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Violet E. Heckman

Born 1936 at 11:00 am
"I was born at our home in Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii. When I was just 1 year old our family moved to another Hawaiian Island. The small Island of Lanai. Lanai City was the only major city on the island. The vast majority of the island was owned by the Dole Pineapple Company. All you could see for miles and miles in all directions was pineapple fields. I believe the population of the whole island was probably less than 25 thousand people. There was only one traffic light in Lanai City and most of the people that lived there hated it. It restricted their ability to go when they wanted to go. Eventually the people of the city voted to remove it. Of course modern day Lanai City has many traffic lights and signs. I can still remember one particular thing that happened to me during those early years in Lanai. To preface this little story I have to tell you that while we had a happy loving family of 9 children we didn't have much money and very few material things like gas stoves, refrigerators, or washing machines. Well now back to the story. One day I was out side playing with some of my sisters in the yard while my mother had just finished washing a load of clothes. Like I said we didn't have a washing machine so Mom had to use a big metal tub and a scrubbing board to get the job done. She had just hung the big tub on the side of the house when all of a sudden we heard this terrible loud noise. It was several airplanes flying very low to the ground and passing very near to our house. I could actually see the face of one to the pilots as he flew by and I remember waving to him and smiling. Then all of a sudden there were more loud sounds and the big metal tub flew off the side of the house and way up into the air. The next thing I knew my mom was grabbing my arm and pulling me and my sister into the house. I found out later that the planes were shooting at us and were on there way to Pearl Harbor for the big attack. That day was December the 7th 1941. After I completed 5th grade our family moved back to the Hawaiian Island of Oahu again where we lived in another small town called Ewa, (Sounds like Eva"", on the leeward or Honolulu side of the island. Just before I entered 9th grade we moved again to another slightly bigger town not too far from Ewa, called Waipahu. I graduated from Waipahu High School and then went to work as a food server in the caffeteria at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base. In 1956 I met my present husband at my sister Tina's birthday party and November 30th 1957 Bill (a sailor from the Naval Air Station at Barbers point Hi.)and I were married in the mountain side town of Aiea Heights, overlooking Pearl Harbor, during Hurricane Nina. I remember a huge limb from a tree outside the Justice of the Peace House falling right through the roof during the marriage cerimony. I often wandered if that was a message from God. But we got married anyway and we have been together ever since. We had two children, Ronnie and Valarie, and they traveled all over the world with us for 17 years until Bill retired from the Navy in 1976. After our navy days we settled in a small town called Milpitas, California. It's just at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay and right on the north eastern border of San Jose. Bill went on to work for the Stanford Research Institute for 13 years, then the United Technologies rocket division for 3 years and finally ended his working days with the Nuclear Power Plant Research division of General Electric in San Jose. Our two children are all grown up with families of thier own. They both live within 10 miles of us. Bill, my husband, and I are square dancers and ball room dancers so that keeps us busy three or four nights a week and we both do volunteer work for our church and have just recently become trained ""first responders"" on an emergency response team for the city of Milpitas. Violet (Billie) Heckman"
Member 5148 last updated: 10-13-2011
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