Received this “You Might Be Old If…” compilation that has been making the rounds on Facebook.

It’s a great reflection of things past, but clearly a list of more recent experiences.

So I put on my memory cap, and searched the cobwebs of my growing-up time, and came up with a “You Might Be Older Than Old If…” version.

Of course, there could easily be an Old-Like-God compilation, if someone is willing to share…

You might be older than old if …

  • You shopped at the five-and-dime store.
  • You had milk delivered in glass bottles to your doorstep.
  • You ordered chocolate and strawberry milk.
  • You had washing machines with wringers.
  • You remember your five-digit telephone number.
  • You bought groceries from the yasai-man (vegetable seller who also sold fish and meat from a wagon/truck).
  • You bought dim sum from the manapua man who had two tin cans hanging from a pole.
  • You pounded your own mochi at home for new year’s.
  • You owned fountain pens with a jar of ink with a well for refilling the pen, before the arrival of ball-point pens,.
  • You watched movies in the hub of downtown movie houses, including the Hawaii Theatre, Princess Theatre, Liberty Theatre, King Theatre.
  • You purchased aku bones at the market for a delish dinner.
  • You made your own tsukemono by soaking cabbage in a large pot with water and old bread, with a stone weight to keep the contents in water.
  • You wore festive kimono (girls and women) or yukata tops (boys and men) to go summertime bon dances at local Buddhist churches.
  • You slept in sleeping bags, on the floor, while in grade school.
  • You wore Buster Brown shoes.
  • Your elders watched Japanese films at Aala Park and the Kukui St. area.
  • You had manual typewriters, with black replacement ink in a spool, and red-and-black in if you were able to afford ‘em.
  • You owned a phonograph with multiple speed choices, to play 78 rpm, 45 rpm and 33 rpm discs?
  • You communicated by snail mail, not e-mail, and when needed, paid extra postage for air-mail.
  • You used bubble lights on your Christmas tree.
  • You and the family ventured to Fort Street to view Liberty House’s decorated, animate Christmas show in its storefront windows.
  • You  watched prime-TV series, like “The Ed Sullivan Show,” which were shown here a week after its mainland airing.
  • You remember when the 50th State Fair was the 49th State Fair.
  • You rode city buses, operated by Honolulu Rapid Transit, which were trolleys requiring electricity.
  • You recall when Kalanianaole Hwy. was three-lanes, one heading to the Hawaii Kai, one heading to town, and the center lane for left or right turns?
  • You took your own pot, to order take-out saimin, from a saimin stand?
  • You attended Japanese language school, which were common after-school destinations, for those of Japanese ancestry.
  • You took in first-run movies at the Waikiki #1, Waikiki #2, and Waikiki #3, plus the Kuhio, in Waikiki.  And the Royal Theatre, also in Waikiki.
  • You saw in Don Ho, at his mom’s Honey’s in Kaneohe, before he went big-time at Dulke Kahanamoku’s at the International Market Place. It’s where he first introduced Marlene Sai to local audiences.
  • You watched the original “Sunrise” live morning show on KGMB, hosted by Kini Popo  (Carl Hebenstreit) and featuring Lei Becker.


Geez, it’s a Flashback Moment!

It was 20 years ago, on June 7. 2003, when “Black and White and Read All Over” was staged at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Coral Ballroom. ‘Twas a benefit for Manoa Valley Theatre, sponsored by Honolulu Advertiser (my former employer. This was the promotional postcard. Two beloved Broadway phenoms, Craig Schulman and Cris Groenendaal, provided stunning Broadway music of the night; Schulman starred as Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables” here and Groenendaal was the Phantom in “Phantom of the Opera.”


If you grew up in the Hawaii of the 1940s and ‘50s, you likely will remember something commonly called the slop can, where your family dumped their kitchen discards.

This was an era where most households didn’t yet have garbage disposals in their kitchens.

So “wet” garbage, like soups and kitchen debris, like carrot shavings, cabbage cores, pineapple skins and orange and banana peels, had to be disposed somewhere.

Garbage destined for the slop can.

This also was a time where there were no oversized plastic garbage bags – or composting in the backyard – to conveniently dispose these food remnants.

Enter, the slop cans. Or in local lingo, “buta kau kau,” literally pig food. Gross? Yes, but it was part of everyday life.

Most homes had a slop can outside their kitchen door. The canister was a rectangular-shaped can, likely the kind of container for oils and other liquids, with an open top, where garbage would be disposed. A wooden cover was necessary, to keep flies and bugs and even feral cats and dogs from seeking the remnants of discarded food. And a bucket-type handle was necessary, to lift the can and contents.

 I remember having that duty to bring out the daily veggie and fruit stuff and even chicken and rib bones. I recall, too, that slop had a sickly sour odor, and you made sure you didn’t allow seepage.

This messy load would be picked up once a week, like the rubbish vehicles hauling away other throw-aways.  The slop was destined to rural pig farms in Waimanalo, Kahala (before the luxury homes were erected), and other farming zones. The thought that slop could be food for pork that we’d eventually buy and eat was unimaginable.

As garbage disposals became prevalent and vital, not merely for convenience but for health reasons, the slop can happily became history.

Till today, we don’t toss stuff like fish or steak or pork chop bones into the disposal; we place ‘em in produce bags from food stores and dispose in the gray bins for waste collections once a week.


Been to a funeral recently, or during the later phases of the pandemic?

Bentos now are very much part of the funeral experience. It’s trending as an alternate to post-services buffets in the reception hall.

Also, services at the mortuary are now welcoming larger crowds like the past decades, unlike the 10-maximum head count at the height of the pandemic. Face masks are recommended, like other events with huge attendance.

The  local custom at funerals always has included post-service fellowship with the grieving family. Over the decades, a mini-buffet of local food – sushi, perhaps fried chicken, macaroni or potato salad, with mochi as the dessert offering – used to be the rule of thumb. Paper or foam plates would be available, along the usual utensils, like chopsticks, forks, napkins, where mourners used to self-servce.

Sample bento menu at Ige’s catering.

Not anymore. Bentos in pre-packed take-out type containers are stacked in the reception hall, awaiting mourners of the family of the deceased. When you consider health safety, a pre-packed meal makes a lot of sense, however awkward it might seem. And there are no more intrusive, pesky flies.

If folks start to exit and skip the refreshment hall, announcements are made to pick up a mini-meal in a grab-and-go format. Even take-out plastic bags are available for those opting to nibble at home.

Apparently, catering organizations have been revving up the post-funeral bento meals. Websites reflect a range of bento options, from minimalist to the excessive (and expensive), depending on budget.  


Let’s talk cars: What brand of car was the very first you owned or drove?

And how many cars have you owned or driven since?

I remember my  first vehicle, after obtaining a license, was my family’s Dodge.

The first car I bought, after getting married, was a Ford. A second Ford followed.

Then I switched to a Mazda, my third vehicle.

I discovered the Nissan brand, so had a Pathfinder SUV for a spell. — the height of an SUV gave you a better view of the traffic,

Then I moved up to the Infiniti brand, getting an Infiniti SUV, even if gasoline prices were high. ‘Twas all about the height and view again.

Returned to a sedan, switching to a sleek Infiniti G35, then acquired my dream car, the Infiniti Q50, and recently upgraded to a “loaded” Q50, a previously-owned model (my first “used” car.

So the count of “owned” cars:  Eight over a little more than five decades.

Reason for sticking to Infiniti: Dependability and value (kept two models for more than 100,000 miles) and service (never had issues, always had a loaner when servicing).

What’s your history on wheels?