A Dead Battery And Watercress

Pamela Young
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Wednesday - September 30, 2009
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Dear Pamela,

My car battery expired on Kamehameha Highway in Aiea. A red fire truck was several cars behind me and about five firefighters jumped out and pushed my car into the driveway of Sumida Watercress Farm.

David Sumida, whose family owns the farm, also helped in pushing my car. Barbara and Sonny, also of Sumida Farm, came to my rescue.

Sonny removed the battery and took it to Sears Automotive Center, which fortunately was a short distance away. He installed the new battery.

I am extremely grateful to all for being my angels! And to top it off, Sumida Farm gave me two bunches of watercress! What beautiful people!

Eunice Shiratori
Pearl City


Dear Eunice,

“There are fender-benders and car problems all the time in front of the farm,” says Barbara Sumida. “It was our family friend Sonny Villanueva who checked out her car. He said she just had to get a new battery, and Sears was right there, so he put a new one in. Eunice was so nice. We enjoyed spending time with her. She’s the kind of person you feel like you’ve known her all your life. We were glad to help. We try to keep an eye out for car problems and help when we can. A lot of people come back with goodies. So, thank you, Eunice, for the ono plate lunches you brought. We hoped we made your day a little better.”

Dear Pamela,

On a Saturday night while driving on H-1, taking my wife and four children out to dinner, we ran over a metal rod on the road, which punctured our rear left tire.

I didn’t realize there was a problem until the “low air pressure” alarm sounded in the car.

Just by chance, we were driving down Kamehameha Hwy. in Aiea and noticed a Firestone. They were in the process of closing up shop when I pulled in, but the three gentlemen working noticed that we were in dire straits and were willing to help us.

Instead of trying to sell us a tire, they offered to put our spare tire on. They could have easily told us they were closed and sent us on our way, but they didn’t.

Their random act of kindness restored my faith in the aloha spirit and allowed me to get my family home safely. I didn’t get their names, but wanted to thank them profusely for their help.

Lt. Col. Dwayne Thomas
Hickam AFB


Dear Dwayne,

The Firestone employees closing up that night were technician Mike Canteros, adviser Greg Aquino and service manager Freddie Ray Pagala. “There was another guy working who Lt. Col. Thomas didn’t see,” says Freddie. “We’re a team, so technician Steve Sylvester was part of the effort.”

(If you know someone who deserves some Applause, send your letters to Pamela Young, MidWeek Applause, KITV, 801 S. King St., Honolulu, HI, 96813 or e-mail pyoung@kitv.com. Include your name, phone number and, if possible, the phone number of your “applaudee” so we can contact him or her.)

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