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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

PEARL'S ASHES: Introduction

For years now I have been hinting that I would begin serializing my next book.  I have several in various stages of production, and chose to unveil PEARL’S ASHES as my first virtual book, mainly because there are so many photos, and it would have cost a lot more than $100/copy if released in the traditional manner.  Unless anything monumental occurs compelling me to postpone a chapter, I will every Wednesday for the next couple of months feature my special gift to you.  For formality purpose, this is a photo taken last year at the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii.

The first book with which I was associated, Energy Self-Sufficiency for the State of Hawaii, was a 1978 product of my students in a course called Technology and Society at the University of Hawaii.  I was able to secure National Science Foundation funding to publish this manual for clean energy.  It was picked up by the Hawaii Department of Education for use at the senior level for local high schools.  There were 70 students in my class, and ten of them were selected to make public presentations on Maui, the Big Island and Kauai.  On the negative side, we were actually sued by cartoonist Sidney Harris for using his cartoons without permission.  I apologized, sent him a $100 bill, and never heard from him again.  That was nearly half a century ago.

My next book in 1979 was in conjunction with Waqidi Falicoff of the Architecture Department and George Koide of Hilo College.  Entitled Solar and Wind Handbook for Hawaii, the publication of course also applied to any location worldwide.  I think this effort also was funded by the National Science Foundation.

#3 was Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion with Andrew Trenka in 1996.  Actually, the OTEC staff at the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research Center wrote most of the details.  Andy and I edited the final version.  I noticed that a brand new copy is on sale for $282.40.  What a bargain!  I was asked by UNESCO of the United Nations to produce this publication for developing nations, and followed up seven years later by presenting the Anton Brunn Memorial Lecture on this topic in Paris.

From 2007-2010 I published a trilogy:  SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Planet Earth, SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity, and in tribute to Pearl, SIMPLE SOLUTION Essays, the latter a compilation of some of my Huffington Post articles.


Patrick K. Takahashi



On 8 August 2009, I wrote:

Today in Hilo her family celebrates Pearl's life and tomorrow we will drive to Mauna Kea to scatter her ashes. I Googled "scattering of ashes," and it appears that the entire remains do not (morally) need to be spread at one site.

I thus woke up this morning with a plan for my next year. I will keep half of Pearls' ashes in the bronze urn and have already apportioned the remainder into small packets covered with Ziploc bags. I have a choice of 25 locations and, when each is accomplished, I will write the place and date, taking a photo of each scene.

I will carefully lay each at one of three settings:

1. Pearl’s favorite spots (Mauna Kea, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, her fireball flower pot, the first yellow tree that is planted for the Pearl Foundation, into Waikiki waters at House Without a Key while Honolulu City Lights is being played just after sunset, etc.)

2. Attractions she wanted to visit but never did (Machu Pichu, African safari, Taj Mahal, etc.)

3. A few future settings she would have loved.

I will then write a book on this effort. This one will feature color photos. No one will want to buy it, of course, but I can always give them away to donors of the Pearl Foundation.

Well, so back to the real today, here is the urn, minus some of Pearl's Ashes scattered throughout the world.

The photo to the left was taken just around the time we met in 1962, and the one in red is of her in 2009, the year she passed away.

The 25 locations I had planned increased by a factor of two by the time my mission ended.  Over the next series of chapters I will chronologically share my experiences with photos:
  • The three sites she most wanted to visit, but didn't, mostly because I don't particularly like India, high elevations and Africa (still don't):
    • How do I get permission from the government to have a ceremony at the Taj Majal?
    • Will it be difficult to bring the ashes to Machu Picchu?
    • Where exactly on Mount Kilimanjaro do I perform the scattering?
  • Do I link Pearl's Gold Trees to her ashes?
At around the same time I thought about her ashes I was also thinking about a project to plant the gold tree Pearl so admired somewhere significant.  My early trips actually combined looking for the origins of this tree with the ash scattering.  Turned out she first became attached to this tree as Pearl Yukie Nakamichi growing up in Hilo, for her sister-in-law, Gwen, who then worked at Nani Mau Gardens in their home town, first identified the Gold Tree as the Tabebuia donnell-smithii, a particularly large one can be found next to Hilo High School, where she went.

Later, mostly with the assistance of Garrick Iwamuro, manager of all the golf courses for the City and County of Honolulu, we were able to gain approval from the City Council to plant these trees at the Ala Wai and Makalena Golf Courses.  These saplings spent the first couple of years at their nursery on the slope of Diamond Head, and we had an official visit with county officials, Garrick to the left.  Then on 5 January 2015 we had an official ceremony at the Ala Wai Golf Course:

In Gratitude...Not Grief, these trees were planted in her memory.  But as this book is all about Pearl's Ashes, henceforth, all following chapters will focus on that subject.  Beginning with Chapter One, I will provide a new issue every Wednesday until the book is completed.


FIRST CHAPTER:  Wednesday, January 4, 2017.


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