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Daddy was stopping the car.  He had pulled over to the side of the road.  I had been dozin' in da back seat so I neva spoc' em like usual.

"Oh, Daddy," It was my muddah, "you have your good clothes on !"  "Mommy." he was determined to score da motorcycle frame from the junk pile in front of somebody's house, "No worry, I going be careful... ok?" He pat her knee and got out.

I started to put my shoes on cuz... wen you snoozin' in da back seat you gotta hemmo da shoes, right? I had one shoe on ... wen I heard Daddy go: "Eh..boy..stay in da car!"  Shucks, man!!  If I wen spoc 'em first... garrans he would tell me: "Boy... let's go gettum!!" But becuz I was snoozin'... wit my shoes off and everthin'... well... dats wea 'You snooze you loose' came from.

Well, I was watchin' Daddy run across the street in his church shirt and tie..in his good khaki pants. "You see that, boy?" my muddah was asking me, "Don't you be like your fuddah... junks... junks and more junks." She was shaking her head.

The next thing I heard was KLUNK!!  and the back of the old Chevy wen bounce one time and the trunk close like dat..CHUNGK!!  Daddy was breathing hard.  "It's one Honda!!"  he said to my muddah jus' like was going REALLY impress her...he could have said it was one brand new full dress Harley with all da chrome and she would say da same thing she was saying now: "Hoo boy..Daddy... you fo' pick up junks..I don't know what I going do wit you..." Her shaking her head and giving him one small kine smile.  "And LOOK!!... oil on your good pants.." she gave him one dagga kine look.   "Sorry Mommy," daddy said, "Can come out you think?"   She give him another dagga look and no say nothing... Daddy smile becuz that means da oil CAN come out... AND he had one Honda moto-cycle frame in da trunk... eh... LIFE IS GOOD.

"And Boy..." Daddy adjusting the rear view mirror to look at me... and I knew it was coming... he always say dat: "Don't touch it... 'til I get around to it !!"

Daddy had the bestest eyes for spock da good stuff...he could be cruising down the street talking to Ma and scoldin' me and shifting da gears and changing the station on the radio looking for the Lucky Luck radio program and reaching inside the glove box for get sum  gum when he would make one fast U-turn.....

"Seen dat, boy??" Daddy looking at me in the rear view mirror... "HAH !! You neva huh?" he was smiling.  "Daddy...." Ma started to tell him something....  "I know, I know, honey... I get my good pants on..."  Daddy took the words right out of her mouth..and he looked at me in the mirror and winked... "Let's go gettum, boy !!" And we'd both jump out of da car..Mommy would sigh..put on her reading glasses and open her church magazine.

There in da tall grass was one power lawn mower..with one wheel missing and rusty kine handle... da bugga fit nicely in da trunk... no problem."Briggs and Straten motor, Mom" Daddy said proudly as we got back in.  Mommy only look at him over da top of her glasses and give one heavy sigh... and hand him one rag frum unda da seat to wipe his hands.

Daddy's tool room in da garage was a wonderful place.  He had the most incredible assortment of tools all neatly arranged in drawers. The socket sets, American and Metric for the old VW bug we had... the open end wrenches, screw drivers and drill bits..you name it... Daddy had it.  There were all clean and smelling of solvent and oil, shining silver and black in his tool chests along the wall.

This is where the magic happened.  The old Honda frame became a zippy little Honda 90... due to Daddy's  expertise... it was the first motorcycle I learned to ride in da back yard.  The lawn mower soon was putt- putting around the side of house cutting all the grass AND weeds Mommy told me to dig out first!!  If it was broke..Daddy could fix it!!  And you never... ever... ever... went into his tool chest without his asking... And commandment numbah one was ANYTHING he brought home you never..EVER touched until he got around to it!!

I was coming home from work the other day and saw a pickup truck stop in front of a house having a garage sale...a man and a small red headed kid got out...they both were looking at a bicycle frame leaning on a stack of boxes and trash out on the sidewalk.  As I passed I saw a woman on the passenger side of the truck sitting there reading a book.  In my rear view mirror, I could see the man hoisting the bicycle frame into the back of the truck...As they dissappeared from my view, I could hear their conversation.

"Daddy, you fo' junks... junks... junks..."
" but... Mommy, it's one Schwinn..."
"And boy... don't touch it until... I get around to it.."

Daddy wen jus' spoc 'em..... he always spoc...


For Carl Kaleolani Brown, 88 years young, Kamehameha Class of '32, Waipahu, Hawaii

About Author

Kamaka Brown was born and raised in Hawaii. Childhood years were spent in Waimea Valley on the North Shore of Oahu. Now a California resident he has not forgotten his Island roots. He writes and performs local style comedy at concerts and clubs around Southern California.

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