DPMA / AITP Region 2 Hawaii 2008 Gathering
Friday, October 31, 2008
Posted by: John Foertschbeck
Sam asked me to send a recap of our reunion in Hawaii to everyone on the original list. The following comments are just my personal impressions and experiences but I trust that everyone who did attend share these thoughts.
Also we want to know if anyone is interested in hosting another reunion of us "old timers" next year, or maybe just call it quits for a year or two. I'll be happy to share what info I have with anyone who might be interested in doing something next year and even the year after.
DPMA / AITP Region 2 Hawaii 2008 Gathering.
The first DPMA / AITP Reunion was hosted by past presidents Dorothy & Howard Smith in San Jose, CA in August 2007. It was unquestionably a big success, so much so, that the attendants pressured Sam Luke to host a second event in Honolulu in 2008. Everyone who knows Sam loves him, not only for his famous massages but especially for his tireless and unending work for our association. Sam accepted the mandate and made fantastic arrangements for a super event on Waikiki Beach. September 18, 19, and 20 were the dates and a number of Region 2 and a few others got together for a great time.
The Region 2 folks actually worked hard for two solid days reviewing events and activities and planning ways for the Region and the Association to grow. This was not an easy task since the weather in Waikiki at the time was just gorgeous. While the Region 2 representatives were working hard the rest of us took advantage of the many tourist activities on the island including but not limited to: Waikiki Beach, the Honolulu Zoo and Aquarium, Pearl Harbor with the Arizona Memorial, historic battleship Missouri, and submarine Starfish, tours to the mountains and coastal beaches around Oahu.
The Miramar Hotel provided super accommodations; some of us even had ocean front views for a very reasonable price. The international market immediately adjacent to the hotel provided great shopping opportunities, a variety of food and snacks, and just a neat place to walk through and absorb local color and flavor. Not unlike other DPMA / AITP events we all gathered in the Region 2 hospitality suite in the evenings to recount our day's adventures and past DPMA / AITP experiences. Special events organized by Sam included - Thursday night "mixer" with the Honolulu Chapter members, Friday evening Luau, and Saturday a scrumptious meal in Chinatown.
The Thursday night chapter mixer brought together local chapter officers and members with Region 2 representatives and several other old time DPMA / AITP members and officers from many locations. Sam arranged a van service to get us to the event and there was a spontaneous and unanimous decision to take the local metro bus back to the hotel. The bus trip proved to be a fun trip that was enjoyed by all.
The Friday night Luau started with a chartered bus ride from Waikiki to the western shores of Oahu. The host on the bus was both informative and entertaining and made the hour trip through rush hour traffic seem like a few minutes. We were not alone at the Luau as several busloads of Luau goers arrived about the same time as we did. The Luau site was a picturesque location with a bar, gift shop, outdoor eating area with both long picnic style tables, traditional low tables and mats on the sand, and a big stage. The evening was full of great entertainment - traditional and more modern Hawaiian songs and dances including the famous fire dance.
Sam's choice of a Chinese Restaurant for Saturday evening truly exceeded all expectations. This was obviously a restaurant that catered to locals, there were few frills but a ton of fantastic food. Most of us used our chopsticks, some with more agility than others; the rest succumbed to using a traditional fork. We were seated around very large round tables with a big lazy susan in the center. The waitresses started bringing out the food, one scrumptious entrée after the other until we were all so stuffed no one could eat another bite of anything.
The entire event came off without a hitch. No surprise with Sam managing things. We were disappointed that more "old timers" couldn't make the event. Several couples had to cancel at the last minute due to illnesses, others could not reconcile work schedules, and others were feeling the impact of the worsening economy. We missed a lot of good friends and trust that future events will attract a greater number of us "old timers" who grew up together professionally in DPMA and AITP.
A big Mahalo to Sam and the folks who helped him make this event a true success!
John H. Foertschbeck,
Baltimore Chapter, Region XI