Our family friend and excellent chef Dean Mishima started a small diner in Kaneohe several years ago. He had steady — but not overwhelming — business. Then he was featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Dean even sported a bleached haircut to match host Guy Fieri’s. Dean moved to the old Zippy’s location in Kaneohe, and now Dean’s Drive-Inn is booming. Even though the long-time customers wait in line longer, they’re all happy. Dean’s a great guy. People are happy for great guys.
Earlier in the volleyball season, the Stan Sheriff Center crowd was so sparse people wore jackets because there weren’t enough bodies to counter the A/C. The dance-offs during timeouts had few participants, like wedding reception dance floors before the Electric Slide is played.
Times have changed. The Warriors are No. 1, and the arena is packed. There are signs throughout the SSC, including that scary blow-up picture of Charlie Wade. Last night, there were two ADs and two head basketball coaches in attendance. The chancellor hosted a pre-match reception.
The thing is, the volleyball players and the coaches welcome the response. They don’t care when people arrived to the party, but appreciate that they decided to attend.
“The fans are absolutely incredible,” libero Garrett Komisarek said. “They win some games for us. It if weren’t for them, this would be like any other school. They make this place special.”
UH has worked hard to promote volleyball. The band and cheerleaders perform at home matches. Wade will call radio stations to talk volleyball. Wade hosts pre-game chats with boosters, offering strategies and even polling which outside hitter to start. The players call him “Charlie.”
UH doesn’t always have a lot good news. When it does, it’s nice that it can be shared.