Isle musicians strum happy tune as guitars are returned
Two local musicians have been reunited with their treasured guitars, which were stolen last week.
Now "Ruby's home," musician Mike Kaawa said, referring to his 12-string Ovation guitar named for its deep ruby-red color.
He lost it on Aug. 6, when someone broke into his locked van in Kaneohe. Another 12-stringer, belonging to musician Brother Noland, was also taken.
Noland's guitar was recovered first, when a Kaneohe pawnshop dealer recognized it. The man who was trying to pawn it waited for Kaawa and explained that a friend of a friend found them Saturday at a Salvation Army outlet.
Kaawa later got a call from two women who said they found the guitars near a Salvation Army bin they had been rummaging through after hours. They met Wednesday, and Kaawa was reunited with Ruby and thanked the women.
"By that time the guitar was hot already," he said. "We had good help from the media."
The women tracked Kaawa down through his cousin, who is listed in the phone book.
"They said they found the guitars, they looked at each other and said, 'We have to learn how to play guitars,'" Kaawa related. "But when they looked at it, they said, 'Oh no.' One told the other, 'I think we should just turn this in to the guy.'"
"We're just glad they're honest enough to try to get a hold of us and contact us and brought it back," he said.
Kaawa said he does not know who stole the guitars, but figures they did not realize they were in big trouble at first.
"It happened on a Sunday," he said. "By Monday everybody knew, and they didn't have a chance to do anything with it."