Friday, August 10, 2018

New Uke

A few mornings ago while drinking coffee in the great room, I was catching up on my reading and blissing out. Suddenly, I heard a song that I love.

Jilda was watching a video that had come across her Facebook timeline. It was Somewhere Over the Rainbow sung by Israel "Iz" Ka'ano'i Kamakawiwo'Ole. Judy Garland's version is incredible, but it makes me sad. Iz's version, on the other hand, always makes me smile.

This was a video I'd never seen before. As always it made me smile. But toward the end of the video, I heard cheering. Hmmm, I thought. Then I realized it was a video of his memorial service in Hawaii. He died years ago, but I did not know about it.

As the video showed his friends scattering his ashes in the Pacific, the video showed the beach and there were hundreds of people there cheering and blowing conch shells. They were celebrating the remarkable life of Iz. The video brought tears to my eyes. Click here to see it on YouTube.

I hummed the song for the rest of that day. And the next day.

Yesterday, after I left the eye docs office, I made a management decision. I stopped at the music store and looked at ukeleles. They had one acoustic/electric uke that had been scratched. Originally, it cost more than a hundred dollars. They had marked it down considerably.

I pulled a C-note out of my mad-money stash and plopped it on the counter. A few minutes later, I was walking out the door strumming my new uke.

Thanks, Iz for convincing me to buy an instrument that I should have bought years ago.


  1. They look like fun and easy to play, I've been thinking about getting one as well.

  2. You'll have some good times with the uke. You've just added another string or four to your bow.
    OK. I can hear you groaning from here.

  3. Not an artist I knew. And obviously much loved, across age groups and cultures.
    Have a heap of fun with your uke.

  4. Good Decision Rick.

  5. When I am home, I will listen to the video. I love that song and Judy sang it but with longing. It will be interesting to hear how he sings it. I will look forward to hearing you play this instrument.

  6. I love his version of Rainbow and was so sad to learn he had died. Hope you enjoy your new toy.


  7. I love the song Somewhere over the Rainbow and love to hear those Uke's played too. They are rarely heard much of at all these days. Glad you got one!

  8. I hope the Uke brings you many hours of happiness. Losing my hearing hurts in that I cannot hear the different ranges of music anymore. There is a lot of talent in our family, I miss hearing and knowing it is GOOD!
    Hang in there I know music is of great comfort and fun to Jilda and yourself!

  9. Great idea! We all need fun and music in our lives. Enjoy!

  10. Good for you, Rick! That's a wonderful video.

  11. Anonymous12:10 PM

    Iz's voice was hauntingly beautiful!!

  12. You will add a new wonderful sound to your music.

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Iz's version is the one to which I danced with my daughter at her wedding. Tricia used to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow to her in the car when she was an infant when she got tired and fussy on long trips. Always seemed to work.

  15. Iz's version is so beautiful and a reminder of his talent. I heard Judy Garland singing it just the other day. Made me smile.

  16. Rick, you've been an inspiration to me for over 40 years. Oops! You did it again. I wondered who sang this. Thanks. I just bought the MP3 from Amazon. Now for that uke ...


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