Doing the right thing: ‘Living pono’

Robert Purdy

Pacific Missile Range Facility Public Affairs

Senior Chief Petty Officer James Bibb, senior enlisted leader, Pacific Missile Range Facility, made the local Garden Island Newspaper on July 30 by way of a letter to the paper’s editor. The letter, titled “A Perfect Return,” was from Joe Frisinger, a resident of Princeville, Kauai who shared his personal experience with Bibb’s “pono” (righteous) actions.

According to the letter, Frisinger was showing a visitor the beautiful sights of Waimea Canyon on July 15, when he was stopped for directions by two hikers in the canyon lookout parking lot. He set his camera on the trunk of his car to look at their map and provided his assistance.

After parting ways with the hikers, Frisinger drove to his home in Princeville where upon arrival, realized that he had accidently left his camera on the trunk of his car. It had fallen off by then, and was without a doubt, gone for good. Or at least he thought so.

Fast forward eight days later to July 23. Frisinger’s doorbell rings and Bibb is standing at his doorstep with a familiar camera in hand. Bibb asks if the camera belongs to him and explained that it was found in the middle of the road at the Waimea Canyon lookout parking lot.

“My wife, son, and I found the camera in the middle of the road, somehow undamaged. There were hundreds of pics of older folks going back three to four years and we knew it had to be important, so we tried to find its home. I was able to find a home address in one of the pics and drove up to Princeville the next weekend to see if we’d get lucky.

I never expected anything from this; it was just us trying to do the right thing. The camera’s owner is a great guy, probably in his late 70’s. He was so surprised when I showed up on his doorstep a week after he lost it. His reaction was reward in itself,” Bibb said.

The word, “pono,” is commonly translated to mean righteousness. One way to interpret, “living pono” would be to consciously make an effort to do the right thing all the time.

Through his pono actions, Senior Chief Bibb not only returned a camera, he also returned something even more valuable; the many years of irreplaceable and priceless memories that existed within it.

A Sailor’s righteous act appreciated

Joe Frisinger shares his thoughts on Senior Chief’s Bibb’s pono actions in his letter:

“My first thought in thinking about his efforts to find the owner of the camera and return it was ‘Where else but in Kauai would this happen?’ But I would be wrong. You see, Bibb is in the Navy and is stationed at the naval base in Barking Sands, and he and his wife drove all the way to Princeville to return the camera to me. The truth is that Bibb would have made that effort wherever he was stationed. What a great person and what an outstanding representative of the U.S. Navy he is.”

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Category: News