Maxine: WWII | Maxine: Biography | Maxine: My Sister, My Friend
by Jack Mullin
When I was young, I sometimes spent weekends with Max and Jack. This may have been before Pete and Ted were born. I believe Jack had a small boat. We used to go fishing with Bobby in Pearl Harbor.Jack and Bobby used to like diving off Kailua for lobster. I used to be afraid to get down near the lobster holes for fear of running into or getting bitten by an eel. One of my earliest memories of my half-sister is when she was working at the Piggly Wiggly store. I used to go there with my mom. I believe Maxine was a cashier or checker. I used to enjoy going there and seeing her.
Sometime later Jack and Max moved to Waipahu along the main drag that led to the manager's house. I remember many houses in a row and lots of trees. Jack's favorite breakfast was Kellogg's Corn Flakes and toast with guava jelly. I didn't usually get guava jelly at home, so I always looked forward to it.
In late 1940 and 1941 Mom, Dad, and I moved from Alewa Heights to Kailua. I used to ride from Kailua to Iolani School with Daddy Walter, Harold Eichelberger and Harold, Jr. Harold, Sr. worked for Daddy Walter at Amfac. They always talked shop during those morning trips.
I believe it was the summer of 1945 that we spent most of the summer in Kailua. We were right on the beach, and in and out of the water every day. Maxine used to drive us to the Kalapawai market. She bought cigarettes for 15 cents a pack. I used to like the custard pies made by Loves Bakery. Maxine gave us a bad time about those pies, but we just laughted and ate them anyway!
That was the summer of VJ Day. When we heard the news of the end of the war, we started celebrating. We took off our clothes and went swimming in the buff. It was a great summer. I don't think I wore anything but a bathing suit the entire summer. I did a lot of fishing with Bobby and his buddies Ian Bowman and Dan Malarkey. We even took a turtle out of a Filipino's net. Everyone enjoyed the turtle steak.
Later when I was away at school and then in the military, Maxine wrote me long, interesting letters. When I got out of the service in 1956, she and Jack lived in Halawa Heights. I stayed with them for a while. She worked for Nordic Construction, and arranged for my first job interview with Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co., and I got my first job.
I moved to town with Jim Hutchinson but often used to go to dinner at Halawa. I used to marvel at Maxine, who had always been employed. She could put a dinner together—always a good dinner—faster than anyone I ever knew.
In 1957 I moved back to San Francisco. LaRae and I were married in 1960. Jack and Maxine had a party for us the day we arrived on the Lurline. During our four years in Hawaii, LaRae and Maxine had several discussions about Mullin family history. There was so much about which I was ignorant. So much history lost. How sad that I know so little about that side of the family. I remember Jack saying Aunt Sylvia was the salt of the earth. It wasn't until the early sixties that I got to know her at all.
This seems more a commentary on my experiences than it is about Maxine. However I believe the most meaningful thing I can say as I reflect back over all these times that I came to realize how much she cared for me and how much love I felt from her. I was not aware of this until I began writing this remembrance.
And when I reflect even further, I realize how much love she had for so many of us. It is kind of mindblowing when you stop and think about modern day philosophy and the importance of love in our lives, yet many years ago she was the epitome of what many of us would choose to be. She was more than many of us realized.
Copyright Judy Vorfeld.
Any reproduction or editing by any means mechanical or electronic
without the express written permission of the copyright holder is strictly prohibited