I have occasionally taken a look at the Punahou Carnival facebook page as the year has progressed. It’s usually a fun diversion. This year’s theme is “Rewind the Time” and the page was celebrating Throwback Thursday by rewinding the time back to past Carnivals. The post shown below is one of these efforts. Hmmm. Interesting, I thought. Put up some pictures and emphasize your theme. Good idea. But then they only put up two throwback pictures! Kids. Guess their idea of history differs from mine because I believe that there are many many good memories when it comes to the Punahou Carnival.
I’ve shared some of those memories through this blog. There’s the story about The Day the Punahou Carnival Died. The history of the Jams and Jellies booth. And, of course, there’s that tale of the 1973 Punahou Carnival and how it was a “simpler affair.” Talk about a walk down memory lane. That was back in the day!
As you can tell, I love Punahou’s history and love to write about it. And I’d like to introduce a candidate for Throwback Thursday that the kids missed.
Punahou74 will remember Jim Iams. While we were in the academy he was the dean of the class of 1975, his final class after having served as a dean starting in 1957. He came to Punahou as a math instructor in 1945 and became Director of Activities from 1946-1956. Following his service as dean, he managed the Career Exploration Program for two years.
With so much hands-on time with students, it’s no surprise that Mr. Iams had memories galore to share regarding his challenges, joys, and experiences over the years. One of his favorite memories was the story behind the photo below and was remembered in his 1978 Punahou School Oral History.
I think of another favorite Carnival story of mine which I may embellish a little bit to make it sound better.
In those early days the kids themselves came in on Sunday morning and actually dismantled the Carnival equipment–the tents and the booths and so forth–and Laura Bowers, who was then the P.T.A.-Lokahi person who was doing those things, would come and with some other mothers would provide hot chocolate and coffee and doughnuts for the kids.
This particular year we held the Carnival on the Lower Field [Editors Note: Carnival had earlier been held on Middle Field.] and it rained, of course, all the two days. The mud was literally up to your ankles. So when it came time Sunday morning for everyone to come together and clean up we assembled there for some two or three hours. Everyone was covered with mud from head to toe.
Just about 11:30 or quarter to twelve we finished and the kids said, “Mr. Iams, can we go up and take a shower?” And I said, “Oh, no. You’d clog the drains.” “Well, can we go to the beach?” I said, “Why sure, go to the beach.” Whereupon with no further word these 50 or 60 kids took off in their mud-spattered attire right down Punahou Street, right in the middle of the street.
They went right past Central Union Church. They were letting out so this was a great talk of the town. On down to Waikiki. Right through the lobby of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Out into the ocean.
And, of course, the next morning there were pictures in the paper and all this stuff. And I thought that’s the end of my job. But somehow we got by with it. And that’s one of my favorite stories.
Now, of course, the grounds crew come in and do all the clean-up and the kids don’t have to worry about that any more. But those Carnivals were great things and I have some very fond memories of them.