Happened To...

An update on past news

‘Pidgin to Da Max’
authors jus’ doing their
own da kine stuffs

Question: What ever happened to those guys who wrote "Pidgin to Da Max"?

Answer: Who can forget the people who so succinctly defined the phrase "da kine"? Or who informed the rest of Hawaii what word to not even THINK in front of a Samoan?

"Pidgin to Da Max" and, later, "Pidgin to Da Max Hana Hou" were self-published by authors Douglas "Peppo" Simonson, Ken Sakata and Pat Sasaki in 1981. The books were republished locally by Bess Press Inc. and followed by "Pupus to Da Max" by the same authors and "Fax to Da Max," written by Jerry Hopkins and illustrated by Simonson.

"Pidgin to Da Max" remains one of the company's best-selling books.

"It's a classic, quite frankly, and I wish I had 10 more books like it," said publisher Benjamin "Buddy" Bess. "It's stood the test of time. ... To present language in a humorous way isn't easy and quite tricky."

"Pidgin to Da Max" was recognized as the first unofficial "Pidgin English" dictionary for local slang and terminology.

The authors have since pursued separate projects. Simonson and Sasaki still live on Oahu, while Sakata has moved to the mainland. Sasaki works for the state Executive Office on Aging.

Simonson owns and operates the Simonson Gallery on Kapahulu Avenue.

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