Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Leif's Sixth Home - Honolulu, Hawaii - Summer 1983 to Summer 1986

In the summer of 1983 we moved from Japan to Honolulu, Hawaii, where we lived in the army housing area at Red Hill, on the outside edge of Aliamanu Crater. We lived in one half of a two-story duplex. Our lanai overlooked Pearl Harbor, which was beautiful with the lights of Pearl City and Aiea at night. We spent a lot of happy hours on that lanai.

Leif attended Red Hill Elementary School for third, fourth and fifth grades. He had a black leather Members Only jacket his dad brought him from Korea, and a cloth one, too. He loved wearing them and wore them even in the 90-some degree Hawaiian heat. He played soccer all three years and began judo classes there. His best friends were Joey and Michael. With Joey he usually played GI Joe stuff and he and Michael did creative things. Michael was a talented young artist.

As a family, we loved going to the beaches, especially Bellows Beach. The routine was to go there for the afternoon, swim, walk on the beach, and then go to Bueno Nalo Mexican Restaurant for quesadillas and to Dave's Ice Cream for coconut ice cream. In those days, Bueno Nalo was near Bellows, by the shore. (Later it moved to Waimanalo.) We loved those trips together and always had a good time.

Another favorite family outing was to go to Waikiki, park at Fort DeRussy, by the Hale Koa Hotel, then go to "It's Greek to Me" restaurant and have Greek food, then to a movie at the huge theater where they had a pipe organ playing before the movies started. After that we would go to a video parlor at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center and play video games, and end the evening with a walk on Waikiki beach. How I wish we could go back and have one of those magical, balmy evenings together with our two sons!

Sometimes we would go to the International Marketplace, or a Thai restaurant, or somewhere else. We visited several of the other Hawaiian islands; The Big Island of Hawaii, Maui, Kauai.

When Peter A. was 16, the summer of 1984, he was an AFS exchange student to Greece, and while he was away, Leif and I took a trip to the US mainland and made the rounds visiting relatives. He had a terrific memory and for the rest of his life he talked about that trip when he was ten years old and was impressed by the flight attendant on one United flight who had such a sense of humor. One of the jokes Leif loved to tell was this one, "Tonight's movie is 'Gone With the Wind.' Just stick your head out the window and you'll get the picture.'

For some reason, I apparently felt it was interesting enough to actually take a ohoto of our living room and computer room (and extra bedroom we used as a computer room and den upstairs) in these quarters. I wish had done this with all our homes. We were lucky enough to have a personal computer at home. In the early 1980s it was not yet common for families to have them. We all used it. I used it heavily for school work (writing papers) as I was in graduate school at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I still enjoyed playing computer games (and still do today), and so did the boys.

Peter W. would have been happy to get an extended tour of duty in Hawaii and retire there, and i think the boys would have love that, but it was not to be. However, we will always be grateful for the three wonderful years we spent there together.

The photo of Leif was taken in Hawaii in 1984 when he was nine years old.

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