Former U.S. Air Force member Grover Reden [sp.?], 78, was reunited with Akira Kadekaru, a 67-year-old resident of the Ageta district of Okinawa City and the second son of “Mr. Kadekaru,” and other friends in Okinawa for the first time after half a century on April 16. Reden, who hails from Alabama, worked at the U.S. military’s Kadena Air Base about 50 years ago and had been looking for “Mr. Kadekaru,” who was the owner of the room Reden rented back then. Reden, Akira, and others said to each other: “It’s been a long time since we last met. Nice to see you again!” Reden cried for joy and said, “I didn’t think I could meet them, so I’m really happy.”
Raden had been looking for the late Rin-ei Kadekaru [sp.?], a resident of the Ageta district. But he passed away in 1980 at the age of 59. However, people who read the article in the Okinawa Times’ edition of April 11 featuring Laden’s search for Mr. Kadekaru provided information. Also, Raden visited the residents’ association of Murokawa, which is located near where he used to live. That led Raden to meet Akira. What enabled them to reunite was Raden’s recollection that “Mr. Kadekaru was selling apple milk.” Minoru Kuba [sp.?], who is chairman of the residents’ association and was Akira’s classmate, remembered Rin-ei Kadekaru delivered healthy drinks. That led to Raden’s reunion with his friends in Okinawa.
Akira took Raden to the houses of his uncles Rin-ei Hisataka [sp.?], 85, and Rinshu Hisataka [sp.?], 79, in Kadena Town’s Yara district. They were working in the sugar cane fields with Raden. When Raden met them, he recalled the days he spent with them and said, “I haven’t seen you for a long time. I still recognize you,” putting his arm around their shoulders and shaking hands with them. When Raden was told the sugar cane fields where he had helped them were in the Yara district, he said with a feeling of nostalgia: “The scenery has changed considerably. There were fields everywhere back then.”
Raden found a photo of himself working in the fields in an album of Rin-ei Hisataka. Raden said with a smile, “We always ate together after working in the fields. It was really fun.” He added, “Everyone was very nice.”
Akira said: “I can’t recollect clearly, but I vaguely remember working in the fields. I’m glad he visited my father for the first time in 50 years.”