Eh, jus’ between you an’ me, this issue’s “Liddo Bitta Tita” almost was “NOTta Bitta Tita”! I wen’ catch writah’s block! My pen went speechless every time I try fo’ write my column about Da Bes’ of Maui.
See, even though da MNKO guys tell me I no need match my column to da theme of da issue, I figga if they going to all da trouble to make da res’ of da magazine match, da least I can do is go along. Plus, I always was one sucka fo’ theme parties.
But I neva like do da obvious “Tita’s Bes’ of . . .” list. No mo’ nuff room. If I mention da chop steak at Tasty Crust or Charley’s Woofer burger, then I gotta talk about Fran’s kalua-pig hash and Unisan’s tempura brownie sundae and Café Marc Aurel’s hummus. Yeah, I know, titas and hummus no match. But so long as we here, da spanikopita at Casanova is onolicious. I wen’ try ‘em by mistake ‘cause I wen’ read da sign wrong. Neva have Spam inside, but still yet was good.
So then I wen’ try come up with some real special Bests. Like da County’s Kaunoa Senior Services—da bes’ kept secret of Maui. But da MNKO staff wen’ beat me to da punch and put Kaunoa on da Shaka List. An’ if I talk about my odda two favorite Bests, would be like conflick of intres’. ‘Cause I can go on Mana‘o Radio (91.5 FM!) anytime I like, an’ I do so much shows at da MACC, all them is like ‘ohana, family to me. And local style, not cool fo’ brag about your family. Unless it’s your kids an’ they wen’ do sometin’ awesome like win da Spam musubi eating contest.
And then, couple, tree days befo’ da deadline, I went up Haleakala fo’ one day hike, down Halemau‘u trail to da top of da Switchbacks. Standin’ on da rim, I was thinkin’ about my friend who wen’ make (pass away) one year ago, how he used to call da crater his church. He used to come up here, camp out fo’ days, ‘cause he said Haleakala is da heart of Maui an’ he gotta come feel da pulse every so often. And dass when da ting wen’ hit me like one slap from Tutu’s rubba slippa! Da Bes’ of Maui is Maui itself. Da ‘aina stay alive, even if liddo bit sore in some places. Whateva us guys do to make Maui one betta place fo’ be, no matta how much stuffs we invent an’ contribute, da ‘aina going outlive all us guys.
Afta all, was ova 100 years ago, Rev. Samuel Kapu wen’ write da song dat wen’ give us our famous saying “Maui no ka ‘oi.” Here da chorus, wit’ da official English translation, plus bonus pidgin translation too.
Tita is the pidgin-speaking alter ego of local actress and Mana‘o Radio cofounder/DJ Kathy Collins. Both Tita and Ms. Collins grew up on Maui.