January 24th, 2007 was the day when I picked up my first 'ukulele. It was pure co-incidence that I decided to get one during a trip to Oahu last year. My family visited the Dole Pineapple plantation on January 23rd, 2007 and we bought tickets to the train tour for the plantation. We got to the train station as the train was about to leave, so we sat at the waiting area to wait for the next train. We were sitting pretty much right at the front of the line along with another couple, and there was the train station attendant playing a 'ukulele. I remember thinking that it sounded very nice when I heard him strum it. After playing a little bit he came over and introduced the 'ukulele to us at the beginning of the line. He told us the meaning of the word 'ukulele (jumping flea), the "My Dog Has Fleas" tuning, and how easy it is to learn to play it. Having already enjoyed the sound of it when he was playing it, I thought perhaps I should give it a try if I saw one during the trip. The next day we went to the Aloha Stadium flea market. There were several vendors selling 'ukuleles there, and I stopped at several of them to check out their ukes. Not knowing anything about 'ukuleles back then, I figured I'd spend about $100 or so on a "nice" 'ukulele. I ended up getting a Leolani super soprano (pictured here). I didn't even know what size it really was and for a little while I thought I bought a tenor sized uke. Eventually I found a lot of great resources to learn about ukes and how to play them, and started buying ukes left and right. It's kind of amazing to think that had I made it to the train before the one I actually took at the Dole plantation, I may have never bought that first uke. But perhaps it was meant to be, because to this day, I still can't get enough of playing the 'ukulele!
Here's to many more wonderful years of 'ukulele playing.