Michael N. Purdy Sr.
Year Inducted: 2019
Ulupalakua Ranch | Maui
Michael N. Purdy, Sr. was born February 17, 1945 to Daniel Purdy, Sr. and Nancy Purdy.
Michael was born and raised at Ulupalakua where his dad worked as a Paniolo. He went to Ulupalakua and Keokea Schools and in 1963 he graduated from Maui High School. Michael married Sandra Vasquez in November of 1963. They had five children, four girls and 1 boy.
He wanted to work at Ulupalakua Ranch after high school as a paniolo but the ranch was not hiring so he worked construction and then worked at Maui Pine as a truck driver. In August of 1965, he was hired by Ulupalakua Ranch, beginning his dream of following his grandfather, Ikua Purdy and father as a paniolo. That journey at Ulupalakua lasted 42 years. Michael retired in 2007.
As a paniolo, you have a multitude of jobs such as herding cattle, branding, roping wild cattle, training horses, as well as taking care of the water pumps, driving the dozer, and managing the cattle trucks.
Michael was a member of the Ulupalakua Rodeo Club. The club and two other ranches, Hana Ranch and Kaupo Ranch, competed against each other every year. It was a very family orientated rodeo, with tutu, fathers, children and grandchildren all competing. Michael became the Arena Director for the Ulupalakua Club. His responsibilities were to make sure that the stock was cared for and that all events went smoothly. He enjoyed poking fun at other paniolo as they all did with each other. Michael enjoyed sharing his culture and knowledge of the paniolo life with the younger generation.
When Michael retired, he continued to live on the ranch. He went back to work for the ranch part time driving the bull dozer maintaining the ranch roads. He can always answer a question about where an old pipe line is or where a certain road used to be. Michael often takes day trips mauka remembering the fun times he had growing up in those pastures, fulfilling his dream as a paniolo, being a steward of the land he loved.