Wow, not even August and school is back in session. I remember when we didn’t go back until after the Labor Day holiday in September. All that means for us MLCers is Back to School traffic!
So how about a Back to School Thursday 3.
How does back to school affect you?
Do you remember your first days back to school after the summer break?
What kind of lunch pail did you have?
Okay, here’s my replies:
How does back to school affect you?
It’s the traffic. To get to work, I have to pass through the elementary school traffic. Yuk!
Do you remember your first days back to school after the summer break?
I do! Looking around the class to see if there’s anyone I knew. Getting a feel for the teacher whether he/she will be a nice teacher or a mean one. The seating arrangements and which desk will be mine for the next school year. And getting assigned a cubby-hole. Gotta have a cubby-hole.
What kind of lunch pail did you have?
I had a Snoopy one. We also had a Bonanza one that was shared because only one kid went on an excursion at a time usually. But I wanted the vinyl covered Snoopy one. Remember how the thermos was make of glass inside? And whenever someone dropped their lunch pail – the first thing to do was take out the thermos and shake it around to listen whether you can hear glass chips rattling around. Felt so fortunate when the glass didn’t break.
Okay, that’s my abbreviated Thursday 3 answers. Your turn. And don’t forget to leave some back-to-school stories in the comments.
Hey Uncle Rodney, since we covered scents this time, how about we follow through with sounds, etc, and go right down the list, sight, touch and stuff? By sounds I don’t mean music, per se, but the sounds of everyday life in Hawai’i. I’m sure we could get quite a few.
It took me a little while to process this – but I’ve come up with a few sounds that I recall from small-kid-time. This one immediately pops into mind.
The truck that used to come around Kailua side wasn’t so much a manapua van like the one pictured above. It was a candy/snack truck – a big white utility truck with a speaker like the one in the above picture. And it would play a loop of an instrumental version of “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head”. But remember, this was back in small-kid-time and the cassette tape was stretched out over time, so imagine hearing a wobbly, sagging version of the song. Over and over again.
But the thing is, Henry (IIRC, that was his name) would come around the neighborhood around mid-afternoon – just around when Checkers & Pogo was starting. I used to have fun with him every once in a while as he passed the house. From below the window I’d yell out “STOP!”, and he’d stop his truck for about 10 seconds then he’d start rolling along down the street. Again, I’d yell “STOP!” and again he’d stop and wait and look around for someone. Then he’d proceed on his way. I know, not cool. But that’s how I used to catch my jollies. LOL
Later when I was older and had my part-time after school job, I’d come home from high school and drop on my bed for a short nap before going to work. And I’d hear the familiar tune of “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” as I was somewhere between consciousness and sleeping. I’d be so tired and the bed felt so soothing that hearing that tune was like a lullaby to me.
Which leads me to another sound that I used to hear:
Yup, the mailman truck. Again, as I was crashing on the soft bed during the warm afternoon heat, I could hear the mailman truck going around the next block behind our house. The specific sound that I used to hear was actually the foot brake of the mail truck. When the mailman would release his foot off of the brake, it had a little bouncing sound of the pedal against the floor or something. But just hearing that sound over and over again, while my eyes were slowly rolling back into my head as I was drifting off into la-la land – is one of the sounds that I remember. If I was to hear it now, it would immediately take me back into my old bedroom, on a sunny afternoon, lying on my bed, and drifting away…
Remember, Kailua used to be country. At night, it was so quiet. Some nights – or more like early morning – as I was falling asleep, I could actually hear the waves lapping the shore from Kailua bay. What made it so amazing was that our house was a good mile away from the beach. But it was so quiet that I could hear the ocean from a mile away. And every so often when someone opened the doors to Fast Eddies nightclub in Kailua town, I could hear the dance music for about three or four seconds until the door shut again.
Here’s a sound that really takes me back. Our house in Kailua was right next to the Kawainui marsh. Way across the marsh was the Kapaa rock quarry, back when the Kailua Dump used to be there. And the big HC&D trucks used to haul rock and stuff until late at night. When I used to have to go to bed, every so often I could hear the trucks from way across the marsh. The sound that I’d hear is the trucks Engine Braking or Jake Braking. It sounded like this:
As noisy as it may sound, it was actually quite peaceful to me. Because it reminded me of when I was in a nice warm bed, relaxed and ready to close my eyes and sleep. And unlike in the video, the sound was very distant and rather calming.
Wow @Keoni – all the sounds I came up with have to do with sleep.
What kind of sounds do you remember? Just as the smell of certain scents take you back to an exact time or place, what sounds might do the same to you? The sound of a school bell ringing? The sound of coconut fronds slapping against one another? The sound of a wind chime? The pau hana whistle at the cannery? The sound of an electric saw cutting wood? The sound of the janitor’s mop pail rattling down the lanai? Share your sound memories with us.
Did you, or anyone you know, take this class in school?
Do you know what’s hanging from the chain or running up the pole?
Have you ever seen or used one of these?
Do you know what these are?
Have you ever used this?
Have you ever played this?
Did you or your mom have one of these?
Was there ever a time in your life where this was the only option to dry your clothes?
What’s the connection between these two objects?
Is this a familiar scene?
Does this bring back good memories?
Did he ever come to your house?
Did you ever have to say “Hell0″ before you knew who was calling?
Did you ever laugh out loud watching this?
I hope you all passed with flying colors!
That sponge holder frog reminded me of a green ceramic whale ashtray that we used to have. When you put your cigarette in the whale’s mouth, the second-hand smoke would come out of its spout.
And the milk-man… what about the yasai-man?
Does today’s kids know what a “busy signal” sounds like – or what it even is.
“Paper shots” – used to buy them by the box from Ben Franklin. We used to take a single roll, lay it flat on the ground, then whack it hard with the fat end of a baseball bat. Ho, talk about ringing in the ears!
We talked about some of our favorites such as Zen perfume. And Brut cologne. And even Hai Karate.
I wish they would bring them back. Scents trigger so many memories for me. Not just pleasant scents, but all scents. For example, waterless hand cleaner reminds me of the days of working at the car dealership. The scent of rubber tires takes me back to Ala Moana Sears automotive department. Just throw in some popcorn smell and I’m back to the first floor area.
I wanted to know why this was, so I Googled it. Here’s what I found:
A smell can bring on a flood of memories, influence people’s moods and even affect their work performance. Because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain’s limbic system, an area so closely associated with memory and feeling it’s sometimes called the “emotional brain,” smell can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously.
The olfactory bulb has intimate access to the amygdala, which processes emotion, and the hippocampus, which is responsible for associative learning. Despite the tight wiring, however, smells would not trigger memories if it weren’t for conditioned responses. When you first smell a new scent, you link it to an event, a person, a thing or even a moment. Your brain forges a link between the smell and a memory.
What amplifies it for me is that I like different scents. Some folk don’t care for colognes and/or perfumes and they get irritated if the scent from someone is too strong. Me, I like.
Everyday scents, we seem to become immune to. Such as car exhaust. Does that strike any memories for you? It just reminds me to change my car’s air conditioning setting from outside to recirculate. But airplane exhaust – that’s a different story. Jet fuel exhaust gives me a happy feeling because it usually means that I’m at the airport ready to start a vacation trip to somewhere.
What other scents can you think of that takes you back in time?
Back when I used to bowl in a Friday night league, I used to use this one cologne:
And of course whenever I use it, it reminds me of Friday night bowling at Bowl-o-Drome. And starting the weekend off. Happy times. Good memories. So just as I’m getting down to about a half bottle left, I find out that it’s been discontinued. All the times that I used to see it in the case at the Burlington stores in Las Vegas for about $20, I should’ve bought it! Now I see it on eBay going for about $50 – $70 a bottle.
What other scents affect you? How about food?
I was just thinking the other day – have you noticed that fast food joints each have a unique smell? I mean, if I was blindfolded and walked into a McDonalds – just by the smell, I could immediately identify it as Micky D’s. The same goes for Taco Bell, Jack in the Box, and even Panda Express. Kentucky Fried Chicken, most definitely. Might struggle at Burger King, but I think I could ID it. Chop suey joints tend to have the same smell too – kinda mix of deep fried oil and bleach.
One scent that I enjoy is the smell of the ocean. Reminds me of when my dad used to take me walking around Magic Island in the morning time. He used to take his car to Ala Moana Sears for servicing and to kill the time, we’d go walk to Ala Moana park and cruise around Magic Island.
Another one – roasting coffee beans. When Lion Coffee used to be located on Queen Street, I used to work downtown and in the late morning, the Kona wind would blow the roasting coffee smell to the downtown area. It’s a unique scent – one that grows on you. Unlike fresh coffee brewing, it’s almost like a burning smell.
But as I mentioned, not all scents have to be pleasant to trigger memories. Take for example, the Honolulu Zoo. The smell of animal doo-doo. Not the most pleasant, but it does trigger happy memories of small-kid-time school excursions.
How about memory scents that you miss?
The tuna factory at Kewalo Basin. The Kona winds would blow that fish smell into the town area. Reminds me of the morning classes that I used to take at KCC Pensacola campus. Good times.
And the smell of cooking pineapple from the old cannery on Dillingham. That was the smell of Kalihi. Probably anyone who went to HCC back in the day remembers that scent.
Okay, so what scents trigger your memories? Such as Crayons? Or Pine-O? Remember Sprig for your car – Orange Blossom, Pine, Spice, Jasmine. Goza mat. That has to trigger some memories. Mimeograph paper with the purple ink! The smell of a brand new LP record. Pikake or Maile lei. The scent of strawberry Sex Wax. Juicy Fruit gum. Vicks. Dentist offices (for @sally). Share your olfactory bulb memories with us.
First of all, I want to thank all the MLCers for their well wishes as Paula and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. I know that not everyone who reads my blog posted congratulatory messages – but some of you passed it on in emails and others in spirit. And for that, Paula and I thank all of you for sharing our love.
I thought I’d do a Thursday 3 on Marriage – but I need to tread lightly. Marriage isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be for everyone. Some folks are perfectly happy having their independence and enjoy the bachelor/bachelorette lifestyle. Others get married and sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. But you gave it a shot. Some will say “been there, done that”, while others might say “been there, willing to try it again”. There is no right or wrong answer. You are who you are and you live the life that you feel the most comfortable with.
Okay, so here we go:
What’s your take on marriage?
What is the key to a good marriage?
What’s a good wedding song?
Here’s my replies:
What’s your take on marriage?
Personally, I like being married. I learned early on that I “need to belong”. Not that I need someone to depend on, but rather I need someone to depend on me. It gives me purpose. It feeds my soul.
What is the key to a good marriage?
Boy, if it were only that simple, right? It’s give and take. It’s adjusting. It’s like a job – that you have to work at to keep the business going, and with it comes rewards. I believe that when you love someone, you have to love everything about that person. That means everything that is important to them. Their parents, their children perhaps, their friends, their likes and dislikes. And in return, they need to be able to accept everything that is dear to you. Well, most everything. Okay, if not accept – at least tolerate. Give and take, right?
It was 30 years ago today when Paula and I got married.
Okay, stop laughing – yes, that’s me.
The year was 1982. The place was The Point After. The event was The Point After’s 10th anniversary – with a giveaway of a trip to anywhere in the U.S. I missed that grand prize by one number. But that night, Paula and I hit it off. Prior to that, we knew each other causally and would see each other every now and then at The Point, but we never hung out and got to know each other until that night. And from that night on, we started dating. So you might say that I really won the grand prize.
Dating Paula was easy as she’d go along with just about any plans that I made. Movies with the guys, partying at one of my friend’s house, going UH football games, staying in and doing nothing. I think it was more about the company than it was about the event.
July 13, 1985 was just about as hot as it was yesterday. It must’ve been an El Nino year. Just look a the pikake lei in the picture – the flowers are all opened. And this was before the wedding ceremony!
Picture taking was at Waiakalulu Falls.
The wedding ceremony was at Manoa Valley Church.
The reception was at Pagoda’s C’est Si Bon.
Music provided by Ron Miyashiro.
Cake was from Cakeland.
Wedding gown by Masako Formals.
Tuxedos rented from Celebrity Formals.
Flowers by uncle Fuji.
Favors was the little box with cake.
One of my fondest memories was when we were dating and Paula was going to Med-Assist school. On Sunday afternoons, we used to buy a box of manapua and some noodles, then go to the Hawaii Islanders double-header baseball games at Aloha stadium. During the game, we’d be grinding the goodies, then Paula would study as I watched the game. During the second game, we’d be both taking a nap.
So, what has kept us together for 30 years? I don’t really know, as we’re so opposite.
Paula’s the oldest of her siblings, I’m the youngest of mine.
Paula was born in January, I was born in July.
Paula grew up in town, I grew up in the country.
Paula is a girl, I’m a guy.
Paula doesn’t care for perfumes, I love colognes.
Paula likes to dance, I don’t. (But now I do)
Paula isn’t too social, I talk to everybody.
Paula likes to sleep-in late, well actually – so do I.
But on the other-hand;
We both love to shop.
We both love to go Vegas and gamble.
We both like to travel.
We both value family.
We’re both night owls.
But I think what has kept us together for 30 years is that we enjoy each others company. To me, being able to laugh together is key. And playing little tricks on each other keeps us on our toes so we don’t become to complacent.
It’s been a fast 30 years. And I’m looking forward to another 30 years (at least) – with many more memories to be made.
“What did you do to celebrate the 4th of July”….? The food, the fun/parties, and the locations. And what is your family history/traditions like, of enjoying the 4th of July? And where did you watch the fireworks? And tell us your stories of how we used to be able to buy our own fireworks and enjoy at home!
Thanks for the idea, @Mark Shelby!
Actually, this was a good 4th of July, Independence Day holiday – as it fell on a Saturday. That meant that I had Friday off. And when the 4th of July falls on a Sunday thru Thursday, it’s hard to party too much as the next day is a workday. But this year it was good as we got Friday off AND the day after the 4th was a non-workday.
How I spent my 4th of July 2015? Well, it was a weekend so that meant – Ala Moana Center! Yeah, we hit Macy’s for some shopping. Not too much damage – just a pair of shorts from Old Navy. Surprisingly, the mall wasn’t as crowded as I expected. About the usual weekend crowd. But when we left around 4:00, it started to get busier as people were arriving for the big fireworks show.
Us, we celebrated the night at Gorden Biersch with Funkshun.
It’s always a fun time at any Funkshun gig – especially with the Hawaii ’72 folks!
Photo courtesy of Lori IY
And during the first set – we were dancing away to the beat of Funkshun while the Ala Moana fireworks show was going off to the side of us.
Small-kid-time, the 4th of July wasn’t that much of a holiday as we were already on a 3 month holiday (summer break!). But it meant that we could pop firecrackers. Not quite as exciting as new year’s eve, though. We’d light up a few packs, toss them around the street, maybe throw a few singles, and pretty much – that was it for “bus’ fiyah-cracka”.
Later when I was in high school, on the 4th of July morning, we’d head over to my friend’s house – as he lived on Kainalu Drive – right on the path of the Kailua annual 4th of July parade. We’d hang out and watch the whole parade. You could tell if it was an election year just by the number of candidates marching in the parade. LOL
I don’t remember ever picnicking on the 4th of July holiday.
Later, after I got married and our girls were in elementary school age, we used to go to watch the Ala Moana fireworks show. But we learned from experience to watch it from a distance. One time we tried to go to “high hills park” (Kakaako park) about a half hour before the show, to watch from there. Half of Honolulu had the same idea. We watched it from a side street in Kakaako.
Another time we went to Ward Centre and parked up on the rooftop parking deck. The place even turned off the top deck parking lights for everyone else parked up there to enjoy the show. That was awesome! We were planning to do it again the next year, but Ward Centre decided to capitalize on the good idea and blocked it off for a Ryan’s Bar & Grill fireworks party. We ended up watching it from the old GEMS parking lot on Ward Ave.
But in our MLC age – we usually don’t bother going out to view the fireworks show. If we do, it’s somewhere away from the mass traffic jam that always happens after the show.
Let’s see – next year is a Leap year so that means that the 4th of July will be on a Monday. Oh well, back to the “return to work the following day” kine holiday.
How did you spend your Independence Day holiday? What are some of your small-kid-time 4th of July holiday memories? Or maybe your teenage years memories?
And thanks again for the blog topic idea, @Mark Shelby.
Also known as Virgin Donuts (because no more hole). Can’t go wrong with malasadas – as long as they’re hot and for me, chewy. I think the best malasadas is from Agnes’ Portuguese Bakery in Kailua. Even though they’re not “virgin”, they are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Filled malasadas – I’d rather not. Just give me plain sugar coated kine.
For me, a tasty bread makes a good manapua. The filling is secondary. And the tastiest manpaua bread (IMHO) is from Libby Manapua in Kalihi. So ono, I could just eat the bread. Baked manapua – meh. Give me a good ol’ fashion steamed manapua. With char siu filling.
In my younger days, I used to get my boiled peanuts from Ruger Market. And I always bought an Icee to go with my boiled peanuts. Then I realized that the Icee tasted so good because the boiled peanuts was too salty. The kine make my lips chapped, salty. I tried the one from the peanut man at the old Ala Moana Farmers Market but didn’t care for the anise taste in his boiled peanuts. Then a couple of years ago, I was at Alicia’s Market in Sand Island and tried their boiled peanuts. Ho man! I found a winnah! The most onolicious boiled peanuts ever! The $5 bag will be gone in one sitting. The $10 bag will last two sittings. Sometimes all in the same day. They’re that good.
I was never a big Spam-fan. It was okay, but nothing special to me. Then one time before we were flying out to someplace, Paula brought some 7-11 spam musubis for when we get hungry on the plane. When we were sitting at the airport waiting for our flight, I decided to try one. It was a Spam-katsu musubi. Wow. Maybe it was psychological because we where just about to start our vacation, but that Spam musubi tasted delicious. And the second one that I ate on the plane tasted just a good. So now, it’s almost like a must-have before heading to the airport. 7-11 Spam-katsu musubi. How come we didn’t know about these things when we used to have to bring home-lunch for school excursions?
Wonderful, steaming, saimin. Small-kid-time, the go-to dish to order was saimin. You could never go wrong with local style saimin. Even at the carnivals, the saimin hit da spot. Then came something called ramen. Friends talked about these places opening up around town called Ezogiku and they sold Japanese saimin. LOL Yeah, it was fun in the beginning trying the miso ramen, the spicy ramen, the tonkotsu ramen. But I always came back to good ol’ local style saimin. My favorite saimin – Dillingham Saimin (previously known as Boulevard Saimin). Something about their dashi that makes it ichiban. Keep all your fancy Japanese ramen, Chinese saimin, Korean kook su, Vietnamese Pho, etc. and just set me up with some local-style saimin.
We used to patronize Kenny’s Restaurant every now and then until they renovated the restaurant and their prices became out of reach for our budget.
One of my fondest memories of Kenny’s Restaurant was when I was in high school and my friend Lee and I were attending Junior Achievement that year. JA was holding a surf meet that Lee and I entered. We had to report to White Plains beach at something like 7:00AM. So we headed out from Kailua at around 5:00AM and before making that long drive out to Ewa, we stopped by at Kenny’s Restaurant for coffee and breakfast. I remember how it was still dark when we went into the restaurant. And when we came out, the sky was just starting to lighten up from the morning sun. I felt somewhat mature for a high-schooler. lol
Remember this place too?
I remember Kenny’s Burgerhouse before they enclosed it. It was like your typical 70’s drive in. Sometimes on the way home from halmuni’s house, my dad would stop by the burgerhouse and get me a “large” fries. It was one of those long paper dishes – filled with french fries tucked in a long white paper bag. It lasted me all the way back to Kailua – because I couldn’t finish them! But was so ono.
But alas, Kenny’s Burgerhouse – home of the Porky Boy, Cheesy Gal, Beefy Boy, and Suzy Q – closed in 2002, giving way to McDonalds. You can still get those classics at Kenny’s Restaurant – but you’d better move fast as the restaurant will close their doors for good on July 5th.
Since they’re moving out – what restaurant would you like to see take its place? Liliha Bakery? Nah, too close to the original one. Big City Diner? Maybe. I wouldn’t mind something old school like King’s Bakery Coffee Shop. Likelike Drive In would make perfect sense opening shop there. You know, because it’s right on the corner of School St. and Likelike Hwy. Maybe a Wailana Coffee House? Whatever moves in there – I hope they keep their prices reasonable and keep the counter. A coffee shop isn’t a coffee shop unless there’s a counter to eat at.
As we bid farewell to Kenny’s – what are some memories you have of the Kenny’s Restaurant? Or even the old Kenny’s Burgerhouse? Share your stories with us.
Rodney Lee is a Baby Boomer - and proud of it. Rodney started the Midlife Crisis blog back in the days of The Honolulu Advertiser and ran it for about 3 years. After The Honolulu Advertiser shut down, Rodney decided to continue his blog here at Midlife Crisis Hawaii. New blog entries are added every Monday and Thursday.
So join Rodney as he reminisces about the good ol' days.
Midlife Crisis Hawaii - where the memories live on.