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Sunday, July 17, 2011

A MONUMENTAL DAY

We all have good days and bad ones.  This was a great day, maybe in the top 25, significant, because this means in the more than 25,000 days I have lived, this is in the top one tenth of one percent of my best days.

First, I awoke at the Naniloa Hotel to a decent sunrise over Hilo Bay:

Then, at Nancy and Howard Kelly's (Nancy worked with Pearl in the U.S.Senate) home, we celebrated the second year of her ascendance, where I passed out saplings of her Yellow Tree and signed SIMPLE SOLUTION  ESSAYS for the celebrants.

We toasted with a junmai daijingo sake (really expensive large bottle provide by the Kellly's):

In particular, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Pearl's cousin, Big Island Councilman Fresh Onishi, who not only arranged with Honolulu Councilman Nestor Garcia to consider the planting of Pearl's Yellow Tree at the Ala Wai Golf Course, but Fresh is looking into the possibility of having a bank of her trees at the restoration of Reeds's Bay in Hilo or something similar.

We than went up to Mauna Kea, where Pearl's ashes were tossed two years ago.  This is Nancy near this site, where a Yellow Tree was planted today:


The group then tossed yellow rose petals, prepared by her sister, Doris, over Pearl's ash site:

These Onishi (mother) and Nakamichi (father) clans are huge in Hilo, probably numbering around 200, but a telling point about this celebration was that these relatives and friends last got together on Pearl's first year celebration.  So Pearl continues to bring the family together.  She was truly beloved by all.

I then flew back to Honolulu and happened to take a photo of Lanai, with Molokai in the background, the islands currently embroiled in the campaign to provide 400 MW of wind power electricity to Honolulu.

But the day was not yet over.  As is representative of my crusade to toss Pearl's ashes at the Taj Mahal and Mount Kilimanjaro (places she wanted to visit, but did not, mostly because I didn't want to to go--coming up this Fall is Machu Picchu), I combine dedication with pleasure.  Thus, I still had two activities left today.

First, Pearl loved dinners at Le Guignol before crossing the street for concerts at the Blaisdell Center.   I brought a bottle of Stanford University Alumni 2008 Stewart Cellars Slingshot Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley (13.5%), which I had with three courses:



#1  Hudson Valley Foie gras sauté avec cherries jubile and salade de tomate, with blue cheese and walnuts with Big Island honey vinaigrette.
   













































#2 escargot with roasted garlic and vichyssoise with zucchini and leek:



I like to mix hot and cold, sweet and sour, etc.  The final course was French onion soup with Gruyere cheese/sliced scallions and fresh mesclun salad tossed with Le Guignol creamy classic vinaigrette:


The meal was excellent.  Here is Chef Travis Ala Sutton working in his kitchen:

Pearl and I knew his mother, Leilani, who was the ultimate greeter and maitre'd.  Both are now, sadly, gone.  While this might well be the premier French restaurant (with Belgian flair) in the state, I suggested that he consider opening a second high end establlishment in a Waikiki Hotel featuring a fusion of French and Hawaiian cuisine.  This would the first of its kind.

The night continued, for a five minute walk away I then got a ringside seat for the Brian Viloria-Julio Cesar Miranda WBO Flyweight Championship fight.  The first prelimin featured two females, from Hawaii and New Orleans:
Hawaii won.

The main event was gruesome, exciting....name it!  I've never before sat this close to the ring, where you can see sweat flying off a punch and spit hitting the third row.  The sound of a punch was a new experience, as television does not quite capture the brutal reality.  I don't know when I went to my last fight, but, as Viloria, battered and bloody, won a 12 round decision, decisively, and is now the new 112 pound champion, I can anticipate one of my rare, but recurring nightmares:  about every five years, I find myself in the corner awaiting the bell in a boxing ring, and, thank heavens, while the fear is palpable, the dream ends without my getting killed.

Oh, next to the the Viloria victory, the other hightlight of this evening starred the boxing round carrying girls.   Save, perhaps for Viloria, they got more cheers than anyone else:

What a day, what a night, what a life!!!

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Super Typhoon Ma-On, now at 120 MPH, is looking more and more, truly treacherous.  While that encounter with Tropical Storm  Tokage seems to have diminished, there is very little doubt now that this fierce hurricane will crash into Japan on Tuesday, probably storm through Tokyo and have an effect on nucleaer-challenged Fukushima.

This will be another very bad week for Japan.  What next?

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