Well, here's something that's pretty surprising. If I asked you if any of the three major Presidential candidates knows how to play the ukulele, I'm guessing that you'd say Barack Obama would. After all, he was born in Hawaii.
That'd be my guess, too, but you'd be wrong.
While Senator Obama was born in Hawaii, he moved to Indonesia with his mother and stepfather when he was six. He later returned to Hawaii and wen' grad at Punahou. But since he attended early elementary school in Indonesia, he missed the obligatory ukulele lessons. The gap in his cultural upbringing was discovered during a 2004 fundraiser for the Hawaiian Democratic Party. Local party Chairman Brickwood Galuteria (see photo) presented Obama with a koa canoe paddle as a souvenir of the event:
"The Senator (Obama) thanked Galuteria for the gift and joked that "this will come in handy when I'm paddling up the Potomac to re-take Washington for the American people. I'm grateful that you saw fit to present me with this rather than an 'ukulele. I have no idea what I'd do with that."Local 'ukulele teacher and impresario Roy Sakuma read the report in the Star-Bulletin and got in touch with Obama's sister, Maya. Roy offered to teach Obama to play, but the idea went nowhere since the Senator spends very little time in the Islands.
Fast forward to 2008. A chance conversation between Roy Sakuma and Abe Lagrimas, Jr. leads to a couple of telephone calls with Maya and guess who's teaching the G7-chord to you-know-who in the Presidential Suite at a swank LA hotel? Yep. Honest Abe.
I guess Obama didn't want George W. Bush to be the last occupant of the Oval Office to play the uke. Could a re-entrant version of "Yes We Can" or other campaign songs be far off? Link