Have you ever shot a video and said to yourself, “Wow, that was incredible. I should send that in to America’s Funniest Home Videos (AFV).” Well I had one of those moments while on vacation in Hawaii with my wife in January of 1997.
We were visiting a college buddy of mine, Franklin Marcus, who happened to live on the Big Island, who happened to have just purchased a boat, and who happened to have purchased an cute yellow lab. puppy–“Hokulani (or Hoku for short)”–about two months earlier. It was the perfect “happening!”
So there we all were (including Franklin’s friend Nancy), cruising around in the Pacific enjoying the glorious morning, highlighted by the occasional humpback whale sighting. If you’ve ever seen, at close range, a humpback “leaping” out of the water you would agree that it is quite a memorable moment. When a whale emerges aboout 100 feet from you, you can’t help but to “Ooh” and “Aah” at the magnificent sight. Hopefully, someone has a video camera running at the time to capture the amazing creature in its full glory.
Well, I did have the camera running when a whale gave us a close up view. What I didn’t expect to hear a split second later was a splash, and soon thereafter the sight of the ever-curious Hoku chasing the whale. The moments that followed speak for themselves, including Nancy leaping into the water (that must have been thousands of feet deep at that spot) to, hopefully, fetch Hoku.
Our whale chasing dog event had a happy ending. Hoku and Nancy made it safely back into the boat, and we all had a good laugh over the antics of Franklin’s precocious pup. That’s about when I said, “I should send this clip in to America’s Funniest Home Videos.” Well, about seven months later I did. To my amazement, four months after that I was on the set of AFV, in Hollywood, competing for the $10,000 first prize. The video will show how I placed.
Regardless of the outcome, I’ll always be able to say I was a finalist on AFV. The good news is that AFV re-runs are on TV all of the time. Still today, just when I least expect it, someone will come up to me and ask, “Was that you on America’s Funniest Videos?” Well, now you know what my answer is…
Finally, let me pay a fond tribute to the real star of the video: Hokulani the whale chasing dog. Hoku lived a long and playful life in paradise. A few years ago she went up to the big whale chasing pond in the sky. Thanks Hoku for one of the most unique momemts of my life, and thanks to blind luck that I had my video camera up to my eye when you attempted to bite off a little more than you could chew–literally. Aloha.