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NKW Blog

He Wasn’t Everyone’s Cup of Tea, but was just right for us.

He wasnʻt everyone's cup of tea, but he was just right for us. Responsibility was his armor, to lead his calling.


He was called into existence by his parents, whose love allowed for learning to progress at all levels, mistakes and opportunities to learn from, he did well.


From early mornings tending to animals, to early coffee up the ranch with the brothers and sister to put in the post of the perimeter that would eventually become our strong hold - Kamoku… they did it together. Ranching is our life blood, it sustains us and motivates us to be our best. It connects us to the land - we do everything we can for her because of them.


For a single tree you take from the forest we planted 2,000 pulapula into the honua.

For each animal unit, we plant 30 trees. With each harvest, many are fed.


We are a “family of service”, wise words spoken by the oldest, the one closest to the tap root. And so it is that he wore a countenance of service for many years.


Did he always do it well, no! Did we always wanna do it with him, no!


His Waimea and friends were his shield.

His family, wife, and children, his sword of protection and accountability.


‘Åina is our soul provider, our energy, our strength, our motivation.


He is blessed to have our mom, she is the rock, the sure foot. She takes no BS in this play of life - sturdy, loving, compassionate. He is who he is because of her. She was the “calibration” on the compass heading. 




He is a son, grandson, brother, cousin, nephew, uncle, husband, dad, papa.

He is family, mentor, braddah, confidant, sounding board, shoulder to cry on, friend.


He is hard az, fair, on your case, hold the line, you sure you gettum?????


He is early coffee, crown royal, beer busts, fence nails, imu, laulau, sports…


He is one voice, first to action, last to retreat.


He was our home!


He taught us to love our home and to make every inch of her and her wairua the core of Us.


His love for a mountain who provides for us still, with all that we could ever need, and all of her tributaries, and gullies filled with abundance were his best friends.


Family is our foundation, our existence.


Aotearoa became our sealant, Ohope the place where we played and made magic.  

Mama took us there and birthed forth the visionary. The trees became the mainstay. The deck we built, our home.


They would offer ceremonies and ask, “Which one will come”.

Who will be our teacher?



Eo e Puakea - Keauhou!

Eo e Lahaina!

Eo e Kaulupulehu!.

Eo e Kaukaweli e Waiemi!

Eo e Puakailima!

“I Waimea ka lāʻau, i Kawaihae ka moku”.

Wā, Wāa, Wa’a, Waka.. is our mother. She is our remembrance, our womb, our world.



He is a son, grandson, brother, cousin, nephew, uncle, husband, dad, papa.


He is family, gentle, listener, understanding, guide, love, learned, friend.


He wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but he was just right for us.



In loving memory of Clay Bertelmann. We celebrate and remember 20 years since you returned from this space to the realm of the ʻaumākua.


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