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Saturday, February 4, 2012

50 YEARS SINCE WE BEGAN


The above photo is what they do when four engineers who first met half a century ago, three in their first jobs, get old and decide to have a reunion.  We semi-permanently damaged the Waikele Golf Course and celebrated with a feast in the clubhouse.  For the record, Ed on the left and I got crushed by Dante and Donald.

After graduating from Stanford University in 1962, my first job was a trainee with C. Brewer (Charles Brewer, right), the oldest company in Hawaii, at the sugar processing factory of the Hutchinson Sugar Company in Honuapo, next to Naalehu, the Southernmost Community in the USA.  In the daytime, there was no TV nor radio.  This region was  isolated.  I met my wife, Pearl, here in Kau and we got married that year.  Both C. Brewer and Hutchinson no longer exist.


Dante Carpenter had just joined Hutch, also in 1962, after being commissioned from the Merchant Marine Academy at Kingspoint, then spending some time with Pacific Marine and a couple of other sugar plantations.  We shared the same office for several years.  He later went on to become a State Senator and Mayor of the Big Island.  He is now chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii.  He has four children with Olan, all very successful, from a college volleyball coach to a medical doctor.  I taught one of his sons, Darren, at the University of Hawaii.

Donald Okahara (to the left) had just graduated from Oregon State University and was an engineer with C. Brewer in Hilo.  He made frequent trips to Kau.  For several decades now he has been the president of Okahara and Associates.  His two daughters are also doing very well in the community, one a doctor.  The factory superintendent at Hutch was Ed Lui, and his son, Ed Lui (right), had just graduated from Purdue University, and was a trainee with C. Brewer at the Paahau Sugar Company.  Six years later, we were chemical engineering graduate students at Louisiana State University, and his greatest achievement in Baton Rouge was an 8 pound big mouth bass.  He went on to have an illustrious career with a range of companies, including Hawaiian Electric, and is now a director of  Keahole Solar Power.  His daughter is a lawyer and son makes a million dollars/year.

The evening ended for some of us at:


Hi, Julie and Yumi.  This was the best reunion I've ever had.

Then the next day, I joined my Saturday regulars at the Ala Wai Golf Course:


Carleton Taketa (retired State government official), Eddie Chiu (active SGO), Art Seki or Hawaiian Electric and Ed Cheng (retired University of Hawaii professor).  We were hopelessly pathetic, but had fun, anyway.

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