Those Who Loved Anna Rose,
Wes and I wrapped up our visit as we walked back to office. (See 9/4/01)
I asked Wes if we had lost anyone else
from the class -- Mid-Pacific Institute, Honolulu, Hawai`i, Class
of 1969 . I knew about Patrick Ching, of course. We
lost him in a car accident, during our college years. And
Leighton Ho, a few years later in a diving accident.
not prepared to hear what I heard next: "Anna
Rose died this summer." This was
stunning news that momentarily took my breath away.
Rose, so full of life!
by her grandmother on Kaua`i, she was brimming with confidence,
sassily precocious, and overflowing with talent. She was a....an
She had a voice.
A big voice. A lusty
soprano, she won lead roles in our high school plays. She
was Lola, the slinky vamp from Hell, in Damn
Yankees, purring, "Whatever Lola wants, Lola
gets..." and Linda Low, the coquettish sex kitten, in Flower
Drum Song, who crooned, "I enjoy being a girl..."
the school choir, the
choir director selected six of us to form a sextet of blended three-part
harmonies -- a 1960s version of a high
school girl band. Donning our oh-so-sophisticated, ice blue satin mini
dresses held up with
sparkly rhinestone spaghetti straps, we were at the pinnacle of our little teen world.
Rose couldn't help it; her voice didn't know how to not to stand
out, to blend as one.
She was The Star, our own sizzling Diana Ross. And
funny, how the rest of us never minded being her backups, her "Supremes".
This outcome was so Anna Rose. Her magnificent talent shone
to be denied, and she carried us.
toured the outer islands, singing "Try
to Remember" and "Begin
the Beguine. The highlight for us was singing on the Hawai`i
Calls radio show at the Banyan
Court of the Moana Hotel in
Anna Rose has departed,
feels lonelier. As for Heaven, it will never be the
same. Anna Rose's ebullient spirit
Bless you, Anna Rose, you are a Phenom who is
being missed. Now I'll have to wait 'til I get on the other
side to see you again.
lived life, beautifully. Anna Rose, you are an unmitigated success:
"She has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men, and the love of small children; who has filled
her niche, and accomplished her task; who has left the world better than
s he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty , or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others, and given them the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose
memory a benediction."
~ Bessie Anderson Stanley
(Prize-winning definition in a contest sponsored by Brown Book Magazine, Boston, 1904)
going to bed, I typed in her name in the search box at google.com.
This popped up in mere seconds:
you, Anna Rose's friends, for remembering her on your website. Your words were a comfort to me. I commend you for recognizing a
treasure in your midst, and for celebrating a life effervescent.
you in your celebration of a life well-lived. I join you in
"Life is a Gift."
Try to remember the kind of September,
when life was slow and oh so mellow,
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