In a new-to-reunion event, Movie Night was held on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. It was a time for lights, camera, and some unexpected action.
Gathering at the community room of the new Manoa Public Library, nineteen classmates met for the first event of the Punahou74 reunion: Movie Night. We were there to enjoy popcorn, pizza, and a movie. What could be simpler?
The evening started with runoff vote between American Graffiti, Blazing Saddles, and M*A*S*H. In what would be a twist of fate, American Graffiti was chosen.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, American Graffiti is a coming of age film. It is set in 1962 Modesto, California and features car cruising, plenty of great rock and roll music, and vignettes of teenage adventures during one storied night. Earning more than $200 million since its January 1973 release, it is one of the most profitable films of all time.
The twist of fate that occurred lies in the fact that American Graffiti focuses on something that many of us faced immediately upon our graduation: leaving the familiar environs of Punahou School and long-known friends for a new school and new experiences. As Laurie (Cindy Williams) says to Steve (Ron Howard), “You know, it doesn’t make sense to leave home to look for home, to give up a life to find a new life, to say goodbye to friends you love just to find new friends.”
How many of us hesitated, lei stacked upon our shoulders, before boarding the plane and jetting off to locations unknown? How did that work out for you? How appropriate that, after having made those journeys, we watch a move that reminds us of the passage we traversed with the friends we love for our 40th reunion.
I certainly was reminded of the value of friends that night. Going downstairs to find a quiet place to call in the pizza order, I encountered a random man entering the building. I genially told him that the library was closed for a private event but he waved me off. Turning away to pointedly ignore me, he started shuffling magazines laid out for the Friends of the Library sale. He was obviously not leaving.
But my friends had my back.
Before I even had time to despair of the situation, Mike Mikasa, Judo Sensei that he is, appeared out of nowhere and told the man politely, yet firmly, that he had to leave. Standing behind him was Robert Chung, a retired New York City police detective. Sorely outmaneuvered, the man quickly decided that the Manoa street scene looked much better than the situation inside. With the intruder finally departed the door was firmly locked and further distractions avoided.
I was certainly grateful not only for Mike and Robert but for all of the good friends that gathered that evening. Heartfelt thanks are extended to Gaye Miyasaki and Mary Jane Markoskie who provided popcorn, arare, and other good snacks. Kudos also to Ian Sandison and Mike Mikasa for welcoming people to the building. Hugs and kisses to all for the team clean up effort that got the event room tidy and ready to close in a flash. Amazingly, someone even took the trash home to throw it away! Now that’s really watching my back!
A pat on the head goes to my husband, Henry, who provided the technical know-how to get the movie up on the screen and acted as our photographer of record for the picture below. He gave us all a laugh when he couldn’t figure out how to get the camera to work at first. His problem? He was holding it upside down! Smiles all around … and that’s the story of the night.
Click here for more Movie Night pictures.