Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Punahou Reunion Finale

We rose very early to catch the fish auction breakfast and tour on Pier 38.  We toured the fish auction first.  One of the classmates owns 3 state of the art fishing boats and the Diamondhead Ice plant.
As you might guess, the fishing industry in Hawaii is huge and Hawaiians eat 3 times the national average of fish (42 lbs.).  Fishermen fish within 50 nautical miles of Hawaii and boats come in to unload their catch which has been iced, not frozen, about 1 AM six days a week.  Each fish is weighed, tagged with the vessel name, displayed on pallets, and kept clean and cold.  Before offered for sale, each fish is inspected to insure quality.  Buyers arrive before the start of the auction to inspect the day’s landings and at 5:30 AM a brass bell is rung to start the auction and bidding begins.  Fish are sold individually, buyers are invoiced and fishermen are paid that day for their fish.  Some of the fish are packed immediately and shipped to distant markets. 

A small portion of the fish is cut to show the color and quality of the fish. 
There are many rules and practices that govern the fishing in Hawaii to insure a high quality and sustainable industry.  I was impressed.  One thing of note was that many of the fishermen are foreigners and are not allowed off the boat when it comes in to port.
Later that morning we drove back to the hotel to freshen up and then walked outside to watch the 95th annual King Kamehameha Floral parade. 

That afternoon, the class attended the Punahou president’s reception and after cocktails and pupu, the class matched down to the grand luau preceded by the Oahu College Band leading the way to seat the class of 1961.

Thus came to an end of the class of 1961’s 50th high school reunion for us.  We passed on the family picnic the next day, being guilty of reunion burn out and spent some time around the hotel pool with occasional Mai-Tais protected from occasional light sprinkles under our umbrella. The next day we returned the rental car after some confusion on where to go and flew home.  This was some adventure.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Friday-June 10th

Totally unknown to me was the fact that Doris Duke, at one time the richest woman in the world, built a home, called Shangri La on the other side of Diamondhead.  Her father made a fortune but died early in life leaving his fortune to Doris.  Duke University is named after him.  Of all the places we visited, this stands out as the most interesting to me.  The tour began at the Honolulu Academy of Art’s Islamic World Galley where a few of us viewed a short video about Doris Duke and Shangri La then boarded a small bus to travel to Diamondhead.  Doris was particularly interested in Islamic art and her home was outright fabulous even if you don’t particularly like the symmetry of Islamic art.
Photos inside were not allowed as with most museums, but the grounds could be.

This is a special place and she was a special woman with a RICH history.  This is a must if you visit Oahu.   Doris’s life can be read about here --
That night was the gala aloha reception at the exclusive Outrigger Canoe Club on part of Waikiki Beach where there was plenty of food and a view of the surfers surfing until it was almost dark.
To be continued.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Punahou 50th Reunion at Oahu

Oahu-Tuesday June 7

Upon our arrival at Honolulu International airport, we gathered our luggage and stood outside the Thrifty Car pick up and waited and waited but no bus.  After about 20 minutes, a rival company, after seeing us wait as he went by 4 times, agreed to take us to Thrifty because he went right by the place.  Thrifty is not just at the airport but at least ¾ mile away.  As it turned out, I made the reservation for 2 days later by mistake (I won’t go into it) but they had a car available, a dirty one but upon complaint we received a clean on, a Ford which was a very nice car and very quiet as compared to my Camero.  The directions to return the car were confusing also and I had to ask directions.   Next time we go to Oahu, I am renting an Avis or Hertz no matter what the cost.  Life is too short to deal with the hassle. 

We check in to the pink exterior Royal Hawaiian and have a room slightly facing Diamondhead in the newer tower.

 The next day, a special tour has been arranged to tour Pearl Harbor, guest of Admiral Dixon Smith with his executive assistant Stanford Yuen hosting.  The tour was not just out to the Arizona Memorial, but also included a close-up of Ford Island, the shipyards, the mothballed fleet, active ships, the USS Missouri, and memorial to the USS Utah.  At the USS Arizona, the class presented a floral tribute on behalf of the Class of ’61.   Among the highlights of the tour were a view of the aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson (the ship that buried Osama ben Laden at sea) and we saw a nuclear submarine return to port.  We passed Hickam Air Force Base on Ford Island and a series of mothballed ships.  And at the USS Arizona, evident of oil rising from the sunken tomb is clearly visible. 

That evening we walked about a mile up Kalakaua Ave. to the Tiki Bar and Grill overlooking Kuhio Beach for happy hour and some light pupu (hors’d oeuvres).

The following day about 11 of us played golf at the Navy Marine Golf Course.  After making my excuses that I was playing with rented clubs and had only played 9 holes this year, I parred the first hole and shot a respectable 94 after three triple bogies.  Meanwhile, Judith had lunch at the Willows restaurant, a favorite meeting place since 1944.
That evening some of the class boarded the 65 foot catamaran for a two hour boat ride along the coast.   To the right of the left photo below, the brown Sheridan and Pink Royal Hawaiian can be seen.
The following day, Thursday June 9th, we visited the Iolani Palace and Chinatown.  The Iolani Palace has been beautifully restored and the history of the royal family was rich in power and intrigue.
The guided walking tour of old Chinatown was another chapter in the rich history of various ethnic groups coming to the islands to contribute their labor.   Lunch was at the New Empress restaurant at the Chinese Cultural Plaza.
To be continued