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Friday, December 14, 2012

PEARL'S ASHES: #7--Gold Trees for the Ala Wai

For those new (nearly two-thirds of those who click on this blog site are first time readers) to this series, I again explain that when my wife Pearl passed away almost three and a half years ago, I published an article in the Huffington Post entitled "Gratitude...Not Grief," where I again quote Thornton Wilder:

  "The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude."

Subsequently, I decided to drop Pearl's ashes off at places she wanted to visit, but did not primarily because I was not all that interested in going to India, Africa and South America.  With a sense of guilt, but more for a sense of gratitude, I proceeded over the past few years to lay her ashes at the Taj Mahal (and, I'm not dropping her ashes exactly here--usually in prominent sites the actual act is merely symbolic), Mount Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu.  I have now completed this pilgrimage, and have left a second mission: planting of the Gold Tree.  While in my mind I've already accomplished this task, for one Gold Tree has been accepted for planting at Craigside, where I've now have lived for thirty years, a few of us, including Pearl's sister, Doris, did initiate an effort to enhance the mauka side of the Ala Wai Canal, plus some favorite spot in Hilo, Pearl's hometown.

Yesterday, the Ala Wai Project was reinforced with a visit of the 82 Gold Trees awaiting planting at the Ala Wai Golf Course.  Six months ago I posted an update of the Gold Tree Project and the photo above was taken adjacent to my office on the Manoa Campus this year.

Today, we got a tour of the nursery growing out these trees:

From left to right:  Garrick Iwamuro (Golf Course System Administrator), Honolulu Councilman Nestor Garcia, Big Island Councilman Gregor Ilagan, Big Island Councilman Fresh Onishi, the caretaker (can someone send me his name--I'll later add it) and Keoki Miyamoto (Director of Enterprise Services for the City & County of Honolulu).  Again, I thank these Councilmen for their active assistance, and, more so, to the golf course staff, for they have assumed command of the effort and seem dedicated to carry on.

These are the Gold trees growing out a block away at the foot of Diamond Head.

From about a foot tall a few months ago, the saplings are now four feet high.  Interestingly enough there is a massive Gold Tree here only a few yards away which must be at least 30 years old.  How perfect, too, that Garrick has a degree in horticulture from the University of Hawaii and is experienced with the Gold Tree.  He indicated that they would like to have them grow to at least 6 feet to maximize survival.  

While there was overall sentiment to plant them along the Ala Wai Canal, chances are that this group of trees will be placed in strategic spots on the Ala Wai Golf Course consistent with their irrigation and beautification plans.  Many will of course be placed adjacent to the Ala Wai Canal, hopefully safely  away from my errant drives.  On the makai side are coconut trees, but reports show many of them might be dying.  There was a sense that a ceremony to commemorate planting these trees might occur in about six months because Pearl was born and passed away in the month of July.

Councilmen Onishi (who is Pearl's cousin) and Ilagan also expressed some interest in creating a Gold Tree Project for the Big Island.  Fresh mentioned a couple of sites in Hilo.

NEXT:  the Taj Mahal.

Tropical Cyclone Evan caused some havoc in Samoa, killing two, and now heads for a Sunday encounter of Fiji.  It is appearing that the eye, though, will pass slightly north of the island, but, at 115 MPH and gusts up to 145 MPH, the damage will be considerable.

Why are there these truly fearsome hurricanes so late in the season?  Global Warming?  Well, 2012 was the hottest year on record for the USA:


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