Editor’s Page: Get Pen?
If you ask my daughter, she likes the cracker.
PHOTO: KAREN DB PHOTOGRAPHY
It happened on a rainy winter day at a Mānoa craft fair. I was chatting with a local vendor about their tart cranberry jam, raving about how it was not too sweet, when a little voice piped up from below me, “Not too rancid. But just right, aah!” It was my 8-year-old daughter quoting Auntie Marialani. I had taught her well.
I’ve always had an affection for our classic local comics and local programming and had, just a few years ago, decided to pass it on. My first foray was with a Rap Reiplinger DVD I bought for my nieces and nephews. Hearing all seven of the kids—ages 16 down to 8—cracking up as they watched Mr. Fogerty’s futile attempts to get a hamburger with cheese on the top sent up to his room was pure nostalgia for me. Growing up, weekend nights were spent in front of “The Hawaiian Moving Company,” Andy Bumatai specials or, my favorite, “Superkids.” When I began working at KGMB decades later, I would take mini field trips up the stairs to the archives where decades of news film reels sat next to three-quarter tapes of Booga Booga, “High School Daze” and other shows stacked in boxes; only-in-Hawai‘i programs that are forever encapsulated in the memories of local TV viewers.
See family photos of Reiplinger in the May 2019 issue of HONOLULU Magazine (available now).
Photo: jerry chong, courtesy of leesa clark stone
James Kawika Pi‘imauna “Rap” Reiplinger became famous in Booga Booga but soon broke out of the comedy trio (making room for Andy Bumatai, but that’s another story). His death in 1984, on a hillside in Maunawili, was sudden and is still a bit of a mystery. This month, his widow, Leesa Clark Stone, is releasing a new book about her husband’s life and his death called Paradise to Paradise: The Rap Reiplinger Story. Editor at large Robbie Dingeman brings us an exclusive first look at the memoir about the Punahou graduate who turned into one of our most quintessentially quotable comics.
This issue also hits home for many of us for another reason. In May, we take a closer look at real estate in Honolulu, a topic that always has my younger writers opining about how they’ll never be able to afford a house in Hawai‘i (for proof, read managing editor Katrina Valcourt’s Afterthoughts). This year, in addition to our Homebuyers’ Guide and our list of Realtors and professionals nominated by our readers for excellent service, we decided to tell the stories of the many Hawai‘i families that are choosing not to live large. We stopped in a 592-square-foot house in Kaimukī, an 800-square-foot family place on the North Shore, a luxury 373-square-foot studio in town, a tiny bamboo home model on the Big Island and other small dwellings around the state. Amid upgraded Murphy beds, creative closets and dual-use stairs, our team discovered families of two, four and six who are squeezing together for a variety of reasons. Take a tour, then go pure voyeur with our roundup of the most and least expensive homes and condos sold on O‘ahu last year.
Today the home for some of the original videotapes of Rap’s Hawai‘i is in the climate-controlled vaults of the expansive ‘Ulu‘ulu: The Henry Ku‘ualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawai‘i. There, in the 11,000-square-foot space in UH West O‘ahu’s library, you can make an appointment to watch Reiplinger’s TV special as it appeared to audiences in 1982 as well as the 1976 voyage of the Hōkūle‘a, 80-year-old Hawaiian Airlines ads and even 1940s home videos donated by local families. There are about 45,000 pieces to look through. So I would bring a pen. And if you forget, don’t ask for Russell.
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Read more about the comedy legend in the May issue of HONOLULU Magazine. Available on newsstands in May, or purchase the issue at shop.honolulumagazine.com. Subscribe to the print and digital editions now.