|Frank Pavao III
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawai`i
Photographer: Zoe Pontious, Age 15~ Leilehua High School
|Mr. Pavao moved from Honolulu to Wahiawa with his parents and four sisters in 1959, the same year Hawai`i became a state. He attended Wahiawa Elementary School and is a 1970 graduate of Leilehua High School. Mr. Pavao joined the Air Force, trained as a medical surgical technician and has worked in this capacity at Wahiawa General Hospital since 1992. He is married, has two children and is involved with several community service programs including the Wahiawa Lions Club and an organization that recruits teachers from around the world to Hawai`i.
|In my day, Wahiawa had two movie theatres that sold tickets for $0.35 and a bowling alley. My father worked at the Wahiawa Theater at night and Schofield School as head custodian by day. My mother was a custodian at Wahiawa Elementary School. I remember the old airplane bridge and actually watched when it was demolished. I also remember swimming in the gulch in the 60ʻs. There wasn’t a McDonald’s or Taco Bell but a small restaurant called Topper’s where you could get a burger for $0.45. Everyone knew everyone and if you got in trouble, the whole town knew by the next day.
|During high school, I ran cross-country and sometimes skipped class to go surf on the North Shore. My JROTC commander suggested I apply for the Air Force, so I did, and trained as a medical technician. Being from a working class family in Wahiawa, the idea of joining the Air Force and being able to travel the world seemed like a dream come true. After the service, I worked at Miami Veteran’s Hospital until the homesickness set in.
|I came home and was a tour guide for two different companies for 22 years (one of my customers became my wife!) until I took the full-time position as surgical technician at Wahiawa General Hospital in 2002. I believe that Wahiawa really is a special place and I enjoy telling everyone I meet the history and importance of Wahiawa and Hawai`i. I hope the younger generation does this as well.
I believe that knowledge is not something you should die with, but share.