Unbelievable! There they were on the tube - two of Maui's most notable residents. Archie Kalepa was talking to the cast of a Discovery Channel show. Former 2nd Circuit Judge Boyd Mossman appeared in a promo for an upcoming "reality" show.
Mossman was a hard-nosed county prosecutor and judge. These days, he's a somber Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee. During his term as trustee, he has written letters to the editor in favor of establishing a form of recognized government by Hawaiians. It's the only way Hawaiians will have a say in their future and a hedge against losing entitlements - funding for various programs designed to improve their lot.
(An aside: Hawaiian is an English word established by missionaries. Hawaiians use the term but many prefer kanaka maoli, the people. Another more elegant term that has fallen out of favor is keiki o ka aina, children of the land.)
During his term as County of Maui prosecutor, Mossman instigated a raid on the Iao Theater. The devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints objected to the showing of "Deep Throat." It didn't matter that the XXX picture had been shown on Maui earlier - a midnight showing that attracted many of Maui's most respected citizens.
As a judge he was known to sentence offenders to stand by the side of busy streets holding signs publicly apologizing for their crimes, or to write letters to the newspaper doing the same.
On the tube, he is set to star in a local version of the popular courtroom shows such as "Judge Judy." The promo for the show claimed it would be interactive, which usually means the viewing audience will have a say in which local individual "wins" the case.
With Mossman on the bench, you can count on common-sense legal observations. From a TV point of view, it doesn't hurt that the judge is a good-looking keiki o ka aina. Time will tell.
The other notable resident was Archie Kalepa. He's a big-wave surfer, chief county lifeguard and all-around waterman with an almost mystical connection with the ocean. He was sitting at a table as part of Discovery Channel's popular "Most Dangerous Catch."
At the end of each season, captains of Bering Sea crab boats gather over drinks to talk about their adventures and misadventures while pursuing million-dollar payoffs in what the show calls the most dangerous occupation in the country.
The captains rag on each other and talk about battling vicious storms, recalcitrant crew members who get paid according to the catch, close calls, disappointment over crab pots that come up empty and joy at full pots.
The captains take a certain pride at being among the last to practice their trade. They seldom mention their status as TV stars with film crews monitoring their every move.
Didn't catch the entire show but did see Henry Kapono in the background and hear Kalepa talk about the most deadly critter in Hawaiian waters - the opihi. That comes as no news for islanders.
By necessity, opihi collectors work with their backs to the sea while clinging to wave-washed rocks. One traditional way of surviving the danger is having a lookout stationed above them to sound alarms about big waves coming in. The danger has been heightened by a growing shortage of opihi, forcing collectors to venture into more questionable locations.
The show included a clip of one of the captains hunting opihi, the same captain who once went under his boat in scuba gear to free up a snagged line and was conked by his heaving boat.
The clip showed the captain, dressed in a wet suit and using a dive mask, trying his hand at opihi collecting. Kalepa apparently had taken the captain to a remote site and got him on the surf-washed rocks via a personal watercraft, maybe to underline the danger.
The captain talked about being washed by waves and when he was ready to quit, jumping into the ocean. He tried to follow Kalepa's advice and hit the water when it was the deepest. He missed and was slammed hard enough to smash his mask.
Kalepa swooped in on his watercraft. The captain grabbed the sled and was towed to safety. He was very much impressed. It was all in a day's work for Kalepa.
You never know what you might see while wasting time channel surfing - even the appearance of Mauians, one in a familiar context and the other serving as a kind of actor. No ka oi, for sure.
* Ron Youngblood is a former staff writer for The Maui News. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.