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Big guns move from Waikiki to museum


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POSTED: Tuesday, January 06, 2009

No one was able to verify there being a cannon on the lanai of the Waikiki home of Prince Kuhio in the early 1900s ("Kokua Line," Nov. 13, 2008).

However, several readers remember playing on a cannon or two fronting the Waikiki Natatorium in the 1950s and 1960s and wondered what happened to them.

Thanks to Judith Bowman, curator of the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii, we can confirm those cannons are now a part of the museum at Fort DeRussy.

Bowman checked with the Bureau of Ordnance records in the National Archives and told us the "cannons" in question were 7-inch rifled naval guns manufactured by Midvale Steel Co. in Philadelphia around the turn of the last century.

The guns were mounted on the USS New Hampshire in 1907.

They were removed in 1918 and "apparently placed in storage until after World War II had started, when large numbers of old naval guns were turned over to the Army for use as seacoast batteries, in anticipation of further attacks and/or landings by the Japanese," according to Bowman.

During World War II the two guns were transferred to Battery Harbor at Sand Island, which was used by the military not only for wartime facilities, but also as a U.S. Army internment camp mainly for those of Japanese ancestry but also for European nationals.

In January 1946 the two guns were presented to the Territory of Hawaii by the commander of the 14th Naval District and moved to the World War I War Memorial in front of the Waikiki Natatorium.

According to Bureau of Ordinance records, the Territorial Department of Public Works built the foundations to support the guns.

In 1976 then-Mayor Frank Fasi loaned the two guns to the U.S. Army for display atop Battery Randolph at Fort DeRussy, "just in time for the grand opening of the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii."

The guns are still on display at the museum, located within Battery Randolph, and can be viewed 10 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, Bowman said.

Admission is free.

Question: I believe Rap Reiplinger did a comedy skit about getting change for a dollar in which he bantered back and forth about different ways of getting the needed change. Is there a way I can get the words to that conversation?

Answer: Check out YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= vQ4hFYGVGkw&feature=related - where you can hear the late comedian's two-minute routine, "You Get Change?"

After asking someone, "You get change" for "one dime," there's a convoluted exchange about how much each has, involving pennies, nickels, dimes, "quatahs" and "dollahs," until they reach a figure of a million dollars.

We found several other classic Reiplinger routines, including "Fate Yanagi," "Auntie Marialani's Cooking Show," "Room Service" and "Chanting" on YouTube.

Reiplinger, a founding member of the Booga Booga comedy trio, died of "cocaine-related" causes in 1984 at the age of 33.