact, he and Darlene live in the house where he grew up. They have worked hard to maintain and remodel their home — it feels so comfortable when I visit — good Hawai`ian spirits abound.


When we all lived on Maui, Larry worked for Mid-Pacific Airlines and later at Travel By Darlene. Even though he was busy with his day job, he always found time to perform at the Seahouse Restaurant at Napili Kai Beach Club — about an 45-minute drive each way, each night that he performed. I know that drive and I have to tell you that that alone shows the serious dedication that Larry had (and still has) to his music. These days, in addition to performing at the hotel, Larry often sings at weddings.

I have also put together a website for Larry to promote his music CD. Feel free to go take a look — www.ldproductions.com. There is even a sample song from his CD — enjoy.


Alas, this very enjoyable final day on Lana`i was coming to an end. But one last photo — the Christmas wreath that Larry had made. I hope I'm not spoiling the surprise that this image will be on their Christmas card this year.

Aloha Larry and Darlene — a hui hou (until we meet again).

Life is good.

Aloha,
B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc.