Monday, August 13, 2007


Walk For Mankind

(Jen is going "Ha! I remember that!" right now and maybe forwarding this post on to Betsy...)

In Honolulu around 1973 or 1974, there was a fundraising thing called "Walk for Mankind." I was only six or seven, so I remember this event more as a tag-along to my sister Jen. It was created by Project Concern and sponsored by the Ala Moana Jaycees. I did some cursory googling and didn't find much else.

I remember it was a long walk, maybe 20 miles and that it required sponsors. (Though I'm sure I didn't walk 20 miles and didn't have my own sponsor list.) So my sister and her friends were going door to door asking for sponsors. Hopefully they made a lot of money since we lived in Kahala and I recall walking down Kahala Avenue (more on that neighborhood here) and having people answer their doors. There is a specific memory that I have about "looking for sponsors" but am not sure if I was actually there, or just heard about it. (You know how family myths can be.) The memory is of my sister and friends knocking on a door and having a man answer, don't recall how the sales pitch went or if he sponsored, but then when we were leaving, someone said, "That was Peter Lawford!" (Or was it Peter Lorre?) Anyway, I had no idea who either was at the time, but remember thinking just how cool that someone famous lived down the street! (Not long after that I would get to meet Jack Lord and take a photo with him.) (Hey Mom, do you know where that picture is?)

I remember the actual walk day as exciting--tons of people on the roads, walking for mankind, with bands playing at parks along the route and aid stations, etc. I'm sure I walked from our house to Triangle park (only about 1/2 mile) to be part of the fun. Here is the visual--click for bigger. The link to the actual map (so you can zoom around Oahu) is here.

(I guess it is actually called "Fort Ruger Park" but I only ever knew it as Triangle Park.)

Funny thing about Triangle Park -- when Kurt and I (and our great AIDS Marathon team) ran the 2001 Honolulu Marathon, the last few miles are down Kahala Avenue and next to Triangle Park, right by our old home and stomping grounds. Fun to take Kurt on a tour of where I grew up while running a marathon! (We had gotten married only a month before...

(What you can't see in this photo is how hard I'm crying right at that moment. The whole experience was intense and wonderful.) On top of getting married and running a marathon, we raised over $6,000 for Aids Project LA! Thanks to all of our sponsors for that achievement!

The reason these thoughts sprang up is that I emailed blogbud Will to see if he wanted to schedule another long walk toward the end of the year. In February he walked the entire length of Sunset Blvd. and had suggested a walk down Western next. It's only 28 miles! Yippee. I need a new exercise goal to look forward to.

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