Setting An Example Of Courage
I suffered a stroke this April and spent four days at Castle Medical Center, then was transferred to Rehab Hospital of the Pacific for two weeks. I continued my daily therapies at Castle Outpatient after my release. So many wonderful people whom I call angels stepped forward to help me with my recovery. I would like to thank all those angels for their help. They came from Kailua Racquet Club, Kailua Recreation Center Aerobics and Saint John Vianney Parish. A special mahalo to angel Kathy, who maintained my daily transport schedule to and from Castle, and a huge APPLAUSE for the angels who spent personal time with me on the tennis courts, swimming, biking, kayaking and hiking, and who are still helping me. To all my friends and relatives who came from the Mainland and Canada, thank you! For your cards and emails filled with encouragement, thank you! For the unseen and unacknowledged daily acts of love, thank you. I thank you all for each and every piece of yourself you have shared with me.
Your APPLAUSE goes out to all your angels, especially Kathy Esposito-Mason. However, your wife, Peggy, has a standing ovation for you. “This nuclear physicist lost most of his ability to speak, but through sheer persistence
he has moved from not even recognizing me to being able to recognize the alphabet, to use the computer, to read and return to his old self,” she says. “He used to teach after-school tennis at the public courts. Even now, when we’re out, his little students have to hug their Coach Armand!”
After hearing a mayoral debate trashing the deplorable bathroom conditions at City and County parks and pointing fingers at the various candidates, I am moved to acknowledge the work being done by Dennis Ohata, C&C groundskeeper at the Diamond Head end of Ala Moana Beach.
Ala Moana Beach Park has to be one of the most-used parks on the island. Thousands are there daily, from early-morning swimmers to late-afternoon picnickers, an endless stream of people and kids including Red Cross keiki swim lessons, Parks and Recreation summer fun groups, stand-up paddlers … endless. But the place is impeccable, thanks to Dennis.
He is there every morning scrubbing the bathrooms, walkways, shower areas, sweeping the sand off the wheelchair access, clearing the shower drainage ditch … endless work. I felt compelled to thank Dennis for the job he does maintaining the restroom area. His reply was, “I want to keep my area clean.” It was said with such ownership and pride, like a man talking about his personal yard and home. For me, that said it all.
Dear Joanne, Ala Moana Section
Maintenance supervisor Tim Malama says Dennis is one of the reasons Ala Moana Park has won the Parks Pride Award three times. “I can depend on Dennis, as well as the 17 other maintenance people on staff,” he says. “It’s a big area we cover: Ala Moana, Thomas Square, the backside of the Convention Center, the Makua Ali’i Senior Center and other areas. Coca-Cola had a contest recently and Ala Moana was named the best park in the state.”