While looking through my blog files I found this story that was never posted. So so sorry for the delay but I hope you will still take the time to read.
David Parrish, Punahou74 member since first grade, died on October 16, 2013. He was a retired city of Honolulu lifeguard.
I first became aware of David’s passing upon seeing a facebook post from Jeff Sia. He wrote: “To Dave Parrish – For the joy, laughter, reflection, and humility you gave to me. It was my good fortune to not only know you and be a friend, but to have had an opportunity to co-write comedy with you.” With the post was the picture shown above.
The comments came quickly:
“Dave was one of the funniest and nicest guys I’ve known. I’ll never forget all the great conversations I had with him at his tower at Ala Moana and Magic Island when he was guarding there.” — Bobby Chinn
“Saw Dave at the Manoa pool last year. Same Dave great smile and happy. It’s hard to believe that we are all no longer 21.” — Anne Hogan
“I remember David as being quiet and kind, always friendly to the ‘new kid’ when I entered Punahou in 7th grade. We lost touch in the academy, but always remembered enough to trade smiles when we saw each other across campus … Rest in peace, dear David.” — Yuri Wellington
“Very sad news when a classmate passes away. Last time I saw David was over ten years ago so recently I did not know him well.” — David Howell
“So sorry to learn of this … David was my best friend as a 5th-6th grader in Punahou. His mother, Judy, even took me in for a while during a time when things weren’t going so well for me in 1971.” — Billy Titcomb
“David was my friend in high school. He was a fun loving guy with a great sense of humor. We lost touch after high school but I remember him and feel the loss having left us at such a young age. May his soul rest in peace and my deepest condolences to his family.” — Ken Teshima
“Oh, I am so sorry! Dave was such a memory maker and cool fella.” — Cathy Razor Stapp
“Dave was a friend of mine and he will be sorely missed.” — Fritz Rohlfing
“Unreal.” — Bruce Ashford
The condolences to Dave’s family came in from Renee Ahuna Cabrinha, Don Terada, Jan Bertram, Monica Del Piano Campanis, Marcia Wright, and Roseanne Mandel Levine.
Babs Miyano Young recalled a memorable trip on his father’s boat to Kauai: “In high school his dad took a bunch of us on his sailboat to Kauai … with small craft warnings. We had to return to Oahu after the jib and toilet broke following a very rough night! Jim Simpson and Debbie Whitthans, I think, were a bit seasick from the ordeal. We were fortunate that we survived the storm and took the first flight to Kauai after coming back safely to Honolulu! Aloha, Dave, we’ll miss you!”
John Ferron also remembered sailing on the boat to Kauai and body surfing at Breneckees. “To this day, they were the best waves that I ever rode.” He continued, “Dave was as close a friend as I ever had while attending Punahou. Dave and I spent much time together mostly body surfing at Makapuu, Sandy Beach, and Pounders. He also introduced me to the wonderful world of jazz. I regret that we never reconnected after high school. Dave was a good person and always had a way of making you laugh. It was always fun to be around Dave. I remember he once joked during our senior year, ‘Don’t forget me when you are rich!’ Rich or not, Dave, I could never forget you.”
I was surprised to learn that David was a member of “Poets Without a Net,” a musical group of poetry readers that included Lopaka Kapanui and classmates Shoji Ledward and Robert Pennybacker. Local ghost storyteller, Glen Grant, thought the name appropriate because they were “doing poetry like streetfighters.” Voicing their poetry to the sounds of Shoji’s guitar, they’d play in coffee shops around Honolulu.
Their album is called, “Poetry without a net: The spoken word with improvisational guitar” and is still available for sale via the internet. In the CD’s Product Notes Pennybacker wrote that they hoped that listening would liberate “the poetry inside of you.”
How to end this report? While searching online I discovered a New York Times Article headlined “The Challenge of Surfing the Big Ones.” In it the author solicits advice from local surfing luminaries, one of whom is David (another is Mark Cunningham) who remarks that ”A Hawaiian wave is like a spinning cylinder. You start at the top, and you have to drive in and turn, get into that cylinder right away,” And, when body surfing that wave, an action that is among freest and most unencumbered in sport, “It’s like flying into the wind.”
You’re free and unencumbered now David. Hope you’re flying into that wind. Aloha.