Up, Up And Away

Well, it’s that time of the year for graduations. I don’t know about your family, but we actually have to budget our money depending on the number of announcements we might receive.

My wife works at a parochial school that has elaborate graduations for its eighth-graders going to high school and also for its kindergarteners. She’s the school secretary, so in a way they are all her kids. She ends up having to make about a billion leis, most of them made up of premium candies and folded money.

This year we also have a big one as my nephew, my sister’s son, graduates from high school. We were in charge of making signage and some kind of eye-catching display in order for people to find him after the graduation ceremony breaks up. This is where a major conflict of interest kicked in for me.

My wife and daughter wanted me to get a bunch of those metallic balloons so that we could have them hover over our nephew’s meeting spot. The problem with that is I’m good friends with Sharon Higa, the senior communications consultant with HECO. She’s worked with us for a number of years on the dangers of loose metallic balloons creating power outages by getting tangled in power lines or transformers. It’s a serious problem, and Sharon has come up with all kinds of campaigns to create awareness.

I agreed to get the balloons, but only if I could tie them to some kind of significant weight to prevent them from floating away. Brilliant and practical guy that I am, I chose a 5-pound dumbell. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but a 5-pound weight gets pretty heavy when you have to hold on to it for longer than a few minutes.

By the time we got to the graduation site, my right bicep looked like I was the arm wrestling champion of the world. It was quite a sacrifice, but well worth it to be there for my nephew while doing the right thing to prevent a power outage.

So the next time you use electricity, you can look toward the sky and say, “Thank you, Ron Nagasawa, Mr. Responsible Metallic Balloon Guy.”