Puna News — Pahoa Holiday Parade Set For Dec. 4; Enter By Dec. 1

The 20th Annual Pahoa Holiday Parade is Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010. (Tiffany Edwards Hunt photo. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.)

(Media release)  — The 20th Annual Pahoa Holiday Parade commences at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010 in old Pahoa Village.  The colorful and notably unique parade that highlights the diverse and eclectic community of Puna will maintain its usual route along Pahoa Village Road to the Pahoa High and Intermediate School for a Ho’olaulea that will feature island fare and entertainment. Before and after the parade, residents and visitors are being encouraged to dine and shop locally, and many of the businesses will be planning specials and incentives that day.

The theme of this year’s parade is “Keiki and Kupuna Holomua (Moving Forward).  Grand marshal will be Jan Ikeda, who, this year, celebrates 60 years in business in Pahoa, running Jan’s Barber Shop.  A tribute to Vic Beardsley, Puna’s longstanding Santa Claus who passed this year, is also expected.

Motorists should note that Pahoa Village Road, also known as Old Government Road, the main street through Old Pahoa Village, will be temporarily closed for the Pahoa Holiday Parade from approximately 9:30 am to noon. The road closure will be from Apa’a Street (also known as Rubbish Dump Road) to Ka’ohe Homestead Road (the intersection leading to the Pahoa High and Intermediate School). Parade participants are to line up along Apa’a Road, entering from Ka’ohe Homestead Road.

To participate in the Pahoa Holiday Parade, pick up and drop off entry forms at Jeff Hunt Surfboards, 15-2883 Pahoa Village Road, or call (808) 965-2322 to have your entry form emailed. The deadline to submit entry forms for participation in the parade is Wednesday, Dec. 1.

Letters — ‘Vic Was A Gift To The Children Of Pahoa’

Photo Courtesy of Rene Siracusa

Tiffany —

I’m on the mainland and only have limited access. Vic was a gift to the children of Pahoa.  His work with all the children all year around was a added bonus to the people of Nanawale especially.  He helped raise money for Boys and Girls Club and Puula

Preschool through rummage sales and movie nights.  His grumpy outward attitude covered a heart of pure gold.


Steve Sparks

Noteworthy Obituaries — Puna’s Santa Is Dead At 80

Aloha oe, Santa baby! Vic Beardsley is depicted dancing with 104-year-old Saramae Landers at his 80th birthday party last December. Photo by Tiffany Edwards Hunt. Use with permission only.

(Editor’s Note: The following story appears in the Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010 edition of the Big Island Weekly.)

By Tiffany Edwards Hunt

Vic Beardsley, Puna’s santa for the last 18 years, has passed away. He was 80.

Beardsley died of apparent natural causes as his family’s New York home on Wednesday, July 28, 2010, according to his wife of 58 years, Mary Lou Beardsley.

“He died so beautifully,” Mary Lou said. “I’m happy, I can’t be sad.” She explained that in the last several years Vic had fallen a lot, and she feared he would have a fall so bad that he would break his back and lay in pain for years.

That Wednesday, the couple had been sitting beside each other discussing, of all things, their will, and their planned return to  Hawaii this fall.

Mary Lou got up from her chair to grab something off the table, and thought she heard a cat fight.  She turned around to tell Vic, “I didn’t know we had any cats here,” and realized that that sound had come from Vic.

“It was that squeaky last breath,” she recalled. “I thought it was a cat.  His mouth was half open. His eyes kept staring.” Mary Lou gave Vic a kiss, and there was no reaction.  She called her daughter, who, with her family, resides in the back house. “Come, now,” Mary Lou said.

First to respond was her 17-year-old grandson, who is autistic. Read more

***Commentary*** Notes On Behind-The-Scene Political Drama Of A Parade

Alyse Radjenovic art

Who shows up to a Green and White Day Parade wearing red and white? Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole-Beason.  When she got out of her vehicle wearing a red and white floral mu’umu’u with a red silk lei wrapped around a black cowboy hat, I just took a deep exhale.  It was just one more thing on my list to illustrate all the politics involved with putting on a parade.

After my exhale, I couldn’t help but be amused. What was she, a Pahoa High School alumna, thinking, when she decided not to wear her school colors? Did she want to stand out amid all the basketball players in their green jerseys? Was she trying to match the Hawaii County Band? After all, their uniforms are red and white gingham. She can’t blame it on not getting the memo.  Her Council Aide Gwen Kupahu wore a green T-shirt and her legislative aide, RJ Hampton, wore a green and white gingham button-down shirt.

What Naeole-Beason didn’t realize when she showed up decked out in red and white was that, prior to her arrival, I had  been having hard time finding a volunteer driver for her.  By the time she arrived, she was shown to a red Chevy pickup that — turning a negative into a positive — matched her dress! Read more

Photo Of The Week — Santa And Saramae

Santa and Saramae 2Retiring Puna Santa Vic Beardsley is depicted sharing a danc with Saramae Landers, the Big Island’s oldest woman at 103.  Saramae attended Beardsley’s 80th birthday party at the Nanawale Longhouse today, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009.  At the birthday party, many of Beardsley’s collectibles were auctioned to benefit the Puna Community Medical Center (PCMC).  Saramae’s daughter, Sara Burgess, serves on the PCMC board.  Beardsley and Landers danced to the music of The Concords, which is comprised of Dan and Carolyn Nix.  Dan Nix is also known as Puna’s very own Elvis impersonator.  While Dan Nix did not dress up in his Elvia garb today, he and his wife did play few Elvis numbers along with Christmas songs.  Puna chef Teena Berry donated scrumptious carrot and chocolate cakes for the party.  The event raised hundreds of dollars for the medical center, which relies on community funding.

‘Gift For Santa’ Birthday And Retirement Party Saturday Benefits Puna Medical Clinic

(Media release) — Vic Beardsley of Nanawale Estates has been Santa in the Pāhoa Holiday parade for almost 20 years.  Now, on his eightieth birthday, he is retiring.  The old candy-throwing arm ain’t what it used to be!  Many young parents remember Vic as Santa when they themselves were young — he has delighted a whole generation of children.  Quite a joyous legacy!

Vic, who has been active in Puna for many years, will not go quietly:  the Pāhoa elves are throwing a combination birthday and retirement party from 3 to 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 at the Nanawale Estates longhouse.  Because Santa doesn’t need presents, he is asking that your “Gift to Santa” be a generous donation to his favorite charity, the Puna Community Medical Center (PCMC) that, he says, saved his life.  One way to do that is to attend the party.  Admission is free, but there will be donation calabashes available.

The Gift For Our Santa party will feature live music by The Concords, both a silent and a live auction of Santa’s toy collectibles and other gifts for the grownups on your list.  A raffle will also provide a chance to win some unusual gift items. Read more