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There used to be a quarry a couple streets from us that was abandoned for many years. It was just up the back of the old blue B & K store which by the way, is still there today. I am not sure what it is called today. I don't remember who owned the quarry but as a small kid of maybe 10 or 12 it always intrigued me.

During one summer vacation I' wen go out with the guys at the weighing station at the front of the quarry. It was just an old one-room building painted a light yellow with white trimmed windows.The floor was concrete. It had two or three desk in it. At the front looking outside, there was this wide window where you could see the trucks on the way out sitting on this huge wooden platform long enough to fit a dump truck. Inside the building had these big scales that the men would use to weigh these trucks heading out with dirt. It was always dusty in there but as a kid I didn't really care about getting dirty from that dust. I just had to make sure I dusted myself off before going home.

They used to let me sit in the office and watch the trucks get weighed in as they rolled on to those huge scales. As a little kid those trucks were awesome to see that near. You know da kine Peterbilt or Mack trucks and some of them had trailers on it that made it even bigger then it already was. If it did have a trailer then they'd weigh the truck then have them move it forward and have the trailer weighed after that. And the guys that drove them were some of the heroes for me. You know I was just little kid and those were some big "Blalas".

Sometimes those guys would let me up in those trucks and sit on the passenger side way up in there. They would have to pick me up and put me in it, being I was too small to climb up in there. Of course once in awhile I would get lucky and I could ride in with one of the empty trucks to go get filled with dirt. That didn't happen but one time. Boy, if my parents ever found out where I was and what I was doing then, I would have had dirty lickin's probably.

Usually by lunchtime I was outta there heading home or go play somewhere else. Back then there was no lunch so I didn't want to hang out at the office with no lunch and watch them eat and look like I was begging for some of it. I am sure I would have got some of it but that was not me to do something like that.

There were not many other kids in the neighborhood then, well boys that is, to play with. There was only older kids that were my Brother's age and they didn't really want one "small keed" around. You know how they would say, "Eh brah, why you no go home wash rice or somethin'" or another would say "yeah, I can hea your madda callin" so after a few times of being put down you just don't hang out with them (of course you can always hang back and follow for a little while).

The Japanese family (the Shimamoto's) that owned the two story home near Farrington Highway had moved on to Maili Point across from "Dangs store" near the 76 gas station so there went a couple of my playing buddies.

Well anyway, years later the quarry was closed and abandoned for years to come but as kids we would go into that quarry to either explore, fly kites, play hide an go seek or play army. It was a lot of area to run around in. If you walked from the South to the north end of the quarry it would put you on Hakimo Road up a trail into a corner. It had a lot of flat dirt that was open and a lot of coral kine dirt and one big high cliff from all that diggin' that was done in the past years.

The middle area had plenny rocks (we talkin' boulder's brah, da kine you can hide behind). Sometimes we would make da kine secret hideout in between da boulders from da girls but they would always find em' out. It was also a good place to hide whenever the cops would come to look around. Once in awhile the police would come and cruise around in there to check things out an make sure us keeds was not in there.

The West side had a lot of rocks but not so big like da boulder's in da North side and had plenty red dirt on the ground. Would get your feet all dirty and wasn't much there to check out. Had a lot of coral rocks that was rough on da feet, so actually we didn't roam that side too much.

The Southside had the old office with the scales, the huge open entrance and exit which was blocked by big coral boulders. Back behind the office there was about four houses all over grown with bushes and trees. On the left a little ways back was some huge machinery about 12 ft. tall. Further up was a garage with equipment inside and behind that a huge tar container (where we got our tar for the canoes).

The East side had all the good stuff where the huge buildings with dirt in it and all the old machinery and conveyer belts. It was just down from da Uleawa riva where all da talapia stay inside (and a lot of other stuff thrown in it from old tires to glass bottles). Anyway this side had all those dirt mounds with these little trees all around em' that grew to about 4 ft. high. It was good for hiding and sneaking around. Was good for hiding inside when we played hide n' seek or army. That is where we would go to play army with our homemade kine wooden guns.

Back then we just couldn't afford to buy those plastic guns from da store. So we'd get together some scrap wood we'd find and build our own stuff. Amazing the different types you can build with a little imagination, some wood, an old saw, hammer and some rusty nails. It kept our imagination going to build these things. Was funny now that I think of it and how our guns would sound. You know, you gotta make your own kine sounds for your gun.

Anyway, we use to go there and play when the waves were flat at the beach or da bugga was too big fo' us small keeds. So we would figure out who goin' be in charge of da two side's eh. Den we pick da guys takin' turns fo' da two sides. Whoeva wen win da "junk and po" would get to pick where they would start (the winner usually favored the defense). We would then agree on who would set up as the defense and who the offense (of course we didn't call it that then). The defense would almost always set up in the east while the other side would gather west before spreading out to go after them. The eastern half had all the great places to see from and shoot them from. There were so many places you could crawl or sneak around in out there. It would get down to usually the last two guys while all us dead soldiers would sit on the highest hill and watch the end result.

We never cheated either. If you were shot you were shot and that was all to it. Of course when you shoot somebody you have to tell him or her where he or she stay. For instance we'd say "Bang, you dead Clarence behind da wooden stairs". Took like half a day to get finished with da war in dat quarry. At least that way we kept out of getting' in trouble anywhere else.

When it was all over we'd more than likely head to the beach anyway. They wen build one homestead housing area up that way (I wen check em' out wen we wuz back deah in 2007). My sister lives up dat way now along wit the nephew and his keeds. It was nani to get back in there an still see the mountains and dream of what it was like back then.

About Author

George K. Cabral was born in Wahiawa and raised in Nanakuli, Oahu, two blocks from B & K store. He graduated from Nanakuli High in 1973. He joined the Army thereafter and shipped over to Germany where he spent almost 22 years of service. He retired in 1996 and is now working as a Government employee for the Army in Grafenwoehr, Germany with the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command. He and his wife, Jutta have two daughters and three grandsons, have settled down and made a home in Bamberg, Germany. They get back to Hawaii every three years or so to visit ohana and maybe git togeddah wit da ole neighbahood.

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