Meet Gigi Abel, Karsten Thot's grandchild. For Abel the 80-year-old bridge is more than a traffic artery, it’s a family legacy.
"It's a big, heavy important reminder of a very big important man," said Abel.
Before talking about Karsten's life, we asked Abel to set the record straight on how her family name is pronounced.
"It's Thot, as in tote bag," she said.
Karsten Tote is German. In fact, Tote came to Hawaii from Germany when he was just 15. He worked as a field supervisor for the Hawaiian Pineapple Company in the early 1900s.
"He coached the Brodie Camp IV baseball team, and I believe he took them to a championship," said Abel.
Thot lived in Wahiawa's Marigold Acres.
He married Dorothy Rhoades who came from a prominent Wahiawa family.
"And I'd say, okay. What was it about Karsten Thot, and they'd say 'He was a good, good man,'" said Abel. "So, I guess the goodness will come out at the end."
Abel never met her grandpa. He died in 1932. However, the family name lives on in Abel's grandson who's been maintaining the bridge's plaque for the past 15 years.
"He polishes the plaque so it's not all sooty and dirty, and that's a tradition for us," said Abel.