Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Mumper Here!

Great "just show up" dinner at Zippy's Fine Dining Restaurant in Kahala organized by classmate Morris Lai last evening put on for Chuck Leong visiting the Sandwich Islands to take care of family matters.

Attending were Jim Miyashiro, Chuck Leong, Milton Oshiro, Emmett Yoshioka and spice...
Judy, David Tyau and spice..... Anita, Mike Chun, Morris Lai, Ken Lee, Steve Takaki and of course your class rep. Just think, if we had a coed class, we might have had a classmate or two who may have shown up with their spouses.

Pictures of our 40th class reunion were passed around and one person evident in one of the pictures was Harold Silva. The story passed around was that Harold Silva was invited by one of our classmates to be honored as one of our faculty. Hal Silva was our 7th grade science teacher.
To the best of my recollection, Hal Silva left Iolani a year or two later and went on to Kahuku High School to become their football coach.

That was the last I heard about Mr. Silva. A strict disciplinarian. I recall him whacking students in the legs with his blackboard pointer to make sure that everyone was paying attention to his lectures.

I was amazed that Mr. Silva had changed from a very large athletic type person to the thin person that showed up at the event. Great to see him! With the emphasis on diet and good health, here was a man who appeared to be taking care of himself and evidently lost all of that weight.

Later on that evening unknown to many of us, Mr. Silva choked on his food and had to be taken to emergency. That was the last that I heard about him. I never did get the word that this was not "our Mr. Harold Silva".

About a year later, I saw Harold Silva's obituary in the newspapers. I stopped by at Diamond Head Community Health Center where Alan " Bully" Matsuura worked in the emergency vehicle services department. Ken Lee and I used to stop by to see Alan on our runs once a week in Kahala to say hi.

I met Alan who was bunkered down in a huge office in his own little cubicle formed by Xerox paper boxes stacked to the ceiling to separate him from his co-workers. He joined me outside for a chat like he usually did. He didn't like anybody else to know his business as evidenced by his bunker.

Once when Ken and I went in there, Ken yelled, "Is Bully here?" and Alan came out from behind his cubicle and "shhssshhed" us and led us into the underground parking garage where we could "talk story". He said that his coworkers didn't like him and thought that he was intimidating.

I later told Ken that the next time we came, we should bring him a Penthouse or Hustler magazine and some Vaseline Hand Cream just in case he got bored and had some spare time on his hands. Nobody in that office was going to disturb Mr. Matsuura. They pretended that he didn't exist.

Anyway, on this particular afternoon, I told Alan that Harold Silva had died. The name didn't ring a bell until I told him that Mr. Silva was the one who gave him his nickname...."Bully". We laughed and I suggested that he might want to go to the funeral. He asked if I was going and I said that I couldn't make a commitment because I had to work on Sunday mornings.

A week later, I stopped off to say hi and he said that he went to the funeral and wondered why I didn't make it. I said that I had to work at the Lomi Shop in Waikiki. He said that it was a nice funeral.

Anyway, regarding the nickname, for some reason Alan was pissed at me for some unknown reason for something that happened in shop class when we in the 7th grade. Those were the days when we all wore khaki trousers and white short sleeved shirts.

Anyway, Alan surprised me in the boys restroom, got me in a headlock and started pounding my face. I managed with extreme difficulty to eventually breakloose and hit him in the nose. Technically I drew "first blood" (ala Rambo) but never had a chance to fight back because just at that moment, upperclassmen broke up the fight and sent us on to class.

At the beginning of class, Mr. Silva asked why the side of my face was totally black and blue. As a fellow classmate recounted years later, I didn't say anything and remained silent. Then he told Mr. Silva that Alan beat Mumper up in the restroom. Mr. Silva called Alan "Bully" and continued on with his lecture.

Incidently, I learned a valuable lesson from that experience. Don't let your opponent close enough to get you in a head lock and strike first.

A year later while attending summer school at Iolani I was walking across the street from a bus stop in Aina Haina when three local kids started whistling at me for wearing Bermuda shorts. I yelled out and called them "homos".

Not a good idea. I crossed the street to the bus top near The Ranch House as the three guys headed towards me in order to confront me. I figured that when I got killed, at least there would be witnesses.

But, I didn't wait for the worse to happen. I just attacked and started hitting the guy in the middle who seemed to take my comment most personally and didn't let up until I knocked him down. His two buddies backed off probably because of all the people standing around. Somebody pulled me off the kid on the ground. They went their way and I went my way. That was it. I also never called anybody "homo" again. Better to just ignore and keep moving. Lesson learned. And of course, it is totally improper to use politically incorrect epithets today.

I guess , unlike girls, guys don't hold grudges forever. I always felt bad for Alan when he got creamed playing offensive guard opposite Skippah Dias of Farrington HS who was at least 2 1/2 times Alan's size and weight.

Alan and I were also Vietnam Vets so I could vicariously relate to some of the #$%& he experienced as a paratrooper with one of our airborne units over there. Obviously the war had taken it's toll on him and made him a recluse. Ken and I would make contact with him on our runs to touch base with him to encourage him to come to some of our reunions. Ken also took him to lunch.

Alan has long passed and I guess by now he has found out that he went to the funeral of the wrong Harold Silva. But he did go and that's a good thing. I asked him about one of his hobbies .... "plebian" cooking. "What's plebian cooking?"...and he reminded me of the Latin work "pleb" which meant "common".....as in stew and rice. I should have remembered that since I took six years of Latin along with Ulysses Okawa. Alan said the word "pleb" was one of the things that he remembered from our Latin teacher, Ms. Haas.

Anyway, as we progress into our 51st reunion year, I hope one day to find out what prompted Headmaster Mclean to meet with the entire senior class of '61 to lecture us on the evils of masturbation and also to find out who really hung the water filled condoms on our Latin teacher Ms. Haas's classroom door knob.


molai said...

Glad to see you reverted to "Miss Haas" after citing Mr. Haas. Also I recall that George Fujikawa confessed to being the condomaniac with regard to Miss Haas's doorknob. I visited Bully a few times when he was working at the health center. I was surprised to see how relatively slender he was at that time.


Mumper said...

Thanks for the correction on Ms. Haas. According to Ken Lee, Alan told him that he had really bad teeth and had a hard time eating anything.

Mumper said...

......and now you know the rest of the story.....good day Paul Harvey.

Mumper said...

corr: Good day, Paul Harvey

Mumper said...

corr: Good day, Paul Harvey.