January 13, 2011
The late, loved Mahito Shirako had an appetite for life in more ways than one. The expert CSU Monterey Bay AV engineer learned to dive for abalone, then barbecued his stash with friends and family... ...once scoring an octopus too. He hunted deer, cleaned it and toted it in ice chest back to Marina for big backyard barbecue sessions. He learned to fashion tamales, bake pies and craft liquor. For a man who lived big and full and generously—racing dirt bikes, climbing scores of trees in a day, hiking and camping and kayaking—food and drink was a big part of his existence. While the strapping dude was often found at beer festivals, reggae events, fishing trips and cook outs—sometimes wearing a kilt and beer-mug glasses—he was also spied regularly driving around CSU Monterey Bay and Marina with his full size grill tied down in the back of his truck, heading to another barbecue he probably anchored. When he died in November in a tragic motorbike accident, a whole community shook. This week I took a look at his life and the upcoming Mahitopalooza fundraiser to build a scholarship in his honor at CSUMB.
At the 5-11pm Saturday celebration at CSUMB's University Center, there will be a smorgasbord of stimuli inspired by his tasteful and eclectic instincts—stand-up comedy, live skate-reggae, conscious hip-hop and high-energy rock—plus plenty of food (proceeds going to the fund) and his favorite beers, Tecate and Sierra Nevada.
There will also be hundreds of his friends, honoring his legacy whether they know it or not, making new friends, laughing deeply, dancing madly and loving life.