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Reader’s Corner: The Companies We Keep 2

“Hana Hou!” is the Hawaiian way of saying “Do it again!”, and this just may come across your thoughts upon reading (and re-reading) The Companies We Keep.

If so, your wish has come true in what we have here with The Companies We Keep 2.

For simplicity’s sake, from here on we’ll refer to it as “CWK 2”.

As the description on the cover states, “More amazing stories about Hawaii’s people, places, and companies”, that’s precisely the order of priority within CWK 2’s pages, with more focus on people and places, and less on companies than it did about the 450 in CWK 1.

It must be noted that CWK 2 is also much shorter in page count, coming in at 240 within the covers, compared with 408 pages in CWK 1. CWK 2 also does away with an index in back (and a chaptered format for that matter), instead relying on a detailed table of contents in front for navigational convenience.

Immediately following the introduction and credits, it kicks off with 8 pages of everything you wanted to know about Frank De Lima…

Wow, 8 pages. I don’t think even one of Frank’s comedy routines are THAT focused! lol

This is followed by a story related to the Oprah Winfrey show, how the U.H. Rainbows got their nickname, Elvis, Miss Hawaii’s Yun Tao Zane, and the story behind Magic Island…

Then there’s 5 pages of everything about Hal “Aku Head” Lewis…

My grandmother LOVED Hal Lewis’ radio program!

Did you know? Hal Lewis was the top DJ in the islands from 1947 until his death in 1983, which during that time was said to be the highest-paid DJ in the world!

Fittingly, the 8 pages immediately following Aku cover Hawaii’s current top morning radio show duo, Perry & Price.

There’s a story about Shirley Temple and how she met her husband in Honolulu, followed by 5 pages covering the late and great local comedian, Rap Reiplinger…

Then on to the first Japanese visitor to Hawaii in 1844, Aiea native Bette Midler, and how the Ala Wai came to be…

Then back to the media with Linda Coble, Bob Sevey, Joe Moore and KGMB.

What Lullaby did Harry Owens write for his daughter? Who interned at an internment camp? Who was the ‘king of pidgin’? While you’ll need to read the book to get answers to the first two questions, the ‘King of Pidgin’ title was crowned to used car dealership owner, Lippy Espinda…

Learn about who predicted the Pearl Harbor attack way back in 1923, Joe Moore’s play production, “Prophecy and Honor”, KSSK radio producer Sweetie Pacarro, “King of Hawaiian Sweet Bread” Robert Taira, and how nuclear tests at Johnston Island were visible to Hawaii residents.

Who was the first female lifeguard in the City & County of Honolulu? Who wrote the song “I’ll Remember You”? Which four major sports were created by Hawaii people? Where was a replica of Iolani palace built? The answers and stories behind them are all here.

Bob then takes you on a guided aerial tour over Ala Moana, circa 1955…

Here, he points out in the photographs where, if you see that paved “baseball diamond” looking parcel located a block mauka of the Ala Moana shopping Center (still unbuilt), that original drive in theater, simply named “The Drive-In”. That would eventually get sold to become Holiday Mart, which then turned into Daiei, to its current incarnation as Don Quijote.

Other bygone businesses pointed out in the photos include Rainbow Rollerland and Scotty’s Drive Inn on Keeaumoku street and Aloha Motors In Waikiki, learn how the Niumalu Hotel and John Ena Estate became what today is the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Where on Oahu is there a monkey pod tree on its grounds which a large Japanese corporation uses as its logo?

Why was it named the Tahitian Lanai?…

From businesses, its back to landmarks with the background of the Reef Runway and Ala Wai Golf Course.

Don Ho, of course…

Ever wonder?…

which asian war led to the U.S. Annexation of Hawaii? Who was the first U.S. president to visit Papakolea and officially designate the area as Hawaiian Homelands? Hint: A high school in the area is named after his cousin.

Some questions answered in CWK 2 may have not even crossed your mind. Like where in Hawaii you can see a “Surfing Jesus”.

Learn how Hawaii has ties with Machu Picchu and the fictional movie character Indiana Jones. How the Polynesian Cultural Center got its start in Waikiki. And, thanks to the extensive legwork of one of Bob’s students, how many millions of Zippy’s Chili, Leonard’s Malasadas, Matsumoto Shave Ice and Royal Kitchen Manapua have been estimated to have been sold since they first hit the market.


  • Joe Moore
  • The Ukulele revival
  • Pioneering aviator John Rogers
  • who was the first to attempt to fly non-stop from California to Hawaii
  • The first local boy to pitch for the Baltimore Orioles
  • Duke Kahanamoku
  • The Iolani Palace’ “Tinker Toy” fencing
  • The last Spencecliff restaurant
  • Aloha Stadium
  • Babe Ruth’s visit to Hilo
  • The Kingston Trio
  • Tropics Restaurant
  • Volcano House
  • The original, smaller Iolani Palace
  • Jackie Robinson
  • Bethel Street
  • Merrie Monarch Festival
  • Christmas in Hawaii
  • Ala Moana Center
  • Ilikai Hotel
  • The Kalihi Valley Wallabies

Jack Lord, and the consideration of him having the lead role as Captain Kirk on Star Trek…

For various reasons explained, the role ended up being cast to William Shatner.

Moving on…

  • Japan’s Pearl Harbor miscalculation
  • The Wackiest Ship in the Army
  • Wayne Collins, Hawaii’s first TV news anchor
  • Bishop Estate’s “Broken Trust”
  • Abraham Lincoln’s Hawaii connection
  • The Great Train Robbery in Kekaha, Kauai

How the Chinatown fire of 1900 sparked a migration of residents to move to Kaimuki, including many other interesting facts about the area..

What more do you want to know? Well, there’s…

  • “KDI”, a.k.a. Kapiolani Drive Inn
  • KODAK Hula Show
  • Town of Mililani

And a relative of yours truly, Uncle Sonny Chillingworth…

Still more…

  • Joe DiMaggio and Marylyn Monroe’s visit to Honolulu
  • Victoria Ward
  • Webley Edward’s “Hawaii Calls”
  • King Kamehameha III’s Summer Palace in Nuuanu
  • Locations considered for the State Capitol
  • The “Ambassador of Aloha”
  • First Hawaiian Bank’s John Bellinger
  • HawaiiReporter.com

Finally we reach the end of CWK 2, which includes a photo hunt and quizzes. Who dat?…

Recognize any of these local celebrities from these archived photos? Hint for one of them: Kanoa looks all over his dad!

That wraps it up. When it comes down to it, this is a “small rock”, these islands in the middle of the pacific we live on. And in one way or another, there’s bound to be someone or some place talked about in CWK and CWK 2 that you can relate to. What it succeeds in doing is going an extra step or more in research, continually having you think, “I did not know that!”.

The Companies We Keep 2 is a triumphant follow-up to the first book, and again, highly recommended.

The Companies We Keep 2
More amazing Stories about Hawaii’s people, places, and companies
By Bob Sigall and his students at Hawaii Pacific University

Also available all Hawaii Borders, Barnes & Noble, Bookends, Bestsellers, Helena’s Hawaiian Food, Boulevard Saimin, Gyotaku, Hungry Lion, Highway Inn, and Flamingo Pearl City.

The Tasty Island rating:

(5) Superb. A must-have!

Related Links:
Reader’s Corner: The Companies We Keep

2 thoughts on “Reader’s Corner: The Companies We Keep 2

  • February 28, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    My Mother Audrey Pool Kelly, known to her loved ones as “Aukele”, painted “The Surfing Jesus” for Father McNeeley. The model was a Filipino boy named Shannon. Where is it now?


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