Posted in Family

Time-Travel via YouTube

Punahou football
Punahou’s #79—Keoni’s Senior season (1973)

My husband Keoni found a historic gem online yesterday: game-film from the championship football game he played his senior year of high school. The whole game—complete with a “pause to change reels.”  Yep, reel-to-reel, black-and-white game film. Classic 1973.

Naturally, I didn’t miss the opportunity to tease him about my Favorite Fact. “Wow, there’s Senior-in-high-school You. What was I doing then? Oh yeah—I wasn’t born yet!” (Hell, I wasn’t even conceived yet.)

And another favorite topic of teasing: the mascot for Punahou High School. To back up for a little history, this school stands on Hawai’ian land won in battle by King Kamehameha I, and gifted half a century later to the missionary Hiram Bingham. (If you’ve read James Michener’s Hawaii, Bingham is the historical basis for the dour, hardass character of Abner Hale.) Bingham and his fellow missionaries started a school for their kids in 1841, with Daniel Dole (think pineapples!) as the first principal. One hundred seventy years later, Punahou is still a prestigious private school, known to some as the alma mater of Barry. You know Barry… Obama? (He graduated with Keoni’s younger brother.)

a page from my brother-in-law’s Punahou yearbook…

But I’ve digressed—it’s the mascot I like to tease about. Any guesses? Punahou’s mascot is (drum roll, please)…

The Lauhala Tree. That’s right, a tree. Ferocious and intimidating, don’t you think?

So while the game commentators used the opposing team’s mascot (“the Crusaders”) in references to them, Punahou was identified instead by their colors—“the Buff and Blues”—as if that were the team name. I’ve been giggling and poking fun at this unusual mascot-situation for years, but hearing it from the sports commentators took it to a whole new level of fun.

Keoni and his cousin, Kimo Kealoha, hugging each other after Kimo’s spectacular fumble recovery, and walking off the field hand-in-hand

Plus, I have to add the observation that to members of my generation, “buff” is a state of undress rather than a color. Seriously—I had the 128-box of Crayolas, and there wasn’t a buff anywhere in the line-up. (Of course, our son Christian just pointed out that his generation uses the term “buff” to refer to someone who’s very muscular—so I guess this is one of those words that pinpoints your age by how you use it…)

Generational joking aside, it was fun to hear some familiar names in the commentary. Punahou’s offensive line alone boasted three all-star players who seemed destined for the Pros: Mosi Tatupu (who went on to USC and a career with the New England Patriots), Keith Uperesa (who went on to BYU and played for the Oakland Raiders & the Denver Broncos), and one John (a.k.a. Keoni) Tyler (who went on to ASU, but lost his football scholarship to a career-ending leg injury).

“Coach K” working with Kapena’s team this year–and still in Buff & Blue!

I will admit to one moment of weirdness, when I was commenting on his uniform… (Ladies, you know what there is to say about football pants, right?) …And then it dawned on me that the version of Keoni I was watching was a sixteen-year-old. In fact, exactly the age of our son Kapena—which suddenly made my commentary seem a little creepy. Until I reminded myself that I wasn’t even born yet when this particular butt was on display. Well, I’m back to patting the 55-year-old version of that butt, but I sure got a kick out of our YouTube time-travel.


I am... a writer, an explorer, a coffee-drinker, a recovering addict, a barefoot linguist, a book-dragon ("bookworm" doesn't cover it), a raconteur, a sailboat skipper, a research diver, a tattooed scholar, a pirate, a poet, a spiritual adventurer, a photographer, a few kinds-of-crazy, a joyful wife, a mom... a list-maker! :)

29 thoughts on “Time-Travel via YouTube

  1. As Christian would say, “Actually Mom…” In all fairness I do prefer the “Fighting Lauhala Trees”. As I keep trying to get you to realize, the long leaves of the Lauhala or Pandanus tree have thorns on their edges and could seriously scratch someone if they weren’t being careful. The fruit of the tree was dried and used as paint brushes and the leaves, sans “almost deadly” thorns were woven into floor mats, baskets and hats. Let’s see a “Crusader” top that.
    BTW…did I remember to mention that the thorns were really sharp?


  2. i love this story Granny! isnt it crazy how life works out?! if my daddy wouldnt have injured himself, he would have never come out here and would have never met my mommy and we wouldnt even be here! i tried to play the youtube but it didnt work for me. what do i look it up under on YT? i love and miss you all!


    1. Funny, I was having the same thoughts—your mommy and I BOTH would have missed out on meeting-and-marrying Daddy if his football career had panned out… (And a world without you three kids is entirely unimaginable!) As always, God’s plans for our lives turn out better than the plans we tried to make for ourselves. ;)

      Hmm, I don’t know why the YouTube isn’t playing for you. You can try the direct link (, or you could search “1973 Football: Punahou vs. St. Louis: ILH Championship” on YouTube. One or the other of those ought to get you set up.

      Hugs & Kisses to all our Cali kids! And grandbabies! And your mommy too. :)


  3. That must have been surreal, seeing footage of a teenage-version of your husband. I’ve only ever seen photos of my husband as a teenager, and very few of those. Seeing him on film would be such a bizarre blast. But what a neat time-travel thing to be able to do. And love that high school photo of Barry!!


    1. “Surreal” pretty well describes it… I’d only ever seen a handful of photos ( a couple from his toddler-years, a couple from high-school years, a couple from when he was MY-age-now, LOL…Oh, and a couple from his 500-pound days!) To see him “in action” was pretty crazy; I’m more accustomed to seeing our SON tear up the football field! :) VERY fun!


  4. What fun. I completely understand your attraction for the 16-year-old version of K’s assets, since you get to canoodle with the present version. Think of it as art appreciation.


  5. Hi Kana,
    I don’t know what’s up with WordPress lately…the Follow button is not notifying me of new posts, so I missed this one.
    I’ll try again with the tick box below.

    PS: Is my last comment in your ‘waiting for approval’ box or is that something else WordPress has not shown?

    Have a great weekend. :-)


  6. Amazing — that’s SO cool that he found that! And, no, there’s nothing at all skeevy about scoping on your honey’s younger self! I do it every time we haul out the yearbooks at our house. :)


  7. Hi Kana! Thanks for sharing such a nice story. It made me remember the day I realized that the way teenagers speak now (in my native country, in my mother tongue), it’s different from the way they spoke when I was a teenager. Funny! :) Also, seriously, that bit of info you share with us about Obama having graduated with Keoni’s younger brother to me was just priceless. I cannot help it but feeling extremely excited about anything Obama. :) Have a great day!


  8. What I gather from this post…(in case you want to know):
    Your nuclear family, as well as your extended, is ripe with experience and history. Stories and knowledge. All of which are threaded with an abundance of love for each other. You are a rich woman indeed!


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