8 Harley Davidsons

I rush down to the boatyard to listen to the diagnosis from Dr Kiyuna on my sick little engine.

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The engine has been through an serious examination and many tests are at the lab.

A few minutes later Dr Kiyuna makes a dramatic entrance stage left on his Harley.

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He wears a Driza-Bone coat from Australia and US Army helmet.

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Kick start 1300cc Harley with coke can exhaust. He has 8 Harleys – all vintage.

He is more than reassuring. He has excellent bedside manner. He insists that there is nothing seriously wrong  and he will start ordering replacement stuff such as alternator, starter motor and stuff and get on with the job. What a relief! I ask if I can help in the rebuild as I feel it is a good thing to know as much about my engine as possible.

Kiyuna san is a find.

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With head off. Cylinder bathed in WD 40

The afternoon was more somber. I first came to Okinawa in August 2010 to reconnoitre possibly working at the OIST. Gil and Betty Hoffman invited me to their house, gave me lots of champagne and took me out for a fabulous meal. Their hospitality, energy and love of the island was an important argument in my decision to come to OIST. They continued to invite me around, although Gil was beginning to suffer badly from Parkinsons. A remarkable couple who came to Okinawa in, I think, 1961, Gil built up two very successful construction companies, whilst Betty became involved in a bewildering number of social, cultural and academic activities. Good people. Gil died last December and today there was a memorial event.

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RIP Gil

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