A video of Maui’s Harley Puamaeole Tripp is going viral thanks to Oprah’s best friend and TV Journalist Gayle King.
King used her cell phone from inside the plane to capture Tripp on the tarmac performing a playful, impromptu catwalk as he posed for passengers upon their departure from Kahului Airport over the weekend.
King posted the video to her Instagram account saying she was “leaving a paradise, heading back to New York,” when she got quite the send off from the ground crew. “Great is what they’re going for,” she said, “LOVE this guy!”
The video already has more than 15,500 likes and nearly 500 comments. It’s also been viewed nearly 130,000 times.
*Video Credit: Gayle King Instagram
Tripp reached out to King on her Facebook page saying he knew she was going to be on that flight, but had no idea that she was the one that was recording him. “Just me living and enjoying life the best way I know how and that’s by putting a smile on someone’s face and making everybody laugh 😂 That makes me happy. Thank you for capturing and sharing this moment hope your stay on Maui was beautiful and filled with love aloha happiness and joy…….blessings to you. Mahalo nui loa,” Tripp wrote.
Tripp, who works as a ramp agent for Hawaiian Airlines, is also a DJ and on-air talent for Pacific Media Group’s KPOA 93.5 FM, Maui’s Hawaiian music station, where he is known on-air as “Da Handsome Hawaiian.”
Tripp appeared as a special guest on the station’s morning show, Maui Morning Rise today saying, “Every time when I see a phone up against the window, it’s like showtime for me.” But what kind of show? Tripp laughed, “It all depends on how I’m feeling that day.”
KPOA’s morning co-host and fellow recording artist Nāpua Grieg (who is also a kumu hula) playfully suggested, “Hawaiian Airlines needs to promote Harley to kumu hula, because now we have high expectations… I want to see moves,” she said laughing. Fellow radio host and program director, Shane “Hawaiian Homeboy” Kahalehau jovially encouraged Tripp to perform his now viral moves for radio listeners.
Tripp is originally from Panaʻewa and Keaukaha on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, and has been part of the industry for nearly 20 years as a recording artist, entertainer, promoter, emcee and evening radio host.
“My passion is music of course but I also very much enjoy making Hawaiian crafts such as haku lei poʻo and haku lei aʻi something that was handed down to me by my mother Leimomi Pua,” said Tripp in his online bio. “Love for my people, my ʻāina and my culture,” said Tripp in explaining his purpose.