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Summer 2011

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Summer 2011 - Other News | Alumni

Class of ’71 and 40 Glorious Years

by Dale Nishikawa ’71

Forty years does a lot of damage to hair follicles and waistlines (and other body parts) but it doesn’t seem to have had much effect on our (im)maturity as the Class of 1971 proved during Part I of our 40th Reunion (Part II will be in Las Vegas the weekend of September 16th).

Members of the Class of ’71: first row, Kenny Krumm, George Mansho, Dexter Nagaji and Keith Kaneshige; second row, Ken Kuraya, David Kinoshita, Wayne Fujita, Dale Nishikawa and Glenn Kunihisa
Our weekend began on Friday of the ‘Iolani Fair as the Class of 1971, as always, manned the Hawaiian food booth. Unlike previous years however our booth was located away from the other food booths in the small courtyard outside of Seto Hall. We were the only booth in the zip code and while it made our job easier (since no one could find us) it made us wonder if our class was really THAT poorly behaved in previous years.  After some serious introspection, we decided that yes, we probably were! Oh well, anyway, we did have a wonderful time catching up with all the 26 classmates who showed up: Lloyd Nishimoto, Wayne Fujita, Keith Kaneshige, Dexter Nagaji, Glenn Kunihisa, David Kinoshita, Kenny Krumm, Ken Kuraya, Dale Nishikawa, Jed Taba, Scott Shimabukuro, Robert Shimizu, Jordan Wong (who drafted his wife Jennifer), Ross Yokoyama, Pat Taomae, Steve Achimore, Allen Wong, Donn Tokairin, Cyrus Tamashiro, Joe Murakami, Dennis Nagata, Jeff Shin, Keith Fujio and Randall Hayashi. There was even a cameo appearance by George Mansho who flew in that morning and flew out 30 hours later. He has so many miles on United Airlines that they’ve named a plane after him. OK, it’s a small plane, but still….

Saturday night was the Couples Dinner, which was held in the special events room at Alan Wong’s Pineapple Room. Twenty-seven classmates and 16 wives and/or girlfriends attended. This James Beard award-winning restaurant outdid itself with an amazing buffet accompanied by wines donated by Marcus and Associates (Dale).  Since wives and girlfriends were present, the games (created by Cyrus) were geared towards showing off how smart their husbands and boyfriends are.  Some questions were: “What is the square root of 9,604?” “What year was the Battle of Hastings?” “What year did the French Revolution begin?” The ruse backfired, however, as exhibited our ignorance, all except for Pat Taomae who actually knew the answers to all of the questions above. He made the rest of us look severely uneducated, and since he came solo, he didn’t even have a date to impress! Thanks for throwing us under the bus, Pat! Next time, we’ll have someone else come up with the questions.

Enjoying the reunion were, first row, Pat Taomae, Allen Wong, Donn Tokairin, Bob Shimizu, Ross Yokoyama, Scott Shimabukuro and Wayne Fujita; second row, Jennifer Wong, Jordan Wong, Steve Achimore and Jed Taba.
Also at the dinner, the burning question from the 35th reunion, “Who was responsible for all of the champagne being opened at the last Boys’ Night Out” was answered and now we all know that it was Dennis Nagata. He will not be in charge of future Boys’ Nights Out. Steve Achimore won the award for coming the farthest, all the way from Syracuse, New York, where he is a successful artist specializing in abstract acrylics (I hope I got that right, Steve). Also coming back home from the mainland was Dr. Leslie Oshita (Pleasanton, California) and Scott and Sunny Shimabukuro (Sacramento), while Glenn Kunihisa and his wife Marian, made the slightly shorter trek from Maui.  

While not a complete listing, others attending the dinner were Carlton and Sylvia Au, Wendell and Pam Awada, Dr. Donn and Judie Tokairin, Wayne and Bianca Fujita, Drs. Joseph and Joy Murakami, Lloyd and Fay Nishimoto, Keith Fujio and his date, Dr. Jan Fujita (who although is a Punahou alum, was introduced to Keith by classmate and fellow obstetrician Donn Tokairin so she must be okay), Isaac and Trisha Kosasa, Dr. Peter Lum and wife Deborah Hazama, Robert and Debbie Shimizu, Jed and Eva Taba, Jordan and Jennifer Wong, Mel and Carole Yonamine, Jeff Shin, Keith Kaneshige, and my beautiful date Helen Chang, who spared me from having to sit at the table with all the guys who came solo (although they sounded like they were having a REALLY good time).

First row: Carole Yonamine, Trisha Kosasa, Marian Kunihisa, Sylvia Au, Joy Murakami, Jennifer Wong and Debbie Shimizu; second row: Jan Fujita, Fay Nishimoto, Eve Taba, Pamela Awada, Judie Tokairin, Bianca Fujita, Helen Chang and Sunny Shimabukuro; third row: Glenn Kunihisa, Steve Achimore, Keith Fujio, Keith Kaneshige, Melvin Yonamine, Wendell Awada, Carlton Au, Joseph Murakami, Jordan Wong, Jeff Shin, Wayne Fujita, Scott Shimabukuro, Dale Nishikawa and Ross Yokoyama; fourth row: Lloyd Nishimoto, Donn Tokairin, Steven “Mike” Chun, Allen Wong, Isaac Kosasa, Cyrus Tamashiro, Pat Taomae, Bob Shimizu, Leslie Oshita and Jed Taba. Missing: Sidney Kamm, Peter Lum and Deborah Hazama.
Our classmates out did themselves with donations and everyone went home with door prizes and goodie bags. All of the guys got those “little blue pills” (rhymes with “Niagara”) in their goodie bags, which were unfortunately just blue jelly beans, even though Jordan Wong actually is a Pfizer representative. As of this date, only two have complained of having an “episode lasting more than four hours.” Guys, they are NOT real! You’re imagining it! I was not able to confirm the rumor that a few wives were seen putting the “pills” in their purses. No, I won’t tell whose wives they were but a few guys seemed unusually chipper the next day at golf. One thing we did find out after 40 years was that Steven Chun actually goes by “Mike”, which is his middle name, and the only reason he went by Steven at Iolani was that he was getting confused with another classmate, Mitchell Chun, all the time.  Who knew? That’s why Japanese, unlike Chinese and Koreans, have so many last names. It prevents exactly this kind of confusion.  

Sunday afternoon, 12 golfers, including Scott’s wife Sunny, enjoyed a round of golf at Ewa Beach Golf Club. Exhibiting the humility which Iolani expects from all of its students, Ross, Lloyd and Scott never complained once as Sunny methodically outdrove them on almost every hole. Kenny missed a hole in one by six inches to narrowly avoid buying all of us the first round. First place was captured by the team of Scott and Allen Wong, while Ross and President Lloyd also placed in the money. Suspiciously, Scott and Ross were in charge of the format and scoring. Like Dennis, they will not be in charge of future reunion golf tournaments. The guys would also like me to remind Ross that a 12:52 tee time does not mean you pull into the parking lot at 12:52.

Part I of our Reunion ended that night at Kiki’s where we were exceptionally well-behaved once we found out that Randall Hayashi’s niece was our waitress. All of us were sorely disappointed as we were looking forward to seeing how many skills Randall has retained since his glory days in high school. Howard Matsuba, who specializes in surgery of the hands, flew in from Los Angeles to add to the group of doctors (Joe, Donn, Leslie and Allen) at Boys’ Night Out. Thank you to Keith Fujio, who did a masterful job with this year’s Boys’ Night Out.  You have earned yourself a permanent position for future reunions.  I’m told that we have some real singers in our class as Ross, Dexter, Cyrus, Scott and Allen all provided the singing entertainment for the gang. I left after hearing Ross so I can’t verify this.

Like old times for Ross Yokoyama, Keith Fujio, Scott Shimabukuro, Randall Hayashi, Bob Shimizu, Wayne Fujita, Keith Kaneshige (kneeling) and Donn Tokairin; back row, Cyrus Tamashiro, Glenn Kunihisa, Joseph Murakami, Jeff Shin, Dexter Nagaji (inside the booth), Pat Taomae and Dennis Nagata.
Thanks to our Class President for Life Lloyd Nishimoto for keeping us connected over the past 40 years, and Cyrus, Scott and Keith, for coordinating the weekend’s events. Remember guys, Vegas is just a few short months away and we’ll be getting in touch with all of you again for commitments so start your planning and figure out how you’re going to get your “pass” to go! Some of us, like Lloyd and Donn, are even bringing their wives—so no excuses! See you there.

Oh, and an important note to ‘Iolani School: Classmate Jeff Hackler, ‘Iolani History teacher extraordinaire, was in China on sabbatical at the time of these events and bears no responsibility for anything that occurred, or in the writing of this article. None of this is his fault.