February 13, 2008
MY FIFTH GRADE classroom at Punahou, a private school in Honolulu founded by nineteenth-century Congregational ministers, was on the third floor of Castle Hall, in an airy room with big windows that Mrs. Hefty covered with blackout curtains when she showed us films. We thought nothing of the room-darkening curtains, until, one day, Mrs. Hefty explained to us that they were left over from curfew after Pearl Harbor, when everyone feared the Japanese would come back to bomb Oahu again. A veteran teacher, old-fashioned, Christian, strict, Mabel Hefty wasn’t shy about imparting history.