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Growing up in Hawaii 🥴
Thinking about how I grew up in Hawaii as a kid and teen. I noted life in Hawaii a few times already. We were poor or at least my parents invested their money elsewhere and not on the kiddos much so we as kids did what we had to do. I had a rich Japanese friend in grade and middle school. As a kid, he'd say he'd treat me sometimes with some candy at the store across our elementary school. Funny how small things like that still is in me after all these years. He was a good friend and we were friends from grade school all the way till high school but he dropped out. He had a hard time learning and I saw it in grade school. He wasn't dumb. Just took longer to pick things up. Too bad. He'd have college paid by his parents if he wanted to. He had all the toys as a single child so I got to play Candyland, Parcheesi, Operation and all those toys with him. I never had any of those as a kid. I was lucky enough to play those only because of my friend.
We'd catch the bus to the State Fair. I only had enough for bus fare. But at the Fair, I'd look down and found so many scripts that are used for food and rides. This was during the days where they didn't use money directly. All games, food, and rides were scripts. Money transferred only at certain booths. Well, loose scripts gets dropped a lot and I'd find those onesies and it'd add up. Enough to pay for a few rides and some food. My rich Japanese friend just paid for his stuff. That was my experience as a kid at the fair. Fast forward a few years. I was an adult now and when I had the kiddos, I can assure you we went heavy at the State Fair. Any rides, games, food, and souvenirs, we'd get. We stay til closing time. Another side effect from my past.
Other ways we had our fun as preteen kids were just playing with slingshots. They'd sell cheap weak slingshots and we'd just trade in bottles to get our money to buy them. Then we'd just play with that a lot. Shooting down cans and when we got better, shooting down mangos from the trees. I already mentioned making kites with newspaper, used cooked riced as glue, and coconut leaf spine to make the spine for the kite. Didn't fish much as a kid because there was no way to be able to buy fishing gear. I still remember us laying ripe mangoes on the streets and waiting for cars to pass by and we'd see who's mango would get run over first. hehe. We were like 8 yrs old maybe? That was also our snack as kids. No red vines, no lollipops, nada. Just mangoes. Now? I can't stand mangos. Ironically? They are so expensive at the supermarkets. Even for free, I wouldn't want any!!!
Anyway, back to being a kid, the one place that was awesome was the community centers. There were two actually. One sponsored by the United Way I think and the other was just a County community center. I'd go there as a teen. It probably kept me from getting into mischief with the law. Typical community center. Pool table, bumper pool, foosball, and ping pong, board games like chess and that was the daily after school thing there. That's how I got good at it. Too poor to do anything else. We'd get special trips to the beach so we ended up at the beach because of this. Later as teen, I ended up taking 3rd in my district at the 16 and under County ping pong tournament.
As a teen at night is when I'd have nothing to do. So I'd hit the pool halls (that would allow underage kids) and learned how to play pinball there. When you're poor, you have to play well so you can play all day or night long. At times, I'd have only 50 cents. It was a quarter to play a game. I'd have two chances to keep knocking. Knocking means free games when playing pinball and it actually had a loud knock when you get a free game credit. There is strategy to playing pinball and because I was poor and didn't have much of a budget, I had to win.Determination to win was intense. I found out at an early age that I was very competitive. I had to win and win always. Anyway, playing pinball I either win and keep knocking or go home to nothing....except for mangoes and by then, I'd run that mango-being-squashed-by-cars to the end of it's course. Sometimes, I'd go to an arcade with pinball machines and left in 30 min because I failed to keep knocking. Most of the time though, I'd play all day/night long. Didn't eat anything. Just played pinball all day long. I'd also run the foosball tables at the game centers and pool halls (Winners stay and challenger pays for the game) because I learned to play at the community centers. I also took 3rd place in our Junior High Chess club/tournament.
The skating rink was the best growing up as a teen and older teen. I grew as a teen there and a learned a lot of socializing and learning about life. Still poor of course. But that's when I understood cliques. The cool kids are the good skaters and the ones that are good at the games there. Games like pinball, foosball and video games. I of course was like a fish in water in that environment. I ended up getting pretty good at skating. Ended up joining all the clubs there. Freestyle, speed skating, and the roller hockey team. The manager gave me a break and let me skate for free after awhile just by helping pass out skates and returning the shoes to customers. He also let me join all those skate clubs for free. Even when I joined the hockey team, the manager was the player coach and he paid for my meals after a game and gave me rides home. Ever so thankful and grateful he made my poor teen years more enjoyable. I ended up winning my skates there too. I entered a pinball tournament and had the highest score for a month or something like that and won a pair of skates. Good thing because no way could I pay for skates at the time.
I met a lot of friends there and of course, I ended up dating a few other teen girls there too. Did some growing up there. Good times. Those stories are for future posts...maybe. :)
Well, finishing my last few sips of wine. The melatonin I took 20 min ago is starting to take it's effect. I noticed I babbled enough and my post is hecka long now. Pretty sure it's just unorganized rambling but whatever. Pulling my past out of my mind and placing it on here is what I was trying to do.