Do You Remember… Graduation

This past weekend was the big graduation weekend when most of the public schools graduated.  And it got me reminiscing about my graduation time.



The year was 1976.  The Kailua High School tradition of graduating at the H.I.C. ended when the Class of ’75 lit firecrackers in the area at their graduation.  It was the first time in over 10 years that Kailua was graduating on their field.


The bleachers were condemned due to termites.  All the guests had to stand.  My girlfriend of 2 years had just broken up with me – right before my senior prom – although she did to with me to the prom.  And she did come to see me at my graduation.


My name was listed at the back of the graduation program under a section titled: Additional Graduates.  My uncle asked me if it was listed there because I wasn’t sure if I was going to graduate or not.  I’m not sure if he was joking.


After the ceremony, I remember lying on the hood of my car staring up at the clouds.  Since we had to be at the school early, our cars were parked way inside the campus and a few of us just waited there until the traffic thinned out.


And that’s the last memory I have of Kailua High School.


Back in our day – there was no such thing a “Project Grad”.  After the graduation, all the uncles and aunties who drove all the way out to attend the graduation headed back to the graduate’s house for a big spread of food.  And all the graduates would go home to be at their family party.


It was after the family party that our “Project Grad” started.  The party I went to was the Cherie Amie’s club party at Big Surf hotel across the old Kaiser Hospital parking lot in Waikiki.  I think I got there kinda late because everyone was pretty wasted by the time I got there.


But that’s pretty much all I remember from my graduation.


I just wonder about today’s graduates who attend their overnight Project Grad events.  Is their last memory of high school going to be everyone saying good-bye to each other in the early morning hours back at the school after their all-night event?  Or are they going to remember the graduation ceremony?


What do you remember about your graduation?  Did you graduate on the school campus or at some other venue?  What did you do that night after your graduation ceremony?  If you had Project Grad back in your day – would you have attended?



Time is running out – less than 2 weeks away.  Tickets are printed and ready for pick up.
70’s Nightclub Reunion Encore!


38 Responses to “Do You Remember… Graduation”

  1. LINDA KATO says:

    ankles: LOL! I’ll just give you my “secret” so you can try it too! Rather than plow a benji into megabucks, I broke all my benji’s into $20’s. I went right down the row and put a $20 in each $1.00 machine for all the 10 times 10 pay machines, Double Diamond machines, and anything else that looked appealing and it hit the jackpot after only a few spins. If the machine is ready to hit, it does with only a $20, if not, it won’t so don’t put more than a $20 into a machine. It worked! It also pays better to go to Vegas during summer when more people are playing the machines ❗ 😀

  2. ankleBYTERS says:


    You’re definitely booked on a flight to Vegas in October so i can say…again and again and again and again….you’ll be staying at the Venetian 🙂 ….no $0.05 vouchers for me with you around ❗

  3. LINDA KATO says:

    Good morning MLCers ❗ Happy Sunday ❗ 😀

    Have a great day ❗ 😀

  4. LINDA KATO says:

    Our class song was “I Gotta Be Me”. I’m not sure if that is the title of the song but that’s the one.

  5. LINDA KATO says:

    ankles: Whatever type of film he used, boy do I wish I still had THAT figure today ❗
    dihudfan: I always stay at the California Hotel since my room is comped, I am given 3 meals per day and $100 slot play. I grew the slot play to $500 and knew it would be a great trip when I made money from the get go ❗ I studied the last two magazines of all the winners and played the same machines the big winners played and I hit again and again and again and again and again and again and again ❗ Hubby now believes I definitely have “good luck” ❗ 😀

  6. dihudfan says:

    LK… welcome home… happy to hear you had a wonderful visit… did your gambling downtown? must be, 3 of my friends came back broke… they all stayed on the strip and did most of their gambling there… declaring the strip to be TIGHT… glad to hear you were a winnah!!!
    btw… our class song was Climb every mountain…

  7. ankleBYTERS says:

    Graduation song: You’ll Never Walk Alone
    Guest speaker: Carole Kai

    Graduation party was at my aunt’s home. Really don’t remember much about the early part of the day. I picked up my then GF at her home in town and drove back to Kaneohe. I said my hellos and then it was back to town again as my one of my friend’s mom reserved rooms at the then Kahala Hilton for us. We had a great project grad party there…remember hanging out on one of the greens there…causing so much commotion that we had several visits from the front desk 🙂 I don’t remember if we all made it to the baccalaureate next morning or not.


    It was probably 8mm video. During our junior year in HS my surfing buddies and I made a video for a class project of us surfing off of Magic Island using an 8mm video camera. I wish I could watch it again…

  8. LINDA KATO says:

    I remember all the leis we received on graduation day ❗ We tried to see who had the most leis. Some of us had so many leis you couldn’t hardly see our face ❗ What an expensive tradition ❗ Then what to do with all of those leis ❓ ❗

    I loved the money leis the best ❗ We’d count up all the loot from our leis ❗ 😀 Tuition money ❗ Yay ❗ Can you believe it cost $112.00 per semester in 1969 ❗ 😯

  9. LINDA KATO says:

    Nice, good clean fun at our graduation ❗ No one smoked dubies or drank heavily. I hung with a pretty square bunch. They got more adventuresome in college but I stayed the same ❗ LOL ❗

  10. LINDA KATO says:

    In 1969, we all went to our own family parties and party hopped on graduation day ❗ Many of my classmates went out of state for college. I was too chicken to leave Hawaii and attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Our ceremony was held in the football field. Dusty and hot, no air conditioning. One of my classmates father took a videotape of our graduation and me when I was very slim. Those days there were no video cameras and the tape was reel to reel. Didn’t know taking home movies were possible in 1969 until my friend showed the tape at our recent class reunion ❗ 😯

  11. LINDA KATO says:

    I graduated from Aiea High School in 1969. We had about 350 in our class. I just met up with 3 of my 1969 classmates in Vegas ❗ Coincidentally we were all there at the same time ❗ We also bumped into 4 former coworkers of the State Labor Dept. at the Cal. I don’t even bump into my classmates or my former coworkers on Oahu ❗ Had a great time in Vegas ❗ It was really nice to see my high school classmates again. We plan a reunion in Vegas when we all turn 62 next year ❗ 😀

  12. LINDA KATO says:

    It was an incredulous trip ❗ 😀 I was incredibly lucky ❗ 😀 My mantra, put “good karma” out there, “pay it forward daily” and good things will come to you ❗ 😀 I was blessed many times over ❗ Happy, happy, happy ❗ 😀 It is great to be home ❗ 😀

    ankles: I was super lucky again ❗ You would have been shocked at how lucky I was ❗ 😀

  13. LINDA KATO says:

    Good afternoon MLCers ❗ Happy Saturday ❗ 😀

    Hope everyone had a great week ❗ 😀 We just returned from Vegas at 2AM this morning instead of at 9:35PM on 5/25/12. There was a 5 hour flight delay due to mechanical problems of an old Hawaiian Air aircraft. Hawaiian Air offered meal vouchers and taxi vouchers from the airport to our home. Didn’t arrive home until 4AM. Went to Denny’s for breakfast at 5AM and slept at 6AM for 3 hours before MIL woke us up. I had errands to run so was happy to wake up at that moment.

  14. M says:

    Our class song was “You’ll never walk alone”.

  15. volleymom2 says:

    My class song was Days Of Our Youth by Kui Lee and guest speaker was Al Harrington (Hawaii 5-0).

  16. 91boz says:

    I remember my HS graduation on the football field next to the tennis courts. Everyone lined up wearing their cap and gown in the hot afternoon sun. Class Valedictorian was Carol Malvin and the Guest Speaker was Sparky Matsunaga.
    Yes since there was no project grad in our day after the picture taking with all the leis it was off to a family gathering at home with friends and relatives and then off to other friends homes to celebrate. I think we ended up at at teacher Darryl Rumsey’s Ilikai hotel room for an all night party. I don’t remember too much about that night but the next day a few of us had to go to an orientation for summer hires at Ewa sugar plantation industrial relations office. I know I was singled out and reprimanded for dozing off during the safety presentation by P.R. Charley Tanaka.

  17. Mark'75 says:

    What was your graduation song?
    You’ll Never Walk Alone….Richard Natto was a hard act to follow.

  18. dihudfan says:

    @sally… small world… lost contact with most of my classmates…

  19. snow says:

    mckinley graduation was supposed to be on the first sunday of june (june 1st)… but, no… there was a upw strike that year and the DOE said no one graduates before june 1st! booooo!! we ended staying in school with everyone else that whole week. i want to say that we sang “i’ll remember you,” but i don’t actually remember for sure! lol. i remember our speaker, dick tomey, saying that we wouldn’t remember anything he said… and that is all i remember he said! lol. it was a hot day, i sat with the band for one last time and walked across the “oval” for the first and last time ever! we had all my relatives over our house and my auntie’s for my graduation party that night… lots of fun and our last guests left at 5 am!

  20. Rodney says:

    @sally – I mumbled.

  21. hemajang says:

    James Campbell High School Class of 1965 graduation exercises was on June 13th on campus outside by cafeteria. I have vague memories of meeting up with friends prior to ceremony in our black cap and gowns, lining up marching to our seats, receiving diploma (barely), class genius Marianne Egeland giving a rousing valedictorian speech, singing (barely) our alama mater led by band teacher and composer Alfredo Lagaso and mom with tears in her eyes congratulating me. Same thing, had big spread at our house with relatives, then went to friends house and don’t remember much of that except some talk about our future plans.

  22. KAN says:

    My class at Castle broke with tradition and wore maroon gowns out of sequence (I think we were supposed to be gold that year – maroon white & gold was the order). The Gods of Tradition got even with us as rain DUMPED on us on the bleachers in the middle of the football field. Our song was “Graduation Day,” which was over two decades old when we used it.

    My parents threw an enormous party, and 4-5 friends stayed overnight (somewhat unexpectedly). My mom, ever the good sport, cooked up all the eggs in the ‘fridge, some rice and Portuguese sausage for my friends for breakfast.

  23. sally says:

    @dihudfan: FHS ’65? I know a lot of your classmates!

    @Mark’75: Yah, was quite awesome! Thanks!

    @Rod: Did you sing?

  24. Rodney says:

    Our class song was Seals & Crofts’ – We May Never Pass This Way Again:

    What was your graduation song?

  25. Mark'75 says:

    @Sally: BTW Richard did a fabulous job with your class song ❗

  26. Mark'75 says:

    Could have used Project Grad back then.
    Just chaperoned on the overnighter Tues. night. Was fun!

  27. Mark'75 says:

    We graduated at the Shell too. While on the risers, some lolo (but not me) shot a penny rocket into the crowd.

    Got a lots of leis after, especially carnation ones. Come to think of it, no more now, yeah? Are they old fashioned, or ?

    Grad night was a blurrrrr…..rrrrr…..

  28. dihudfan says:

    correction… not does days… those days… the fingahs and brain no work to good today…

  29. dihudfan says:

    I wuz nevah a good student… but I wuz so sad when we graduated… happy to be out of school… but sad, not going see all my friends… I think our class started off over 1000, but only 900 something graduated… I wuz really nauseated from all the leis… wen partah aftah, all over with all my friends… miss does days!!! FHS Class of ’65…

  30. sally says:

    My fam did the usual potluck party, where I did the obligatory “show face” but left early. I didn’t feel like going to any party with crazy drunk wannabes so I headed for Magic Mushroom instead.

    Yah, where everyone is sober at Magic Mushroom. BHAHAHAHA!

  31. sally says:

    We graduated at the Shell. I have only a couple of pics of the day but remember the ceremony.

    Richard Natto (Toma/Nato) is our classmate and put together a custom class song, which we rehearsed for what seems like forever. He had so much faith in his 700 Bulldog classmates to harmonize properly LOL.

    The intro to our song was to the tune of Carpenters’ Won’t Last A Day Without You but words customized for our class. The song then flowed into Young Rascals’ My Hawaii.

    My friend and I sing it every time we go karaoke.

  32. M says:

    Guud morning MLCers!
    Graduated at the shell and I smoked a doobie after the ceremony.

  33. PA says:

    i was in the class of 75 for some reason i dont recollect the firecrackers but i do remember having to sit through 800 plus graduates and the commencement song the long and winding road
    running through my head over and over

  34. NaPueo says:

    Bulldogs, Graduate at the Waikiki Shell.
    If we had project graduation, I would have gone.

  35. volleymom2 says:

    My class graduated on the football field beginning at 4:30 PM and it was blistering hot. I had a graduation party at the house with family and friends coming over. The three other gals that I hung out with that nite decided to meet at 9 PM and proceed to Waikiki. I was the designated driver with the Dodge Swinger, remember that? The 4 of us decided to see SOS that nite- they were fantastic!! We ended our night or early morning at Wailana’s (favorite hangout) for some grinds before heading home. Would I go to Project Grad if we had it back then? Definitely yes!! Last time to be with friends.. all kinds activities to do and entertainment. Closure with people if need be…

  36. Ynaku says:

    The night of our graduation would you believe we went to an “R” rated movie at the Palace Theater. I wasnt 18 yet but the lady sees us often and let us in. I forgot hat the title was. So boring yeah in Hilo. Grad in 1974. In 1976 I was probably in Biloxi Mssissippi going through Air Force Communication training.

  37. Ynaku says:

    First in such along time

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