In the early evening of August 21, 1958 our family had dinner in a dime store cafe and then boarded the S.S. Leilani in Honolulu. We were going to return home to California.
Once we were settled in our rooms, guests arrived to see me off. I had a large group of friends that came, including several girl friends and Fred. Everyone brought me a lei and I had almost 20 lei's around my neck. We were all too young to drink so we gathered in the bar area drinking soda's. There were parties all around us, adults drinking too much and laughing too loudly. It seemed that everyone on board, passengers and guests, was partying.
Fred was very sweet and attentive. The call came over the loud speakers for all guests to disembark the ship. Fred kissed me goodbye, then slowly, everyone left the ship except the passengers. I went up on deck and waved to my friends on the docks.
We set sail that evening. I waved goodbye to my friends and shed a few tears. As we pulled away from the docks and headed out to sea I threw a lei into the ocean, and watched it float back to shore. It was a symbol that I would return to the islands someday.