How We Used to Play

8 October 2015

In the previous Close Your Eyes…And Go Back post, there were some great comments of how we spent small-kid-time playing different games.  And just for contrast – @KAN listed this article about a school that banned Tag – or what we used to call Chase Master – but lifted the ban after parents (and almost the whole country) objected.




Remember how  we used to start the game – by everyone saying “Not it!”  and the last one to say it was of course, it.


Some of the comments from the readers were:

  • @jaydee11 – Playing Chasemaster until was after dark
  • @4G – Sham Battle!
  • @Mark Shelby -I remember in 1965. We lived on Waieli Street across from Kalani High School. That winter we had a massive rain storm that lasted for an entire week! It rained and the wind howled day and night for an entire week!
    I remember my friends coming over. And we were so tired of being inside for days, we decided to get outside! So we dreamed up this awesome fun thing to do! Like kids always do.
    The winds were howling and da rain waz pouring! But we went outside with our skateboards and large beach towels! In our swim trunks.  We held the beach towels up and that wind flew us down the entire road! Back and forth we went, really fast bradda!
  • @dihudfan – wen evah it rained hard, we used to go to Kam Field Park with our body boards and ride the rain flooded field… and aftah we would play tackle football, that wuz fun, slipping and sliding all around the field…
  • @Mark’75 – I remember cutting newspapers or magazines into strips to roll into streamers and throwing them at the stadium. Sometimes roll bits of confetti in the streamers.Then twirling some strips into darts, seal the pointed end with spit, and blowing it out with a straw. Sometimes we’d have dart fights, but was kind of gross when the other guy’s darts were still wet! LOL
  • @adobo – We use to play football on the basketball courts at night because the field had no lights. Good for your balance cuz for sure you no like hit the asphalt. @Mark Shelby, ever played football at Kapiolani park when it’s flooded after big rains? I read it use to have a horse race track and stables way back. Don’t let anyone hold your face down in the mud and water, you can still smell it, ask me how I know, haha. Kinda like the smell when you walk through the livestock tent at Farm Fair. I remember you couldn’t pass the football as far cuz it was so heavy when water logged. Make your hard cut when running, flop! And sliding 10′ after you get tackled. Was so fun.
  • @old school – re: dart fights. We used to play that, too, only used pipes to blow the paper darts. Then one day I was sneaking around a corner of my friend’s house with the pipe in my mouth when another friend saw the pipe and back-handed it, shoving the pipe down my throat. I was spitting blood the rest of the day. That was the end of our dart wars. Ahhh, fun times, though.
  • @Mark’75 -@old school: Wow, that was mean!  I remember sometimes we’d tear the fat end of the dart into four ‘propellers.’ Then after blowing it up in the air, it twirled as it spun back down.
  • @Mark’75 – With 3 older sisters, I recall them cutting out paper dolls and dresses they drew with tabs that folded over the shoulders and waist. I never got into that, but man, could they draw!!


Thanks for the contributions!


In elementary school, I remember playing Dodge ball.  Or better yet, Wall Ball.  We’d stand in front of the side wall of the building and the other guy would be standing about 20 feet away with the red playground ball.  Not the big one – the small one that was just a little bigger than a softball.  Easier to throw and faster too.  And we’d have to dodge that sucker while the ball hit the wall and bounced back to the thrower.  Sometimes there might be a couple of guys throwing – tennis balls.  Those buggahs hurt!  And when they were wet, they were heavier and flew faster.  And they left a neat splatter mark on the wall from the wetness.


German Dodge ball was cool.  IIRC, that’s the one where there are balls being thrown from both sides that you have to dodge.  And if you can catch one of the balls without dropping it, you get to choose someone who was nailed earlier to get out of “jail” and jump back on your team.  That game had your head turning both ways.

*Didn’t some schools ban Dodge ball?  Too violent?  Our teachers used to have us play that for elementary school PE.  Even the girls in dresses had to play.


Another game that we played in elementary school PE was Kick Ball.  It was with the big red playground ball, but no “beaning”.  Remember telling the “pitcher” how you wanted the ball delivered (rolled); slow & smooth, fast, bouncy, or baby bouncy.


We loved playing Kick Ball in elementary school.  So much in fact, that we used to play it during “long recess”.  And instead of using the red playground ball, we used a volleyball.  That sucker could fly!  And of course, beaning was allowed.


How about playing baseball with a whiffle ball?  And the plastic bat.  LOL


Did any of you guys get into GI Joe?  I tried once playing with my friend’s one.  It was kinda too slow moving for me – and frustrating getting the clothes off and on.  I’ll take green army men over GI Joe any day.


Chasemaster – An all time favorite.  And it was a good way to pick on a girl that you liked without anyone knowing.  Or you could go after the slowest one – but what’s the challenge in that?  Trying to get the girl that could outrun you – that’s what I call attraction.


Hide and Go Seek.  I remember the mango tree was base.  The person would have to count to whatever at the base while the rest of us hid.  Then we’d try to get back to the mango tree before being tagged.  Throwing a rock to cause a distraction always helped.


Marbles.  5 hole, round the world, for keeps.  The order was – bottom hole, middle, left, middle, right, middle, top, middle, right, middle, left, middle, bottom, then around the world 5 times – and once you get to the center hole – you become “killah”.  Hit any other marble and it’s yours.  For keeps.  Of course if they become killah first and shoot your marble – game over.


How about neighborhood football – two-hand touch, one-hand touch, flag football (everyone provide their own rag to make flags), and tackle.  And like @Mark’75 wrote:  Punt Freeze!  Although we used to call out “Freeze Punt!”.


Okay, what else games you used to play, small-kid-time?  Or hobbies?  Rockets!  Estes Industries rockets.  In intermediate school, beads.  Jobe’s tears, then later – plastic beads from Pete’s Modelcraft.  Shake up that memory and share them here.

Found this video – Not everything may pertain to us growing up in Hawaii, but you get the gist of it.



If I wasn’t home at 5:00, my dad would open the front door, place two fingers in his mouth and whistle.  A nice long one about 2 seconds.  I’d be home in about 10 seconds.


For us: Tomoe Ame candy and Popsicles.


Exchange Orangeade was our drink of the summer.


Playing cards attached to the bike frame with clothes pins.
New slippers on the first day of school.
Field trips with bentos.


Getting a foot of snow would be a miracle.  Maybe a foot of water.
Listening to Aku in the AM to see if our school was closed.


Spinning around is how I got my first puka-head.  Boulevard bowling alley.




What memories did this video stir up?

Soursop Benefits

1 October 2015

I was talking with a friend of mine and she was telling me about someone she knows that had his cancer go into remission by drinking tea made from Soursop leaves.  That’s bold statement to make so I had to Google it to find out for myself.


Health Benefits of Soursop Leaves

Soursop Leaves


Treating Cancer

According to a study conducted by experts from Purdue University in the United States stated that this soursop leaf content is very good for the treatment of various diseases, especially cancer. In the study proves that soursop leaves can inhibit cancer cell growth. Some types of cancer that can be treated are breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer and 12 other types of cancer.


The procedure to make it is:  take old soursop leaves and boil with 3 cups of water. Leave until remaining one cup of water, drink 2 times a day for 2 weeks.


Treating Uric Acid

Soursop leaves can also be used as a cure of gout. Many alternative medicines use soursop leaves for the treatment of gout. The procedure to make it is: take 6-10 old soursop leaves but still green then wash cleanly. Furthermore cut soursop leaves with the aim of ensuring the content in the leaves right out. Boil the leaves with 2 cups of water. Simmer until remaining 1 cup of water. Drink the concoction twice a day in the morning and evening.


Benefits of Soursop Leaves for treating Back Pain.

If you have any problems with your waist, try to make a potion of soursop leaves. Take 20 pieces soursop leaves and boil with 5 cups of water. Allow to boil and the remaining 3 cups. Drink this mixture ¾ cup once a day.


Soursop leaves Helping The Immune System and Preventing Infections.

The content in soursop leaves is believed to boost the immune system and prevent infection in the body. The procedure is: prepare 4/5 soursop leaves, boil with 4 cups of water and then simmer until the remaining 1 cup. Drink once a day.


Benefits of Soursop Leaves for treating Eczema and Rheumatism.

Mash until smooth soursop leaves and apply on the body that feels pain or pain due to arthritis or eczema regular twice a day.


Benefits of Soursop Leaf to Treat Ulcers.

Pick young soursop leaf and stick it on the body affected by ulcers.


Those are some of the benefits of soursop leaves that you can make reference to traditional medicine.


Efficacy of Soursop Leaf Extract For Health

Soursop leaf extract can help to tackle cancer besides also able to maintain a healthy body from various health problems.


What are the benefits of soursop leaf extract for health? Here’s more:

Antibacterial:To Inhibit bacterial growth

Antiviruses: To pursue the development of virus

Anticancer: To Inhibit cancer development

Antitumor: To Inhibit tumor growth

Antiparasitic: To Inhibit parasite development

Antimalarials: Antimalarials

Antileishmania: Antileishmania

Antispasmodic: Substance that can relax smooth muscle

Antikonfulsan: anticonvulsants

Astrigen: Substances that wrinkle / shrink mucous membranes

Antimutagenic: Substances that are inhibiting gene mutation

Analgesic: Substances that can relieve pain / ache

Anti-inflammatory: Substances that suppress inflammation

Febrifuge: Substances that lower fever

Hypotensive: Substances that are lowering blood pressure

Hypoglycemic: Substances that are lowering blood sugar levels

Nervin: To strengthen nerve / nerve tonic

Kardiodepresan: Pressing cardiac activity

Galactogogue: Substances that can increase breast milk production

Sedatives: Substances that are soothing

Stomakik: Substance that strengthens the stomach and increase appetite

Vasodilators: Substances that dilate blood vessels are

Vermifuge: Substances that can kill intestinal worms

Diuretics: The emetic of aurine

Tranquilizers: Substances that are soothing


Disclaimer: I’m not promising that Soursop can cure everything listed as I’m not qualified to make such claims.  I’m just passing on information gathered from the internet about the health benefits of Soursop.  So take it with a grain of salt.  Get it?  Soursop tea.  Grain of salt.  Oh, never mind.


Any MLCers tried Soursop before?  Maybe the fruit itself or maybe some tea?  I read that even the bark and roots of the tree have medicinal values.  Has anyone heard of other natural remedies?

 | Posted by | Categories: Health/Safety |

Getting Old Sucks

28 September 2015

Getting old sucks


A dear friend just dropped a bomb on me.  He’s going to be going into surgery next month to have a brain tumor removed.  They call it meningioma, non-cancerous, as it sits between the membrane that covers your brain and the inner skull.  The doctor doesn’t foresee any problems as the tumor is sitting on the top of the membrane – but still, any surgery has risk tied to it.  Sometimes, the hardest part is waiting for the procedure.  I take that back.  The hardest part is waiting for the results of tests to determine whether something is cancerous or not.


This dear friend of mine just went through a bout of prostate cancer last year – and now this.  He beat the cancer last year and I have hardly any doubt that he will beat this surgery too.  But why all this to him?


Jokingly he said to me that this is why men don’t like going to the doctor – because they find stuff.  But we know that the sooner things are found, the better the chances are to overcome them.  Especially cancer.


A few years ago when I was sick with a cold, I went to the doctor and he made a comment that I only see him when I’m sick.  Yeah, that’s how it usually works right?  Then when I had to get a physical for work and my blood pressure was pretty high, my doctor caught wind of it and has me coming to see him every three months.  And that includes a blood test at least once a year.  And my doctor scolds me about my weight gain and lack of exercise.  My blood pressure is down now that I’m on medication – but I’m thinking that if I could lose just 10 lbs., I could probably get off of the medication.


One time on the way to Vegas, I was sitting next to this elderly man and we started talking.  He said that he and a couple of his friends go to Vegas about every other month.  I told him that I envied him and wished that I was retired and could do that too.  He said no – don’t wish that – because when you get old, all kind of things start going wrong with the body.  He said “You’re young and strong – enjoy it because when you get old – your body starts breaking down”.  I could only imagine what he meant by that – like the knees get weak, or the fingers get arthritis, or you hearing starts to fail.  But now that I think about it – he probably meant other things, like internal body parts that start giving problems, or high cholesterol, high or low blood pressure, or diabetes.


One of the dilemmas of growing old is when someone’s body starts slowing down but their mind doesn’t.  And they want to push themselves to do things or go places that their body cannot handle.  I’m sure it’s frustrating for them.  Conversely, there are those who have strong bodies, but their mind becomes weak.  They are the ones with Alzheimer’s disease who take walks and get lost.  And I’m sure it’s frustrating – and lonely – as they don’t recognize the surroundings and people.


Yes, it’s scary to think about it.  What can we do to prepare for it, to try and prevent it?  Do mental exercises to keep the brain sharp?  Do physical exercises to keep the body strong?  Eat the right kind of foods to ward off cancer, diabetes, gout, and other ailments?  Even then, there’s no guarantee that something unexpected will happen to you.  Getting old sucks.


btw, if anyone is in need of a hearing test or is considering a hearing aid, make an appointment at Dr. Scarlet Aviles, Au.DClick here for web-site.  Hearing aids have come a long way – from controlling the hearing aid with your smart phone to answering calls through your hearing aid.


Welcome to Autumn

24 September 2015

Maple Fall Colors


Yesterday was Autumn Equinox or the first day of Fall.


Out of all the four seasons, I like Autumn the best.  I kinda relate it to how I like Dusk as the best time of the day – and Autumn as the best time of the year.  It’s like Spring is dawn, Summer is the day, Autumn is dusk, and Winter is the night.  With that logic, I would guess that “morning people” would like Spring the best as it’s the dawning of the year – as the morning is the dawning of the day.


Autumn to me is a time to wind down – as the day is done and the early evening is time to close things up and prepare for the night – so is Autumn, a time to close things up and prepare for the winter.


Plus, it also means that Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years is coming up.  Those were my best small-kid-time holidays, and they still are today.


Now, living in Hawaii – the changing of the seasons is so subtle.  The most obvious change for me is how early or late the sun comes up and goes down.  Waking up at the same time every morning – I notice that during the summer, there’s enough light to see around me when I wake up.  During the winter months – I have to turn on the lights to see.


Also, unlike in the mainland where bar-b-que season starts on Memorial Day and end on Labor Day – we hibachi all year round.  And do it at the beach all year round too.  I guess that’s why the “snowbirds” from the mainland spend their winters here in paradise.


What is your favorite season?   Is there any special reason why that season is your favorite?  Do you sometimes wish that our seasons here in Hawaii would be a little bit more “seasonal” or do you like it just the way it is?  Can you think of any Autumn songs to celebrate the season?


Here’s one:


21 September 2015



We dodged yet another tsunami once again.  But one of these days, maybe maybe-not in our lifetime, there will be a tsunami that will cause damage to our precious island.  Remember the Japan earthquake in 2011?



Luckily on Oahu we didn’t get this kind of damage.  But did you see this National Geographic special about an Ultimate Tsunami that could hit Hawaii?  Spooky part is, we’d have only 30 minutes to evacuate.



But let’s pray that something this catastrophic never happens.


With today’s technology, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is able to warn us ahead of time of what to expect – like in the case of the 8.3 Chile earthquake that just happened last week.  But it wasn’t until recently did they have the ability to predict the size of the tsunami.


I remember when I was small – maybe about 4 years old possibly? – there was a tsunami alert in the middle of the night.  I remember waking up to the sirens going off and seeing the dining room light on.  All my brothers were up as well as my parents and they were getting ready to evacuate.  Since no one woke me up, I thought they were going to leave me. :-(  But I’m sure they didn’t want to wake me and would’ve carried me to the car before evacuating.  But at 4 years old, I didn’t know that!


I recall that we drove up to by Castle Hospital where we parked the car and listened to the radio.  When the all clear was given, we headed back home.  That was the only time I remember evacuating because of a tsunami.


Then I recall around 1986, I believe – there was a tsunami alert in the afternoon on a weekday.  I remember leaving work just to get caught up in a traffic jam as all of Honolulu was also on the street at the same time.  But I did get home after about an hour.  When Paula got home, we packed up the kids and went up to her grandparent’s house in Alewa heights.  We had the best view along with the other relatives who also had the same idea.  But no tsunami came.  We were kinda bummed.


When the big Japan earthquake hit in 2011, I was working at Kamehameha Schools at Kawaiahao Plaza and I remember by boss calling me the night before saying to stay home.  The school and business side would shut down for the day.


But at my current job at OTS, I’m deemed an “essential” worker so that means that during catastrophes, I have to report to work.  Of course my employer would make sure we’re kept safe and that our families are okay too.


I’ve often wondered what I would do if a tsunami was about to hit and we had maybe an hour before it arrived.  If I was at my work place – which is considered an Extreme Tsunami Evacuation Zone, I would forget trying to drive somewhere – because the roads would be gridlocked – and I would high-tail it on foot towards the mountain.  Fort Shafter would be my closet safe haven, I think.  But for sure, someplace mauka of the H-1 freeway because I figure that the tsunami would have to fill up the freeway first before getting to me.  And the freeway in that area might make for a big drainage ditch diverting the water to Mapunapuna and Kalihi valley.


When I used to work at The Honolulu Advertiser over on Kapiolani Blvd and South Street, my plan was to run up Alapai street and across the pedestrian bridge over the freeway, then up the slopes of Punchbowl.  Or at least the highest floor of one of the tall condos in Makiki.


How prepared are you for a tsunami?  Do you have an escape plan – from your work place?  From your home?  One thing I would definitely do is fill up my car’s gas tank because our main power plants are located near the shoreline.  If they get flooded, no power.  No power, the gas pumps won’t work.  Plus, if there isn’t power to charge my cell phone, I can always charge it in my car – provided I have gas to run the engine that charges the car battery.  That goes for hurricanes too.


Do you remember small-kid-time of “tidal wave” warnings?  Did your family evacuate – and not freak you out thinking you were going to be left at home?  How about more recent tsunami warnings?  Share your tsunami memories with us.

Remember back in our day, every high school had a homecoming day parade that traveled through the neighborhood ending at the football field?


Homecoming Parage


Well, a few schools still have them:

9/10 – Waialua High School
9/11 – Mililani High School
9/18 – Moanalua High School
9/18 – Radford High School
9/25 – Pearl City High School
9/25 – Waipahu High School


Mililani parade is a big one consisting of 800 marchers, ten vehicles, four floats, and a band.


Remember the Homecoming court?  Obviously, couldn’t be football players because they had to play in the game.


homecoming court


And each class made a float that would be judged and the winners announced at half-time at the game.  Seniors HAD to win – otherwise, make A.  And of course the high school band would march in the parade along with the cheerleaders and songleaders (remember those?).  And the local dignitaries would get in the parade – especially if it was an election year.  And sometimes even the neighborhood drive-in or local mom-n-pop stores would have some representation in the parade to show their support.


And all that action built up the anticipation around the community to get out and support the local high school and attend the football game.  People stuck in their cars didn’t mind it as they watched the parade pass by and honked their horns in support.


I remember when I was working at the car lot on Kailua road.  At about 5:00, the parade would start from Kailua Intermediate School and they’d march on Kailua Road up to the high school.  I remember leaning over the gas pumps watching the parade pass by, getting all antsy to get home, bocha, pick up my friends and attend the game.


And I remember at half-time, they would parade the floats on the track around the field as each class cheered for their float.  Such good times.


Sadly, I haven’t been to a Kailua High School homecoming game since the following year after I graduated.  I’d sure like to attend one – just for old times sake.  Guess that’s one more item to add to my bucket-list.


What are your memories of high school homecoming games.  And even more, the homecoming parade that went through your neighborhood?  Maybe some of you were even in as part of the float, or playing in the band, or maybe even on the Homecoming court.  Share your memories with us.  And I’ll leave you with a video that I found of the Waipahu High School homecoming parade from a few years ago.  I’m glad to see that the tradition is still around.



Update: Mahalo to Mark’75 for sharing some Homecoming pictures with us.  Check out the field – recognize it?


Homecoming 1974 Seniors float
Kaimuki Homecoming 1974 Senior Float


Homecoming 1974 Juniors float
Kaimuki Homecoming 1974 Junior Float


Homecoming 1974 Alumni float
1974 Homecoming Alumni Float


Homecoming 1974 Soph float 1
Kaimuki Homecoming 1974 Sophomore Float


Homecoming 1974 Band float
Kaimuki Homecoming 1974 Band Float


Homecoming 1974 Pep Squad float
Kaimuki Homecoming 1974 Pep Squad Float


Homecoming 1974 Soph float
@Mark’75 apologizes to the McKinley folks  :mrgreen:


@Mark’75 – THANK YOU for sharing your pics!

Do You Remember… Truckman

14 September 2015

Today we have a guest blogger – please welcome Craig M. Ha’o


Aloha Friends and Kamaaina.


I grew up in Kaimuki, mauka of the freeway and on a cul de sac street that led to the Waialae Drive In. Twice a week, a mobile grocer in his truck..who we affectionately called “Truckman” as kids would toot his horn a few times and park his old refrigerated work-truck that I think was from the 40’s, on our street. I still remember the engine straining to climb the road-the familiar “whirring” sound beckoning all outside to welcome our mobile grocer and friend as it has for decades before I’m sure.


He’d open the side of the truck where a neat organized display of breads, many different candies and treats, fresh produce, and small kids toys and household knick-knacks would be displayed next to a large scale. Four refrigerated compartments that had cold Shasta sodas, eggs and a array of fresh meats, fish, poultry as well as luncheon meat and bologna he would cut and weigh to order then wrap in pink butchers paper with the weight and price per lb. in pencil on top, completed the set up. Lot of fried bologna sandwiches back then, sliced thick from “our grocer”.


This harkens back to the day when the “Milkman” and for me..the Foremost “Juiceman” were making regular home deliveries and along with our truck-man grocer were as much a part of our neighborhood, as any resident. I will find out the name if our own “truck-man” and update this here.. he was a very nice Japanese man and I got the sense he and his family had been in that mobile grocery business for at least a generation.. 30 or 40 yrs etc.


*He was a Godsend to us though…growing up with the kind of financial hardships and challenges my mom-a single parent faced. I remember several times asking him for credit, and us repaying him gratefully the next week. Lucky we Live Hawaii?? Absolutely..but for me, its THE PEOPLE that made it so special growing up here. Their kindness and generosity, and graciousness during difficult times.


These are the my Mom’s Okinawan family of Issei who like many others left home and came to Hawaii to do the backbreaking difficult labor in the sugar and pineapple fields-for little pay, for the hope of making a better life here. They are the ones who saved, bought property and started their own businesses and helped build modern Honolulu.


*In that light I was just wondering who else might remember this Honolulu mobile grocery truck tradition, which I believe had its origins in the local Japanese/Okinawan community.


Thank you again.. I hope remembering this quiet page of Honolulu culture and life from long ago might bring back some fond wonderful memories for you as well. When butchers paper and twine were king, and you didn’t mind the faint scent of fish on the cans of cold soda, because of the good man who drove a long way to bring it to you.


*Aloha Mahalo and great Blessings to ALL and their Families who served us so well in this noble profession.


This is about the closest picture I could find.


I’m sure a lot of readers remember the neighborhood grocer-man truck or the vegetable-man truck.  Or just the Truck-man.  How about it folks – can you remember the neighborhood trucks from back in the day?


Mahalo once again Craig M. Ha’o for being our guest blogger.

JPOs – Then and Now

10 September 2015



I found this picture of a elementary school JPO.  Not quite like how I remembered JPOs in our day.  I was never a JPO, but I do remember them wearing white shirts and navy blue pants – or navy blue skirts for the girls.  And they did not hold the sign like the boy in the picture.  They stood on the corner and held the sign on the ends of the sign post – balancing that stop sign in front of cars – fighting with the wind and the weight of the sign.  And they were very disciplined.


One of the main reasons that I wasn’t a JPO was because I would have to get to school at like, 7:00AM.  Or did they have to be there earlier?  I barely made it by 8.  But I always envied the JPOs when they were allowed to leave the class about 15 minutes early before the end-of-school bell rang because they had to get into position for the letting out of school.  But I didn’t envy them when I walked across the street heading to play – while they still had work to do.


I remember watching them report to their station where the signs, yellow raincoats, yellow boots, and yellow raincoat-helmet-looking-things were stored.  I don’t recall them having hard hats back then.  They would go inside and grab their signs, then stand in line side by side.  The Captain would blow the whistle and they marched – actually marched, in unison – to their posts.


And every once in a while when I hung around the school late – I’d see them marching back to the station, in unison, carrying their signs like weapons on their side, and putting away their gear.  Then when all the JPOs were at the station – they’d march to the flag pole and stand at attention, then hold a salute as the flag was lowered, then folded nicely, and given to the Captain.


It looks like today’s JPOs don’t have any kind of uniform to wear – other than the florescent colored vest and the plastic hard hat.   And I don’t know if they are still required to march to their posts – in unison, while holding their stop sign to their sides like a guarded weapon.  But I did see them standing at attention and responding to commands from a superior.  That was so encouraging to see that the discipline is still practiced.


As I mentioned earlier – I was never a JPO.  But I felt happy for them on rainy days when they were finally allowed to wear the heavy raincoats and boots and the helmet looking headgear.  I bet they enjoyed it.  I know I would’ve.


Where you a JPO?  Do you remember marching to your posts?  Did you have “drills”?  And reporting to school early to raise the flag while standing at attention?  And coming home late after lowering the flag?  Do you remember saluting whenever a policeman drove by?  And having the policeman salute back?  And if I remember correctly – there was a school day set aside for JPO Appreciation Day where all the JPOs from the different schools were excused from class to go to this huge picnic with games, food, and all kines of activities.  I think that one day made it all worthwhile.



This is it, on 9/11/15.  Get you tickets at the door if you have to – but be there!


Ugh, School

7 September 2015

Reprinted from 9/3/2012


I think I’ve written about this a couple of times before.  And it’s a bit out-dated with the type of school schedule that today’s kids follow.  But it always comes to mind on the Labor day weekend.


The Tuesday after Labor day was traditionally the first day of school.  It was a bittersweet time.  But for me, it was more bitter, than sweet.


The sweet part was short-lived – wondering who was going to be in my class for the next whole school year.


But the bitter part was the hardest for me to swallow.  It meant that summer was over.  The stress-free days of playing, watching cartoons, riding bike, sleeping in the tent pitched in the yard was over.  I’d have to work through a whole year before the 3 month recess was upon me once again.  I’d have to go through the Fall, Winter, and Spring seasons until Summer was going to return.  That meant working for a whole year.


Technically, it wasn’t a whole year.  But it was a whole School Year.  Monday through Friday.  Spending the majority of each day away from the comforts and security of home.  Waiting for the weekend to arrive – which always went too fast.


When I think about it now, the weekend to school week transition was much like the summer to school year transition – but on a much larger scale.  With that much more stress and anxiety.  And depression.


Maybe I had the wrong attitude about school.  If I was taught (brainwashed) to embrace it; making new friends, learning new things, having fun at recess, doing crafts, etc.  Maybe then it wouldn’t have been such a let-down.  But such was not the case.  School was a requirement.  I had to do it -like every other kid.  Or else the policeman would take me to the bad-boys home.


Eventually, I came to accept it.  Especially when I started working.  School was a nice break from detailing used cars, pumping gas, picking up after the salesmen, and all the other crappy stuff I had to do as a lot-boy.  True, I wasn’t getting paid for going to school, but it was much more cruise than being a lot-boy.


The Labor day weekend will always be the holiday weekend that reminds me of how much I despised going back to school.  How depressed I used to get, knowing that I would have to go through almost a whole lifetime waiting for the fun days of summer to return.  Of how I used to watch the sun go down behind the Koolaus wishing that it got stuck there and the last day of summer would never end.


What does Labor day weekend mean to you?  Does it conjure up any memories of back-to-school?  Are they happy memories?  Or sad memories, like I have?  Or does it just mean – Okinawan Festival time again!




9/11/15 – This FRIDAY.  Don’t miss it because it’s going to be FUN!