|Legendary Surfer Duke Kahanamoku|
On the Seventh Day of Christmas, my Tutu gave to me ...
... seven triathletes swimming.
Kona hosts the annual Ironman World Championship each fall. Only 1,800 triathletes are invited to swim 2.4 miles, ride 112 mines, and run 26.2 miles. Today's modern triathletes have the benefit of science to improve their mental agility, physical strength, and their equipment design.
But I'd like to take us back 100 years to the natural triathletes of Hawaii - the swimmers, surfers, and paddlers. The most famous surfer, Duke Kahanamoku, was also a Olympic swimmer, Hollywood actor, and Aloha Ambassador.
Johnny Wiesmuller and the Duke
Born at Haleakala (on August 24, 1890), Duke Paoa Kahanamoku was one of nine children of a Honolulu policeman. Named for the Duke of Edinburgh, he earned his living as a beachboy and stevedore at the Honolulu Harbor docks. Growing up on the beach in Waikiki, Duke surfed with his brothers and entertained tourists with tandem rides.
More important than his prowess in local waters was Duke's global appeal. Despite encountering racism throughout his extensive travels, his undying aloha spirit brought unprecedented attention to the Hawaiian Islands.
Much of Kahanamoku's acclaim was derived from his swimming accomplishments, which elevated his status as an all-around waterman. In addition to breaking multiple world records for swimming, he won an Olympic gold medal in 1912 -- a feat he repeated eight years later at the age of 30. In 1924 he stepped down to silver.
Kahanamoku's Olympic gold medals assured him a place of honor in Hawaii throughout his long life. In 1936, he served as the honorary sheriff of Honolulu for 25 years.
As the "Aloha Ambassador", he taught Doris Duke how to surf. He greeted Amelia Earhart when she landed on Hawaii. He filmed with the other Duke, John Wayne.
|Duke presents Amelia with a pineapple.|
And Duke lived the Aloha spirit,
Try meeting or leaving people with aloha, you’ll be surprised by their reaction.
I believe it and it is my creed.
Aloha to you.
|Duke and friends|
In honor of Duke, I am giving away 7 books from Dee Davis - a modern day ambassador from Texas. From her website bio,
Dee Davis has a BA in Political Science and History, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration. During a ten-year career in public relations, she spent three years on the public speaking circuit, edited two newsletters, wrote three award winning public service announcements, did television and radio commercials, starred in the Seven Year Itch, taught college classes, lobbied both the Texas State Legislature and the US Congress, and served as the director of two associations.
Dee's American Tactical Intelligence Command (A-TAC) includes heroes that have the same skills as triathletes. Just so you can meet these heroes, I am giving away:
Dark Deceptions (2 copies)
Dangerous Desires (3 copies)
Desperate Deeds (2 copies)
To learn more about Dee's books, check out Mary Gramlich's reviews posted on her website.
To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about your favorite good guy - real or fictional.
2. For the duration of the "12 Days of Christmas", comments for all posts will be open through January 6. I will randomly draw winners for each day's prize(s) on January 7.
For Days 5 - 11, I will contact the winners and ask them to list their top three preferences from the books being offered as the giveaway. I will assign books based on preferences received on a first come, first serve basis.
Prizes will be mailed NLT January 10.
3. The "12 Days of Christmas" is only open to US residents. However, I will mail a special Hawaiian treat to any international reader who sends their mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kim in Hawaii
Caridad Pinero once reminded me of the "Aloha Interchange" in Miss Congeniality,
Gracie Hart: In Hawaii don't they use aloha for hello and goodbye?
Miss Hawaii: Yeah, so?
Gracie Hart: so if you're on the phone with somebody and they won't stop talking and you say, ok take care, aloha, don't they just start over again?
From the Hawaiian Dictionary, by Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert, Aloha is translated as
Love, affection, compassion, mercy, sympathy, pity, kindness, sentiment, grace, charity, greeting, salutation, regards.
Most tourists use it as "Hello". But kama'aina (residents) know it conveys more than a greeting, it is the spirit of Hawaii.