The Kid





I can’t believe it’s been just shy of a year since I last wrote for this blog.

Where have I been?  Nowhere. I was right here. I must have been waiting for something truly strange, something compelling. I have been a writer for a very long time and I can’t possibly recall every source of inspiration. Things come into my head and they go out. If I’m lucky I jot a few of them down. But this week, a series of coincidences collided to remind me of just how many stories I’ve written, how much I’ve completely forgotten and how terrible I’ve always been at mathematics.

Because, this week, I accidentally put 2 and 2 together.

We just got back from another lovely sojourn in Hawaii. I have been coming to the islands off and on for more than 30 years, but not always on vacation. I once spent a week here producing a series of feature stories for a Vancouver television station. It must have been around 1989. It’s still a little fuzzy.


I do remember shooting a goofy segment on surfing. I also did a bit as a lounge singer who took unsuspecting vacationers for a car tour of Oahu. We also stuck stencils of our station’s logo on bodies along Waikiki and waited until the corporate image had seared itself into the still sensitive flesh. The tanner with the most pronounced results got a free tee-shirt and a coffee mug. They seemed painfully pleased. And I will never forget….could never forget… hovering in a helicopter, for more than an hour, over Kilauea on the Big Island while blinding neon lava plopped into the surf in sudden explosions of sulphuric steam.

But I’d forgotten about the kid.

How could I forget the kid? He was in our piece on Honolulu’s entertainment scene. His parents were popular performers and he was part of the act. When I met the family the kid was dressed in a miniature facsimile of Elvis’ famed white sequined jumpsuit. And he was great. He had the moves, the pompador. He had the lingo. Hell, he even had the sneer! And he was all of four….maybe five years old. We interviewed the parents, talked to the kid, and shot some of the show. Then we moved on to the next story.

And all of that left my mind, just vanished.

Now zoom ahead to this week. I’m back from Maui and I’m mercilessly reducing the inventory of recorded programming that has stacked up on my pvr. I’m enjoying a 60 Minutes segment on Bruno Mars. Lara Logan is asking Bruno about growing up in Honolulu and his family roots in entertainment and…well…you see where this is going.

Which means you’re whole lot brighter than me.

Because suddenly there’s some footage of Bruno at four or five in a white Elvis jumpsuit and I come off the couch in slack-jawed amazement!

Now, how dumb do you have to be to have missed this for 26 years? The kid’s nickname was Bruno. Yes, he was born in Hawaii. And all the time I was doing the white man overbite to the infectious beat of Uptown Funk it never occurred to me that this was, indeed, the same person. 

My wife, who remained emotionless while I had this palpitating celebratory revelation, knows that it’ll be a long retirement if I get this excited every time I remember something I forgot.





4 Responses to “The Kid”

  1. oh how you make me laugh out loud! What a story. It’s raining in Maui today…..

  2. Would love to see that footage! Great story Dave, I love the way you write.

  3. I got that same, excited “I remember that guy from ages ago” feeling when I saw “Manic Tapas” show up in my e-mails!

  4. ha! how cool is that! I think I would have been jumping off the couch too.

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