Remembering Sal Hisola

Sal Hisola Memorial

Our Dear Sal ... You Are Loved and Missed

Sal Hisola Livermore California
Sal Hisola
A celebration of Sal Hisola's life was held on December 10, 2010 at Callahan Mortuary in Livermore, California. Many of Sal's long-time friends attended, including one who traveled from Colorado. A few childhood friends were also present to share stories about Sal's early years in Vallejo.

We learned that over the years, Sal celebrated his birthday on various dates in November and that he despised "surprise" parties. He loved to be surrounded by beautiful ladies, and enjoyed going to restaurants, theaters, casinos, and baseball games.

Sal's friends were his family, and he cherished those relationships throughout his life. We will miss his intelligence, humor, wit, and most of all, his hugs.

Sal Hisola Memorial Livermore California

Goodbye, Dear Friend

Sal Hisola Livermore California
Camera Shy Sal
Sal Hisola passed away unexpectedly on October 8, 2010 in Livermore, California. He was born on November 2, 1945 in Miami, Florida and was 64. He joins his parents and brothers in heaven, and is survived by two nieces.

His father moved the family to Vallejo, California, where Sal spent most of his formative years. He graduated from Vallejo High School in 1962 and earned two degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. He moved to Pleasanton, California upon accepting a position with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and later moved to Livermore.

Sal retired from LLNL in 2003, following a 23-year career as a design engineering associate. Before working at LLNL, he worked for 15 years at Mare Island Naval Shipyard as an apprentice, a journeyman pipefitter, and Pipe Shop Apprentice Counselor. During this time, he also taught mathematics, physics, mechanical drawing, and English at Solano Community College. Prior to that, he was a newspaper reporter for six years at the Vallejo Times Herald in Vallejo.

Sal was an avid photographer, reader, and movie buff. He was also a published author with the 2004 release of his latest fiction novel, Essential Elements. Sal lived within walking distance of two Livermore theatres and saw several movies each week. His weekly column entitled, “Sal at the Cinema,” documented his movie reviews and was popular with his wide circle of friends and followers.

Sal was a gentle soul with a rich sense of humor. He will be sorely missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him and call him “friend.” Goodbye, dear friend.

Mr. Hisola’s services are being handled by Callahan Mortuary at 3833 East Avenue in Livermore. A celebration of life service was held on Friday, December 10, 2010. Sal’s ashes will be spread at a later date.

Sal Hisola Memorial Livermore

Tributes to Sal
Since our dear friend didn't have any close relatives, friends were invited to share a favorite movie quote or a happy memory of Sal.

Dan ~ Benicia, California
Sal was a very good photographer and a better person! I’m so saddened by his passing. I worked with Sal at LLNL and we would talk photography at length! He will be missed.

Ron ~ Plumas Lake, California
Also very sad to learn of Sal’s passing. Another one of Sal’s former students at Mare Island, my career there was greatly influenced by Sal. Sal convinced me to go into training in the pipe shop and to become trade theory instructor at Solano Community College. Sal Hisola, I will never forget you.

Pete ~ Benicia, California
I am saddened by the passing of Sal. He was my apprentice counselor when I was at Mare Island in the early 70s. I will always remember his great sense of humor and his tolerance of our humor and hi jinx. He will be sorely missed.

Sorry to hear about the passing of Sal. He was one of my apprentice counselors at Mare Island. He was a good man and fine instructor with a great sense of humor.

Margaret ~ Junction City, Oregon
Mr. Hisola was my trade theory instructor at Mare Island. He was one of the best. His understanding and knowledge of the skills required for our trades was and is greatly appreciated by many. It was people like Mr. Hisola that made Mare Island Apprentices some of the finest craftsmen. He was so full of life, fun and being in his classes was more of a pleasure than the typical drudgery one would experience during trade time! Thank you Mr. Hisola and I hope the LORD has given you the assignment of just what you wanted. Please know your memory will be carried by many left behind when figuring out the ‘given, find and solutions’ of life.

Juan ~ Placencia Village, Belize
Losing my friend Sal was not only losing a Classmate but a close friend. I feel blessed that we got to renew our friendship these past 6 years with our annual lunch and Dinner engagements upon my return from Belize each year where we got to catch up on our latest adventures and talk about the days or our past. Sal, you will truly be missed by your buddy.

Jo-Lynn ~ Singapore
As a fellow Standards & Docs Group member at LLNL, I worked with Sal for many years. I cherish the memories of our lunches and long talks together. Sal was an intelligent & witty man with a passion for whatever he did. His critiques of things, whether movies, books, or politicians could be scathing, but were always well thought out. He had little patience for stupidity but a great capacity for feeling. I miss him very much & will never forget him.

Deb ~ Clearfield, Pennsylvania
I met Sal through my friend Kim. What I remember most is his wicked sense of humor and of course his movie reviews. He will always be in my heart and beside me at the cinema.

Rich Irwin
I was in the pipe shop on Mare Island while Sal was there, and lived next door to him in Vallejo on Capitol Street for a year or two. He was a real nice fellow and I can remember all the neighborhood kids loved him. He was a very smart guy, and I really liked him. Haven't seen him in 40+ years, but sad to see he left us.

Denise Toye Silveira
What can I say about my friend Sal. We saw scores of movies together, I can't remember them all. With Sal, I got the oppertunity to see some wonderful Broadway Musicals and plays in San Francisco. I have countless memories of Sal. He was such a unique spirit. He had much to teach and I learned so much from his life experiences. Be at peace my friend. I love you and miss you.

Alisa Newlon
"If you build it, they will come." Field of Dreams

To Sal-my "Baseball Buddy"-I'm sure you enjoyed the view from where you are now!!! Hey, maybe you helped out in the dugout?!? :-) I'll miss those games with you every year!!!! We had some really GOOD times and saw all kinds of games; Giants, A's, Farm teams, Spring training---and saw some exceptional plays over the last 20 years!!!! Thank you!!!

I've enjoyed many baseball games with Sal over the last 20 years. It's too bad he did not see the Giants win the World Series this year. 2010 World Champions - San Francisco Giants! He would have enjoyed that very much!!!

Kim Giancaterino
"No man is a failure who has friends."

Clarence the Angel
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Sal Photo Gallery
Sal Hisola Memorial

Sal Hisola Memorial

Sal Hisola Memories

Sal Hisola Memories

Essential Elements
by Sal Hisola
Another major earthquake has struck the San Francisco Bay Area. That is not unusual. It happens every few years in Northern and Southern California. If you live there, you know it's going to happen. You're never fully prepared, but each time you're a little less surprised. Someday The Big One will strike, and the San Fernando Valley will end up in Anchorage, Alaska. Or some place. In about a million years. Hopefully, not sooner.
Essential Elements by Sal Hisola

Sal Hisola Vallejo High School California
Sal Having Lunch with Vallejo High Classmate Juan Caducio
Sal at the Cinema
Presented below is the final installment of Sal at the Cinema, released to Sal's list of friends and followers on September 20, 2010. Sal's former Vallejo High School '62 classmate, Harry Diavatis, wrote a nice tribute to Sal in his weekly newsletter.

Vallejo High School Class of 1962 Monday Update
Sal Hisola Cinema Review

The American
For his second feature film, photographer-turned-director Anton Corbijn has adapted Martin Booth's A Very Private Gentleman, working in a "brand of arty formalism rarely seen outside cinema studies classrooms," said Ann Hornaday in The Washington Post. While George Clooney brings considerable seriousness and intelligence to the role of a professional assassin on the run in Italy's countryside, The American isn't the thriller it at first appears to be. In fact, it "refuses to deliver action or thrills."

What we get instead is an exercise in genre and style, said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. Corbijn has "an eye for natural beauty and a practiced sense of composition." But the precision of the filmmaking comes off as "fussy rather than invigorating," especially given the story's slow pace.

Still, it's a welcome change to see a filmmaker showing more interest in creating an aesthetic experience than a merely emotional one, said Dana Stevens in Corbijn at least deserves credit for delivering an "astringent antidote to the loud, frantic action movies that have been clogging our veins all summer."

Machete is a "gory, pulpy wink of an action thriller," said Owen Gleiberman in Entertainment Weekly. Based on a brilliant spoof trailer that appeared in Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse, this homage to 1970s-style exploitation films finds a coolly stoic hero in Danny Trejo, who delivers a deadpan portrayal of a blade-wielding former Mexican federale who seeks revenge against his corrupt ex-colleagues. But while Machete at feature length is "more fun than it isn't," its hypersexual imagery and over-the-top violence eventually stop seeming tongue-in-cheek.

The directors have merely created "an extended trailer" of barely connected parts, said Scott Tobias in the A.V. Club. The only things holding the action together are "a needlessly convoluted plot" and some pro-immigration political messages that seem out of place.

Still, the film's under-current of rage will allow some viewers to drink up this bloodbath as a "guilty pleasure," said Ty Burr in The Boston Globe. Machete isn't a great film, but its "exquisitely sustained B-movie world," playfully slashes its was across the screen.

Going the Distance
Going the Distance falls somewhere between a chick flick and a Judd Apatow comedy, said David Fear in Time Out New York. Screenwriter Geoff LaTulippe and director Nanette Burstein seem to think that if you "tart up a typical romantic comedy" with vulgarities and sexual patter, your film will seem "edgy and real." Drew Barrymore and Justin Long star as 30-somethings whose summer fling turns into a long-distance romance fraught with frustrations when they find themselves stuck on opposite coasts.

Going the Distance succeeds because it shows how times really have changed, said Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle. Young people really are coarser than in past generations, though "love and intimacy have the same urgency as ever." The film also proves true to life by portraying how a shrinking economy affects the characters' romantic lives.

Unfortunately, that concept is stronger than the execution, said Claudia Puig in USA Today. This would-be of-the-moment rom-com plays as little more than "a compilation of contemporary images and concerns," interrupted by immature humor.

Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History
To many Asian-Americans, Charlie Chan is an offensive stereotype, another sort of Uncle Tom," said Charles McGrath in The New York Times. "Pudgy, slant-eyed, and inscrutable," the fictional Honolulu detective solved crimes in six potboilers written by creator Earl Derr Biggers between 1923 and 1933, as well as in dozens of films made in the following decades. A pop-culture phenomenon who came to be reviled as a racist caricature, the character is now politely ignored by most critics and scholars. "But Yunte Huang, who was born and grew up in China, can't get enough of Chan and has written a book about his obsession." The story of the character's long life in the American imagination reveals much, Huang insists, about how cultural assimilation happens.

This book is "that rarest of treats: a work of exhaustively researched popular history that reads like a dime-store romance," said Pico Iyer in Time. Charlie Chan overflows with unlikely historical details and good-natured humor about cross-cultural misunderstandings. Yet it hardly shrinks from the racism rampant in early 20th century America, said Benjamin Moser in Harper's. "With his Confucius-say aphorisms ('Murder like potato chip-cannot stop at just one')." Chan was clearly a crude caricature created by a man with limited experience of actual Chinese people. Surprisingly, though, he had countless Chinese fans "who were mostly, if ambiguously, happy to see a Chinese hero in Hollywood." They were as amused as anyone by his loopy English.

Chan's "fortune cookie wisdom" was never really meant to imitate the way Chinese actually spoke, said David Thomson in The New Republic. It was a verbal gimmick, and one that helped make Chan one of talking pictures' first hit figures. When Biggers turned his creation over to Hollywood, his "timing was acute, or lucky ('Smart man act as if luck his pet dog')." The character would be played by several actors of European extraction-a fact that provokes the "cheerfully digressive" Huang into a whole new series of ruminations about how race is treated in popular culture. Definitively documenting the detective's all-American story, Charlie Chan is "one of the most entertaining, informative, and provocative books I have read in a long time."

People and Stories in the News
Hilary Swank learned some hard lessons from poverty, said Amy Wallace in In Style. The 36-year-old actress had a hardscrabble upbringing, growing up in a trailer park in Bellingham, Washington. "My friends' parents didn't want me to play with their kids because I was the poor trailer-park girl," she says. So she threw herself into competitive swimming and gymnastics, and into the fantasy world of books and movies. In her teens, her life took a turn for the worse when her father, a traveling salesman, abandoned the family. Swank and her mother moved to Los Angeles with just $75 in their pockets and lived out of a dilapidated Oldsmobile so that Hilary, who'd dreamed of being an actress, could go on auditions. Today, the two-time Oscar-winning actress makes millions for a single film, but she's still highly conscious of where her money goes. She buys clothes at the Gap and Payless, and clips coupons. "People who have come from nothing, you've always had to fight for what you have, so it's in your marrow. Nothing is going to be given to you."

Paul Reubens has survived a great fall, said Bill Zehme in Playboy. Nearly two decades after the actor, better known as Pee-wee Herman, was charged with masturbating inside an X-rated movie theater in Florida, Reubens, 58, is still trying to rebuild his reputation. Before his arrest in 1991, he says, most people assumed the nerdy children's character he created was a real person, which only magnified the furor when his mug shot hit the papers. "I had never been seen out of character before. Suddenly I went from being just Pee-wee Herman to that scary mug shot. Charles Manson-y, somebody called it." Even his own friends in show business cracked jokes about him as a seedy pervert. "That was really painful. I was shocked people would kick me when I was down." Deeply shamed, Reubens went into a prolonged, self-imposed exile, emerging only recently in order to revive Pee-wee for an upcoming Broadway show. No matter how well it goes over, he knows, "I'm always going to retain this reputation of being a pervert. But it doesn't matter. Everything happened for a reason. It's a journey, and I will not accept a s - - - - y ending."

Felix Baumgartner is about to take the mother of all leaps, said David Katz in Men's Journal. The 41-year-old former paratrooper has been jumping off structures ever since he was a boy, when he used to jump out of trees. For the past decade, he's been breaking Base jumping records by leaping off structures such as the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and gliding down with a parachute. But nothing has prepared him for what he hopes to do later this year-jump from the stratosphere from a helium balloon at 120,000 feet, thus breaking the world skydiving record. By falling from that height in very thin air, he may reach speeds of more than 760 miles per hour. "What we want to find out is what happens to the human body when it breaks the speed of sound," he says. "That's a big question mark." It's possible, experts have told him, that he could end up in a spin that detaches his brain from his spine, or that his NASA-style suit could malfuncton. "I'm going to a hostile place," he says. "Right outside you is a vacuum of space, and without the protection of the suit, you cannot live. It's scary." Should he succeed, Baumgartner plans to spend the rest of his days planted on firm ground. "I could Base jump again," he says, "but what would it mean? Everything would be a step backward."

Joe McGinniss is moving out of Sarah Palin's neighborhood, said the New York Daily News. McGinniss, who is writing an unauthoriized biography of Palin, rented the house next door to the former Alaskan governor's home in Wasilla in May, prompting a furious Palin to build an eight-foot-high fence around her property. McGinniss is now done with his research, and said that he's learned enough this summer to know that Palin is running for President in 2012. "Everything she is doing is geared to that," he says.

Following a request from plaintiff John Travolta, a judge in the Bahamas has dismissed charges against two men accused of trying to extort $25 million from the actor after the death of his son, Jett, last Juy. A lengthy trial of the two Bahamians ended in a mistrial last year, and Travolta says he no longer wants to pursue the case. "The first trial resulted in a heavy emotiional toll on my family," said Travolta in a statement. "It's time to put this matter behind us."

Paris Hilton's Twitter habit may land her behind bars, says the London Sun. The 29-year-old hotel heiress was arrested recently in Las Vegas for cocaine possession, but told police that the Chanel purse containing the drugs had been borrowed from a friend and that the contents weren't hers. But in July, Hilton posted a photo of the purse in question to the social-media website Twitter, along with the words, "Love my new Chanel purse I got today :)."

A feud between Sean Penn and Wyclef Jean over Haiti escalated recently, as the rapper suggested that the actor was too busy "sniffing cocaine" to notice Jean's efforts in the eartquake-torn country. Penn, who has been doing relief work in Haiti, had said Jean was a "non-presence" who didn't deserve to run for president. In response to Jean's charges, Penn said, "the demands put upon volunteers in Haiti" such as himself require a level of fitness that precludes "the use of drugs."

Irv Gordon, a retired school teacher from Long Island, New York, is approaching the three-million-mile mark with his 1966 Volvo. When asked to what he attributed his vehicle's longevity, Gordon advised, "Read the owner's manual, and do what it says."

A man attempting to smuggle 95 boa constrictors onto an airplane was recently arrested at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport when his bag burst open.

Alexi Kudrin, Russia's finance minister, recently urged his fellow citizens to drink and smoke more in order to boost tax revenues. "If you smoke a pack of cigarettes, that means you are giving more to help solve social problems," said Kudrin. "Those who drink, those who smoke are doing more to help the state."

Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband is planning to have her "plastinated" after her death. Prince Frederick von Anhalt says the 93-year-old screen legend "has always dreamed that her beauty would be immortal," and that he is exploring the option of having Gunther von Hagens, the German doctor behind the notorious Bodies exhibit, replace the water and fat in Gabor's corpse with plastic, preserving the body in perpetuity. Von Anhalt says he would then put Gabor's body on display, possibly "in the context of a scene from one of her films."

A recent report in The Wall Street Journal revealed that the number of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. has plunged from 850,000 a year to 300,000 because of the bleak job market and increased border security, according to a new study by the Pew Hispanic Center. Since 2009, the number of illegals living in the U.S. has declined from 12 million to 11 million.

According to Time, over the past two decades, use of prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin has soared 1,000 percent, and in 15 states, overdoses of prescription drugs have replaced car crashes as the leading cause of accidental deaths.

The Wall Street Journal reports that, with the Atlantic Ocean registering record-warm temperatures, meteorologists are predicting an unusually active hurricane season, with about 12 hurricanes expected by the end of October. reports that the average worker spent nearly $4,000 for employer-sponsored family health care last year, 14 percent more than the year before. Since 1999, workers' contributions to health-care premiums have increased 158 percent, while pay has risen 42 percent.

The New York Times indicated recently that, according to travel site, domestic airfares rose more than 20 percent in the second quarter, compared with last year's second quarter, while international fares rose more than 30 percent.

Fortune reports that nursing is the hot occupation of the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of registered nurses is expected to increase to 3.2 million by 2018, up from 2.6 million today.

Sal's Trusty and Beloved Chevy Camaro
This photo was taken after meeting Sal for breakfast at the Railroad Cafe in Livermore in 2009.
Sal Hisola Camaro

This was Sal's favorite photo of his Camaro. Note the 'HISOLA' license plate.
Sal Hisola Chevy Camaro

Sal Hisola LLNL