Thanks for the Memory
Editor’s note: For decades, Bob Hope brought entertainment and smiles to millions of U.S. troops through United Service Organizations (USO), making 57 tours for the USO between 1941 and 1991. For the past four years, Aka`ula School students have hosted a USO tribute show to honor those who have served in the American Armed Services. Students select singers, musicians, comedians or actors they would like to impersonate and spend the fourth quarter of school perfecting their acts. Below, reprinted with permission from Aka`ula, are what students had to say about the experience.
Fourth Annual USO Show
By Ramie DeVera-Kuahuia, Grade 8
On May 16, my school held its fourth USO tribute show. The theme was “Honoring Our Heroes, Past and Present.” We advertised the show on Facebook and posted flyers. We sent invitations down to the Veterans’ Center and were really happy to see so many veterans come to see our show. We spent a lot of time before the show putting on make-up and fixing our hair.
As I walked outside I saw lots of people sitting down waiting for the program to start. Bob Hope (Royden Abafo) started the show and introduced the Kenny Loggins and the Footloose Girls. I was afraid that I would forget my steps, but I think we did all right. My next performance was an act from “I Love Lucy” called “Ricky Thinks He’s Going Bald”. It was very messy, and I can’t believe that Ricky (Dillon DeCoite) let me put eggs and mayonnaise in his hair.
My last performance was waltzing with Kepa, while Dolly Parton (Grace DeVera-Kuahuia) sang “From Here to the Moon and Back.” After all my performances were done I really had fun on stage. I can’t wait for next year’s show.
USO Show Sisters
By Skylar Kuahuia, Grade 7
Everyone enjoyed Aka`ula School’s Fourth Annual USO Tribute Show, including me. I performed “Down to the River to Pray” as a solo, and that made me nervous. I also danced with the “Footloose Girls” while one of my classmates sang the song “Footloose.” That required a lot of energy, and during one part of the dance I lost my place. I don’t think anyone noticed. My sisters Gracie and Ramie, and three other classmates danced with me. My sister Gracie was Etta James and sang “At Last.” That is not an easy song to sing and she sang it really well. My sister Joy was part of the group, ABBA, and sang the song “Fernando.”
My sister Ramie was Lucille Ball in a comedy act, and she also waltzed with Kepa, while Gracie was singing “From Here to the Moon, and Back.” This was one of the best performances I have ever been part of. The best part of the USO show was that our families came out and supported us.
By Kekumu Helm, Grade 8
Controlling audio systems requires a lot of focus. Last week Friday and Saturday, Kepa and I helped Mr. Riel with the audio for our dress rehearsal and opening night USO Show. When Mr. Riel first asked me to help, I did not know how to work the sound system. Thankfully, I am a quick learner.
At practice on Thursday, the audio worked well, but on Friday and Saturday the audio was acting up. One of the wireless microphones and headsets was fading in and out and was full of static. While that problem, made our event flow less smoothly than we expected, we tried our best to work it out. Mr. Riel overheard one of the veterans say that the microphone problems made the show more authentic, because he had never been to a USO show that didn’t have something like that happen. I honestly believe that if I hadn’t been there to help with the audio, things would have been worse. (Teacher’s note: We agree with Kekumu and are glad he was there to run the system.)