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Old Kapahulu, a Musicians' Playground

Reliving A Community Celebration: A Salute to Kapahulu and Emma Veary

Excerpted from "Special to the Star-Bulletin" by John Berger and retold by Dick Rodby, Mr. Kemo`o himself, who (with wife Joan) still resides in Kapahulu.

Emma Veary embodies such regal ambience in concert or when talking to fans that it's hard to imagine her trying to milk a goat, sneaking into a movie theater, surfing or jumping off a roof with an umbrella for a parachuteŠall which she enjoyed in her growing up days in Kapahulu.

Dick Rodby is a treasure trove of history: "Kapahulu was home to many reknowned Hawaiian entertainers. The Veary's, the Galuteria's, Kalama's, Napua Stevens, Marlene Sai, the Kapu's, Piliwale's, Pauline Kekahuna, Dorothy Irvine, Lani Guerrero, Emma Bush, Violet Kaku, Myra English, Laina`ala Haili, John Pi`ilani Watkins, Wainani Kaneali`i, Kealoha Kalama, Sonny Kamahele, the Kaleikini's, Conjugacion's, Aunty Vicky Rodrigues and her famous offspring Mackie, Boyce, Nina Keali`iwahamana and Lani Custino.

"Mr. Gray's Kapahulu Movie Building was the location of the ever-popular Elmer Lee's night club where Emma Veary got her career start.

Such recollections were shared when Emma was guest of honor as Dick Rodby presented `A Salute to Kapahulu and Emma Veary' in August 1999 at the Hawaiian Regent Hotel. She was also a featured performer before a near capacity audience at the 10th Anniversary Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame Concert at the Hawaii Theater this past June. Emma is an active member of the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame organization.

"Joan's grandfather, Charles Martin settled in Kapahulu in 1890 and took the lead in developing the area into a neighborhood. His life was devoted to the special place and to the Hawaiian people who lived here, sharing with them water from his well, saving them from having to trek to the Castle Estate-site of the Elks club."

Entertainer Emma Veary now lives on Maui, returns to Oahu frequently and remains a Kapahulu tomboy at heart. She still runs into people she grew up with. "We'll look at each other and start laughing and say, "Remember whenŠ?' and talk about all the great times in Kapahulu."

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Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame
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