|Raymond “Ray” and Gerilyn “Geri” Higa
Ages: 73 & 74
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawai`i & Wahiawa, Hawai`i
Photographers: Cody and Kayla Cacatian (Grandchildren), Ages 16 & 13 ~ Leilehua High School and Wahiawa Middle School
|Mrs. and Mrs. Higa have multigenerational ties to the Wahiawa community where both sets of grandparents lived and worked. Mrs. Higa’s grandfather was a train engineer at the Wahiawa train station on Cane Street and her grandmother was a telephone operator for Hawaiian Tel. Mrs. Higa’s mother owned Bea’s Beauty Center in Wahiawa.
| Mrs. Higa was born and raised in Wahiawa and Mr. Higa lived at the Libby McNeil & Libby Pineapple Camp until its closure in 1962. They met in 7th grade and began dating in their junior year at Leilehua High School where Mrs. Higa was a majorette and a member of the swim team. She was crowned Ms. Wahiawa in 1958. Mr. Higa was in the school band and a member of the rifle team and later served in the Army. He also had a lengthy career as teacher, counselor and administrator at Aiea Intermediate and High School until his retirement in 1998. Mrs. Higa currently works as a Quality Assurance Specialist at Wahiawa General Hospital. The Higas have three children.
|Life in old Wahiawa was great with lots of mom-and-pop shops like the saimin stands and Takano store where everything was cheap. There were two movie theaters, The Victory where Sunnyside is now and the Wahiawa Theater, now the American Savings Building. They allowed smoking inside the Victory in those days so everyone came out smelling stink!
|Our ROTC instructors, Captain Barry Rubin and Sgt. George Lindsey, were the ones who influenced me the most and who helped me and my two friends graduate. Rubin knew we didn’t care about grades and invited us to his house where he sat us down and made us read three books and write our term papers (he even typed them for us). We worked until 3:00AM and handed in our papers at 8:00AM and eventually graduated. I think education is one of lifeʻs greatest gifts.
Itʻs important for future generations to keep the aloha spirit and the local lifestyles and values alive, otherwise theyʻll disappear when we are gone.