Thursday, November 4, 2010


Charlie A. with 9.5 lb Prize Catch
(photo courtesy of  SKA)

Hey, folks, today I want to feature my brother, Charlie, ten years my junior. When he was a young boy, he showed no interest whatsoever in anything Hawaiiana--no fishing, no eating of local food, a complete lack of participation in the island culture. He was so anti-native that we used to mercilessly tease him about being haole and, as if that wasn't cruel enough, added that he had been left on our front doorstep when he was just an infant. Flash forward 3+ decades and--surprise, surprise!--Charlie has emerged among us four brothers as the premiere Hawaiian fisherman and follower of the ancient customs. Speaking for myself, he sure put me to shame!

Anyway, I am so proud of his transformation into a genuinely appreciative and respectful kanaka.

One of Charlie's talents is his keen eye for concealed octopi. The tentacled sea creatures are adept at camouflaging themselves according to their natural environment. Still, there are certain hints that the trained octopus hunter's eye picks up...for example, the octopus habitually creates a ring of coral pieces that serve as its portal gateway. The neat arrangement of coral stands out as a dead giveaway to the veteran octopus hunter.

In the islands, octopus is usually referred to by its Japanese name--TAKO. A surprisingly tasty delicacy, tako eaten raw in a special miso (soy-based) sauce is an island favorite. Most islanders boil the tako. It can also be dried and eaten as a jerky.

The Hawaiian name for octopus--and I just learned this two weeks ago--is HE'E.

This, then, is my tribute to my 48-year-old little brother, Charlie, with his prize 9-1/2 lb. he'e.


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