Memoirs » Memoirs - Plunk

Memoirs - Plunk

Sender Daryl M. Plunk
Posted On 2014-09-24
Year 1964-1967
Memoir I attended PHES 1964 - 1967, and was in the 4th, 5th and 6th grades there. I had Mrs. Yamaguchi in fourth grade. She took maternity leave during that year and was replaced by the younger Miss Funasaki. I had Mrs. Young in 5th grade, and generally recall that she was strict! I had Mr. Fred Stanich in sixth grade, and I recall him as a fun, fascinating guy who was something of a "beatnik", and surely was "very cool". I've long considered him to be one my most influential teachers.

One fond memory I have of Mr. Stanich is about the music presentation our class did that year. We performed a collection of songs that I only later understood were "protest" tunes. We learned the songs from a Peter, Paul and Mary album (part of Stanich's personal collection, no doubt), and they included "Where Have All the Flowers Gone", and "Blowin in the Wind." Ah, yes, the times they were a changin'! Also, for our Christmas class play, Stanich had the class conceive and write our own story, which we presented as "A Prehistoric Christmas" ... complete with dinosaurs and cave men and women! It was about a boy and girl going WAY back in time, and I starred in the show along with classmate Judy Thomas.

I visited Hawaii in 1977, soon after I finished college. I dropped by PHES, and learned that Mr. Stanich had left Hawaii. The story I was told: "Hawaii got too developed for him, and he moved to Tahiti!"

Other scattered memories....May Day, lei making contests (in which I took first place once).... 25 cent lunches, always accompanied by yummy shortbread in the nearby mall's drugstore for cheap kid toys, and snacks including li hing mui, dried squid, red ginger....the Yick Lung snack company had a near-monopoly then...playing outside in the schools' big open field.... a tall, thin janitor who was "creepy" looking to many of us, and was nicknamed "Lurch"...Lurch the Janitor showed some of us a huge centipede once, and we took it to be his pet...

I had two younger sisters and one of them attended PHES. Her name is Betty Jane, and she would have been in the first, second and third grades during this period.

My family lived in Foster Village, where many other student resided, as well. I recall spending SO MUCH time at the community pool there. The favorite snack bar item there: Coke frozen solid in a paper cup, and eaten like an ice cream cone. Also, we roamed the woods which have now been overtaken by roads and the Aloha Stadium. Friends and I used to frequent a long cave in that area, that was clearly manmade, and, as legend had it, was left over from World War II fortifications. We were ALWAYS running around outside, on foot, on bikes, and on skateboards....often without shirts or shoes! Stingray bicycles were the latest things! We all had skateboards, and they were made of real wood!

The names of friends and classmates whom still come to mind: David Burlingame, Prescott Koehler, Byron Medina, David Lee, John Carter, Sean, Mike Humphries, Stephanie, Steve Mosher, Mike McCullough, Lynette Tanaka, Judy Thomas, and Sharon Stackhouse.

On the social and cultural fronts, I recall: rock and roll! ....the Beach Boys...the Animals....the Young Rascals....Sonny and Cher....the Beatles (who soared during this period, and performed in Honolulu in 1966)...Beatlemania....Beatle wigs, and I had one!...A Hard Day's Night, and Help...the Monkees (who also toured Honolulu while I was there)...getting out of school to welcome Pres. Johnson to Hawaii...Johnson was on his way to visit the Vietnam front, and my family went to the airport ceremony....touring subs and aircraft carriers in backyard on Lehia Street in Foster Village had a spectacular view of the harbor....LOTS of record parties, where we listened to rock and roll, and played spin-the-bottle....going to the beach ALL the time....having beach/surfing sleepovers.......being a Boys Scout, and camping in amazing locations, including Camp Pupakea near Wiamea Bay....buying leis and greeting visiting friends and family at the airport....the blowhole.....Sea Life Park.....Haunama Bay...watching cruise ships come in, near the Aloha Tower...eating manapua.....a snack truck that came around the neighborhoods, like an ice cream truck, but it was driven by an Asian man who sold hot foods like manapua....meeting Pogo Poge once, on a ferris wheel, while he was trying to break some sort of record....I have a signed photo he gave me, to this day....Pogo was a radio DJ then, and hadn't begun his "Checkers and Pogo" career....tidal wave warnings....Ala Moana Shopping Center, which was pretty new then, and considered perhaps the world's largest....seeing movies at the open-air theaters on Hickam Air Force Base and Pearl Harbor theaters...learning to play golf from my father at the Hickham AFB course....taking judo lessons at the Foster Village community center.....taking drum lessons at a music shop in the mall beside the school (inspired by classmate Mike McCullough, who was an accomplished rock drummer).....going to a dances at the Foster Village community center, where Mike's band performed (it was a high school garage band, but Mike had a great drum set!)....frequenting Ft. DuRussy on Waikiki and Bellows Beach on the north shore, since my father was retired military....seeing some filming of "In Harm's Way", a blockbuster WWII flick, which largely was shot in Hawaii...

I lived in Hawaii for four glorious years, and that experience remains my favorite childhood period, by far. What a fabulous place to be a kid!

Please feel free to be directly in touch with me.

Daryl M. Plunk
Alexandria, Virginia

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