I have a confession to make. I am not a native Hawaiian, a ka'amaina (long-time island resident), or an expert on Hawaii, Hawaii Five-O, or Herman Wedemeyer. I have no connection with the Wedemeyer family or with Five-O. I am a Texan who has loved Hawaii Five-O since 1985. Because of this show, I have traveled to Hawaii several times and have made the effort to learn as much about the islands as I can. Anyone who has ever visited there can attest to the magical spell cast by this "dream of islands." My Five-O fandom allows me to live vicariously in Hawaii, if only through the magic of television.
When I became acquainted with other Five-O fans through the Internet, I learned that many fans loved the "local" characters, such as Kono (played by Zoulou), Ben Kokua (Al Harrington), Chin Ho Kelly (Kam Fong), and Duke Lukela (Herman Wedemeyer). Although well-known in Hawaii, these performers and their characters often got short shrift from the network and mainland press, who seem to assume their readers have no interest in the "ethnic" characters.
I had always admired Herman Wedemeyer's good looks and modest, no-nonsense portrayal of Duke Lukela. But in 1996, I learned that there was much more to Mr. Wedemeyer than a pretty face; that he was, in fact, a football legend and influential politician and businessman in Hawaii. Since then, I have done a little digging. This page is an attempt to share what I've learned with the wider world.
I'd like to say mahalo to the following people who have contributed information to this page. It wouldn't be the same without: Carl Aldana, Ed Allan, Randy Andrada, Carroll Canfield, Mike Ching, Mary Clare, Byron Feldman, Mike Hirano, Ron Jacobs, Brian O'Connor, John Neudecker, Mike Quigley, Bobbie Peake, Joe Roberts, Jerry Rose, John E. Spaulding, Arthur Suehiro, Marilynn Terstegge, and Linda Wobbe.
I appreciate all feedback. Write to me and let me know what you think of this page. Aloha and mahalo.