Winter 2012 - Other News | Reunion
Las Vegas Reunion: Class of ’71 Still Fun After 40 Years
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.
You know that thing about “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas?” Well at our age, I’m having a hard time remembering what happened! So, if some of what follows isn’t exactly the way things occurred, too bad. Next time, someone else write the article.
A few way-too-anxious classmates took the red-eye on a Wednesday night to get an early start on the weekend. Dennis Nagata (He is one of 17 dentists in the Class of ’71. It just seems like there are that many in the Class.) and Dale Nishikawa found themselves at the Bellagio surrounded by extremely muscular women and men who were in town for the Mr. and Ms. Olympia Contest, which is the Super Bowl for professional bodybuilders. They weren’t kidding when they said everything (and every body part apparently) is bigger in Vegas. President-for-Life Lloyd Nishimoto and his ever-patient wife Fay, also early Thursday arrivals, spent the evening at the Donny and Marie Osmond show and raved about how much fun it was. Nutrisystems has done wonders for Marie, who lost 50 pounds, and she has now officially replaced Annette Funicello in my Fantasy League. What?! You have your Fantasy League and I’ll have mine, thanks.
I found out that we almost lost Dr. Donn Tokairin before the reunion as a defective fuel gauge erroneously convinced Donn that he and his wife Judie were about to run out of gas in the middle of Death Valley. In true ‘Iolani style and using all of his finely-honed medical-school trained brain cells, Donn shut off the A/C, turned off the radio (does the radio use gas, Donn?), and rolled up the windows to, as Donn put it, “minimize wind drag.” Of course, the temperature in the car probably reached 120 degrees which is why we almost lost Donn, as Judie was extremely close to causing him severe bodily harm.
Keith Kaneshige, Randall Hayashi and Kenny Krumm at Il Mulino Restaurant
Bruce Masatsugu, Allen Wong and Howard Matsuba at Il Mulino Restaurant
Dr. Howard Matsuba, living in California made it the Daily Double by attending both the Honolulu and Vegas gatherings, while Neil Uyemura, still impersonating The Great Gatsby since his Brown University / University of Chicago days, left his wife Jan in Portland to hang with the boys in Vegas. He claims that she wouldn’t leave the dogs. Sadly, we believed him.
Judie and Donn Tokairin, Clive and Mari Otsuka at Il Mulino Restaurant
Wait, I almost forgot to tell you how President Lloyd offered to drive us from the Paris Hotel and Casino to Il Mulino and got lost trying to find the shortcut (I mean, really, you can SEE the Forum from Paris) and because we were already late, after taking a tour of the industrial area on the OTHER SIDE OF THE FREEWAY, dropped us off to park the car and showed up about 45 minutes later, halfway through dinner. He made excuses about having to park on the other side of the Forum and walking the wrong way, along with some other equally lame sounding reasons. Later I heard rumors that he had been abducted by female bodybuilders, but that might be another “Stays in Vegas” story. He did look a little disheveled however when he finally did show up, although he was grinning.
Outside Lagasse’s Stadium were, left to right: Keith Kaneshige, Bruce Masatsugu, Adele Inouye, Isaac Inouye, Randall Hayashi, Neil Uyemura, Mari Otsuka, Bob Shimizu, Clive Otsuka, Cyrus Tamashiro, Dale Nishikawa, Sonya Chung, Francis Chung, Dennis Nagata, Marian Kunihisa, Allen Wong, Glenn Kunihisa, George Mansho, Donn Tokairin, Grant Howe, Judie Tokairin, Lloyd Nishimoto, and Kenny Krumm.
Francis and Sonya Chung at Lagasse’s Stadium
Jordan and Jennifer Wong showed everyone how the upper crust dresses as they made a cameo visit on the way back from seeing “Phantom of the Opera” that evening. They looked smashing and obviously knew something the rest of us didn’t as they didn’t even plan on watching the game.
Glenn Kunihisa, Grant Howe and Kenny Krumm with the Paris Hotel in the background
Oh yeah, I think UH was playing UNLV on TV or something, but I forget.
So what, boys? Celebrate our 60th birthdays in ’13?
— Submitted by Dale Nishikawa ’71