Thursday, June 04, 2009

"Eh Daddy, Catch the Crook!"

When Alecia and I stepped off the plane straight into the sweltering humid heat of Hilo Bay, I looked right at her and said, "I can't wait for you to meet my grampa (that is no typo...and to this day I still call him grampa instead of grandpa). Within minutes of maneuvering our way around first-time-to-the-islands dazed tourists, I saw my grampa standing just outside the shoebox sized terminal waiting with my grandma by his side--two pint-sized brown skinned islanders next to their rusted, blue boat of a vehicle.

Sigh. Stepping off that plane always made a part of me feel as though I'd arrived home. Grampa rushed forward and grasped at our luggage despite his foot shorter than me height. I distinctly remember how small he'd seemed then, instead of the great quiet man I once saw him as.

We piled into the mildew and plumeria scented car and drove along the volcanic black airport road, headed toward Hilo town. Grandma was so proud to have me and Alecia, two high school seniors, staying with her. She chatted merrily the entire ride...though I suspect from the darting glances I received from Alecia that my friend had no idea what Grandma's rich pidgin meant. To celebrate our arrival they filled our bellies at the "so Ono" Chinese restaurant just around the corner from Pennys while grandma asked question after question about our lives on the mainland. Eventually the food grew cold and our bellies extended far beyond a normal meal's filling. We loaded back into grampa's car and pulled out of the parking lot, headed to their home in Papaiko.

For the late afternoon, traffic had increased with drivers wanting to get home. Grampa waited and waited with one foot on the gas pedal and one foot firmly held on the brake. Each time there appeared to be a small gap in traffic, we all lurched forward from grampa's right foot slamming on the gas. And then flew back when grampa's left foot decided there wasn't enough time to make it across the busy road.

When grandma decided we'd waited long enough, she turned to Grampa. "Eh Daddy," she hollered (probably because her hearing wasn't the best) in a thick island pidgin, "Catch the Crook already!" To this, Alecia and I erupted in a fit of giggles.

Grampa died 10 years ago today. And though I know I will see him again, I cant help but miss his quiet ways, soft spoken voice, and loving generosity. I am lucky that my own dad is much like Grampa, so when I speak of him, my boys will have a sense of the great man my grampa was. I love you Grampa and look forward to spending time with you again.

7 SPLURTS:

Pop said...

I can picture it now, just straight out of time. Wow, such sweet memories. Thanks for remembering.

Melissa said...

I loved visiting your gramparents in Papaiko and seeing them in the Honomu branch each Sunday. They would bring Kaylene Badua, a recent convert, with them each Sunday as well. Your grandma also showed me her can bread baking and gave me a loaf to take home.

Piglet de' Erin said...

Oh Melissa...thanks for that story. I love that you go to meet them.

Ipo said...

Reading this reminds me so much of my own grandparents who lived in Hilo. I'm flooded with sweet memories right now. Thanks for sharing that story. Oh, and I remember my grandparents driving with one foot on each pedal as well...must be a Big Island thing...

A. said...

Thanks for such a great visual. Memories like these are so sweet. I just love the "Catch the crook" line. haha!

Nick and Emily said...

i can totally see you guys. i love it. i'm glad you shared this story. i wish that i wasn't like 5 at the time and had gone too. ha ha.

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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