In May 2012 I was given the opportunity to return to Hawaii with my friend Judy Evensen, a retired airline attendant. She had already been planning a two-week trip and invited me to join her. Judy is a genealogist who offered to assist me with some ancestral data. We visited the Oahu Cemetery, where my grandparents, aunts, and my father Samuel are interred. We also went to the downtown Honolulu library, where I was able to learn more about the Kahanamoku family.
The highlight of my trip, however, was attending the Hawai'i Sports Hall Of Fame 2012 Induction Banquet held at the Honolulu Country Club on May 8. Judy and I were family guests of my niece, Patty K. Teruya, daughter of Jo-Anne Kamuela Kahanamoku Sterling. Governor Neil Abercrombie gave a glowing tribute to the three icons of water sport, my birth father Samuel Alapai Kahanamoku, Philip Andrew "Andy" Irons, and George Downing. Samuel's granddaughter Patty spoke, with a special blessing given by Pamai Tenn. (Banquet Invitation PDF)
Judy booked us on some bus trips that drove through diverse neighborhoods away from the congested tourist areas. Sold some books. Met people from New Zealand, Canada, and Australia—even a Floridian. Brenda Landers, who just recently moved to Pearl City gave me a tour of Pearl Harbor, the VA and Trippler Hospitals, and Hickam AFB. Ethel Arola, with whom I stayed in January, joined me for lunch at Neiman Marcus and shopping at Ala Moana Center.
Mahalo nui loa to Judy for this wonderful experience.