Submitted by Helen Takenouchi
It has been 62 years since we graduated from Lanai High School. We decided to celebrate this milestone with a mini-reunion on both Maui and Lanai the week of May 12th through 16th. Here’s what we did:
May 12, Monday: Kiyomi Akahoshi Kunishige, Hatsue Higa and Helen Kaya Takenouchi and her husband, Frank flew into Kahului and headquartered at the quaint Maui Seaside Hotel. We called Jaime and Lu Dugay, however, they had family commitments and could not join us. The weather was raining heavily the entire time on Maui. Frank wanted to go fishing but the rain defeated him. His friend took him out one day to fish on the other side of the island, but still no luck due to rainy and windy weather.
May 13, Tuesday: We spent the day walking and browsing the entire Maui mall and the open market. Happily, Hattie also ran into some relatives at the mall.
May 14, Wednesday: Our entourage packed up and drove to Lahaina where the rains had finally stopped. Kiyomi and Helen walked around the historic town square while Hattie watched our bags at the ferry pier and Frank returned our car rental. Finally, we boarded the noon Expedition ferry bound to Lanai. The ocean was a bit rough, but no one got sick during the 45-minute ride. When we disembarked at the Manele Small Harbor we were all amazed with the changes there. It didn’t look at all like Lanai. In fact, Kiyomi said it reminded her of northern Maine’s ferry harbors.
Greeting us and providing rides up City were classmates Molly and her husband, Howard, and Stanley and his wife, Midori. How wonderful to see familiar faces and our home island! We looked for a place to lunch, however, both the Blue Ginger and Canoes eateries were closed until 2:00 p.m. Luckily there was the 565 Restaurant were we lunched over hamburgers. Our group split up – Frank to go fishing and the rest of us to settle in at our accommodations. Later that evening, we ate sushi made by Molly and chicken hekka cooked by Stanley and topped the night with talk story and laughter over our good old days.
May 15, Thursday: We had breakfast at Canoes and recalled when it was Tanigawa’s in our days. Frank went fishing again! No fish story yet! The rest of us walked around the town square; then over to the school grounds. We didn’t recognize any of the school buildings (remember we had the old wooden buildings) and it just
looked entirely different. We met Mr. Kinoshita, the principal and he mentioned he is related to our absentee classmate Edith Kinoshita Gikui. It sure is a small world!
The rains started up again as we made plans to dine at the Hotel Lanai. Helpful folks came with umbrellas and towels to dry us all off. Molly and Howard, and Stanley and Midori also joined us for an enjoyable dinner and more talk story at the Hotel Lanai.
May 16, Friday: It was still rainy. Kiyomi and Helen ventured out to the Blue Ginger restaurant for breakfast. Hattie wasn’t feeling well and wisely stayed indoors. Later that afternoon, both Kiyomi and Hattie departed for Honolulu. Also, Stanley and Midori flew to Honolulu and met up with Richard Miyazaki and his wife on a jointly planned trip to Japan. Molly folks invited the rest of us to a delicious supper and I must say that Molly is still a great cook!
May 17, Saturday: Helen and Frank attended the Buddhist church service in the morning then lunched with the visiting Maui minister and some of the church ladies at the Manele Bay Hotel. It was pricey yet delicious! Then we packed our bags to catch our flight back to Honolulu.
Our time on Lanai was beautiful and relaxing. Molly, Howard, Stanley and Midori were wonderful hosts. We all wished we could stay longer, but as we know, all good things must come to an end. Our mini-reunion started off with eight classmates. Sadly, our classmate David Funada had passed away during this time. Cancellations were reluctantly made by Stanley Juan, Henry Pascua and Marcellino Sugitan. Also, Ruth Teraoka caught a bad cold and could not join us either. That left us three classmates for the reunion – Kiyomi, Hattie and Helen. Luckily, our classmates on Lanai – Molly and Stanley could join us to total five classmates for the Class of ’52!!! In retrospect we feel this may be our last reunion, but who knows maybe we’ll all meet again in Vegas!!!