Remembering “Small Kid Time”


June 16, 2017

“I remember days, when we were younger.
We used to catch ‘o’opu in the mountain stream”
– From “Ku’u Home O Kahalu’u” by Olomana

By Eva Andrade, President

Andrade keiki, circa 1968, Pearl City Hawai’i

There is nothing like the downtime that comes from summer.  Most people look forward to the planned vacations, the set-aside days of leisure and the family visitations – telling stories of their “small kid time.”

These precious, and few, moments are captured in our hearts to last a lifetime.  If you make time, you can stop time, at least in your heart.

My colleagues across the nation love to tease me (tongue-in-cheek) about how hard it is to live in Hawai’i.  In many ways, they are right because of the cost of living and the level of progressive, liberal policies that permeate our capitol building.

In spite of that, for those of us born and raised here, this is our home.  Our community.

We live and work here.  We fellowship here.  We raise our keiki here and then watch in awe as our keiki have children and raise them (sometimes) in the same house we grew up in.  We watch Hawaii Five-O (the original version) to see how much Hawai’i has changed and how fast we recognize long-forgotten hangouts.  (e.g. Oh my goodness, was that the Waialae Drive In?)

In Pearl City, we remember eating at places like Scottys, the Monkey Bar and Uncle Johns.  (Driving out to Kahala for a Susie Q at Jolly Rogers was a real treat!) We remember enjoying full car service at the Texaco station that was owned by a family who would greet us by name before filling our tank, wiping our windshields, checking our oil and topping off the air in our tires.

We would complete our family ritual with a stop at Kentucky Fried Chicken before heading out towards Nanakuli for our monthly day at the beach.  Smelling the food on the drive from Pearl City to Nanakuli was absolute torture and my dad would be watching from the rear view mirror to make sure that we didn’t sneak a bite.

After school each day, my brothers and I watched Checkers and Pogo, Kikaida, Rainbow Man and Kamen Rider V3.  We rode skateboards, bicycles and roller skates, (oh the memories of the roller skating rink)!

As a family, we sometimes gathered all six of us (mom, dad, my three brothers and I) into our car and headed out for a night at the Pearl City drive-in movie theater.  My dad would reach through the window and pull that little speaker into the car and roll up the window to hold it in place.  Anyone who experienced this can remember how horrible the sound was, but it was worth it.  Blankets and food in the coolers were the extra special touches.

Family time.  Precious time.

While I appreciate technology and the ability to stay connected to family members across the sea, I miss the simpler times.  Like the lazy afternoons when my brother would bring his friends over the house and our house would be filled with the sound of guitars, ukuleles and the music of Kalapana, Olomana and C&K.

We can’t go back to the past, but we can embrace the goodness of our ohana today, and make new memories.  Lasting memories.  Hawaii unique memories.


Last night I dreamt I was returning, and my heart called out to you,
but I fear you won’t be like I left you, me kealoha ku’u home o Kahalu’u.”
Words from Ku’u Home O Kahalu’u by Olomana


As people of faith, we bring the goodness and mercy of our Lord Jesus into the equation and that is what propels and compels us to make a difference in our community.  We are legacy builders and we care deeply about the future of our keiki and the memories we are helping them build.

As summer takes shape, share your local grown stories with your keiki.  Take them to your old stomping grounds and show them your connection to this place, our home!  Treasure them because one day, they will be sitting on the porch with their grandkids and the lessons we teach them today, will shape the next generation.

Turn off the cell phones, tablets and computers.  Head to the beach.  Go fishing (or let someone else fish and you eat the ono food!)  Make your own memories by watching a great movie together as a family – with hurricane popcorn and spam musubi.  Better yet, find the old Hawai’i Five-0 and see how many places (and faces) you can recognize.