Faithful readers of Rearview Mirror may have noticed it was missing from last Friday’s paper. This was the only time it has happened in five years. Another reporter wrote about the same topic I picked, and published it first, Wednesday. It was too late to submit another article, so we skipped last week.
This will be my last column in the Friday Money section of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. I will be moving to a new magazine for the Sunday Star-Advertiser, which will debut Oct. 23.
I will have new editors, so I want to thank my editors in Money, David Butts, who first invited me to write this column, and Dave Segal.
I also want to thank you, the readers of Rearview Mirror, and hope you will follow me over to Sunday.
So this week I thought I’d “clean out my desk” with a column of leftovers. I often have fragments that don’t take up a full column, or reader requests to pass along.
One interesting fragment is about the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, Papahanaumokuakea (pronounced “papa-ha-now-moh-koo-ah-kay-ah”). The name has an interesting meaning and etymology.
Papahanaumokuakea is the meeting of Papahanaumoku, the “earth mother,” and Wakea, the “sky father,” William Aila, a member of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council, told me.
“A committee of powerful Hawaiian aunties sat and debated what the name should be,” Aila said. “It took almost four months before there was agreement because this place is so special.
“‘Papahanaumokuakea’ comes from an old chant in that area. If you’re a sailor, the meeting of the sky father and the earth mother is something that’s very visual.
“As you pull islands out of the ocean, you see the earth mother rising to greet the sky father.
“‘Papahanaumokuakea’ commemorates the union of two Hawaiian ancestors — Papahanaumoku and Wakea — who gave rise to the Hawaiian archipelago, the taro plant and the Hawaiian people.
‘It’s a reminder of man’s connection to his environment and our responsibility to take care of it,” Aila said.
I was talking with Jessica Rich of the Visitor Aloha Society and Mike Carr, CEO of the USS Missouri Memorial Association recently. She asked where the term “Mighty Mo” came from. Mike didn’t know.
I looked into it and found the term was used for the Missouri River long before the first USS Missouri was built (there were three before the current ship at Pearl Harbor).
The earliest use of the term “Mighty Mo” I could find was 1805 by Meriwether Lewis.
The river was named in about 1700, it is believed by Etienne De Bourgmont. It was named for the nearby Missouri tribe, whose name means “people with wooden canoes.”
The Missouri is mighty. It’s over 2,500 miles long and averages 500 to 1,000 feet wide. It feeds into the Mississippi.
Do any of my readers know when the term Mighty Mo was first applied to the battleship?
I’ve occasionally used the facilities at the Clark Hatch gym in the basement of the Topa building downtown. A friend of mine, Bryan Watkins, is the owner-operator.
It’s only been through my interaction with him that I learned that there are over 100 Clark Hatch Fitness Centers in the world.
The first was in Tokyo, founded in 1965 with the proceeds from selling his 1957 Chevy convertible.
Tokyo was followed by Seoul; Hong Kong; Manila; Jakarta, Indonesia; Bangkok; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They were the first fitness centers in their cities.
Clark Hatch Fitness Center in Honolulu opened in 1976.
Former Honolulu City Councilman Leigh Wai Doo told me recently that Sen Yet Young was the first person in Hawaii to be issued a flying license, 100 years ago this month.
Young was called the Hawaiian Birdman from the “land of the hula hula.” The ‘Iolani graduate designed and built China’s first airplane and is considered to be the father of aviation in China.
Tencha Jenkins says she’s looking for a recipe. “The Prince Kuhio restaurant at Ala Moana Center made a lovely blueberry cheesecake back in the 1960s. It had a macadamia nut crust.”
She asked whether any of you have that recipe.
A Celebration of Life for local DJ “Whodaguy” Ron Jacobs has been set for Oct. 22 at a restaurant in Kaneohe.
Jacobs died in March at 78. He and Tom Moffatt were the founders of the KPOI Poi Boys. He created dozens of stunts and “’thons” with them. He was close friends with Elvis and “Colonel Tom” Parker and later helped Casey Kasem launch American Top 40.
Contact Carol Williams at Carol@440int.com for more information.
Bob Sigall, author of the Companies We Keep books, looks through his collection of old photos to tell stories each Friday of Hawaii people, places and companies. Email him at Sigall@yahoo.com.