We all know the guy who likes to embellish their stories no matter if you were there and you saw first hand kine and you must have grown up in the wilderness without talking to another soul if you never heard the “I caught a fish this big” blah-buh-be-blah-blah-blah story.
“Fishing Tales” with Mike Sakamoto wasn’t lidat cause Mike was the real deal.
I remember being a kid and looking up to the people I saw on TV, especially the local ones.Â Coming from a small, isolated place in the middle of the ocean, it was like they made it you know?Â And not only did they make it, but they were good people who gave to Hawaii too. Â So it was a huge honor and a day filled with alot of excitement when I met Mike Sakamoto and he signed my Fishing Tales shirt.Â I wouldn’t get rid of that shirt because it was signed(in fact, it may still be in a drawer back home in Hilo, nearly two decades later).
Keep in mind this came after I got an autograph from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, part-time Kauai resident, after a four hour wait.Â Was way more exciting meeting Mike cause he was one cool buggah and Kareem, Mr. NBA All-Star, was more like drinking tepid water, just not cool enough.
While we can all think about the things that drive us crazy about life in Hawaii, when you grow up here or relate to the “essence” of life in Hawaii, there is still so much more about it that brings out that special “da kine da kine” that you just can’t put your finger on because of how it binds us together through the good and the not-so.
Kids now are growing up with BJ Penn, Augie T, LOST, oh and get that guy who wen go Punahou who’s moving into the White House.Â Get him too…
BUT, when I was a kid it was Mike Sakamoto, Frank Delima, Sid Fernandez, when my brother was growing up it was Rap Replinger, Hawaii 5-0.Â And honestly, not so long ago it was Duke Kahanamoku in the Olympics…
The list can go on and on of people who Hawaii rallies around.Â You know why I think that is?Â It’s cause all of them did something and contributed not only to their field but to Hawaii and our people.Â In a day and age, where individualism runs rampant, Hawaii and many of our people just get that.Â Some call it Aloha, others call it mana.Â I don’t know what to call it anymore because I think it’s something that’s greater than us and hope will spread across the world in the years to come.Â It’s only a matter of time, try look at the speculation about President-Elect Obama and his Hawaii roots playing into who he is.
So yeah Hawaii, while we have some issues, everyone and everywhere has subscriptions of their own, it’s just a part of life.Â What we get more of is, this, this Aloha coming alive in people like Mike Sakamoto, who put their love, their passion, and gave the world something special and that “da kine da kine” you just can’t put a finger on it feeling that words don’t do any justice too.
Hawaii, the world, lost one of its ambassadors in the sport of fishing, an ambassador of aloha, and a family lost a loved one too soon.Â While inevitable, death is one of those things that is hard no matter what.Â In the last few years, I’ve seen too many go early.Â Makes the memories that much more important.
Mike, while I didn’t know you too well, I’ll never forget you: on the TV in my living room, feeling like I was like you when I caught my first fish while trolling off the Kona coast, and I neva going forget how you was that cool bradah shaking my hand and signing my t-shirt when I was still one small keed.
Thanks for the memories brah.Â You will be missed.
My heart and best wishes goes out to your ohana.