Remembering My Friend Lowell Kalapa

Courtesy of Denby Fawcett

Editor’s note: Lowell Kalapa, president of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii, died Monday. He was 64. In addition to being a tax expert, public finance watchdog and advocate for government transparency, he was also a trained journalist. His writings appeared in numerous media in Hawaii and he was a frequent contributor to Civil Beat’s Community Voices section. Denby Fawcett offers this remembrance of Kalapa, who was a close friend.

Lowell Kalapa was at my house a few days ago for a Christmas lunch of salmon, wild rice, cranberry salad and many bottles of Pinot Noir.

Our usual Christmas tradition involved food and a lot of wine. Lowell and I have celebrated Christmas together for more than 30 years. When we were younger, our celebrations were wilder.

Our main holiday celebration then was on Christmas Eve when Lowell, along with about four dozen other friends, met at my house for a formal sit-down dinner with cases of wine, which we drank until all the Medoc and Champagne ran out.

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