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Roosevelt Class of '49 holds fab 60th reunion celebration


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POSTED: Saturday, October 10, 2009

This week, my Roosevelt Rough Riders Class of 1949 celebrated its 60th reunion and it was a roaring success, particularly Thursday's luncheon banquet at the Hale Koa Hotel. About 85 class members were in the crowd of some 135. There was also golf, a day at Bellows Beach and a night with Nohelani Cypriano, also at the Hale Koa.

Ruth Mesick Groves and former Assistant Police Chief Orby Groves have always been the big guns with all of the 49ers' reunions. Two other key organizers are Laverne Fernandez Nimsger and Evie Loo Lee. When the Groves family gets behind something, you have a team effort, with daughters Stacey Groves, Cindy Lopez, Kathy Nii and Jolyn Tenn, sons Butch and Mike Groves and grandchildren Aulani and Nikki Farias, Maya Groves and Justine Tenn pitching in to help.

The daughters did a swell number, singing and dancing to “;Wind Beneath My Wings,”; that was dedicated to Laverne for all her work. Daughter Jolyn Tenn's slide show picturing each class member, including those who are no longer with us, was particularly outstanding and moving. Each 49er received a video.

Also bringing out more emotion was Orby's prayer before an outstanding lunch. The prayer was enhanced by Frank “;Steiny”; Steinmiller getting other former members of the school choir to hum and sing “;Beautiful Savior.”; Steiny's singing crew of former jocks included Ken Dias, Bobby Swan, Larry Mosher, Tim Smythe and Hank McKeague ...

;  A big star of the program was one of my guests, singer-guitarist Mihana Souza. Mihana sang many numbers and backed hula by Shirley Sheldon Gernler and a number by singer-dancer Dell-Fin Poaha Luchinger. Bill Wong played his magic harmonicas and Estrella Luna Larioza played piano. Another of my guests, photographer ”;Skinny”; Lynnie Crawley, was all over the room taking pics. Brig. Gen. Irwin “;Yoka”; Cockett, also a 49er, arranged for his class to use the Hale Koa banquet hall. The food and beverage chefs and staff did themselves proud ...

Anything free is welcome, especially in these tough economic times, and something good is coming up. It's a tribute to the late piano instructor Ellen Masaki by the Honolulu Symphony Oct. 21 at the Blaisdell Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m. Pianists Lisa Nakamichi and Sean Kennard and gifted Masaki students including T.J. Tario are featured. Conducting is Ann Krinitsky. Seating is open and no tickets are required. The doors open at 7 p.m. ...

Many, many people were regulars at the Round Table at the old Columbia Inn. Thanks to the efforts of former proprietor Gene Kaneshiro and Hector Venegas and Barbara Holm, a gathering of Round-Tablers will be held Wednesday, 3 to 6 p.m. at Murphy's Bar & Grill. Russ Lynch says they want to do this before the list of regulars “;gets any shorter.”; Don Murphy will provide pupus ...

 


Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin on Honolulu streets in World War II, writes of people, places and things Saturdays. E-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).