1In midlife, documenting the lives of our ancestors and our own memories suddenly becomes important. Even if our kids aren’t interested — we know someday they will be.

Brendon Burns, 47-year-old grandson of Hawai‘i Gov. John A. Burns, has applied his writing and journaling skills to an earnest and diligent “look back” at the “greatness” that surrounded his grandfather, the second governor of the State of Hawai‘i, from 1962 to 1974. When Brendon’s dad, retired Appellate Court Chief Judge Jim Burns, had a bout of cancer in 2012, he and Brendon took time to recollect the personalities and dynamics of the governor’s era, and rise to power.

2Author Burns said, “I realized that it is time to pass on those lessons from his life to the next generation.” For Burns, an educator and principal of ‘Aina Haina Elementary School, the lessons are about leadership and consensus building, wrapped in detailed and well-researched historical context that seniors will remember as irrevocable changes in state politics.

John Burns’ tough childhood prepared him for grassroots politics, lobbying and assuming the risks of huge economic growth in the early years after statehood. Brendon Burns conceived this book for posterity and brings it to us with much aloha and perspiration. An Aura of Greatness: A Reflection on Governor John A. Burnsis available at local bookstores and online at Amazon:www.tinyurl.com/AnAuraOfGreatness.