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Thursday, January 15, 2015

The "Makawao Long Johns" Story

It was an ordinary day. Walking out of the T. Komoda Store with a Long John.  Nothing unusual, since most every time I go to Central Market in downtown Lancaster, PA I come out with at least one Long John.  For those reading this and not knowing what a Long John may be, it is similar to a filled donut, but long and thin instead of round.  But, why it is so special today is because I am in the paniolo ranching town of Makawao, Maui and I never in a million years thought I would find a Long John in a town of Hawaiian ranchers.  
The Makawao History Museum
It was an exploring day for Carol and I along with out traveling friends Jerry and Just Sue and after visiting the small town of Paia we decided to continue to Makawao.  Parked the car along the main thoroughfare and after exiting the car looked across the street and saw a small store front with a huge clock and an almost as large wooden outline of a cowboy.  The sign under the clock said that the place was the Makawao History Museum so I headed, with camera in hand, across the street to the museum.  Didn't take long to learn that the paniolos who grew up over the last 100 years or so in this town were the first cowboys in the United States.  Seems that back in the late 1700's Captain George Vancouver made a visit to Hawaii and ended up giving King Kamehamehi I a few cattle.  
Old paniolo horse saddle
These cattle were quickly killed and eaten so Vancouver landed additional cattle and encouraged Kameha- meha to place a 10-year kapu on them so they could multiply.  Multiply they did.  So much so that they grew into a big problem and paniolos were brought from Mexico in the early 1800's to teach the Hawaiians how to herd cattle.  
A female paniolo?
The word paniolo is said to have derived from the Mexican word "espanol."  And, the city that I am now visiting happens to be one of the biggest cowboy towns in the United States.  The fourth biggest rodeo in the US happens every 4th of July weekend in Makawao, Maui.  One of the largest ranches in the state, Haleakala Ranch, which was founded by Henry P. Baldwin, is featured in the museum.  Neat seeing some of the old photos featuring cowboys as well as cowgirls and some of the actual gear and saddles that were once used by the paniolos.  As interesting as all this may be, my main interest at the moment lies in the bag that I hold in my hand for you see the vanilla custard filled Long John is awaiting my attention.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.


As I walked out of the museum I looked down and saw this scratched in the cement along the street: "Dec. 1944".  Evidently the date that the sidewalk was poured and happens to be the year that LDub was born.  

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