Monday, May 23, 2011

Fifty Years Past

Fifty years and a couple of weeks ago, 50+ seniors from University High School, Honolulu, Hawaii
walked into Andrews Amphitheater at the University of Hawaii.   We left as graduates,
the newest members of the then very small group of alumni.  

Fifty of us survive.  
Thirty something of us gathered this weekend in Honolulu. 
For some of us, it was the first time in 50 years we had seen most of our classmates.  

We had a wonderful time eating, remembering,
eating more, visiting,
eating still more ...
and digging up even more memories.  

Here are the men -- or at least the ones we could corral  for this photo.
Front row:  Worldster Lee, Alwin Tokuhama, and Rauyl Nakayama.  
Back row:  Lloyd Sueda, Hyrum Wayne Smith, Jim Young, and Frank Satogata.  
Of this group, 4 are educators of one variety or another, 5 are businessmen, 4 are artists.*
Two are retired, the rest are thinking about retirement.
Multi-talented folk, our men.  

And the ladies -- more compliant about gathering for the camera. 
Front row:  Linda (Darling) Lloyd, Regina (Chun) Ting, Lani (Ka'aua) Bruss,
Karen (Knudsen) Gleason
, and yours truly.
Back row:  Maile (Crooker) Carter, Frances (Miyaguchi) Saito, Sandy (Jaber) Yamamoto,
Gail (McElrath) Long, Lucille (Lum) Massicot, Barbara (Ahuna) Wakatake,
Diane (Takamune) Anderson
, and Barbara Oyama.  

Of the ladies, 8 have degrees in education, but all 13 have been educators.
Five have worked in business.  Twelve have raised at least one child.*  
Between us, we have a bunch of grandchildren.
We relax with books, paint brushes, cameras, 
music, sports, needlework, and our friends.  
We are at least as talented as the men!  

We're already talking about gathering in southern Utah in 2013.  

*I can hear my classmates asking, puzzled, "Now how did she get those totals?"
**Photos courtesy of  Jim Young

I'm reminded of an old Girl Scout song:  
 Make new friends, but keep the old.  
One is silver and the other gold. 
Give thanks for old friendships renewed and refreshed. 
Don't forget to pray!  

Sunday, May 22, 2011


What would you think, seeing this guy trundling unattended downs a sidewalk in your town at the beginning of the business day?

Would you feel differently if the sidewalk was alongside the police station?

Yup, trundling along, totally unattended, this little guy took up about half the sidewalk, and stood perhaps 2-2.5' tall.  The sidewalk next to police headquarters in Honolulu.  That "head" up top turning slowing this way and that, clearly observing where he was going.  I wished there was a place to stop and take a picture, but alas, nothing was available.  At least not at 8:15 in the morning.

I immediately thought of this fellow, star of the 1990's film, Short Circuit, which pops up on weekend or late night television every so often.  His name is Number Five, one of five robots belonging to the US military.  While out on demonstration one day with his four companion prototype robots, Number Five escapes into the real world.  His two most repeated lines?  "Number Five is alive!"  and, always with great urgency, "Need input, need input!"

Number 5 is at least 5' tall.  He moves and speaks independently.  He has a quirky sense of humor, as any "live" robot would.

The other day I asked a police officer friend what it was I had seen.

Bill grinned.  "I've never seen it," he said, "but the HPD Bomb Squad has a robot.  They must have been practicing remote robot control."  The more I described what I had seen, the more assured Bill became.  "Must be the bomb squad robot."

My Honolulu "buddy" may not be as large or as independent as Number Five, but he really is a robot, and he really is a member of the Honolulu Police Department.

Wonder if there's a robot out there which can successfully track down perpetrators in personal property thefts, from a vehicle or a private home?  My brother's Ka'a'awa community could certainly use one these day -- or at least until the burgular in their midst is caught.  (Browse for more about the recent rash of Ka'a'awa burglaries.)

Give thanks for police officers all over the world who take to heart the motto, "to serve and protect".

Don't forget to pray.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Still Fighting

My friend decided he wasn't ready to die.  Again.

The vascular surgery, difficult though it was, apparently met its goal.  There is feeling where there was none only 2 weeks ago.

He has successfully transition from IV to oral medications.  That pleased his doctors, who were not sure the transition would be easy.

He has resumed physical and occupational therapy -- at the walk-from-the-bed-to-the-hallway level.  Each day he is able to do more, walk farther.

He must make some decisions about where to go when he leaves the hospital.  Is assisted living more appropriate than in-home nursing care?  What are the ramifications of living with a family member?  Will he ever again be able to live alone in his home of 35 years?  In which city would he like to live?

Big decisions.  But he is alive to make them.

Give thanks for each small step toward my friend's recovery.
Don't forget to pray....

Sunday, May 1, 2011

... one more time ....

About a week after Ray's passing, I called a relative in another state, someone I barely knew.  He had been widowed just days over a year previously.  "How do I do this?" I asked him.

He took it upon himself to help me through, calling me every evening and talking ... and talking ... and talking, sometimes for hours.  It was as therapeutic for him as it was for me.  We have spoken almost daily since that first call.

On Wednesday he had some very difficult, very delicate vascular surgery.  On Saturday he had what appeared to be several heart attacks, but which his doctors describe as one long heart attack.  He is in Cardiac ICU in a major hospital in a major US city.  His children and their spouses are with him.  Many others are with him in spirit.  Now he has personally placed a Do Not Resuscitate order.  If there is another attack, he will not be revived.

When he goes onward, my mother will be the last of her generation, the oldest member of her maternal line.  That must be a lonely place.

Give thanks for our kupuna (our elders) and the gifts they give us.
Don't forget to pray....