Being a pretty ‘ol dog, I enjoy reminiscing about the good old days which includes the music of the 60’s and 70’s.
So naturally I would gravitate to the oldies channel when listening to the radio while travel back and forth to Hilo.
Catching an early morning radio show, geared to us who appreciate the legends of music, I listened to three personalities on the air waves who were providing their insight into the lighter parts of everyday life.
Israel (Gonzales), Eddie O (Ombac) and Uncle Danny (Jesser) provided me with some amusing antidotes which kept me smiling and toe tapping until I reached my destination.
The first time I heard Jesser on the radio it was a real surprise as I’ve known him primarily from racing with him and against him over the years.
Back in the early ‘90’s I had teamed up with Jesser to do the Hilo to Volcano Relay races, a 31-mile trek from Coconut Island in Hilo to Cooper Center in Volcano Village. Then, in our 40’s, we helped set the Master’s age division record for that race.
Jesser is originally from Manhattan Beach, California where he was exposed to a wide variety of sports at an early age.
“I attended lots of Laker, Dodger, L.A. Rams football games and as an adult I went to several L.A. Raider games,” Jesser said.
As a youth Jesser tried his hand at baseball, football, basketball, and even ran high school track and cross country. “My events in track were the 100, 440 and the mile,” he said.
In college, Long Beach State, Jesser’s focus moved onto music where he used his new found talent to write songs and play music.
Jesser knew many of the players from the National Hockey League’s L.A. Kings as they were regulars at a night club where he was a professional musician.
“I moved to Hawaii in ’87 to get away from the crowds and traffic of Los Angeles,” Jesser said. “I love the ocean, had always surfed, and grew up in beach towns, so naturally I was very drawn to the ocean and nature of Hawaii.”
Today, at age 57, Jesser continues to write songs professionally and he continues to exercise to stay healthy.
“I usually run three times a week and swim three times,” he said. “I try to surf whenever I find the time, probably once per week.”
Jesser also watches what he eats as he consumes lots of fruits and vegetables and he tries to stay away from fats, fast foods and too much sugar.
“Running is my exercise of passion. My favorite race has always been the Volcano Marathon and I’m very sorry to see it gone,” he said.
Jesser also ran in two Boston Marathons, the pinnacle of all marathon races in the world. “One of my two Boston Marathons was the Centennial Race and that one was truly special,” Jesser said.
When his children were little Jesser would push both of them in a jogger during Peaman events in Kailua-Kona and often times would win the race. At one time he held the record for a 3-mile race while pushing a baby jogger.
Today Jesser takes great joy in having his two kids beat him in races. “About a year ago, at the Hapuna and Kings swims, my kids beat me for the first time,” Jesser said. “Having them beat me was one of the greatest moments of my racing career. I’ve never been happier or prouder.”
Jesser continues his passions in life, staying active as a radio personality (Lava 105.3 FM), writing and playing music and exercising as he runs, swims and surfs.
“I exercise because I love it as it keeps me healthy and happy,” he said.
And for those just starting out in regular, physical exercise, Jesser offers the following advice:
“Take it slow until it becomes as big, important and enjoyable part of your day. Just make it FUN!”