My fuddah wen get one job in the city and he sed no ways he wuz going drive from North Shore to townside so we stay go move to Punchbowl. Hoo dat means had foah change school la dat. Junk cuz I had all my frendz from kinny garden in Waialua Elementary.
Had Frank Nacapuy, Rudy Rainier, Miles Migita, Lenord Cazinha dem guyz was my boyz. We hang out by Kishiname store aftah school waiting for da school bus. Lunch time we trade sammich. We all was in love wit Karen Kato. Her fuddah own Kato store. Frank used to tell us dat wen he get married to Karen dey going live insai da store so dey no need go shopping, everything be right dea. An wen da store open he no need stand in line. If people say "eh wot you doin' cut in front everybody?" Frank sed he would say: "Shaddup, I live hea." Miles Migita go say: "stooped, if you no need go shopping, why you cutting in
line?" Frank look at him and say: "fo'get da green stamps, you stooped hed!"
So we move to Green Street up Punchbowl side. We stay insai one apartment foah da first time. Wen us wuz country side, you could throw one rock as far as you could and still no going hit your neighbor's house. Das country eh? Now we was in one two story apartment on the bottom floor. Only had street parking so my fuddah was always complaining about no mo' parking nea by da apartment, especially on weekends when da neighbors had party la' dat.
Can hea the neighbors through the walls. Fuddah would say save electricity and just lissen to their TV through the wall. My muddah was getting used to apartment living too. The washing machine was just outsai the back kitchen door. Plus the clothesline was right dea too. She would leave the box of washing soap by the washing machine and comment that she no remember using that much soap cuz the new box almost empty the next time she go outside and wash clothes. Bumbye we figgah out dat the neighbor kids from couple doors down was using our washing soap on da sly. Night time dey no turn the light on wen they run da washing machine, they walk ova and use my muddah's laundry soap. Fuddah sed he would fix their "wagon". He wen get one empty box laundry soap and fill'em with sand. "And bring your soap box inside momma, no leave'em outsai eeny moah."
Couple nights later we hear one commotion going on in the back. We hear first one kid getting lickens. "oweee. Oweee." And one female voice saying: "who wen put sand insai da machine? Heh? Heh? I like know. How dis sand got insai da machine?" Turns out da neighbor kids was taking our soap and da parents neva know. Da parents go send da two kids ova to apologize to my parents.
Now upstairs right above us was one hapa family wit two girls who was mo' old den me. One was airline stewardess. I tink she work Aloha Airlines. Da uddah Leslie, was stay high school and she was cheer leader. I knew because weekends she stay run down stairs wen da boyfriend go beep da horn and she stay in da cheer leader uniform. Hoo...she had nice...um...hair. Me I was original stalker looking through da venetian blinds out back when Leslie go hang clothes on da line right next to ours cuz had their washing machine next to our too. Da muddah work Love's bakery cuz she go work in white uniform and hairnet la dat. Sometimes da muddah go give my muddah some day old bread and wen my muddah bake her mango bread she go make me go upstairs and give dem.
For me da ting dat I wen like mose about living foah da first time in da city was TV. Us neva have TV in da country. No can catch in da valley. My unco he
dakine TV fix man and he wen give my fuddah one TV dat he wen fix but da custamah neva did come back and claim.
Was one black and white Zenith TV. My fuddah had invented remote control waaaay befoah any body wen tink about. He sit in his chair and say: "Boy change da channel." I would walk ova and change da channel. Da antenna part was on top da TV. Da kine rabbit ears. I guess cuz we was down stairs in da apartment house da TV reception no was too good. My fuddah put tin foil on da tips of da rabbit ear antenna. Plus if get snow or lines la dat...my fuddah go make me move da antenna. "Boy move 'em to da leff....no your uddah leff. OK right dea." Mos times da picture came moah clear. Sometime not. "Boy make da antenna one side down da uddah side up. No make da uddah side up and the uddah side down." Sum times I gettum jus' right and my fuddah go: "boy, perfect." Den I let go and fuddah say: "Eh what you wen do? Get all snow now." I sed: "I wen let go." Fuddah say: "Den no let go, boy.'
Hooo..I stay standing dea until the program pau. Junk.
Us had foah da first time our own telephone line too. Befoah time in da country we had party line. We pick up da phone and get somebody talking on da phone. So we gotta wait until dey hang up so us can make one call. Hoo...junk. But now in da city we get da telephone line all to our selfs. Sweet.
You know da nowa days get voice mail and answering machines. We had dat too. Yeah..we had answering machine. Da phone ring my fuddah go: "Son answer da phone." See answering machine!
Den he say: Who is dat? And when I tell him he say: "Take a message" see? Voice mail. Us guys was waaay ahead of all da technology get today.
I did miss the hikes along the mountain trails in the Waimea Valley and skipping smooth stones over the still water of the river. I did miss the sound of the neighbor's chickens welcoming in the morning. I did miss the sing song voices of the Filipino neighbors from up the road walking by the house with their burlap bags filled with fish and their throw nets over their shoulders.
I was now learning all kinds of new stuffs and taking tips from the sharp looking guys on American Bandstand with Dick Clark. Learning this new dance called the Twist and keeping an eye on the cheerleader up stairs all the while making sure my hand was on the rabbit ears.
Kamaka Brown is on staff at AW. Originally from North Shore of Oahu, he now is a tropical transplant living on the West Coast. He is a stand-up comic performing in clubs, concerts and other venues in Honolulu, Las Vegas, Pacific Northwest and Los Angeles. In the summer of 2009 Kamaka toured Southern California and Pacific Northwest with his "If Can. Can. If No Can. No Can." Hawaiian Pidgin English stories with slack key guitars. He can be heard daily on The Sandwich Islands Network internet
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