Reprinted from September 23rd, 2009 by Rodney Lee


Remember the olden days – when newspapers were delivered by newspaper boys?


Newspaper Boys
Honolulu Advertiser library photo


Back then, afternoon newspapers were the norm.  The morning newspapers were always around, but a majority of the subscribers took the afternoon paper.


And the newspapers were delivered by newspaper boys on their bicycles.  They’d have the big newspaper bag hooked on to their goose-neck handlebars.  And they’d throw the newspapers into the open garage or on the door step.


Then every once a month, the newspaper boys would knock on the door to collect the money for the subscription – and in return, give you the little square stamp sized ticket that was your receipt.


Remember those tabs?  The boys used to carry around a little binder – about 1/2 size of a normal sheet of paper.  The binder had 2 big rings that held the pages together.  Each page represented an address where the newspaper was delivered to and contained the perforated tabs that the newspaper boy would write the amount paid on it.


For some odd reason, they’d always come a-knocking when my parents weren’t home.  And we’d have to tell them to come back later as we had no money to pay them.


I remember after paying the newspaper boy, my mom would put the tab in a kitchen drawer.  The same drawer that contained plastic bags, twist ties, and rubberbands.  I guess that was our recycle drawer.  Not sure how the newspaper receipts ended up in there as they weren’t something we’d recycle.


Our newspaper boy was this red-head kid named Jimmy Olsen – just like in the Superman comics.  That really was his name.  And speaking of comics, we’d leave all our old comics in a box out in the garage.  Jimmy Olsen was a big comic fan.  After delivering our newspaper, he’d pick up a comic for a fast read.  That one comic lead to another one and then another one until my dad had to go outside and tell him to come back after he finishes his route – as the neighbors were all waiting for their newspapers.


I remember when MLC reader losthawaiian took on a newspaper route.  I’d go over to his house and try to help him deliver his papers, but the thing is – we both had 10-speed bicycles.  There wasn’t a way to fit the goose-neck bag on the “english-racer” style handlebars.  IIRC, he tried to use the over the shoulder bag, but it was hard keeping balanced on the bike.  I think we just ended up resting the bundle of newspapers on the bar in front of the seat and delivering them that way.  I wonder how long he kept that route.  Losthawaiian – want to chime in and refresh my memory?


The pits was delivering the Sunday paper – as it was the responsibility of the afternoon newspaper boys to deliver the heavy Sunday paper – early in the morning.  Needless to say, losthawaiian was on his own when it come to delivering the Sunday paper.


What are your memories of newspaper boys?  Did you have a route and delivered newspapers?  If so, do you have stories to share – maybe a mean dog that never liked you, or a route with lots of hills that you had to pump your bicycle up and down?  How about collection time?  I’m sure tips were always good – especially around Christmas time.  Any stories about your newspaper boy?  Maybe he had a habit of always throwing it on the garage roof or under the car?  Share your memories here.

Here’s one of those surveys that appear on Facebook.  Click on the link below to see what it thinks you would be – then copy and paste your result.


What Kind of Job Would You Have In The 50’s?


Here’s what I got:  SODA SHOP OWNER


Soda Shop Owner


Can you think of a better job than running a soda shop? We can’t!


You would own your very own soda pop and your shop would be one of the main hangout places for kids, parents and the town folks. Everybody would know your name, you would serve amazing sodas and root beer (with ice-cream on top), and would get to see the happy faces of hundreds of people every day. You are a very friendly and positive person, and this job will make sure you stay that way for a long time! Have fun and don’t forget the tiny hat!


I would enjoy running a ice cream parlor.  I imagine myself something like this.



Okay, take the survey and tell us what you came out with.  Did the result come up with something you think you’d do – in the 50’s?  What kind of job do you think you would’ve liked to do back in the 50’s?


23 March 2015

Here’s one from Paula – Places we used to go cruisin’


Remember back in the day when we first got our license?  Some of us had our own car, some of us borrowed our siblings car.  But most of us used our parents car.  And just having that freedom allowed us to cruise all over the island.  Sure, we’d go catch a movie, or a football game, or hang at the pool hall – but that was just one half of the evening.  The other part was going cruisin’.


Almost no night was complete without passing through the McCully Zippys to check out who was there.  Which hot rods were out that night.  And to check out the chicks, of course.  And being that we lived in Kailua back then, getting to the Pali Hwy often meant veering off to Hotel Street – just to check out the scene.  We rolled up the windows, locked the doors and did not stop.


Then there was Tantalus.



Now, when we cruised Tantalus, we always went up the Makiki Drive way and came down the Mott-Smith way (unless we missed the turn and ended up going through Papakolea).  That was the norm, right?


Another place that I liked to go cruising was in Manoa.  Because I was into architecture in high school, I liked to go in Manoa and look at all the nice homes.  My friends were probably bored out of their minds, but I was driving so they go where I go.  Plus, the alternative was them vegging at home so they didn’t mind.


Waikiki – unlike today where we avoid Waikiki, we used to cruise through Waikiki all the time.  Pass by the nightclubs and see who’s hanging out.  Check out the girls standing in line to get into The Hula Hut.  We’d do the normal pass going Kokohead on Kalakaua – look through the windows to see how crowed The Point After was, then turning onto Kapahulu and head Ewa on Kuhio.  Then get to Ala Wai Blvd and decide whether we want to go on McCully to the King St. Jack In The Box or stay on the Ala Wai and end up eating at KC Drive Inn.


Some nights, our cruising took us into Kalihi – for late night saimin.  The Saimin House or Palace Saimin.  But normally we were in and out of Kalihi.  Not someplace we wanted to hang out at.


But cruisin’ wasn’t always about nighttime.  How about cruisin’ during the day?  Our surfing took us cruisin’ a lot.  We’d get into town, check out the waves at Ala Moana beach.  If it’s not happening there, go to the heli-pad by the Ilikai and check out Kaisers/Rock Piles.  Still not happening, cruise through Waikiki and check out the waves there.  Too crowded, then it was up the hill to Diamond Head.  By then we were pretty itchy to get into the water and Diamond Head it was.  Sometimes we’d skip Diamond head because the size of the waves wasn’t worth the paddle out – and we’d check out Black Point.  Nope – still nothing?  Okay then, we’re headed to Sandy’s, or Pipe Littles, or Kaka Roach bay.  Somedays we didn’t even get into the water!  That’s why we also took our skateboards along.


Cruisin’ the North Shore.  Did you guys go the Kaneohe to Haleiwa way or the Haleiwa to Kaneohe way?  Because we lived in Kailua – it was the Kaneohe to Haleiwa way.  And coming home was the reverse.  But now that I live in town, if we go “cruise North Shore”, I like to go the Haleiwa to Kaneohe way.  It’s just a nicer drive driving in the sun’s shadows of the Koolaus.  Plus, can always stop in Kaneohe for some Time’s Coffee Shop fried rice, or KJ’s Chicken, or Kaneohe Bakery desserts.


What about the Waianae Coast?  I haven’t been out there in years!  The thing is, there is only one way in and the same way out.  But get some nice shoreline over there.  With gas prices down, maybe it’s time for an excursion.  Well, maybe after the freeway closures pau.


You know, all the cruising that I did throughout my life really came in handy when I started working at TheBus.  Knowing street names and areas like Manoa valley, St. Louis heights, Waimanalo, Salt Lake, etc. really came in handy.  So all that cruisin’ wasn’t for nothing!


Thanks for the blog topic idea, Paula!  I think we should go do some cruisin’ soon.


So where did you guys go cruisin’ back in the day?  Or night?  Have any stories to share?

Tower Records


Such an iconic store.  Not just this one on Keeaumoku, and in Kahala Mall, & Pearl Kai shopping centers – but in all over the U.S.  In fact, Tower Records was so much a part of people’s lives that there is a documentary being made on it.


A link to the story can be found here: All Things Must Pass


In 1999, Tower Records made $1 Billion.  Five years later, they were filing for bankruptcy.


I’m sure I contributed to the $1 Billion they made in 1999.  I loved hanging out at that store.  The town store was open 24/7.  I could browse for hours looking for albums or more likely CDs.  I would keep a mental list of albums to look for – but I could never remember more than the last two that I added to the list.  I would walk up and down the aisles looking at the bands hoping it would pop into my head.


Eventually, it did – but by then I had about four or five other CDs that I wasn’t looking to buy but they were already in my hands.  Sometimes I’d even wander into the Classical music room just to check it out.  Spent a lot of time in the Jazz aisles too.  Although I wasn’t too keen on putting on the community headphones to take a test listen to some music.  Who knows where those headphones may have been!


I used to enjoy checking out the boxed sets – although I never did buy any.  Probably collector’s items today.


But before Tower Records was the big boys for music, where did you go for your albums?


My go to place was a record store in Windward City Shopping Center.  Was it Hot Wax?  I don’t remember the name exactly.  But they had deals for when you bought 3 or more albums.  And I was never one to turn down a deal.


For 45’s – classic, hard to find 45’s – it was The Music Box on Union Mall.  Out of print 45’s could be bought there.  I don’t think they ever told me “Sorry, we don’t have that one”.


Another record place I used to hang out in was the record department in the Kailua Holiday Mart.  I knew the girl who worked there – Margaret Matsumoto.  She wasn’t your typical Japanese girl.  Nope, she had a taste for music that was “cool”.  One time I was bumming around in there just looking at stuff and the music that was playing really caught my ear.  I had to see what album was sitting on the “Now Playing” stand.  It was this one.




And it was this song that caught had me sold:


And when I was at Ala Moana Center, DJ Sound City was the place.  Okay, I never bought a record there – but I did spend a lot of time in the black light room with all the posters and everyone’s grafitti’d club name written on the display posters.  The House of Music was another store to check out – especially for sheet music.  And they had a nice inventory of musical instruments.  Too bad I never learned how to play anything.


And when I was adventurous, I’d take a walk across Piikoi – to 404 Piikoi to be exact – Records Hawaii.  That store was cool.  Not just records, but posters, t-shirts, incense, pipes, dark glasses, oils, – pretty much everything that was so 70’s.


Man, how I miss these places…


What Tower Records memories do you have?  How about other record shops?  Did you have a favorite one that you used to hang out at?  Share your music store memories here.


Remember reading comics?  And when you were done reading the comic – there was nothing else to do but read the ads?


Remember this one?

Comic Ads 0
Who were those people in the picture?


Or remember the mail order ads?

Comic Ads 2


Comic Ads 1


Comic Ads 3


Comic Ads 4



Comic Ads 6


Comic Ads 7


Comic Ads 24


I was always intrigued by the Surprise Package – although it was probably just junk stuff that no one else ordered.  Good thing my mom never let me get that.  But after much prodding and nagging, my mom did let me order one thing:

Comic Ads Hercules Wrist Band
Hercules Wrist Bands!  I got the pair and used to wear them on each wrist.  I felt powerful.  It gave me confidence with the He-Man look!


Remember the sets of warriors?

Comic Ads 8


Comic Ads 15


Comic Ads 14


And not to leave out the girls:

Comic Ads 21

How about these novelties:

Comic Ads 11


Comic Ads 12


Comic Ads 13


Comic Ads 17


Comic Ads 26


And the non-toy ads.

Comic Ads 18


Comic Ads 19


Comic Ads 20


Oh how I loved the patches.  I just needed an old army jacket to sew them onto.  (I secretly wanted to be a hippy)


And don’t forget the 90 Pound Weakling ads.

Comic Ads 9


Comic Ads 16


And finally, the more obscure comic ads:

Comic Ads 22


Comic Ads 25


Comic Ads 23


What other ads do you remember on the inside cover or back covers of comics?  Did you ever order anything from the advertisers?  Did you sign up for the American Seed Co. ads to get prizes?  I’d bet those seeds weren’t even allowed into Hawaii.  What did you wish you could have gotten?  Man, these ads take me back.

Happy Pi(e) Day

12 March 2015



Yup, Saturday (3.14) is Pi Day – and Albert Einstein’s birthday.  Gotta love his hair.


So in honor of good ol’ Al, let’s talk about Pi(e)s.


My favorite – Custard pie.  Lee’s Bakery custard pie.  Kaneohe Bakery custard pie.  Craig’s Bakery (only a memory).  Pretty much any custard pie.


One pie that I miss is the Pumpkin/Custard pie from Bea’s Bakery in Kaimuki.


I know a lot of people go gaga over Apple pie, but for me – unless it’s warmed up and has a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of it – Apple pie is just meh.  Actually, I’m not much into the fruit pies – peach pie, pear pie, apricot pie, prune pie…  Maybe because I never around fruit pies while growing up.


Mincemeat pie – I don’t even know what the hell that is.


Pumpkin pie – I used to like it – but it’s too heavy.  Pumpkin Chiffon pie – now we’re talking!  Love that stuff.  Unfortunately, it’s seasonal.  Only found around Thanksgiving.


Question: How do you eat a slice of pie?  I mean, for me – first bite is always the pointed part of the slice.  The true essence of the piece.  That first taste.  And since I don’t care for the crust – the next few bites are all crust.  Get it out of the way.  Then it’s back to the heart of the slice – the filling.  The thin crust on the bottom of the slice doesn’t bother me – because I’m just enjoying the juicy filling.


Paula’s favorite pie is Lemon Meringue pie.  It always looks so ono with the big top of meringue – but it doesn’t really do much for me.  Now if that meringue was all whipped cream instead…


How about sweet potato/haupia pie?  That is a good mix – like a pretty Chinese/Hawaiian girl.  Or guy for the female readers.  And if it has whipped cream on top of it – it’s like a pretty Chinese/Hawaiian girl with a little bit of Irish thrown in.


Okay, in honor of Pi(e) Day – what’s your favorite pie(s)?  Have you ever tried baking your own pie?  What bakery has your favorite pies?  Oh, I just remembered one more – when I was working at the Halekulani, the employee cafeteria had a dessert refrigerator.  That’s where I fell in love with Macadamia Nut Cream pie.  Damn thing made me gain almost twenty pounds.  But it was a happy twenty pounds.  :mrgreen:

Remember the days before modern technology?  I think about it every time I buy something on sale at Longs.  Back in the old days – before bar code scanners – Longs cashiers had to memorize all the items that were on sale and the sale prices.  And they use to have new ads come out every Sunday and Wednesday!  And back then, their registers didn’t tell them how much change to give back – they did the math in their head.  Of course it wasn’t that hard once they found the trick to doing it.


Remember when telephone poles had “pole steps”?




And beside being a place to hang long string of firecrackers off of – the telephone or electric man used to climb up the pole using the pole steps – along with gaffs and a belt.  Nowadays, you hardly ever see a pole with pole steps.  All the utility line workers us “cherry pickers” to get up high on the pole.


You know what else I haven’t seen in a long, long time?  Gas station workers opening up the underground tanks and sticking in the long pole to get readings of how much gas is left in the tank.  I’m sure it must be all electronic now.  But when I used to work at Windward Volkswagen, we had underground gas tanks there.  And every couple of weeks or so, I had to move cars to gain access to the opening of the underground gas tanks, open it up and stick the long wooden pole down until it reached the bottom of the tank.  Then pull it up quickly to see where the wet gas line was on the pole – before it evaporated – and log the amount of gas left in the tank.


Remember when we used to have one TV in the house.  And it was able to catch 3 or 4 TV stations depending on which side of the mountain you lived?  And if you wanted to change the channel or change the volume, it meant getting up and walking to the TV to make the adjustment?  No such thing at TV remotes back then.  We WERE the TV remote.  Unless you were the rich uncle who had the console TV that came with a remote.


TV Remote Vintage


The Microwave oven.  We didn’t have such a magical appliance.  If we wanted to heat up leftovers – it meant turning on the stove, taking out a pot and reheating the leftovers on the stove.  Then washing the pot, the dish used, and the eating utensils.  Nowadays, microwave on a paper plate then just throw away the rubbish when pau.  Only have to wash the fork.


And the biggie – the Internet.  No such thing a Google.  If I needed to do a report, that meant copying word for word from the encyclopedia.  Now it’s just cut and paste.  Okay, I know I wasn’t supposed to copy word for word but my parents were smart and got us the Pidgin Encyclopedia – so the teacher couldn’t tell we copied.   And without the internet, price comparing meant driving to each different store to look at the prices.  Reviews of items meant asking your friends.  And looking at naughty pictures meant grabbing a copy of National Geographic.


And no such thing a on-line purchasing.  If you wanted something from the mainland, it meant mailing in the order with the check.  And then waiting 6 to 8 weeks for the thing to come in the mail.  And checking the mailbox every single day (including Sundays – just in case) didn’t help make the wait any shorter.


Okay, I know you can think of many more – phones, music formats, car features, cosmetics, etc.  What was it like Before Modern Technology for you?

Cup Noodle!

5 March 2015

Thursday marks the 105th birthday of Taiwanese-Japanese inventor Momofuku Ando, whose instant noodles revolutionized the food world.


Cup Noodle Founder


In 1958, Momofuku Ando, an unassuming entrepreneur living in Osaka, created the instant noodle — and a continent has been feasting on his invention ever since.


However, the road was not easy for the founder of Nissin Food Products. Ando struggled to find the right balance and create noodles that were tasty but did not become mush when boiled. The secret, learned from his wife, was to spray the noodles with chicken soup and then fry them in tempura oil.


The instant noodle, a dietary staple for every college student from Asia to America, had come to fruition.


Ando was born during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan in 1910, moved to Japan at the age of 23 became a Japanese citizen following World War II. He died in Osaka on Jan. 5, 2007, at the age of 96.



Who hasn’t had at least 1 cup noodle?


Cup Noodle


I remember when this stuff first came out.  I bought a couple and I used to stash one in my punch card drawer at KCC.  Then on those late nights of staying at school to work on my programs, I’d bust out my cup noodle and grind away – to the envy of everyone else working on their programs too.


Oh we had instant saimin way before then – but it meant heating up a pot of water, cooking the noodles and throwing in the dashi – then putting it all into a big bowl.  Too many dishes to clean up!


Cup Noodle was so easy.  Add hot water, wait a few minutes, then eat.  When pau, throw everything away.  No clean up.  About the hardest thing was waiting those few minutes for the noodles to cook.


I never did live alone – but if I did… Cup Noodles and a jar of kim chee and I’m good to go.


I don’t eat it so much nowadays – after seeing this video.


But I do reach for it every now and then when I’m desperately hungry.


How about you?  What’s your Cup Noodle memory?  When did you start eating this?  Do you still have it once in a while?  Have any of you been to the Cup Noodle Museum like M and Masako have?


Cup Noodle 7


Reprinted from April 4th, 2008


The kids nowadays have it good with their cars: multi-cd players, hands free cell phone, GPS navigation, and even DVD players.


But something that us midlifers had that they don’t have is: bench seats.
And something that us midlifers didn’t have that they have is: seatbelt law.


Can you see where this is going?


No?  Well, remember back in the day when the guy picked up his girl for a date. He’d open the passenger door to let her in to the front seat – the front bench seat – and as he walked around the car to get in, she’d slide to the middle of the seat so they’d be seated right next to each other when he got in.




Sometimes as you were cruising around at night with your friends, you’d wind up behind a Dodge Swinger (with vinyl roof, Ansen rims, and air-shocks) and see the silhouette of a girl sitting in the middle of the seat next to the guy driving in the car ahead of you. And you’d think it was so cool and secretly hoped that someday you’d be that guy driving. *sigh*


I once asked my friend Carol, who grew up on Maui, if this phenomenon used to take place in Maui, where the girl would sit in the middle of the front seat next to the guy. And she replied “Oh, you mean Cut Seat?”. Huh? There’s a name for it? Apparently on Maui, it’s called Cut Seat. Lee Cataluna even confirmed it.


So one day I asked my wife’s friend Keri, who grew up on Kauai, if she used to sit Cut Seat on dates. She asked “What’s Cut Seat?” As I was explaining to her, she blurted out “Oh, you mean Broke Seat!”. Huh? “Yeah, Broke Seat. Da seat stay broke so da girl gotta sit in da middle.”


I wonder what Big Island people call it. Lava Seat?


Do you Oahu folks recall any name for it? Half Seat? Mid Seat? Help jog my memory because I don’t ever remember having a name for it other than “chick sitting in the middle next to the guy driving”.

I’m not Catholic so I don’t participate in this religious activity – but some of my co-workers take part in this practice every year.  For those not in the know – for the forty days of Lent (Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday), Catholics will give up something that they enjoy.  For some it may be alcohol, for some it may be swearing, for some it may be caffeine.  One of my co-workers is giving up sugar.  Not just artificial sweeteners – but all forms of sugar.  She has a list of things that she cannot eat as they either contain sugar or turn into sugar.  Like rice.  On the approved list, the only fruits are lemons and limes.  Can you imagine – no ketchup, no candy, no shoyu, no garlic chicken – I would go nuts!  But alas, I’m don’t practice this.




So here’s the Thursday 3 questions about sacrificing for Lent.


  1. What is something that you would give up for Lent?  Remember, it has to be something that you enjoy.  And it should be a sacrifice.
  2. If this is something that you practice – what have you given up before that you really missed?  Maybe even cheated a little bit?
  3. After Lent is over – do you think you would over-indulge to make up for what you missed or would you continue to abstain from it?


Here’s my replies:


  1. What is something that you would give up for Lent?  Remember, it has to be something that you enjoy.  And it should be a sacrifice.
    I would give up soda.  I would like to just give up aspartame and other artificially sweetened soda, but that might be too easy.  Because us soda drinkers know that the carbonation is a big part of the enjoyment.  I could also give up hot sauce.  No adding Tabasco, Cholula, or Sriracha on my mac salad or anything with gravy.
  2. If this is something that you practice – what have you given up before that you really missed?  Maybe even cheated a little bit?
    N/A  But if I was to give up drive-in foods, including fast-foods – I would’ve probably cheated.
  3. After Lent is over – do you think you would over-indulge to make up for what you missed or would you continue to abstain from it?
    I don’t know if I would over-indulge.  If what you sacrificed had a healthy result (better rest, clearer skin, etc.) then of course I would continue it.  Maybe not totally stay away from it – but keep it to a minimum.  Let’s say the result was the opposite – that you were grouchy the whole time, but you gave it up out of pure determination, then yes I would go back to it.  I might even over-indulge myself just to get my fill.  Yes, I’ll reek of garlic for a week after consuming Mitsuken, Sugoi, and Fort Street Cafe garlic chicken for a week straight.  But I’d be reeking garlic with a smile!

Okay, your turn to answer the Thursday 3 questions.  And no shame leave a story or two along with your replies.   Or maybe just observations of others giving up things they love for Lent.  What are some of your suggestions that people can give up for Lent?