More than 4,000 workers are needed every year to make the Punahou Carnival run. Of these, 900+ are Punahou alumni from 39 classes spanning five decades. These alumni were working hard in more than 48 shifts at booths ranging from hamburgers, to Hawaiian plate, to Portuguese Bean Soup. Of those present, no alumni made an effort that is more important to the readers of this blog than that made by Punahou74 at Ewa Malasadas.
It was a prefect day for making malasadas. Tepid weather prevailed with nary a rain-bearing cloud in sight. The buckeroos were enjoying the rides, the great buys at the White Elephant, and eating corn, gyros, and taco salad as they wended their way through the growing crowds. It was Punahou Carnival at its grandest.
But the best was yet to come. As the sun began its long decent in the west, Punahou74 gathered in the Ewa, the Ewa Malasada tent that is. It was time for the annual Punahou74 Carnival shift and mini reunion.
Despite some last minute drop outs due to illness, insistent clients, and a lack of inertia as well as losses of familiar faces to parental Carnival booth obligations, Punahou74 filled the tent with a fine number of classmates (including three out of Honolulu-ers), spouses, children, and friends. Mahalo PLENTY to all who came:
Ralph Aona, Mary Madinger Balding, Lisa Yamaguchi Bowden, Pick Bye, Catherine Bye (perennial spouse volunteer #1), Suzanne Case and friend Gigi Abel, Jeff Chang, Tom Farrell (who shared some very entertaining lawyer stories–yes, there are entertaining lawyer stories!), Robyn Fong and friend Lori Yunson, Lynne Gartley Meyer, Paul Goto (another classmate who just retired. How do you guys do it?), Cliff Halevi, Ann Harakawa (Working on her last evening before flying back to New York City. Now that’s Punahou74 dedication!), Cathy Kam Ho, Linda Howe, Jim Howe (perennial spouse volunteer #2), Fred Hu, Keith Kam, Leighton Lam, Bert Lau, Gene Lau, Craig Leong, Cindy Li Taga (She stayed for the next shift to help a baseball team. Six straight hours of making the malasadas!), Patti Look, Ann Martin, Ashley Metcalf (working again for Punahou74 and, later, for Punahou04), Nancy Dew Metcalf (Thanks, Nancy, for gathering us together again for another wonderful class Carnival shift.), Scott Metcalf, Babs Miyano Young (Who says that shaping the dough is the only shift job she’s capable of. I think not!), Marie Mookini with friend Kaui DeMarzo (a Punahou alumnus), Earl Nakaya, Fritz Rohlfing, Alan Rosehill, Stein Rafto (perennial spouse volunteer #3), Haven Young Rafto, Susan Seto Dolan, Jeff Sia, Dominique Sia (perennial spouse volunteer #4), Ken Sumida, Bert Takushi, Catherine Tompkison Graham (in from San Jose where she runs The Tompkison Group, a public affairs consulting firm), Craig Washofsky, Mike Yee, and Lori Yee Owles (coming to us from San Leandro, CA where she works for California College of the Arts.).
A little fun was had upon check in when those who were PunahouCarnival74 booth chairs were asked if they remembered what they were doing 40 years ago. As might be expected, some knew right away and others took some prompting. Funniest of all was one classmate who was so thankful to learn of her former booth because, when asked the “What did you do in the Carnival?” question by her daughter, she was drawing a blank. Quite the senior moment! She was happy to now know how to answer the question.
I know that many of you were looking forward to seeing some of the many pictures that I took during the shift. I am sorry to say that my computer destroyed all but these two photos. (That’s part of the reason for the delay in this post.) The others are hiding on this computer someplace but I cannot figure out where. Apple has this annoying habit of … Well, I digress in my irritation but at least I saved the great pic of our illustrious leaders above. And, if you want to see last year’s pictures, log in to our page on the Punahou Alumni website to view a slide show from last year’s shift.
In closing, I had a lot of fun and was impressed with the great group of classmates with whom I am proud to have shared thirteen glorious years of my life. I think that a short conversation that I had with one of the parent chairs of the malasada booth sums up the regard with which our class is held:
“This your class?”
“They just come in, wash up, put on their aprons and get to work. Haven’t seen anything like it. You guys sure know what you’re doing.”
And that says it all. We know what we’re doing and nobody’s seen anything like it. You still have it Punahou74! Thanks again for a great effort and, as always, see you again next year!