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We used to live near McCully Street on Oahu. My Filipino friend Nani and me was some poor. So poor sometimes my doll was a coconut that I wen draw a face on and wrap in a blanket. So, of course, we couldn't afford lots of stuff.

Nani taught me a way to get new slippas. You know how local style you leave the slippas outside? Well, Nani and me would do our "shopping" in the McCully area. When we see the kind slippa we wanted, we would go on top the porch and try 'em on. We would be barefooted. More easy than having to carry the old broken pair, eh? Only one problem, Nani was one small petite girl and me one tall Portuguese girl. I was taller than all the boys in my class. So, of course my feet was bigger than hers. Most of the time she got the nice fancy slippas. Me? I always seemed to get the kamaboko kind. Nothing fancy about mine da kine made for men. How ugly! But eh, they fit!!

When you "shopping" you so scared that somebody stay home and going catch you taking their slippas. Then you gonna have to run! Did I mention I was also fat? So, hard for run, eh? I nevah like get lickings for stealing. We never really got caught but scared just the same. What if somebody recognize HIS OR HER slippa? Especially me with the big size ones? Not so bad for Nani, plenty people get small size slippa. Anyway, we did this for years when small, up till high school and then nevah did it again.

We finally outgrew being kolohe and went on to lead a life that I could teach my children the right way. I married, had five sons and then was one single mom. I moved with my sons back home to Hawaii to raise them in a better environment. Eventually we ended up back on the mainland in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

One day, years later, I over heard the boys talking about slippas. I wen butt in and said, "What you guys talking about?" I discovered that they had taken slippas off peoples' porches when we lived in Hawaii. Now that really surprised me cause I never noticed they had different slippas. On top of that, they get big haole feet, so where in the world did they find their size. Come to think of it, I do remember my oldest with slippas too small, but thought he had on his younger brothers slippas. What is the moral of this story, I do not know. But one thing for sure, this slippa thing must only be a local trait, cause nobody would dare take somebody's shoes over here on the mainland. Too stink, we wear 'em wear all day that's why!. So it didn't matter that I never told my sons, 'cause they learn how to island "shop" also, without my knowing about it.


About Author

Liz Seal was raised in Honolulu and grad from McKinley ('58). Liz and her sons now live in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. "I love the website ... reminds me so much of my hanabuddah days and how much I miss my home. I'm praying that come May I will see my home again."  On January 29, 2002 Liz became "Vovo" again, (number 14!). She has a new grandson to tell her "hanabuddah days" stories. Two of her sons are policemen and have yet to arrest anyone in Virginia "shopping for slippas!"

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