This oral history interview is a project of the Historical Committee of the Outrigger Canoe Club. The legal rights of this material remain with the Outrigger Canoe Club. Anyone wishing to reproduce it or quote at length from it should contact the Historical Committee of the Outrigger Canoe Club. The reader should be aware that an oral history document portrays information as recalled by the interviewee. Because of the spontaneous nature of this kind of document, it may contain statements and impressions that are not factual. A full transcript may be found below the video.
An Interview by Barbara Del Piano
May 19, 2017
BDP: This is Friday, May 19, 2017. I’m Barbara Del Piano (BDP), a member of the Outrigger Canoe Club Historical Committee. One of our projects is to take oral histories of longtime members who have made significant contributions to our Club. We’re here in the Board Room, and today it is my pleasure to interview Gerri Pedesky (GP). Good morning, Gerri, and thank you for being here. Before we get into your service to the Club, I’d like to get some background. Gerri, let’s start with where were you born?
GP: Hi, Barbara. Good to be here. I was born actually in Hayward, California. My mother was from Hayward, and how I got here is during the war, my mother, as all women had to do, took over the jobs, and the men went to war, or had two jobs. My mother was then the night nurse at Libby McNeill Cannery, which was the largest cannery west of the Mississippi. It was huge. It was like two city blocks long, city block wide. They had thousands of employees, and my mother was it. She was the only nurse, doctor, whatever we wanted to call her there, so she was really busy. My dad worked in the bank during the day, and he was an airplane watcher at night, so during the war, at the beginning of the war, the local ladies from Dole were all sent oh … I don’t know whether they were sent, or they came. I think they were sent, because they lived in these camp tents behind the cannery, and one night, my father and I and my mother walked through the cannery.
My mother would do it every now and again just so I could meet the floor ladies, who were all local. We had our local Sunnyvale, too. I forgot to say, I grew up in Sunnyvale, California, the middle of Silicon Valley, but one night, this lady came in and she said to my mother, “Do you think your daughter would like to have hula lessons, and my … I’ll charge you … ” I think it was 25 cents for an hour hula lessons. My mother said, “Oh, yes, she would.” 25 cents was like $5 today, in those days, so I got hula lessons, and the only record we could find was called When The April Showers Reach Hawaii. Then I got a skirt, and I was hoping for something like raffia, and instead I got a green cellophane skirt. I was brokenhearted because I wanted a native skirt. To go ahead, when I was at the Bishop Museum, they were taking in, accessing a green, cellophane hula skirt as an important thing for their collection, and I went, “Oh, my goodness.” Yes, I was in style after all.
Anyway, I went to high school. I had a couple of Hawaiian girls. The last name was Coffee in my class, and then when I went to college, I went to San Jose State, and half the football team was from Hawaii. I got to know an awful lot of people from here, from Hawaii, and pined to come here. My parents said, “Oh, you can’t leave home till you’re 21,” so on my twenty-first birthday, they gave me a birthday party, and drove me to the airport in San Francisco, and I got on a Pan-American Boeing Stratocruiser, and came to Hawaii. A bunch of my friends from college met me, and I stayed … I had a roommate, actually two roommates, and I just loved the beach, because I’d been a Santa Cruz habitue, and I already had an Outrigger bathing suit that one of my friends had sent. Two piece Linns dark blue suit, and so I trot on down to the beach, and I felt like I’d already lived here because I knew where everything was even though I hadn’t lived here, and plopped myself down in front of the Outrigger Canoe Club.
Lo and behold, it was shortly to be … Actually, it was coed season, and it was shortly to be over, so as the girls thinned out, I thinned in, so anyway. My sponsors were Ward Russell and Tommy Balding, and I became a member, and I think it was 1952 or ‘53, somewhere around there, so I’ve been a member a long time, and loved it. Did all the things. Never had seen a canoe race. There were a bunch of other gals that were all coeds. Marilyn Haine. She was Marilyn Van Dyke. Lynn Heilbron. May Balding. Let’s see. There were six of us, just enough to make a team, and none of us knew how to steer, so we took in Kathy … Kathy, Kathy. She owns the modeling agency (Muller). She was Kathy Townsend in those days, but I think she was Kathy Townsend. Anyway, so she could steer. She was 18, and we thought she was a child, because we were 21. Anyway, so and then we had to get a coach, so we asked George Downing if he would coach us, and he said, “I don’t think so.” He was coaching the big girls.
In those days, there were only like maybe five or six teams, novice, freshman, sophmore, junior, senior. That’s five, and eighteens, and now we have like 38 or 40 races. In those days, we only had those six races, so he said, “Okay, I’ll tell you what. I’ll meet you here tomorrow at 2:00, and we’ll see.” Tomorrow at 2:00 came, and we all got there. He says, “Okay, get in the canoe.” He shoved off, and he said, “Okay, we’re going to paddle to the Elks Club.” We went, the Elks Club? My god, you can hardly see it. It’s so far away for us. We went to the break and back, because we thought that was a big deal. Anyway, so we got in the canoe. We paddled out there. No breaks, nothing. We didn’t stop until he said, “Okay, wind off,” which we were part of the Elks Club. He said, “You know what? I think I’ll take you girls on. You’re goodhearted. You’re strong. We’ll see what we can do.”
GP: There we were, all these [inaudible 00:07:33] girls, and the other novice teams were all [inaudible 00:07:40], so we decided we should have a uniform, which nobody had uniforms in those days. We all got the white Linns bathing suits, and most of them were blondes. Most of us were blondes, so we looked pretty spiffy when we showed up. The first race, all these Hawaiian gals went, “Hey, who do they think they are?” We went, “Oh, well, we’re just a novice team.” Anyway, so we won our first race, and that was the beginning of I don’t know what, but we all kind of stuck together. I lasted 33 years without missing … Actually, I stopped paddling for a while when I got married, and so when I started again … Oh, my husband and I lived in Japan for a while because he was an airline pilot. I forgot to tell you about my beloved husband. I was married to this super neat guy, and he was a surfer from California, too. He was a pilot, and he was based here, and I was working in the office.
One day, he came into the office, and all the girls in the office were tittering, and going, “Oh, it’s Captain Pedesky.” I went, oh. Okay. He was a real smart guy, and had lots of jokes to tell. He was a lot of fun. He was very handsome, and one, two, three. Before I knew it, we were going together, and he had been married before, and in California, it was usually a two-year waiting period before you could get your interlocutory and then your final divorce. Like 10 days after we got the final, we came over here, and Judge Clifton Tracy married us. He lived up on, not Tantalus, but anyway, lived up on the mountain somewhere. He had just been interviewed that day by the Bishop Museum because he was here during the overthrow of Liliuokalani. He had come from Kansas, and anyway, he became a judge, and he was a jolly guy. He was really nice, and he had a place to marry people, so that’s where we got married. Tiny little wedding, just my parents, his parents, a best man and best lady, and the crew.
You never went anywhere without your crew, and I could tell you stories about all of that stuff, but it doesn’t really apply to the Outrigger. Okay, so then when I started paddling again, the masters team had just started. It was the very first year, and I believe that was 1976, and I paddled for 33 years straight without ever missing a season. I was the only Outrigger girl that did that.
BDP: Oh, that’s incredible.
GP: I’d still be paddling, but I’m past the age group. At 82, it stops at 70. Not that you can’t paddle over 70, it’s just … I guess they thought, “It’s time for her to give it up.” Anyway, I served on a lot of committees at the Club. I love the Club. I practically lived here. I remember the day that we voted whether we were going to stay in Waikiki, or whether we were going to move down here. I was brokenhearted because I wasn’t a swimmer. I wasn’t really athletic, and I was just learning to be a paddler. I wanted them to stay right there in the middle of Waikiki. Thank god I didn’t get my way, because down here is perfect, and I think we were living in Japan. We lived in Japan in 1960 for a year, and we lived in New York in ’57 for a year, so I was gone a couple years in there. We lived in Fresno, California for a year, so in all this time, Jack was with different airlines. Let’s see. What else. For 32 years, again, there’s that number, I served on a committee of some nature. I’m still on a committee.
BDP: Yes. Before you got involved with Outrigger committees, weren’t you a volunteer at Bishop Museum?
GP: Oh, yes. I love that place. When I first went there in the fifties, they didn’t even have electricity. The lighting was through the skylights, and the windows of the size of the … See, I don’t think they got electricity until ’58, ’57, something like that. Anyway, I loved it. I became a docent, and then I joined the Service League, which was a 300 member volunteer group, and I ended up after a few years being the president of the Service League. Then they needed … Anyway, as a member of the Service League, then I went to the … What did I go to? I went to the BMA, Bishop Museum Association, and that was all of the people that had yearly memberships, and we did all kinds of things. Put on various things, and advised the board from the more common areas things that they could do to raise money, and then I became the president of that.
After a few years, they asked me to be on the Board of Directors of the Bishop Museum, so I served three two-year sessions as a member of the Board of Directors, which was really interesting, and I was working with some really fabulous, caring men. There weren’t any women on it that I can think of until later, but anyway, that were very giving of their time and money to the community. That was a wonderful experience, and then I got elected to the board here at the Bishop Mus … I mean at the Outrigger Canoe Club, so I served on that for three sessions, so that was another six years. While I was at the Bishop Museum, I met Tom Lalakea who was part Hawaiian, and he was on the Duke Kahanamoku board, and the Duke Kahanamoku Foundation was founded by Duke’s friends after he passed away. It contributed money to follow up on the things that he really liked and stood for. He had been a sheriff, and I’ll tell you a funny story about that if we have time.
He wanted young people to be educated or to be prolific in Hawaii sports, which was swimming, surfing, and canoeing, and going to school, scholarships. They had, I believe it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 or $30,000 in their coffers. In the meantime, I had … While I was on the board, I had been chosen to be … I wasn’t on the board at that time. It was before that. I was the …
BDP: The Board of the Outrigger.
GP: Yeah. I wasn’t on the Board of Directors, but I was asked to chair the Outrigger Foundation Committee, and I had a lot of ideas. Had a lot of friends, and we put on fundraisers, and suddenly we had something like $100,000 as opposed to the $20 or $30,000 that the …
BDP: The Duke thing.
GP: … Duke Foundation had. One day, Tom said to me, “You know, we’re not doing anything. We’re sort of static. We haven’t done anything in 10 years with the money. How about if we give your foun … The Outrigger Foundation the money, and they can do the things that Duke wanted to do, which is what you’re doing anyway?” I said, “Good idea, but why don’t we just merge?” I’m thinking to myself, “We can get the name Duke Kahanamoku.” At that time, we didn’t have a good reputation in the community. We were those rich haoles down there on Diamond Head who got everything they wanted, and whenever we gave a grant or anything, it wasn’t really appreciated by the community. The person who got it, or the school that got it, or canoe club that got it, liked it, but … One of the things that we were trying to do was enrich our … That’s a bad word, enrich. To make the things that we were doing meaningful.
We had a lot of good ideas, and anyway, Tom went to his group, and I went to the board, and said, “You know, this is a possibility.” The meanwhile, we were still running the making money with the Outrigger Foundation, which Ron Sorrell had started, with great intentions to fund the employees’ children, the scholarship for the employees’ children. Because we were 501(c)(3), or whatever we were, we couldn’t do that, and we had to have community involvement. We figured out that okay, as a 401(c)3(c), we could fund several of our endeavors, which was the Dad Center race, the Fourth of July canoe race. What else. We did four things that were open to the public. A swim, and something else, so we could take our money that we earned, but apply it to our public endeavors. Everybody liked that. That was a good idea, so that’s what we did. We merged with the Duke Kahanamoku Foundation and became the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation.
I remember Tommy Holmes was on my committee, and he said, “Gerri, what do you hope to get out of this?” I said, “A million dollars.” He said, “Oh, get real.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “You can’t earn a million dollars off of scholarships.” He in the meantime was helping unwed mothers, and orphans, and I said, “You know, Tommy, you’re gonna have those people with you all the time. We are going to have winners who are gonna go on to bigger and better things,” because if you were … Let’s say you were a champion swimmer here on Oahu. In order to be a state champion, you had to go to the other islands. You had to be funded somehow, and so it was very … It was hard for our sports people to progress, and then in the mainland, if you were a swimmer, your mother put you in the back of the car and you go to Arizona, or you go to Washington, or wherever. You can go to anything in your parents’ car. Here, you can’t do that, so everybody said, “Oh, that’s a great idea,” so they started contributing.
I said, “Tommy, we’re gonna have a million dollars.” He said, “No way. $250,000 is the best you can ever hope for.” Unfortunately, he died before we reached our million dollar mark, but we made a million dollars, and I … We made it.
BDP: Oh, that’s wonderful.
GP: Yeah, and now it’s really going gangbusters, and they put on all kinds of wonderful things, and …
BDP: Are you still involved?
GP: Not really.
BDP: Don’t you do the t-shirts?
GP: Oh, yeah. I forgot about that.
BDP: Tell us about that.
GP: Oh, yeah. Okay. Somewhere along the line, I think Darcy Ames, when she was head of canoe racing, started selling t-shirts on the beach.
BDP: On the Fourth of July.
GP: On the Fourth of July only, between the hours of eight and five. Somehow, we were able to do it, and this is when we were just the Outrigger, before we were the ODKF. When we became the ODKF, I convinced the Board that that money should go to the ODKF. It did for a while, and then they said, “No, no, no, no. We have to have half of it for the Outrigger,” so we said, “Okay. Half goes to the Outrigger. Half goes to the ODKF.” The first year, we had 300 shirts. We sold 300 shirts. That was a year before, Darcy. That was Darcy’s year. Anyway, this past year, we sold 3,200 pieces of logo wear, and we made a sizable monetary contribution to both the ODKF, and the Outrigger Canoe Club.
BDP: How are you involved in those t-shirts, besides selling them?
GP: Okay. About the third year that we were doing it, I got connected with Vik Watumull, and he was just a splendid source of everything. He had a t-shirt company called Happy Shirts, and we started working together. Now, we can’t do it without him. It’s just, he helps with everything. We say, “This year, I want purple. Bring me all your purple colors. I want hot purple and hot pink,” and I haven’t seen the samples yet, but hopefully we’re getting our hot pink and hot purple. Last year, what was it? Last year, it was a beautiful aqua blue, and then the year before that, it was hot orange, and the year before that it was lime green, so we just … People line up. We started 8:00, and the line is all the way down the beach waiting.
BDP: Oh, I know it. It goes way down the beach.
GP: Yeah, so we decided that we got to give the Outrigger members a chance, so we have two evenings here at the Club where we sell the shirts before we go to the beach on the Fourth of July.
BDP: Thank goodness.
GP: I’m still connected in that way. Yeah.
BDP: Oh. Now getting back to paddling, did you ever do the Molokai?
GP: Oh, yes.
BDP: How many times?
GP: Let’s put it this way. I did three, but I was on the boat for four. The first one, the coach said, “You know, you’re not a very good swimmer.” In fact, I didn’t swim at all. I wore my floatie, I called it, under my shirt so you couldn’t see it. It was one of those banana-colored, thick, home rubber things that you put around here. You couldn’t see it under my shirt, so if I look a little hunchback in some of the pictures, that’s why, because it’s sticking out in the back. Anyway, and we got a first place masters one year. I think that was the year that Di Guild was our coach. We had a marvelous coach. She was the most positive. She never said a single negative thing, and she got a lot out of us. We won nine … I say 11, but Marilyn says nine straight state championships in a row.
GP: We won 11 out of 13 years that she coached us, and it was just … It was a wonderful experience. We just loved it.
BDP: She was a lot younger than the crew.
GP: Oh, she started when she was 19.
BDP: How old were-
GP: She chose me, and I’m thinking, “God, what am I gonna do with these old ladies?” We were 35, of course. That’s when they started. The masters was 35 and over. Now they even have a seventies age group.
BDP: Did you play any volleyball?
BDP: No. Oh.
GP: I have very poor depth perception. That’s why paddling was so good. All I had to do was follow that paddle in front of me.
BDP: Oh, so I understand that your husband passed away.
BDP: How did that work into your life?
GP: I’m still grieving, but not bad. The first three years I thought I was … I didn’t know who I was, because for 52 years, we did everything together. We were inseparable, and then he got cancer, and it was only four years ago, but it wasn’t as well known now how to heal it. They gave you chemotherapy and … Not radiation.
GP: Radiation, and now they’re falling away from that totally, because it’s so damaging. The chemotherapy has to kill off the bad cells until it kills off all the good cells, too, so unless you’re in great health, you die. That’s what happened with Jack, and I’m getting used to it. I just sold our apartment. Was beautiful, Architectural Digest-type apartment, and now I’m living in a small apartment, cutting down on costs. I have a cat. Vik Watumull teases me and calls me the cat lady, but it’s nice to have something alive in your apartment when you come home at night.
GP: Not just come home to …
BDP: Your cats name is?
GP: Is Abigail.
GP: Abigail was given to me by Judy Fla … Given to Jack by Judy Flanders, and Abigail was a Campbell name, so we just left her to be Abigail. She was two years old, and now she’s 15, and …
BDP: You’re still affiliated with the Board in some way. You count the votes at the-
GP: Oh, yeah. That’s one of the committees I’m on. Chairman of the … What the heck is it called? Judges of Election. Judges of Election. I have my team. This is how it started. One day when I was running for the Board, one day after it was all over with, one of the guys, men, that was on judges of election says to me, “Hey, I see you plunked for yourself,” and I went, “Oh,” he says, “I counted ballots.” I said, “How do you know how I voted?” “Oh,” he says, “We check. We look at everybody’s.” I got so mad, and was so incensed that somebody would cheat like that, because we’re not supposed to know how people vote. I went to the President. I said, “Can I be Judges of Election next year?” He said, “Absolutely. Okay. Fine.” I’ve been doing it off and on for, I don’t know, 30 years, 45 years.”
BDP: 30 years.
GP: I don’t know. Marilyn Kali has to tell me how long. She’s got all that, but we do it the correct way. We have no clue as to who votes how. It’s our system.
BDP: Nobody is allowed to be in the room where you’re counting.
GP: No. Right. Yeah. Not even the manager’s not even supposed to be there, but I can’t find it in writing. The Club has a lot of customs, or …
BDP: Unwritten rules.
GP: Unwritten rules, yeah, and I think we’re in that position right now with what’s going on with the Board. The Outrigger Canoe Club has stood for all these 115 years, or 125 years, however long we’ve been in business, and everybody that comes here goes, “God, it never changes. It’s so fabulous. I can’t wait to get here.” Now we have this Board that’s trying to change everything, and modernize, and we don’t want to be modernized. We want to be just like we were.
BDP: In what way are they trying to modernize?
GP: They’re changing all the furniture into not our style of furniture. Doesn’t go with the building. They’re trying to change the building, which is a historical building done by (Val) Ossipoff. The landscaping is showing, it’s showing … Not that it’s not being taken care of, but they’re not doing what they should be doing with it, and tropical plants are not trees. They’re not to be cut and made to look like trees or topiaries. That’s English, and tropical plants are full, and flourishing, and they cover the ground because they like to have their roots shaded, and a perfect example is the zoo. They came along and took that hedge, cut all the bottoms off this high up, so all you have is a trunk, and cut all the tops off. This forced the growth up, and that forced the growth down, and so every now and again, you’ll see one of the bushes has died, and so more, and more, and more, the dishes will continue to die, because it’s very unhealthy for the plants. That’s what’s happening here, out in front. They’re taking all the bottoms off and showing all the dirt, if that’s what you want to see. I have to get off that.
BDP: Okay. Let’s change the subject.
BDP: Do you attend all the social activities here?
GP: Pretty much. Pretty much. I’m on the Historical Committee, which is the most fun group of people, and well, well, well-intentioned. We’ve made such great strides in the last few years. There’s people like you, and Marilyn Kali, and Kawika Grant, and Tay Perry, who are totally interested and connected to everything that’s going on historically. We’ve discovered a lot of trophies that we didn’t know we had. There’s just a … It’s just a wonderful group of people that are really like taking this oral history. We’re taking all kinds of oral histories of people from the past, all the Presidents, and people who’ve done things. It used to be just a written history. Now in this committee we have verbal and videoed, so you can see what the person looked like. I think it’s a great idea. I think we’re doing really wonderful things.
BDP: It really makes a difference, doesn’t it?
GP: Not that I’m …
BDP: What do you think the future holds for this Club? In close to 40 years from now, our lease will expire. What [crosstalk 00:33:03]?
GP: That’s a good question. That is a good question. I just hope that sometime between now and then, the Elks will see reason, and that we can coexist happily together. That’s my prayer, but we might not be an ocean club if we can’t get a place on the water.
BDP: That’s our whole mission.
GP: Yeah. We might have to go to the other side of the island. Makes me sad to even think of it. You’d have to take a bus to go to the Club. I’m just glad I won’t be here. Right. You know what? This is what they said. We can’t move down there to Diamond Head. That’s down there. We’re Waikiki. Which is true. We were Waikiki, and now we’re Diamond Head. Maybe there’s somewhere else we can find along the water’s edge that-
BDP: What did you think about purchasing that land in Aina Hina, and then selling it?
GP: I think it was premature to sell. I don’t know. I thought it was kind of a good idea.
BDP: Yeah. I think-
GP: It was on the water.
GP: It had a small little channel.
BDP: In 40 years, that may be a lot …
BDP: Just like Diamond Head was.
GP: Yeah. Exactly.
BDP: That’s it. Yeah. How about any other stories you might want to tell us before we bring this to a close? You have wonderful stories, Gerri.
GP: I don’t know. I’m sort of blank mind at the moment, but I should’ve … I said I was going to tell a story about something, but now I can’t remember what it was about. Okay, well, one day I was on … I worked for Dr. Westbrook, George Westbrook, who was a maxifacial surgeon, and he had a new doctor who had come on board, and he wanted to make his … He was young, and he wanted to make his office kind of surfboardy, and local looking. I paddled for the … Don’t tell anybody now, but I’ve paddled for Lanikai for the last three years, because they paddled over 60, over 70, and we knew those girls from the old days. I should tell you about the old days. When they first had the masters women, masters division, there were six teams. Lanikai, Kailua, Waimanalo, Outrigger, Waikiki Surf, and Beetle Bong. No. Do you remember that? Beetle Bong? No. Okay. Nevermind. It was before your time. I’m joking.
Anyway, our race was a quarter mile, and now it’s a half mile, so you go up, turn around, and come back. The quarter mile you went up. That was it. You paddled back to the beach, and it was easy around 10:30 in the morning. Now it’s like 5:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon, but in those days, one, you could drink on the beach, and two, we would gather together and do a paina, and that, everybody brought something to eat, and drink. We would laugh, and joke around, and just do crazy things, and had such a good time that we put on our own race in the Ala Wai. We were called the Hui O Ala Wai ladies, and somewhere I have a picture of about, I don’t know, 60 women taken at the Ala Wai of all of the different teams. I should get you that picture. It should hang somewhere, because it’s all the old timer paddlers, and anyway … I forgot what I was going to tell you.
BDP: About the Ala Wai.
GP: I got sidetracked about the lunches, and then once they changed the time. The time goes by the length of the race, it was late in the afternoon, and you couldn’t drink on the beach. It was just a whole different way of doing the races, but in the beginning. I knew all these ladies at Lanikai. I saw one of them one day. She says, “You know, why don’t you come and paddle with us if you’re not gonna paddle for the Outrigger?” I said, “Oh. Okay. I’ll just paddle with you just to paddle.” When the racing season came along, they said, “Well let’s … Why don’t we paddle this year?” I said okay, and so we did, and so I paddled for them for five years, and had a wonderful time. They were all readers, opera-goers, not gossips, and we just got along really well. Besides, Lanikai’s the most exquisite place to paddle. It was just beautiful. Anyway, back to Duke. The girl that lives on the house that’s on the top of the rock in Lanikai, called Hilltop House, she’s a Paulson.
Her uncle was a teacher at Punahou, and he was one of these guys that was the most famous, beloved teachers. In fact, Dale Hope stopped by. We were having lunch with Johnny Frisbee the day before yesterday, and he stopped by to say something, and we introduced him to Cosette. Her name’s Cosette Harms. She’s one of the ladies I paddled with, and we said she used to be a Paulson, and she lives on the Rock, and he went on in ecstasy about Mr. Paulson being his teacher at Punahou. He said, “There were two men in my life that affected me in such a positive way, and one of them was Peter Paulson.” Okay, so back to the Dr. Westbrook’s office and the pictures. I was trying to find pictures of olden times, and Cosette says, “Oh, I got boxes of them. Come on up and see.” I said, “Okay,” and her grandfather built that Hilltop House I think in 1924, something like that. This collection of pictures, and they were sailors. They belonged to the yacht club. The yacht club, I never know whether it’s the Waikiki or the other one, but it’s the one on the pier, not on the land.
BDP: That’s the Haw-
GP: Hawaii Yacht Club. Yeah.
GP: Anyway, she’s number four. They gave her an honorary number when she was a little girl. Anyway, so I went up there, and looked through these pictures, and most of them were yacht pictures. I did get a few things, but suddenly there was this picture of my husband’s brother-in-law, and his band, and I went, “Oh, he told the truth.” He always told us that he was here during World War II, at the start of World War II, and that he had a band at the Lau Yee Chai called Billy McDonald’s Highlanders, and there was a picture. They were all in their white dinner jackets, and they had plaid cummerbunds, and there was Billy with the little … His daughter was a singer. I went oh, my god. Then it came back to me that he said that on Pearl Harbor day, he went with Duke on … He said, “Duke came by where I was living, whistled. I came out, and he said, ‘Get on the fender,'” and he said, “Away we went, and I was with Duke all day doing his duties as a sheriff, helping him do his duties as a sheriff on December 7.”
How they met is Billy was a champion diver. That’s Jack’s brother-in-law, and Duke of course was a swimmer, and they both went to the same Olympics in Germany. They were on the ship together and became friends, and so when Billy was over here working at Lau Yee Chai, he used to hang with Duke and the guys at the beach. I thought, god, if Jack were still alive, he would be so pleased to know that Billy was telling the truth, because we thought he was just doing a whole ho`omalimali. Like, oh, I hung with Duke. That’s my story about Duke and Billy.
BDP: Oh, that’s a great story. Thank you so much.
GP: You have to remind me, because I have a lot of stories. Have a lot of Jack stories, and I just never can remember them until somebody says something and I’m like, “Oh, I can top that one.”
GP: Maybe when I get older, we’ll have another edition.
BDP: Good. In the meantime, if you don’t have any more at the moment.
GP: I don’t. Not that I can think of. I’ll probably walk out of here and go, “Oh, my god. Why didn’t I tell him about … ”
BDP: Yes, that’ll happen. Thank you so much, Gerri. This has been wonderful.
GP: It’s my pleasure. It’s my pleasure to help anything that has to do with the Outrigger.
GP: Thank you for your services, Barbara. You’ve been a real treasure to us.
BDP: Thank you so much.
2016 Life Membership
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE OUTRIGGER CANOE CLUB
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
1984 Coordinating Director – Public Relations
1985 Assistant Secretary/Coordinating Director – Public Relations
1985 Coordinating Director – Outrigger Foundation
1986 Coordinating Director – House
1986 Coordinating Director – Public Relations Committee
OUTRIGGER DUKE KAHANAMOKU FOUNDATION
1986 Vice President – Operations
1988 Vice President
1990 Vice President – Operations
1991 Vice President – Operations
1992 Vice President – Operations
1993 Vice President – Oeprations
1994 Vice President – Operations
1985-2018 Chair, Macfarlane T-Shirt Committee
ADMISSIONS & MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE
JUDGES OF ELECTION COMMITTEE
Na Wahine O Ke Kai
1991 1st Masters
1992 3rd Place Masters
1993 2nd Place Masters
HCRA State Championships
1985 Senior Masters
1986 Senior Masters
1987 Senior Masters
1988 Senior Masters
1989 Senior Masters
1990 Senior Masters
1991 Senior Masters
1993 Senior Masters
1986 Senior Masters
1988 Senior Masters
1989 Senior Masters
1990 Senior Masters
1995 Golden Masters
1996 Golden Masters
Dad Center Long Distance Race
1990 1st Place Masters
1991 2nd Place Masters
Skippy Kamakawiwoole Long Distance Race
1985 1st Place Masters