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Thread: Storytime

  1. #51
    Hello. {Smile}

    I thought of something I could type up and share quickly tonight: Dad elaborated a fair bit about the blackberries they used to pick in volcano. So here’s a revised version of their daytrips to volcano. I hope you like it. {Smile}

    Daytrips Dad’s Family Took

    Kilauea Volcano

    A trip to Kilauea Volcano – or “The Volcano” as locals usually call it – was considerably easier than a trip to Kalapana, because the road was paved, and had two lanes. It followed a different route than it does now; it’s now quite a bit straighter. Dad’s family would load the car the same way, with one kid on somebody’s lap, but they didn’t have to back up, tho they didn’t go very fast.

    Dad’s family liked to visit the area around Kilauea ‘Iki, a particular crater, because they could pick ‘ohelos, a favorite kind of native berry whose largest season is in the summer and early autumn, with a smaller season in late winter. Sometimes the park would let them pick the berries, and sometimes they wouldn’t, depending on who was in charge, and who they asked. Because this was before the 1959 eruption, the crater was twice as deep as it is now, with a lot more berries.

    They would also pick blackberries in the summer. There were lots of bushes all along the roads, both the main road and side roads. These were outside the park, so they could pick any time they wanted. Dad doesn’t remember having trouble with owners around there. They grew down to about 3500 feet, then petered out. The plants would grow lower, but really not the berries much, and they’d grow better higher. Joan (joh – AN), Dad’s youngest sister, complained that the bushes were very thorny, saying “Those berries have horns!”

  2. #52
    Daytrips Dad’s Family Took

    Waipi’o Valley

    Dad’s family only went to Waipi’o Valley twice when Dad was growing up.

    Dad remembers his family getting together and packing up the family car – a very dark blue Ford G-8 that looked black. They wanted to go down into Waipi’o Valley and have a picnic on the beach. They started early 6:30-7:00am, because they wanted to reach Waipi’o before lunch. They drove along the Hamakua Coast, on a paved but narrow and windy road that went into every valley and out of every valley along the way. (Until 1916, if you wanted to go to Waipi’o Valley from Hilo, you pretty much had to go by boat. Neither the Hamakua highway nor the saddle road were built yet. But in the 1930’s, when Dad’s family went, they had a highway, tho a narrow and windy one by today’s standards.)

    The first valley they went into was where Kolekole Park is. They went in there, stopped to see the sights, then went out the other side.

    Clyde, who wasn’t a careful driver when he could drive, said he could take the valleys easily.

    Their Dad said “Now let’s have none of that.”

    Clyde was around 10 at the time, a bit young to drive a car full of people, including Joan, who was still pretty young.

    They’d go thru Laupahoehoe, Opihikao, and the rest of the valleys the same way.

    At Waipi’o Valley, their car might have made it down into the valley, but it would never have made it back up. So they got out their picnic baskets, and hiked down the truck trail to the black sand beach in the valley.

    Down at the beach, they’d spread out lunch: loaves of bread with pickle relish and cans of tuna to make tuna fish sandwiches with, and maybe boiled eggs and mayonaise to make egg salad sandwiches with the bread, eggs, and pickle relish. Then they’d play on the beach, and pick mangoes and papayas that didn’t belong to anyone before making the long, arduous climb back to the car to go home.

    They’d got back around eight, scraped together some supper, and fell into bed. It was a beautiful trip, but it was not easy.

  3. #53
    Pets of Dad’s Childhood, Part 1

    Kata

    Kata was the family cat for much of Dad’s childhood, or at least one of the family cats.

    Pooch

    Pooch was the family dog for much of the time Dad was growing up. He was named by Dad’s Dad, my Grandfather Robert. When he brought Pooch home as a tiny pup, he simply announced that his name was Pooch. Pooch didn’t stay tiny; he grew up to be a medium-sized dog.

    Pooch and Kata

    Kata, the cat they’d had for at least a year at that point, trained Pooch not to eat Kata’s food or Pooch’s food until Kata had eaten what he wanted. Even when he was much bigger than Kata, Pooch would wait until Kata ate his fill and walked away. Only then would Pooch go in and finish up any cat food and dog food Kata had left behind.

    Pooch was, as I said earlier, the family dog. No one considered that he belonged to them in particular. Most felt the same way about Kata… except Aunt Kitty. She felt Kata was hers, and took Kata with her when she moved out.

    Pooch the Green Dog

    Dad was around 14, and it was time to bathe Pooch. They had a big old washtub about 2 feet across that they liked to use for this. Pooch did not like getting wet, so he did not like to get into that tub. The family still filled it with warm, soapy water to give Pooch a bath. Dad’s Dad got Lester and Clyde to help him lift up Pooch and put him in the water. I guess it was easiest with three; Dad and possibly Joan were around, too, but they got to help later. So there was Pooch in the warm, soapy water. He didn’t mind once he was in there, because it was warm; he just didn’t’ like getting in.

    When they emptied the soapy water to begin rinsing Pooch, they noticed the water was green. They found some green paper they’d gotten for a project in the water. They also found a bright green dog, with the side towards the crepe paper brighter green than the other. They tried to wash the green off. They got a lot of it off, but they still had a green dog when they got thru: a green dog with brownish-green little spots, and black big spots. Usually they had a whitish dog with little brown spots and big black spots instead. They quickly discovered that their green dog could make newspapers he laid on green, too.

    The family was very careful to keep all the rest of the crepe paper away from the dog. They had to buy more green crepe paper for the project they’d bought all the brightly colored crepe paper for. They kept that away from the dog, too.

    So Pooch had to spend a few weeks outside, in the yard, on the porch, and in the basement (but not in Lester’s basement bedroom) until he wasn’t green anymore. Their neighbors also had to worry about a green dog, too for those weeks, because pooch would go visiting. Of course, everyone who came to visit Dad’s family in those weeks had to admire the green dog.
    Last edited by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin; 05-18-2017 at 02:24 AM.

  4. #54
    Uncle Clyde, Dad, and ‘Akaka Falls

    Dad and his brother Clyde loved to go to ‘Akaka Falls State Park. There’s a trail that loops around, so you can see both ‘Akaka Falls and Kahuna Falls. {Smile}

    Here's how Google street view shows the cliff and 'Akaka Falls: https://goo.gl/maps/izHhkNh9hYR2

    Dad says there used to be a trail down the cliff to the falls themselves. People could walk right under the falls, getting wet and everything. It was paved, but the only railing was on the inside, away from the edge. This was considered sufficient safety measures in the 1930’s and 1940’s, when Uncle Clyde and Dad were growing up.
    This is just below the wettest part of the Big Island of Hawai’i, and is one of the wettest areas of this island that you can get to easily by road and trail. This is why the trail was paved with black top even back then; it would have been continuous mud and extremely slippery if they hadn’t paved it. It could still be slippery, especially since there were normally patches of moss growing on the trail.

    That’s how Uncle Clyde slipped one day when he and Dad were visiting the falls. They were on the trail that actually went down to the falls, and there were patches of moss, like usual. Uncle Clyde slipped on some moss, and went right over the edge of the path. He was, high enough up, he wasn’t just getting a dunking, either. Dad, of course, was terrified his brother had gotten hurt or…

    …but Uncle Clyde had managed to grab some grass, and it actually held his weight, even tho he was the big one in the family: six feet tall, and heftily-built at that. {Smile}
    Fortunately, Uncle Clyde loved being active, and was in very good physical condition: good enough, he could pull himself back up on the grass growing on the side of the cliff. He came thru fine. If the incident disturbed him, he hid it very well. {Smile}

    Dad, on the other hand had to stand there and watch his brother fall, and then climb back up, pulling himself up on the grass. So Dad came away with a fear of heights, and some would say an excessive concern for safety. {smile, wink}

    Later, when they got home, their Dad, My Grandfather Robert, chewed Clyde out for horsing around. My Dad insists Clyde wasn’t horsing around. The path was mossy, and Clyde slipped. {Smile}

  5. #55
    A House Fire in Childhood

    When Dad was maybe 6 or 7, there was a house maybe a couple of blocks away that burned down completely. This was strange, since the fire department didn’t burn it down. The walls didn’t darken like most do, which was also strange.

    Dad and his siblings wanted to go up and see it, but their Dad, my Grandfather Robert, wouldn’t let them. It was quite spectacular. From two blocks away, you could see flames shooting out the windows. The fire department didn’t try to put it out. The just kept it contained, and let it burn itself out.

    The house belonged to the teacher who flunked Clyde in first grade. After that, Clyde was in the same grade as Dad right up until Clyde dropped out of high school to work in the Canec plant.

  6. #56
    Beautiful Sights Dad Remembers

    Grain in Nebraska

    Dad was travelling thru western Nebraska, thru fields of wheat or barley all ready for harvest. As far as you could see in all directions was the beautiful golden color of ripe grain. Above, the sky was brilliant blue, with no haze. It was beautiful to see in every direction: the gold of the grain undulating in the wind, the brilliant blue of the sky, and the highway undulating over the hills ahead and behind. If Dad had been the farmer, he would have admired the view and gloated over the wonderful crop he had.

    The Pretty Maple Tree

    Looking across the street from his apartment in Pittsburg, Kansas, Dad remembers admiring a maple tree about eight or nine feet tall. The background was in shadow, so it was rather dark. The tree was in the sunlight, making it contrast brilliantly with the shadows behind.

    The maple tree was particularly beautiful because it had more than one autumn color. An oak tree would only have two colors, the dark brown of the trunk, and the gold of the leaves (or the red of the leaves, depending on the type of oak). Maple trees have all shades from rich reds to a bright lemon yellow, sometimes on the same leaf. Occasionally, one of the colors of the leaves would contrast against the blue of the sky. The colors are fairly evenly distributed, with only a slight emphasis on the yellow.

    (Dad says he has a slide of this maple tree. I haven’t looked for it yet.)

    Poison Oak

    The poison oak plant is also very pretty in fall, with brilliant reds and yellows in the leaves. The dominant color is red.

  7. #57
    The part about laying down and taking up the bedding each night reminds me of a camping trip my school took to Volcano in sixth grade. I really don’t think I have time to type it up tonight. Remind me to do so if you’re interested in hearing my own experiences. {Smile}

    Dad’s Childhood Trips

    The YMCA Camp in Waimea

    One of the house in the Big Island’s Waimea (or Kamuela), which has since been taken out, was used by the YMCA as a summer camp. Dad only went to one YMCA camp up there. Clyde went, too, but not the girls, and not Lester. Dad doesn’t completely remember why both he and Clyde were up there; probably because they were similar ages. The camp had a range of ages, but Dad and Clyde were in the same age group.

    At the camp, the house had a lawn. In the grass, there were a lot of clovers. Four-leaf clovers were so common there, five-leaf clovers were uncommon, but you could find them. You could even find six-leaf clovers, tho they were pretty rare. You usually had to look for them. Dad says the lawn with its clovers is long gone now, but it was pretty impressive.

    Also at the camp, there was a long, narrow building that was zigzag shaped, with a lot of floor space for them to put down their bedding. They had to take up their bedding in the morning, so they would have a place to eat breakfast. For breakfast, they’d pull out heavy wooden picnic tables with crossed legs. After breakfast, they’d put the tables away to do other things, unless they left them out for arts and crafts, or other things they could do at tables. They often used the empty space for physical activities, like playing volleyball with a balloon instead of a ball.

    The camp went down to stay at Spencer Park at Kawaihae. The kids liked to cut the thorns off the Keawe (mesquite) branches and use them as phonograph needles. The camp had an old, wind-up record player. They’d wind it up all the way but not too far, and a Keawe-thorn-needle would play one record. Then they’d throw the thorn away because it was worn down, replace it, and wind it up again.

    By the time Dad came back from the mainland in 1964, the town of Waimea had already changed so much, he couldn’t find the old YMCA camp.
    Last edited by Anne Elizabeth Baldwin; 05-27-2017 at 01:31 AM.

  8. #58
    I just found a paragraph I left out of yesterday's story. It's kind of a coda, about looking for it much later, if you're interested, scroll back to see it.

  9. #59
    Dad gave enough better descriptions of Pooch and Kata, I thought I'd better post a revised version.

    Pets of Dad’s Childhood, Part 1 revised

    Kata

    Kata was the family cat for much of Dad’s childhood, or at least one of the family cats. She was an all-gray, unstriped pussy cat. She might have had one or two white hairs at the base of her neck, but not enough to change the overall grayness of the cat. Kata had green eyes.

    Pooch

    Pooch was the family dog for much of the time Dad was growing up. He was named by Dad’s Dad, my Grandfather Robert. When he brought Pooch home as a tiny pup, he simply announced that his name was Pooch. Pooch didn’t stay tiny; he grew up to be a medium-sized dog. He was just a mutt, mostly white, with small, brown spots, and large, black spots. He had brown eyes.

    They tried to figure out what kind of mutt he was. They thought he was mostly Pointer, and English dog, with German Shepard, and several other kinds Dad doesn’t remember now. He didn’t’ act much like a pointer, but he was a good watch dog in that if anybody came onto the property, he’d bark.

    Pooch and Kata

    Kata, the cat they’d had for at least a year at that point, trained Pooch not to eat Kata’s food or Pooch’s food until Kata had eaten what he wanted. Even when he was much bigger than Kata, Pooch would wait until Kata ate his fill and walked away. Only then would Pooch go in and finish up any cat food and dog food Kata had left behind.

    Pooch was, as I said earlier, the family dog. No one considered that he belonged to them in particular. Most felt the same way about Kata… except Aunt Kitty. She felt Kata was hers, and took Kata with her when she moved out.

    Pooch the Green Dog

    Dad was around 14, and it was time to bathe Pooch. They had a big old washtub about 2 feet across that they liked to use for this. Pooch did not like getting wet, so he did not like to get into that tub. The family still filled it with warm, soapy water to give Pooch a bath. Dad’s Dad got Lester and Clyde to help him lift up Pooch and put him in the water. I guess it was easiest with three; Dad and possibly Joan were around, too, but they got to help later. So there was Pooch in the warm, soapy water. He didn’t mind once he was in there, because it was warm; he just didn’t’ like getting in.

    When they emptied the soapy water to begin rinsing Pooch, they noticed the water was green. They found some green paper they’d gotten for a project in the water. They also found a bright green dog, with the side towards the crepe paper brighter green than the other. They tried to wash the green off. They got a lot of it off, but they still had a green dog when they got thru: a green dog with brownish-green little spots, and black big spots. Usually they had a whitish dog with little brown spots and big black spots instead. They quickly discovered that their green dog could make newspapers he laid on green, too.

    The family was very careful to keep all the rest of the crepe paper away from the dog. They had to buy more green crepe paper for the project they’d bought all the brightly colored crepe paper for. They kept that away from the dog, too.

    So Pooch had to spend a few weeks outside, in the yard, on the porch, and in the basement (but not in Lester’s basement bedroom) until he wasn’t green anymore. Their neighbors also had to worry about a green dog, too for those weeks, because pooch would go visiting. Of course, everyone who came to visit Dad’s family in those weeks had to admire the green dog.

  10. #60
    Dad also revised this one enough to share again.

    Pets of Dad's Childhood, part 0.5

    Camoflage

    Camouflage was one of Dad’s family’s cats when he was a child. She was named because she had three colors: black, white, and orange. They were evenly distributed, so no color predominated.

    Camouflage and the Rats

    Camouflage was not one to play around when it came to hunting rats. She was strictly business. There was no playing around, no games. Just go after the rat and kill it. After all, she was a small cat, and the rats were as long as she was.

    One afternoon, Dad was sitting in the living room and reading. He heard in the ceiling a double scamper, followed by a thump, then silence. Although Camouflage was known to be a good hunter, the silence was rather ominous. The silence went on for 10 or 15 minutes. Then he and his family heard meowing on the edge of the roof by the kitchen. They helped her down off the roof. She was dragging a rat almost as big as she was. She opened up the rat, and removed the liver. She displayed the rat and the liver, then ate the liver, and offered the rest of the rat to the family. She was very proud of herself. The family praised her very much.

    Many rats lived in the mango tree right next to the house. She would climb the tree, then jump down to the roof.

    After this event, Dad’s family built a genuine catwalk. Camouflage used it rather frequently to go on her rat hunting adventures. After this, the first part of her we would see would be her rump as she dragged a rat down behind her.

    She usually gave them the rat, removing the liver and eating it in their presence. They praised her for her rat-hunting skills, and then disposed of the rat.

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