‘Eddie Wen’ Go’ and ripping Kewalos

Gary Kewley
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Friday - May 16, 2008
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Marion Lyman-Mersereau
Marion Lyman-Mersereau

Aloha surfers and beachgoers,

It was and is an unusual week for waves, winds and weather. The culprit was a storm/cold front; it was associated with a low pressure fairly close to the northeast earlier in the week. This pushed the high-pressure ridge down over the Islands, bidding aloha to our typical trades and skies. The good thing is that waves are created by such storms, and that’s just what happened. We see advisory NNW swells Thursday through Friday! Yep, I love it when Mother Nature throws a curve ball and we get to hit it out of the surf park. I’m going to call my business friends and tell them something “came up.”

Hey, something is coming up for all our readers who love a great story. It’s a familiar one written in a non-familiar way. You can even hear it this weekend at the Hawaii Book and Music Festival. The title is Eddie Wen’ Go: The Story of the Upside-Down Canoe. This inspirational youth’s book is written by my dear friend Marion Lyman-Mersereau. She was the first and only woman to head south on the Hokule’a back in 1978. It was the fateful, legendary voyage on which Hawaiian hero Eddie Aikau perished at sea; he chose to risk it all to save those hanging on the capsized canoe. It’s been three decades this past March and the story’s power keeps growing.

Melissa DeSica’s watercolor illustrations are incredible throughout the 64-page hardcover book. There’s even a read-along CD companion to Marion’s creative endeavor.

There’s a list of colorful characters - the wise grandmother whale and her curious grandson, a sassy young dolphin, a tough pidgin-speaking shark and a free-spirited ‘iwa (frigate bird) - who all share in the telling of the story. Marion incorporates a liberal use of Hawaiian words and phrases as each of the older animals takes its turn in relating its part in the tale. It’s all woven through the events these characters saw or the family lore handed down. It’s all about the “upside-down canoe” and the brave human who went for help.

The book was definitely inspired, as Marion was well aware: “I get to the point (while writing) where Eddie paddles away ... and I know that part of the story. Now I’m going OK, what happens next? And I swear the story wrote itself ... it didn’t go where I had planned ... the characters told me the story. It was like I wasn’t writing. I still look at the story and go, ‘where did that come from?’

Evyn Tyndzik on his way to a third in the Open Men HASA event at Kewalos last weekend
Evyn Tyndzik on his way to a third in the Open Men HASA event at Kewalos last weekend

“I did know I wanted it to have an uplifting ending with resolution. I remember sharing the story with children and one kid said, ‘I think he’s (Eddie’s character) on an island nobody’s found yet.’ I liked that.” Me, too, Marion, and congratulations!

It’s a story for children of all ages, with lessons for all.

Hear the author read from Eddie Wen’ Go at the Hawaii Book and Music Festival May 18 at 12:30 p.m. in the Keiki Tent. You’ll have a chance to purchase from a limited supply of advance copies exclusively at the Watermark Publishing tent. (Marion will sign autographs from 1 to 2 p.m.) This book will appear in bookstores in June 2008.

If you’re reading this on Friday, the WCT Boys on the Foster Dream Tour will be done with more than a few rounds in Tahiti’s infamous Teahupoo left hander. It’s been a slow start to the 11-day waiting period. But the world’s best are always amazing to watch in any type of surf. They must finish by Sunday.

Congratulations to the top competitors ripping Kewalos last weekend in the last HASA event of the season. Now they’re all practicing for the Burger King States at Bowls this June 4-6. Those days fall on Wednesday through Friday. Go to SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM for all events.

See you in the delicious lineup and back here next week in MidWeek!

GQ, Dropping in 4 U!


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