Helge and Roberta – 2010

David and I attended a glorious birthday party today at the home of Sam and Pat Shapiro in Kahala.  The guests of honor were Helge and Roberta Mansson, both visiting from New York City where they reside.  Helge turned 80 and his wife, Roberta, turned 65 in January.  Together, that makes 145 years of joy and fun!  Wow!


Here they are in the kitchen:  Roberta, Pat, Helge, and Sam.  I was Helge’s part-time clerk in the psychology department at UH-Manoa during the 1960s when I was an undergraduate.  Helge was a social psychologist, specializing in cross-cultural research; Roberta is a practicing clinical psychologist in New York; Pat is a retired clinical psychologist with the State of Hawaii; and Sam is still an experimental psychologist at UH.  Helge, by the way, was born and raised in Denmark.


David, me, Helge, and Roberta.  Note the colorful scarves that Sam put up.


The first woman is Clea (wife of Vic Kobayashi).  The second is Marguerite (wife of George Simson).  The third is Bonnie B, with whom I socialized in Los Angeles after I graduated from UH.  She is a friend of Helge’s.


I am with Oliver Lee, a political science professor, who was the reason why Helge and I participated in and got arrested at the Bachman Hall sit-in in 1968.  Oliver had been denied tenure because of his stance against the Vietnam War, and we were fighting for academic freedom.  As a result of the protest, Oliver was granted tenure.


George Simson looks at my third memoir, published in 2008.  He was an English professor, who now heads the Biography Department.  He wants me to give a talk about my memoirs, but I am too shy.


Carl Minke (psychology professor who will retire this year), Helge, Roberta, and David.


George Simson with John Witeck.  John was one of the student leaders of the Bachman Hall sit-in.  More than 150 faculty and students were arrested that night.  Charges were dismissed, and we were all acquitted.  Later, John and Helge led a march to Iolani Palace, where we met with then-Governor John Burns to protest the assassination of Martin Luther King.


George makes a toast to Helge and Roberta.


Roberta makes a toast to her husband, Helge.


Helge acknowledges the toasts and all of us present.


The man in blue is Jim Marsh, who was a business professor when David was a graduate student, studying for his MBA in the 1970s.  Jim still teaches business at UH-Manoa.  David wishes he’d taken statistics from Dr. Marsh instead of the “weird” teacher he had back then.


Roberta; Mark Stitham (a psychiatrist in Kailua); Abe Arkoff’s widow; and Helge.  Abe Arkoff was a psychology professor, who passed away recently.  I believe he specialized in dreams, making his students write down their dreams upon awakening.


Marguerite Simson, John Witeck and his wife, Lucy, and George Simson.


Roberta brings out the birthday cake.  As I said, they are celebrating 145 years of joy and fun!


Chocolate mocha pyramid cake from JJ’s Bistro and French Pastry in Kaimuki.  To die for!!!  Yum!

It was so much fun to spend the day with old and new friends!  The hours sped away and before we knew it, we had to leave for home.  I hope to see more of Helge and Roberta in the years to come.

27 Responses to “Helge and Roberta – 2010”

  1. Hattie Says:

    A lot of history there. A lot of good years. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. LizKauai Says:

    How very nice!
    Immediately made me think of the UH professor-artists I got to know back in the day. Another great ohana…

    Congratulations Helge and Roberta!

  3. quilly Says:

    You realize that doing that talk just might sell a ton of your books? Public speaking really isn’t all that hard if you can get yourself to the point where you think the audience is your friend — after all, they must be. They came there to hear you, right?

  4. musings Says:

    This looks like a very fun party full of memories. You really did an amazing job of documenting it for everybody. They’ll love your photos! They’re gorgeous!

  5. Nan Says:

    You are a published author, Gigi?! Oh, my gosh, that’s so exciting! Available online?? I loved your party and pictures.

    • gigihawaii Says:

      Hi Nan! Yes, you can find my 3 memoirs on Amazon. For a summary, do click on ABOUT in the top right corner of the main page of this blog.

      To get to the main page, just click on the gigi-hawaii header above.

  6. Nessa Says:

    Rabbit, Rabbit

    I bet there was lots of fascinating conversation.

  7. Mr. Gigi Says:

    Yes, it was a great party. Lots of interesting people and good food. Lots of fun!!

  8. Kay Dennison Says:

    Wow!!!!! What a great party and you chronicled it well!

  9. Ralph Lübberstedt Says:

    I would have loved to be at the party. Saw the photos of the anti Vietnam demonstration recently for the first time. Roberta and Helge are friends now for a long time. To see their friends from other places is just fascinating.

    • Elvira Says:

      U never walk alone, guy! There always be the light with you, even when life’s rough. Amazing to see your post here. How are you? How things are going at work in scholl, still hard, as F. told me? My best wishes and thoughts for you and your family – you’ll gain wealth soon again.

      • Ralph Lübberstedt Says:

        just saw your reply to my post. did you comment my message?
        who are you, Elvira?

        Anyway, I know Helge since 1977. Roberta since 1992.
        They are family to me.
        Greetings Ralph

  10. Michael J Diamond Says:

    How wonderful to celebrate Helge and Roberta and to see so many familiar faces and old friends (especially Sam and Pat Shapiro). Wish I could have shared in the joy! Thanks for the terrific photos and memories. Aloha and Love, Michael

  11. Mark Stitham Says:

    the man you did not recognize [what a memorable impression I must have made!] is me…Mark Stitham, psychiatrist in Kailua

  12. Helge and Roberta Mansson Says:

    What a set of beautiful and commented photographs you have made, dear Glenda. We are very happy about that, and that you and David came to the party -with generous presents too. Mahalo! We have forwarded your photos to all present at the party, and to other friends on the east coast and in Denmark, where we will have another party in May. Would be nice if you could also be present there. We shall certainly be together again. Somewhere. A big Mahalo to you, and an even bigger Aloha to you and David. From cold New York, warm hugs too. Roberta and Helge. 145 years old — plus? ( It must be about 45 years ago when we met — Time flies fast, too bad, but I like we keep the faith of friendship!)

  13. Helge and Roberta Mansson Says:

    Dear Glenda- I have enjoyed getting to know you as well as receiving the benefits of your many talents! The pictures are great as well as your comments. I have also enjoyed seeing and hearing you in different contexts. I’m looking forward to getting to know you even better. With love and respect Roberta Jelllinek-Mansson.

  14. M B Simson Says:

    The woman you don’t know is George’s wife, Marguerite.

    We did not meet, but we evidently share a strong interest in documenting the occasion with snapshots. Thank you for sharing them.

    Please do decide to speak to the Biography Brown Bag lunch-time group.
    The atmosphere is friendly and the audience is made up of people who want to hear what you have to say!

    • gigihawaii Says:

      Thanks! Is Marguerite the one in the yellow blouse? Who is the other woman in the long skirt? I notice you spell your last name without a P. I shall correct my blog post.


  15. Søren Padkjær Says:

    Warm pictures, warm friends – good to see from this long, deep freezing winter here in Denmark.

  16. Ole Krogh Says:

    What a “collection” of interesting people celebrating Helge and Roberta.
    Nice to hear a bit more about the Vietnam War resistance-movement and see the veterans from Hawaii and know about Bachman Hall sit-in in 1968.
    Now I understand better why Helge returns so often to Hawaii.
    Helge spread a lot of fun in Denmark in the eighties and we miss that period with real originals at the Aalborg University.
    Best wishes from Ole Krogh, Denmark.

  17. Kate Greenberg Says:

    What a beautiful couple! Those 145 years have enriched a suffering world and all the friends who shared in their birthday celebration are a credit to their professions and to worthy personal lives.

    Happy days to come for one and all.

  18. Thorkild Lund Says:

    What a surprice to find this interesting story here. Hope to see Roberta and Helge this summer in Denmark.

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