Sunday, February 21, 2010


Stanley Kau... like fine wine... gets better and better

I met Stanley about three years ago and ran into him a few times since. The first time was when his wife was a patient in Pearl City Nursing home and again when she was a patient in St. Francis West Hospice.

Stanley at Pearl City Nursing Home

After his wife passed away two and a half years ago, he decided to revisit his skills as a pianist and volunteered at nursing and care facilities. He performs monthly at Ka Punawai Ola in Kapolei, Pearl City Nursing home, St. Francis West Hospice, Waipahu Adult Daycare and Pearl City Hongwanji. Whew! I have to catch my breath just thinking about all those commitments. He even does commitments back to back. My fingers begin hurting after one set.

He calls himself the one-eyed pianist because he is practically blind in one eye. When he perspires during his performances and the sweat drips into his good eye, he has to play by memory until he can wipe his face so he can read the music.

He first took classical piano lessons at age 10 but quit after two years. Later, he took a year of lessons in popular music when he was 14 and has been playing ever since. In those days, his teacher used to come around on his motor scooter to give lessons. Lessons cost $3 for each half-hour, a hefty sum during the Depression.

And he's still playing at a very young age 85. Truly an amazing person.

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