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Love Stories of Hawaii

Special Occasion

Hawaii's day of infamy
Dedicated to my offsprings

Submitted by Mike

In the summer of 1941, in the old plantation camp, where I grew up in Hawaii, We had just gotten our electricty hooked up to the house.

That was a big deal because now instead of having one kerosine lamp in the living room we had an electric light and we didn't have to go to go to the plantation store for kerosine as often as we did, just once a week for fueling the kerosine three burner stove that Mom used for cooking. Of course we only had light in the main kitchen and living room and one in the folks bedroom.

We watched them put the elictric posts up, not using a post hole digger, but dug the holes with pick and shovel and dynamites. There weren't any other activity going on after we did our chores, so we watched them put up post all over the camp.

That same year, getting close to christmas our mom had us boys prepare, as all the weekends when we found out where the cockfights were to be held, mochi rice for grounding to be made into babingka (filipino rice cake)to sell, grate coconuts to squeeze out the milk to be used in the rice cake batter and sometimes we would fry the remaining coconut meat (which was a treat for us). I wanted to go to the cockfight, but my mom told me I had to go to the rice field to chase away the rice birds, which was one of my daily chores. We had put up scarecrows and tin cans at all the corners of the rice field with a string attached to them connected to a hut, where I would be standing watch and when the ricebirds came to the field I would pull the string where they were at and scare the birds off. That day was a warm sunny day with no breeze, just a lazy day. My dad was working in the field so I didn't have to stay in the hut but played with my little sister, who was two years younger. Then we saw a group of planes fly over us on the south side of the Island, so we stopped and watched them fly over in nice formation, then another group flew over, we were awed by the amount of planes we saw that day, then a third group flew over. "Boy"--- We really had a treat, we thought, and didn't think anything about it until my older brother Boris (Isidro) came running to my dad and told him that Pearl Harbor was bombed, and also Port Allen, Nawiliwili, and Ahukini harbors was bombed too. Later we found out that a plane dropped a bomb on an oil tank in Nawiliwili harbor but did not explode but made a hole in it. A two-man sub tried to sink ships in the harbor but was sunk and later retrieved and taken to Pearl Harbor. My dad had the family, except him and me, go home to prepare for blackout and to evacuate the house. We still worked the field that day and at evening, gathered what we could from the hut. It was dark when we left the field, our rice field was about a half mile outside of old Koloa town on Kauai, Hawaii, the lights were out and the siren was blaring when we got to town. We were told by the block captain, who had on a world war 1 helmet on with "CD" painted on it, to get home as qiuck as we can and prepare for "blackout". We were under "martial law" until the end of the war. That was a day of Infamy for me and it still burns in my mind after all these years, but Hawaii is still my land of aloha, even though I am away from her.


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