Do You Remember… Going Airport

In our previous post – You Know You’re MLC If… 4G wrote: When seeing people off at the old Honolulu International Airport, especially to the mainland, was a big deal. You would see them off at the gate downstairs, then go upstairs to the open air “roof”, try to see them through those tiny windows, then get blasted by the jet exhaust as the plane taxied away .….


Paula was just sharing with me yesterday how she remembers everyone in the family getting all dressed up to see her auntie and uncle off for a trip.  They even gave them lei.  I asked if it was for an international trip or a mainland vacation.  She said it may have been just a visit to Kauai to see family.  Paula recalls how it was such a big thing to ride on an airplane.


I agreed that it was a big deal.  I remember the school yard conversations where someone would ask “Eh, anybody ever went ‘fly'”?  And when someone confirmed that they indeed did “fly” before, then all the questions came out; “What was it like?”,  “Did you get air sick”, “Did everyone on the ground look like ants?”, “What if you gotta go shi-shi?”, “What’s it like when the plane goes thru the clouds?”, “The stewardesses all pretty?”.


And the luggage…




Whoever thought of adding wheels to the bottom of suitcases – I want to shake his hand.


Back in the day, suitcases were already heavy – made of leather or fabric with real metal locks – before they were even filled.  And there was only a single handle to carry each suitcase.


Nowadays, just stand your suitcase on the side, lift up the telescoping handle, and pull your suitcase behind you.  Or better yet, get a “spinner”.  I just got one and instead of pulling it behind you on 2 wheels, you can walk it on the side of you as it comes with 4 wheels.  And you can even hook on backpacks and smaller bags to your luggage and pull it all with one arm.  Unlike back in the day when it meant having a smaller suitcase tucked under your arm while carrying the huge suitcase by the handle.


But back to the topic.


Remember when everyone – aunties, uncles, cousins, pets, and friends – would show up at the airport when a recent graduate was going away to college or joining the military.  And unlike nowadays when parents travel up to the school along with the recent graduate to them settled in, back in our day – the recent graduate was just put on the plane and left to figured out things on their own.


Do you remember going to the airport to see friends or family off?  Hanging around the lobby as other friends and relatives showed up.  And as 4G mentioned, after the person gave their ticket, then running upstairs to the rooftop viewing section and watching them as they walked on the tarmac and up the stairs into the airplane.  And trying to find them looking through the little windows.  Share you memories of Going Airport with us.

126 Responses to “Do You Remember… Going Airport”

  1. Mark Shelby says:

    Thank you Keoni…..carry on my Kaikua’ana !

  2. keoni says:

    That was a good one, Mark. Mahalo piha!

  3. Mark Shelby says:

    Found a good one. Including the old Honolulu Terminal and many more good old stuffs! Including Hilo Airport and Parker Ranch!

    Hawaii, The Island State, 1959

  4. Mark Shelby says:

    One more intermission small kine show…..going crack you up! If you remember this, you are one hard core MLC’er…..hehe

    How is this relevant you may ask? They all arrived on Oahu at our good old original Honolulu Terminal with their surfboards…..everybody did in the good old days.

    Miki Dora Car Race on the North Shore of Hawaii ….

    ……carry on with your good old Hawai’i Loving selves! And your totally awesome memories! Not many have them like us. We are a rare breed now.

  5. Mark Shelby says:

    While we are having this intermission about our flying talk at our old Honolulu Airport. I thought I would share this fun really old clip with you. Jus to make you more homesick for the good old days of Hawai’i. Sometimes I can be so mean….hehe…..enjoy!

    On The Waves At Waikiki – Vintage Hawaii Surfing

  6. Mark Shelby says:

    You have some fun memories cmo….Kamuela is one of my favorite towns on our lovely Big Island! And it’s long history is wonderful!

  7. cmo says:

    I was a 3rd grader when I rode a little plane by myself from Kamuela airport to the BEEEEG city of Honolulu (yep, Waimea/Kamuela on Big Isle had a little airport then). I got sick on plane and the uncertainty of it all was a bit much for me as the plane pulled away and I saw my parents on the ground waving. Turned out to be ok once I got to Honolulu to spend time with my older sisters and other relatives who took me to Cinerama theater and Waialae Drive Inn (I think I saw HELP! and The Nutty Professor), the Zoo, and Bishop Museum.
    Later, I went back and forth from UH Manoa dorms to Big Isle. My dad also had that skill of using one piece of string to tie boxes together. My grandpa had a fruit farm on big island so I always brought a box of fruits and stuff. Once I remember avacados were falling out of the box as I carried it from baggage claim. My first mainland trip was as a high school graduate (one teacher always got some graduates together and took them to Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, etc.)…Disneyland was open all night for a grad night of fun. It was a huge deal & so exciting for me and a few friends in our younger, crazier days just out of high school.

  8. Mark Shelby says:

    An additional note on the wind direction. The storm from the north that just brought the 50 foot waves to our North Shore with blown out conditions and bad form are likely affecting the take off and landing patterns at HNL. Our Hawaiian Seas also tell us what is happening with our weather, not just the skies.

  9. Mark Shelby says:

    As you may know. Landings and take offs are always into the wind. A great example of this at HNL, is when we have Kona winds and the aircraft take their final approach over downtown Honolulu and land facing toward Ewa Beach. Kona winds are rare, so you don’t see this landing pattern very often. So I would say that you are correct and we had a little bit more westerly winds today and the reef runway points that direction better than our original runways. Good Observation.

  10. 4G says:

    Winds must be unusual today. Planes coming in to land seem to be going in to the reef runway in a westerly direction, providing me with an unusually long and good view of them coming in to land. : )

    I usually have a better sight of them going out …. Been watching a few planes coming in off an on throughout the morning.

  11. Mark Shelby says:

    Airport story plus a little more…

    In 1967 our Wigwam Dept. Stores were doing big business with KGMB TV. Loads of TV commercials with them including toy commercial on the Checkers and Pogo Show.

    One day Cec Heftel the station owner called my Dad and asked if my Father and I would like to take a ride in the KGMB traffic helicopter. Dad and Cec Heftel were good friends.

    So of course we jumped on it. Their chopper was parked near the old original Honolulu Terminal side. It was an old school Bell Helicopter, and it even had air filled pontoons to be able to land on water.

    We met the chopper pilot very early one morning and there we went, straight up into da sky!! Wow! What a ride! Then in mid flight the pilot started to do his Traffic Drive Report live on the radio. Then he began to interview my Dad and I live by radio to the KGMB news station.

    Then the pilot asked me to announce the traffic report patterns on the H~1 and other streets that were backed up. I was just 12 years old. That is a day I will never forget!

    I tried to find old pics of the KGMB chopper. but could not so far. Although I did find this….

  12. Hbh says:

    Idk i waz a wierd kid or just plain pupule. I wasn’t afraid of heights, used to climb between balconies on the skyrise(20th floor) we lived on. Wasnt afraid of da ocean, learned to swim by just jumping in myself(almost drowned 3x lol). Wasn’t afraid to runaround Oahu or wasn’t afraid of bullies, i picked on them unless they to big, den i run fast lol, flying nope. So none of dis scared me. But obake, monsters, pele, nightmarchers I was shaken in my boots, scared as can be. Go figure, backwards lol.

  13. dihudfan says:

    back in the early 70s, my friend returned from Oklahoma, he went school to become a pilot… wen he came back, he used to work as an flight instructor in one small company down by the old airport… one of his benes wuz he could use a plane to fly if he paid fo gas… every other week we would fly to Maui in a single engine piper cub, not exactly the fastest way of flying, but wuz fun… one day on the way back to Oahu, he told me I can take the controls and fly… just as I did, we hit a air pocket somewhere over Molokai… talk about panic… lucky he took control right away… but what a feeling… my stomach wuz still way up high in the air and my body wuz closer to the ground… lucky nevah eat before we flew back…

  14. 4G says:

    All I did was try to take all the chewing gum! 😉

  15. 4G says:

    LOL! Too cool! 🙂

  16. khs68 says:

    Okay…I only going tell you guys… When I took my first plane ride to Hilo when I was 5 years old, I put balloons in my little purse thinking if we fell in the water, I could blow up the balloons and float. Too much cartoon watching…

  17. 4G says:

    Derned phone !

    Rolled up compactly into a cylinder, like a foot long. The things you remember …. LOL!

  18. 4G says:

    @khs68 – LOL! Baban certainly had a point! 😉 Well taken! 😉

    I remember my seventh grade summer – what is that, like 12-years old ? Flying to Seattle by myself – I had my own, personal life jacket, rolled up cim

  19. khs68 says:

    @4G – My baban was the same way. Wouldn’t get on a plane to visit her sister in Hilo. I asked Baban one time how she got from Hilo, where she was born, to Honolulu. She said, “by boat”. So I said, “well, same thing except you go in an airplane”. She said, “if the boat sink, I know how to swim. But if something happens to the plane, I never learned to fly.” Baban was a jokester for sure.

  20. Hbh says:


    Lmao your prob right my older bruddah. :-),

  21. 4G says:

    @Hbh – yeah, probably. Or, she was seriously afraid of that “derned, newfangled, thingamabob just dropping out of the sky!” 😉

  22. Hbh says:


    That probably has alot to do with your tutu generation. Back in her time, Hawai’i was a less hostle place. Sure Hawai’i has always been expensive, but not as expensive as it been in modern times. Its sad when locals are now questioning is Hawai’i worth it? Pretty soon it will only be the sun and the beach that will be unique.

  23. 4G says:

    Growing up, I remember it being a lot like Rod characterized in his post – taking an airplane trip was a big deal . Kids that actually had been on an airplane were, by far, the exception to the rule. The ratio may have gotten larger as the school years rolled on but, certainly, in elementary school it seems to me that the vast majority of kids had not been afforded the luxury of an interisland trip. I feel very fortunate that I was afforded the experience of air travel.

    I guess I’m thinking like 60’s-70’s. Seems like there were a large number of folks, in general (not just classmate kine), that “had never been off of this rock”. I know that my grandmother was one of those. Then again, she absolutely refused to even consider getting on an airplane . . . . LOL. But, still . . . .

  24. Hbh says:


    Shootz i had both da bag and da wings, and got a deck of cards. Wen keiki in da guud ol’ days, they treatted you guud.

  25. dihudfan says:

    Mark Shelby… i remembah those wing pins and also the PAA bags… you had have one wen you wuz kid time… innahs or winnahs

  26. Mark Shelby says:

    Do you remember when Pan Am used to give out the free blue Pam Am bags. And then all the kids at school started showing up with the bags to carry their books. And then all of a sudden you were not cool unless you had one Pan Am bag!….hehe;_ylt=A0SO80SH5OJSvTMAtEFXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTB0ZGRmNWE1BHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2dxMQR2dGlkA1ZJUDIyMF8x?_adv_prop=image&fr=yfp-t-664&sz=all&va=pan+am+bag

  27. Mark Shelby says:

    Remember in the old days when you were a kid on the plane. The pilot would walk down the isle and give a gold wing pin to every kid on the plane. And we could proudly pin it on our shirt. Then in later years these wing pins they gave turned to plastic with a stick on tape strip on the back.

  28. 4G says:

    When seeing people off at the airport was still a big deal, I remember Pan Am used to give out lightweight plastic bags for passengers to store their lei in.

    Sometimes the amount of lei given to a passenger(s) rivaled high school graduation (lei up their ears and beyond) . . . .

  29. 4G says:

    I remember when Aloha and Hawaiian still flew those props interisland, you used to have to report your weight when you checked in.

    LOL – think they could get people to do that today? I think the “privacy” people would be up in arms! 😉

  30. Hbh says:


    Auwe auntie, was just thinking about Burgerland. 🙁

  31. khs68 says:

    @fishhead: Hi! Kapahulu has great memories for me too. I really miss Burgerland and Alex drive-in. Good ting still get Sekiya’s.

  32. Mark'75 says:

    @fishhead: Howzit! I pass there all the time since I still live in the neighborhood. Yup, plenty memories.

  33. Mark Shelby says:

    Hawaiian Convair 640 Turbo 1967……

    Good times had by all!

  34. Mark Shelby says:

    Crossroads of the Pacific Late 50s

    International flight times from the Crossroads of the Pacific in Honolulu at the famous Kau Kau Korner – almost 10 hours to Los Angeles and 17 hours to New York back in the propellor era. Blackhawk Films commercial souvenir slide with no indication of date taken but it appears to be late 1950s vintage based on cars and buildings in some of the scenes.

    Remember this sign? Click da Link………..

  35. Mark Shelby says:

    Hard to head for the Honolulu Airport, especially if you were a visitor and you were staying here at the awesome Moana Hotel! You would be crying on the way to the airport. Like us MLC’ers…….

  36. Mark Shelby says:

    Sometimes….before you had to race to the airport to leave Paradise. You had to walk through here one last time, before you left. You just had to. If you are one hard core MLC’er….

  37. Mark Shelby says:

    fishhead…..oh no! I know that hurts man. And I don’t even know you. But I send you Blessings and Aloha….bradda! Right down the street from my house.

  38. fishhead says:

    Mark’75, just sold my mom’s kapahulu house. so sad because of all our childhood memories.

  39. Mark Shelby says:

    Does not get much better than these guys! Total Clarity, in Total Harmony……with Aloha!

    Lei Pikake – Hapa

  40. fishhead says:

    khs68-Mark’75, Howzit Bulldogs, just enjoying everybodies responses.

  41. Mark Shelby says:

    Yes…..Hbh….one of my favorites! I posted that in another thread. I’m glad Hapa is coming to your town! You so lucky!

  42. Hbh says:

    @Mark Shelby

    OT(Last time) I listen to all kinds of Hawai’ian music from really old to current.

    One of my current favorite is Ku’u Lei, Ku’u Ipo (My beloved) Great song for the perfect Nani asian or kanaka wahine. Its contemporary hawaiian music. Thought it would bring you aloha and maybe a different experience?

  43. Mark Shelby says:

    keoni…..most people would jus be sleeping on da plane and not even care. But I know you feel it bradda! Keep Going!

  44. keoni says:

    Continuing from last post…
    Do you all experience the same thrill as I when you see Diamond Head, Waikiki, downtown Honolulu, etc. each time on your approach to the airport from a trip to the mainland, etc. Even before I moved here, it was a feeling like “I’m home at last”! Yeah?

  45. keoni says:

    Oh, one mo’ story. On my first trip to Hawai’i, flew United Airlines from LA. Was in 1980 wen da stewardesses not stay so grouchy like dey are now! 🙄 😆 Everyone was full of the aloha spirit (and champaigne! LOL) on da way ovah. I was with a small kine group in da back of the plane and we were all singing Hawaiian songs and having a blast! I remember how thrilling it was to get my first glimpse of the Big Island way off in the distance, and then we came around Ka Lae on Hawai’i island and flew on the leeward side right up the island chain to O’ahu! Those are memories that will never fade!

  46. Mark Shelby says:

    One thing I know for sure. Any time I hear one Hawaiian song. They are signing the praises of Aloha, Family, Friends and respect for our Aina. If we could bring those days back. We would all be better off.


    Mark Shelby

  47. Hbh says:


    E’Mahalo nui loa maika’i kaikua’ana. Aloha
    (thank you very much good older brother, goodbye)

  48. keoni says:

    E Hbh, e ho’ohiamoe maika’i ‘oe. A hui hou! (Hbh, Sleep well, see you latah)!
    Love being able to use the Hawaiian I learned with Punana Leo when I can! 🙂

  49. Hbh says:

    @Mark Shelby

    Your right, no stink guud policy.

  50. Hbh says:

    E’ Aloha ahiah, Mahalo no kou ho`okipa, Aloha a hui hou kakou.

    (good evening, thank you for your hospitality, Goodbye intil we meet again) Im on the mainland we are few hrs ahead of you guys got to work tomorrow.

  51. keoni says:

    Oops, my bad on “Lins”! Got MLC mental block on da spelling, but got good excuse – got one cuzzin and former co-worker who spelled it “Lyn”. I stay trying mo’ bettah, tho! 🙄

  52. Mark Shelby says:

    Hbh…not sure. I never met Jack Lord in person. I would not want to think anything bad of anyone. I hope not.

  53. Mark Shelby says:

    We Think alike ….keoni!

    I was typing when you were typing! OH Ya! We juss Love our old Hawai’i bradda! Keep Going!

  54. keoni says:

    Wow Uncle Rodney, what fun topics these are! Winnah,, winnah, chicken katsu dinnah! 😆

  55. Mark Shelby says:

    One more long old time lei shop we used to visit for lei’s and flower arrangements in downtown Honolulu. I used to stop here and pick up Lei’s and flower arrangements on orders from my Mom! Somehow She knew all of the bess places! And she was always so proper and professional in her greetings and entertainment! What an awesome Mom!

  56. keoni says:

    @Mark Shelby Lyn’s Lei shop across from Cindy’s is another good one on Maunakea (“Down on Maunakea St., where lei ladies sit…”) LOL
    I’m kind of a regular customer with Lyn’s and they give me special deals sometimes – great customer service!

  57. Hbh says:

    @Mark Shelby

    Heard he was a okole to da locals?

  58. Mark Shelby says:

    Hbh… one young kid in the late 1960’s……I used to watch Jack Lord walk around Kahala Mall. He lived in Kahala. He would even drive up to Kahala Mall in his Hawaii 5~0 Black Mercury. Remember that Jack Lord unmarked police car? I think the show must have gave it to him!

  59. keoni says:

    @Mark (eithah one- lol), on my first trip to Hawai’i (1980), we (my mom and I) wen fly Molokai Air from Ho’olehua to HNL. ‘Ae brah, I remember those air pockets, but welakahao! watta view, yeah?

  60. Hbh says:

    It amazing da changes at da airport, I watched Hawai’i t.v shows still once in awhile, like da old Hawai’i 5-0 and da new one, both show da airport at different times.

  61. Mark Shelby says:

    Still searching for more fun old Hawai’i History. Lei stands did not start at HNL. There is a long history of Lei shops that started in old downtown Honolulu in the days of passenger ship arrival at the Aloha Tower. I remember going to Cindy’s Lei Shop in downtown once I could drive. To pick up Lei’s for my Mom to give to friends for special occasions. Even to take to Honolulu Airport for arrival of friends. These were very special Lei’s! And the best reputation by far at the time! Cindy’s………..!

  62. Mark Shelby says:

    Sorry…..wrong link. it did not work. neva mind….

  63. Mark Shelby says:

    …..cross post at 8:55PM……about the new Lei Stands…..we think alike bradda!

  64. Mark Shelby says:

    Remember the new Lei stands at the new HNL Airport. Long rows of them, in fancy buildings. kind of sad because no more real Lei stand thatched roof huts! Even though my Mom’s name was Dorothy, She always bought her Lei’s at Harriet’s, her favorite!
    Looking for more pics…..

  65. dihudfan says:

    Mark Shelby… the new airport also had kiosh for Leis in the parking area… kind of looked similar to the old ones… those links really bring back old memories… mahalo

  66. Hbh says:

    @Mark Shelby

    Your good kaikua’ana (older brother)

  67. Mark Shelby says:

    I made one new link Hbh…..thanks. I don’t know what happened….check again. Thanks ……still trying hard to share bradda…..all the good stuffs!

  68. Hbh says:

    @Mark Shelby

    Broken link bruddah,

  69. dihudfan says:

    Mark Shelby… yeh, you right, everytime one of my friends left, all the friends gathered to send them off or welcome them home… while in Nam, flew a couple of times on C130s or Caraboos that had to land on short fields too, but at least I wasn’t sitting in the cockpit then…

  70. Mark Shelby says:

    Linky no worky….trying one more time….

    Lei Stands at Honolulu Airport in 1962

  71. Mark Shelby says:

    Lei Stands Honolulu Airport….

  72. Hbh says:

    @4G great song bruddah, this song is landing HNL.
    C&K- Home

    YaYa we all know Cecilio was sick but the music was good. So no Cecilio jokes! lol Oo (stinkeye).

  73. Mark Shelby says:

    dihudfan…..LOL! Chicken! But what a fun experience ya?

  74. 4G says:

    @Mark’75 – re: Molokai

    I’ve been on one of those commuter airline flights. I think this was in the early 80’s, to Lanai. Those pilots really had to do it all. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the pilot loading luggage into the wing compartments. Also, you really haven’t experienced an air pocket until you’ve done so in one of those puddle jumpers. 😉

  75. dihudfan says:

    one experience I will never forget.. back in the late 70s I wuz invited to Kauai by one of my co-workers who own a large parcel of land in Hanalei… they arrange a flight for me and friends from a small company by the old airport… OK Airlines… a dual prop, 8-10 passenger plane… they flew straight to the Hanalei airport… wen we were boarding, the pilot asked me if I wanted to sit in the cockpit with him since the plane wuz filled… agreed… it wuz pretty exciting until we were approaching the air field… couldn’t believe how small the landing field wuz… talk about a white knuckle ride… landed and I think he said he had to reverse prop to stop faster… all the way to the end of the field… holding my a–… but we made it… wen wuz time to go home, wen fly Aloha…

  76. Mark Shelby says:

    dihudfan….I can remember in 1973, in the new terminal. Leaving for college to San Diego. And all the friends showed up! I had Leis up to my eyeballs!!!!!! Those were the good old days! When the airport was a very special place! And everyone always showed up. And it was disrespectful not to show up.

  77. dihudfan says:

    I remembah goin to the old airport to pickup one of our relatives, it wuz a exciting time for us kids… while waiting for the plane to arrive, we drank pineapple juice free of charge… what a thrill for us kids… it neat seeing a PanAm 4 prop airplane landing and taxing at the airport…
    ladahs in life, wen the new International wuz built… wuz really a neat place to go and spend some time wandering around… even did a photo session for a merit badge there… wuz fun…
    It wuz always nice wen you came home and someone wuz there to greet you at the gates…

  78. 4G says:

    As @eddyo said, The Beamer’s, “Honolulu City Lights” reminds me of flying out of HNL:

  79. Hbh says:

    O.T WooHoo! Hapa is comming to Portland for a concert. Im stoked.

  80. Mark Shelby says:

    My little bit more modern day experience fun with the south side of HNL and the original Terminal….
    In 1970, when I was just 15 years old, I began to take flying lessons at Cessna Hawaii, just up the tarmac from our original Terminal. I grew up just loving flying. It seems like that was all we ever did!

    So I decided I wanted to become a pilot. I went to work at our furniture warehouse for $1.85 per hour. And then I went on Saturdays to Cessna Hawaii for flying lessons, and I paid almost $30 per hour. But that was OK. It included the Cessna 150, the fuel and the Pilot, per hour. What a deal!

    I flew all over Oahu. Mainly over the sugar cane and pineapple fields in central Oahu. We also did touch and go landing at Dillingham field, and even the military Ford Island just for fun one day, my teacher taught me how to use the radio and get military clearance. Good to know in case of an emergency.

    I soloed at just 7 1/2 hours at Dillingham Field on the north shore. I have flown the Cessna 150 in to both Molokai and Maui. Maui is scary, mountains and updrafts, very bumpy! My goal was to become a pilot for either Hawaiian or Aloha at the time.

    Then plans changed as time went on. But those were the days!

    Taking off from HNL in one little Cessna 150 in 1970….when just 15 years earlier I first landed at Honolulu Airport at our old original Terminal in a 4 prop DC7 from Seattle.

  81. Mark Shelby says:

    Honolulu Airport…(I even remember the Spencecliff Corporation).

    Good history right here!


    In 1947, Trans-Pacific Airlines (later to be named Aloha Airlines), operating DC-3s, had an application pending before the Civil Aeronautics Board for a certificate as a scheduled air carrier; Hawaiian Air Transport Service with twin-engine Beechcraft airplanes, operated a deluxe charter and tour service; Hawaiian School of Aeronautics operated a ground and flying school; Cockett Airlines operated a charter service with twin-engine Beechcraft planes; Andrew Flying Service operated a charter service and flying school; K-T Flying Service operated a charter service and flying school; and Island Flight Service had consolidated with Aero Service and Supply in the operation of a repair, rental and charter service.

    Trans Air Hawaii, initiated four DC-3s in freight and express service and carried a total of 12 million pounds of cargo during the year 1947. They replaced their DC-3’s with larger C-46 cargo planes. On November 27, 1947 Trans Air received a CAB Letter of Registration to fly a regular freight schedule between islands.

    On April 1, 1948, a lease was entered into with the Spencecliff Corporation for the operation of a restaurant, coffee shop and cocktail lounge. The lessee was to expend not less than $40,000 for improvements to the existing restaurant building and the Hawaii Aeronautics Commission provided $15,000 towards the improvements. The project was to provide Honolulu Airport with a restaurant comparable to Mainland airports and provide the airport its most important source of non-aeronautical revenue.

  82. Hbh says:

    @Mark Shelby

    Nice find uncle.

  83. Hbh says:

    Oh Mahalo nui loa, to long on mainland lol.

  84. khs68 says:

    @hbh: hoito is japanese for “being piggy or greedy”.

  85. Hbh says:


    Auntie im not familiar with the word hoito, could you please tell me what it means mahalo.

  86. Hbh says:


    Wow chik’n’skin auntie. Samething happened to me when we came into Honolulu from the Mainland. If anyone knew, the reef runway in the 70s ended right at the waters edge? So we had this huge 747 comming for a landing that looked like it was going to land short and fall into the water. I was too close. 🙂

  87. khs68 says:

    First time I went to Molokai I thought we were going to run out of runway on the landing. I imagined the floor opening up and all the passengers dragging their feet like in the Flintstones. Taking off was scary too. I wanted to yell out, “eveybody lift up your okoles, especially you fat guys!” When they asked me if I wanted to go to Molokai again, I said “nah, give someone else a chance. I don’t want to be hoito”. hehehe

  88. Hbh says:


    Mahalo uncle I will, brings me great aloha to do so. Hopefully I can come home sometime. You can spot me by being the half native guy looking lost and walking around like a tourist because everything has known has changed lol :-), a stranger in my own home. 🙁

  89. Mark'75 says:

    @Mark Shelby: Thanks. Elaine was a very sincere, kind hearted person. I miss her so.

  90. Mark Shelby says:


    I have met Ruddy Tongg’s sons. This family was friends with Elaine Luff. Elaine used to go horseback riding on the windward side with the Tongg family. And go to watch the Polo Matches at Kapiolani Park and watch them play. My favorite surf spot off Diamond Head was named after the Tongg family. They had a house nearby. Sometimes, competition does not work in your direction. Sad to lose Aloha Airlines. I had many years of awesome flights with them, and nothing but good memories.

  91. Hbh says:

    Lol, you poor guys. Tell you what, you can have all the Popeye’s(good chicken) restaurants in the Portland Oregon area, for one K.C or Rainbow Divein, Wo Fats, Tastee Treat, Zippy’s, Fishmonger’s Wife( just to name a few) your pick lol. Yeah the grass is always greener :-).

  92. Mark'75 says:

    @4G: Nice story! Might I add:
    The Wonderful World of Aloha
    So sad they’re gone, no?

  93. Mark'75 says:

    When I first started my current job, we’d fly to Molokai on Molokai Air Shuttle. A neat little two engine prop plane. The pilot would load baggage in the compartments on the wings, then seat passengers according to their weight to balance the plane. In a full plane, one passenger sat in the co-pilot’s seat. After everyone was seated, the pilot would climb in, shut the door, and climb through everyone to his seat. The first time, I whispered to my partner, “If he pulls on a leather helmet, I’m getting off.” One time, we taxied out of the Honolulu Terminal, rolled out onto the runway, then did a U-turn back to the terminal for one more passenger. When the pilot opened the door to let him in, the other passengers said, “WHAT, you late again?!” Everyone laughed. In the air, the plane got buffeted by winds and was pushed sideways a bit. Sometimes, we hit an air pocket and the plane dropped a bit (talk about guts in the throat excitement). After landing, the pilot got out, unloaded baggage, then after lining us up, led us to the gate where he’d unlock the padlock and send us on our way. Truly, the hardest working pilots I’d ever seen. It was sad, when they ended their operations.

  94. Mark'75 says:

    @khs68: Thanks! Maybe we gotta be like old folks and get there at 4:30 for dinner…maybe then get chance 😆

  95. 4G says:

    I’m not absolutely certain, but I think this would be the kind of plane I had my first plane ride in. Aloha Airlines DC-3 – to Maui.

    @khs68 and Mark’75 – I think I’ll stick with the Dillingham Popeye’s! LOL.

  96. khs68 says:

    @Mark’75 – If you going after 5pm, then you can sneak into the American Savings Bank lot and make believe you going use the ATM but keep walking. I think Bank of Hawaii chains up their lot after hours — the stinkers. Or, park in 7-Eleven go inside buy soda and then go to Popeye’s.

  97. Mark'75 says:

    @keoni: Yup, Molokai and Lanai airports are old fashioned, single building terminals, but with A/C. Once off the plane, walk through a gate in the chain link fence to baggage claim. And…parking at those airports are free. TSA on Molokai and Lanai = Dream Job!

  98. Mark'75 says:

    @khs68: Good advice. I guess foot mobile is the way to go.

  99. Mark Shelby says:

    I have been trying to find a video of an actual landing of a DC6 or DC7 at the old HNL terminal. This is all I have found so far. It’s from a movie from 1948. And strangely, I can remember seeing this movie on TV later as a kid. You will see the prospective from the Tower. And some interesting views of what the old planes looked like inside. And the steps on wheels to walk off the old planes. This is how I flew to and landed at Honolulu airport as a baby starting in 1956 for me….

  100. khs68 says:

    OT BTW:

    If you’re thinking of going to the new Popeye’s in Kapahulu, don’t go solo. It’s a two-person operation. The drive-thru entrance is off Kapahulu, so once you turn in, YOU ARE TRAPPED. The parking lot (4 or 5 stalls) entrance is on Williams Street (mauka). But if you park in the makai stalls YOU ARE TRAPPED trying to get out because that’s where the drive-thru exit lane is. Your best bet is to get dropped off, run inside, and call your driver on your cell when you pau. Oh, and when I was there, every order ahead of me had some kind of mistake. So it took 40 minutes to get my food including the mistake that had to be corrected on my order. I heard from a friend that went through the drive-thru that it took him 30 minutes to get his food. He had to turn off his engine three times.

    For us, we’re going to stick with the Dillingham Popeye’s for now — plenty parking and employees know what they’re doing.

  101. keoni says:

    Wow, Mark Shelby! The airport is so beautiful in that picture. Sadly it is just sterile and utilitarian today, but the Island Air terminal does still have some of the old feel to it.
    I do like the Kona Airport. It is a lot like all the airports used to be. I imagine that Molokai is still like it used to be.

  102. keoni says:

    @Hbh Mahalo for that landing video. That is so cool – makes you feel just like you’re in the plane with them! Keep sharing what you find and hope you are able to get back “home” soon for a long visit.

  103. khs68 says:

    When I used to fly to Europe for work, Air France had some hot, hot, hot male flight attendants. Whee Paree!

  104. 4G says:

    LOL – I miss the old time stewardesses (and token stewards). Ever since they became “flight attendants”, not so much . . . . 😉

  105. A.T. says:

    The best airport going away present to give to a friend leaving for college on the mainland (Oregon for most of the guys I knew) was a chicken katsu plate from Grace’s or Diners. The best gift you could get back from your friend returning from college was a six pack of Coor’s beer. That beer was “gold” back then, you couldn’t pay me enough to drink it now.

  106. Mark Shelby says:

    This pic is how I remember the old terminal. We would fly into Honolulu in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s from Seattle in a DC7 four engine prop plane. And it used to take 10 to 12 hours to make the trip. We would land and they would roll the stairs up to the plane so we could walk off. And all your friends and family were there on the tarmac waiting for you with leis. And everyone dressed up to fly. It was a big deal in those days.

  107. khs68 says:

    @kailua girl: And, the flight attendants on U.S. airlines are older (wrinkly) and more crabby (even the younger ones) than when I was a kid. The flight attendants on Asian airlines are younger, more gracious and accommodating to their passengers.

    Speaking of walking on the tarmac to get to the plane, I remember once when my Mom took me to Hilo we got on the wrong plane. Two planes were boarding at the same time — one to Hilo and the other to Kauai. It was early morning and dark so I guess Mom just followed along and then veered. Me? I small kid so I went wherever she went. Luckily they announced the destination before starting the engines. Oops — open the door let us out! This wouldn’t have happened if Dad was with us.

  108. kailua girl says:

    SIGH, the good old days! Yes, I recall my aunties waiting at the bottom of the plane for my older sister and me to come down the steps after that loooong flight from S.F.! It was our first flight ever! I was seven and she was ten years old and we both got sick…airbags in our hands. UGH
    They also gave you a lot more leg room back then, too. I remember getting a wings pin, a coloring book and a Pan Am bag. The stewardesses were so beautiful and pleasant and from then on, that was one of the things on my list of what I wanted to be when I grew up – that or a United Nations guide. LOL Instead, I ended up being a passenger with MANY flights to and from the mainland. I was very fortunate to constantly get upgraded to first class. It helped being a girl!
    Sadly, domestic first class is what coach was and coach is, well…what economy used to be and the flight attendants are
    nowhere near as glam as they used to be. They used to have weight checks but that ended years ago, along with the classy uniforms they wore.

  109. Mark'75 says:

    As a kid, I liked the coffee vending machine at the airport. The kind that dropped the foam cup down a chute, then filled it with your selected drink. I always chose the chicken soup.

  110. 4G says:

    I was always fascinated by airports/airplanes. I remember taking my first airplane ride the summer before starting kindergarten. It was a prop, too! LOL. I love to watch planes takeoff and land at the airport. There was a whole different “energy” associated with the airport and I really liked it. I think that a large part of that had to do with the excitement of people going off to some far away destination. Seeing someone off or being seen off was a bit of an event. It was fun and exciting. Like @Masako mentioned, you used to have to “dress up” to get on an airplane back then. There were Bon Voyage cards, gifts and lei. It’s different these days. I also miss the airport water fountain and the gardens that have been mentioned.

    I remember my first trip to the mainland. I believe that it was my fourth grade summer. The flight was aboard a Pan Am(!) Boeing 707. I also remember being thrilled on my first ride aboard a Boeing 747 when they were first placed into service. I believe that was Pan Am(!) as well. The 747 was truly a jumbo jet back then.

    LOL – remember those travelers’ insurance vending machines they used to have at the airport? I always wondered if those things made any money. Seemed like a pretty grim proposition to me – going to the airport and buying insurance, almost as though you were hoping that the plane would crash! 😉

    I really miss the simpler time when there were no such things as plane hijackings, acts of terrorism related to air travel, etc. I remember, like junior and senior years in high school, just going to the airport at night to hang out – to watch the planes and people watch. You used to be able to go into the terminal and sit and/or wander the concourses to your heart’s content – just had to be willing to pay for parking on the way out. I remember also being able to park near to Lagoon Drive at night to watch the planes takeoff and land. Those days are gone.

    When the security checkpoints were first instituted, it was an inconvenience, but much more “friendly” than what it is today. At least, you could still go to the gate to gather and see people off. Once they started allowing only ticketed passengers to the gate, the whole culture/mindset changed. Security became more than just an inconvenience – it became more of a pain.

    While I am still somewhat attracted to airports, it’s not the same. These days, I would just as soon avoid the airport and have learned to be satisfied with just viewing it from afar. I attribute this change to the escalating level of airport security.

    I used to fly pretty often. I am not as motivated to travel as I used to be. This is likely a function of age. If I must travel, though, I still find a certain attraction to being a part of the airport environs.

  111. Hbh says:

    I don’t have any memories of the old terminal or seeing anyone off. However I do have a great memory of coming in to Honolulu after a trip to the mainland with my mother. We landed on the reef runway and what an experience for a keiki lol.

    Landing reef runway. Just gorgeous.

    I do remember being greeted by ohana and lei girls, getting the kiss and leid( mind the pun lol) I remember later, going with my school on a fieldtrip to learn how leis were made at the airport. Ever wondered were your lei came froom? Check it out.

  112. Gareth says:

    I remember the days when you could walk right up to the plane, onto the tarmac and then up the stairs. If you were a kid, they would give you tiny metal wings to pin on your chest. When you came to Hawaii, beautiful ladies would greet you and drape a lei around your neck.

  113. Lori says:

    The robot like rolling pineapple juice machine! I remember chasing it around and you could take a cup and dispense as much juice as you wanted, or however much your parents would let you.

  114. Lowtone123 says:

    I used to love to watch the planes come and go from the large windows. Still do.

  115. Lowtone123 says:

    I remember the seats with the coin operated televisions. I thought that was so cool as a kid.

  116. M says:

    Guud morning MLCers!
    The good ole days with no baggage fees, no TSA and everyone could go to the gates.

  117. Masako says:

    Good Morning! I have lots of memories of the old airport. I remember the fountain that you would pass when you approached the airport on Nimitz, I would see that and know we were at the airport.
    I remember seeing various friends and relatives off. Making plumeria and candy lei’s to give them. I recall those black chairs at the airport, some of them even had TV;s attached to them. What I remember most was having to climb up the stairs to get into the airplane. They still do that in Kona which always brings back memories.
    I was 3 on my first Mainland trip. I don’t remember the send off but my mom and I had lots of lei’s in the pictures. I do remember the flight which was way different than it is today. The second time I went Mainland I was 8 and everyone came to see us off. I remember all the lei’s and people giving us snacks and stuff. Before we got on the plane they took a picture of our tour group before we went up the stairs. Once we got on the plane I could see all the relatives waving at us from that outside deck. How cool that was!
    Back then too, I remember having to dress up to go on the airplane. I also remember having pineapple juice in the baggage claim area, even when we would go pick people up.

    These days with security and all that its no fun. Recently M took our son up to college. I wanted to park the car and hang with them but my daughter said no sense, with security having such long lines and the gates being so far, its best that they just go through after they check in. So I just dropped them off and while driving home I yearned for the time when we could go with them to the gate to say our goodbyes.

  118. Mark'75 says:

    Walking toward Gate 54, take a look over the railing. You’ll see the remnants of the garden that was there long ago. If you look further makai, you can see the building 4G described that was the terminal where we used to go up on the roof and wave to the plane as it departed. The building is taller now though.

  119. Mark'75 says:

    In my current job I have to fly interisland a lot. When we travel to Molokai and Lanai, we fly on Island Air. Everytime I get to Island Air, a flood of memories come back to the old Hawaiian and Aloha Airlines terminal. A lot of things there have not changed since the ’70s. Just sitting outside the Island Air terminal looking out toward the parking lot, I almost expect to see the lighted fountain in the distance. If you have a chance to stop by Island Air’s terminal, take a look around, it’ll be neat.

  120. jaydee says:

    The thing I remember most is my Uncle Joe tyeing up box after box with his “special” knot. Dayum those knots were a thing of beauty! And the boxes were filled with all kinds of goodies; Kings sweet bread, custard pies, frozen fish (usually kala), bags upon bags of cracked seed, candy leis…it was like Christmas for the mainland family.

  121. eddyo says:

    Good morning
    All I can think of is Honolulu City Lights by the Beamer bros to capture data feelin’ of leaving Hawaii…

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