|Hick's Homes in Maile|
|Written by Gary Valdez|
I grew up in Maili (Wai'anae) back den same posz office. I can recamembah all da kolohe tings we did. All da hales wuz built by da company "Hick Homes". Remember Tongue & Groove (T&G)? Eree time I tink of deez hales I tink of da Filipino workahs. You kno dey good wit deah hands, eh! Sumtimes dey moody too! We uzed to do kolohe tings to deez guys. I can recamembah one ting. Da ting preddy funny.
My boiz, Kali, hiz brahdah Kalani, Small boy, Cha-lay boy and me had a goodtime wit da Filipino workers. Dey wuz tryin to build one hale outtah T&G down da lane. Aftah all da ownah wuz japanese (plenny kala) and he wuz payin for it. We gave'um hahd times!!!
Me and da boiz uzd to sit onda junk cahs (wen not play chasz mestah) and try fo get back at da Filipino workers, cause dey all stay moody everytime. Dey all no say "Hi" or "Hello". Every time we pas'um aftah school, we say "Hi" (u kno show da aloha spirit), dey no say "Hi". No response. K-den! We get'um. Dis wuz befo ahwah mahdah and fahdah came home from work, yuzzilly around 1630 hrs (4:30 pm fo you civilian minded people). Waht we deed wuz eef you look in da inside upholstery of da cah and you strip da fabric off, u goin see sum 1/4 " metal bahs dat holds da fabric up. We yuzd to uz dose bahs az da bow. Guess whea da arroh came from? You guestit! Da lumbah (T&G)! We yuzzd to strip da male an female ends off. Dey keep buyin moah lumbah. Dats ok, dey can keep supplying us with ammo.
Den we yuzzd to get my fahdahs hamma an nails outtah his tool shed an pound da bahgah until it wuz flat fo make da arroh-head. We made plenny fo ahwah frenz also. We tie da bahgah wit whyah to ahwah arroh. An den again wen into my fahdahs tool shed to grab his waxed strings fo string ahwah bow. Den we wait.
Aftah da Filipino workers wen home we yuzzd to make da new hale roof ahwah target. Den we go back down to da new hale an get ahwah arrohs back. We couldn't climb da hale cuz nomo latahs uz dey take'um home evrry time. So we jes wen pik-up da ones on da ground. Mistake! Aftah we stahted dat, we yuzzd to watch da filipino guys walk around da lumbah tryin to figgah out how dey goin finish da hale, cause dey cannot put da walls (lumbah) togeddah. So dey go buy summo. Ha!! Ha!!
We yuzzd to say to each ahdah. "Look ... look dey stay all confused! Ha! Ha!" Finally, aftah couple of weeks of "Indirect-Fire" attacks, we had to tone down ahwah attack an evenchully stop, cause bumby we get caught, eh! An u kno what? We forgot to pik-up ahwah arrohs. Da ones on da hale. Da next day aftah we wen stop, I stay watchin da guys work from ahwah front yahd. Den all of a sudden, I watch dis Filipino guy climb up da lattah 2 da roof. Wen he got to da top, oh boy, auwe! He stahted talkin Filipino. Me, I Filipino, but no undahstand Filipino (only eat da food), but I kno he wuszent sayin "how good job dey deed on da roof" or "let's have lunch". You can imagine waht he saw. You guessed it. All ahwah creativity. Ahwah arrohs! Boy, dat Filipino guy wuz talking fast, an we nevah even get caught. Too good, eh?
So, eef you are a carpenter by trade an sumhow gottah work wit T&G in building one hale, always check your lumbah an roof everyday. Deah might be anahdah Gary, Kali, Kalani, Small-boy, or cha lay-boy in da neybahood.
You kno nowah days, sad da keeds nomo dat kine space to play in Hawai'i. Da housing too close, too tight in da city. Dey gottah live out in da countryside! Dey gottah be creative! Growing up in Maili wuz a blast.
Gary Valdez grew up in Maili/Wai'anae, Oahu. (Wai'anae High School '71). He is now living in Liggett, California. He is stationed at Fort Hunter. He is on his way to American Samoa to report for duty.
Juss doin' my time, and waiting fo dem to kick me uttah da Army ... miss Hawai'i, but will be back soon, hopefully!