Rites of Passage – Then and Now

Rite of PassageA rite of passage is a ceremony and marks the transition from one phase of life to another. Although it is often used to describe the tumultuous transition from adolescence to adulthood, it does refer to any of life’s transitions (Births and Beginnings, Initiations, Partnerings, and Endings or Death). There are many passages in our lives if we choose to mark and celebrate them.


As I mentioned in the MLC Rite Of Passage post, I thought we’d think about the various Rites of Passage that we went though.


I did name a couple:

  • Working at the Cannery
  • Your first kiss
  • Getting your driver’s license
  • Graduating from school

But I’m sure there’s many more.  Some, not everyone had the chance to experience – like me – since I never worked at the Cannery.


How about:

  • Learning to ride a bike – This passage opened up a whole new world for me as I could go exploring all around Kailua back in the day.
  • Your first traffic ticket – You’re officially a law-breaker
  • Your first job – And your first pay-check.  Money that’s all yours to spend however you want to.
  • Your first fight – Mine was with the next door neighbor.  I was around 10 years old.
  • Shaving – Before a 9th grade dance, I took my dad’s razor and tried to shave.  Cut myself up pretty good.  As my friends and I were walking to the dance, I told them that I shaved that night.  My friend said he was wondering what all the white pieces of tissue were on my face (on all the cuts).
  • Getting Lickins’ – a passage that was experienced more than once.
  • Going into the military – Not a passage that I experienced.
  • Getting married – Yes, I would do it again.
  • Having children – Yes, I would do it again too.
  • Being a grandpa – Haven’t reached there yet.
  • Retiring – Haven’t reached there yet either.
  • Driving a family van – Been there, done that.


Okay, what Rites of Passage can you think of.  Go ahead and leave a little blurb about it if you’d like.  And yes, there is one that I left out on purpose.  😉

53 Responses to “Rites of Passage – Then and Now”

  1. 4G says:

    To this day, I don’t get why I had to learn about pecks and bushels, and why they were on the standardized tests! 😉

  2. 4G says:

    I never had the experience myself, but I would think one is going away for school.

  3. dihudfan says:

    graduating from high school… hated going to school, but wuz so sad knowing high school days were ovah…
    entering the army… meeting new guys… luckily joined when they were forming an all Hawaii co…
    going to Viet Nam… scarry moments… life changing moments…
    gettin married and having children… life changing big time…
    gettin divorced… life changing, freedom and time to grow up…
    bowling my first 300… even tho wuz only practice… did it multiple times but never wen it counted in league play…
    finally retiring… nevah thought the time would come, but now time just flies by so quickly… got bored and now working part time… interesting times now…
    having a grandchild… wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!!…

  4. Hawai'ian by Heart says:

    Sorry for spelling and grammer. On my phone. Also the HAPA concert was great.

  5. Hawai'ian by Heart says:


    Learned to ride a bike, had a big wheel before bike.

    Dirty lickins- alot because i was kolohe, but my okole was just as hard as my head back den. Broke alot of wooden spoons.

    Joined the military Yup.

    First kiss: A gorgous japanese girl in grade school. She came over to play atari wit me. Giggled and kissed me right on da lips.

    Death- lost my last wahine who i was with fo 7+ years. She died recently of a heart attack.

    Birth of my daughter: would do it again.

    Jail- bwahahaha rememba my head as hard as mt okole

    Owning my own business: priceless

    Drinking etc- lets not go there. Lets say the first timw i woke up in someone elses lawn the first time i went to a party.

    Big rite of passage was learning no matter how hard your life is/was that you can always count on yourself and you are never alone. Even if your are alone. Rite of passage is learning to find aloha in anything, that joy doesnt come from outside stuff.


  6. Mark Shelby says:

    Visiting the Arizona Memorial for the first time around 1962, after it was first built. I was just 7 years old. That’s when I realized the sacrifice that our military makes to keep us free. I had tears. I read all of the names on the wall. I threw a lei in the water above the ship. I think I remember there used to be lei stands at the boat launch to go visit the Arizona Memorial. And this was a tradition, to throw a lei out of respect.

  7. ankleBYTERS says:

    @Rodney – about a minute…they have no idea what the cause was as it happens once in awhile.

    @Seawalker – I didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel…good thing, it might have been an oncoming train….lol..

  8. Mark Shelby says:

    Regarding my above post……I still remember this good old bugga running this crack seed store! This was my favorite crack seed store! Some good history on this video at the link about Kaimuki too.

    Where You Live: Owner of Kaimuki’s Crack Seed Store

    Read more:

  9. Mark Shelby says:

    Eating my first cuttlefish! Probably 1959 in Waikiki. Da bugga smell stink but tastes good. How can that be I thought! That launched me into all kine local kine snacking’s! Anything in a large glass jar was good den!

  10. Mark Ellis says:

    First kiss–Christmas Day 1965. Walked the gorgeous Lani back to her house in Kailua’s Mokapu Tract, got planted, walked back home (I was walking a little funny for a while) but didn’t make it back in time for the Christmas dinner my mother had waiting. Dad freaked, I got a swat, sent to my room, no dinner, but I didn’t care.

    Lani, if you’re out there, mahalo for initiating me into 50 years of the joys and tribulations of relationships with the opposite sex.

  11. Mark Shelby says:

    OH YA! Baby!

    I still neva had my mid life crisis yet, even! ; )

  12. DIO says:

    Mark Shelby: The question is, can you still shake it “li dat” ? 😆

  13. Mark Shelby says:

    My first job was when I was about 11 years old. Working for Wigwam Stores doing toy commercials that were shown on the Checkers and Pogo Show. We made the commercials in the KGMB studios. I was demonstrating the new toys at our stores. I am the first one in Hawai’i that demonstrated the first Hula Hoop in Hawai’i on T. V. I felt pretty silly during that one, shaking it li dat!…LOL

  14. Seawalker says:

    @Ankles – No bright lights? Glad you’re alright tho. But, if it was pitch black with flames and pitchforks, then you know you were gravitating to the south pole and not the north. 😆

  15. M says:

    Did a bike race going up Tantalas.

  16. M says:

    Did the marathon
    Did the Kona Ironman Triathlon
    Did the Waikik Rough water Swim
    Did the bike around the island race

  17. 4G says:

    Having an actual midlife crisis – DUH! LOL.

    I would say that mine was somewhere in the neighborhood of 36 – 38. That’s about the point in time where it became obvious to me that things were starting on a gradual downslope. I don’t mean this as a negative statement – more a statement of reality. At about that age, it started to become more and more obvious that the first-step was not as quick, the jump not quite as high. The body started to take longer to heal after injury. Life had settled into a groove for a while already. Weight came on a lot easier than it ever did before and taking it off was more difficult than it ever had been. It really struck home that nature is, indeed, immutable. As much as I still wanted to be “young”, the reality was that that was no longer true. The feeling was not the most pleasant and there was a desire to “fight” it. LOL – yeah, right! 😉

  18. 4G says:

    Learning to swim

  19. M says:

    Guud morning MLCers!
    happy Aloha Friday!

  20. Mark Shelby says:

    Rodney……even my private school in Aina Hina had a public shower room. I thought that was horrible!

    What were they thinking? My God!

    I showered with my green Academy PE shorts on!…

    I still have those shorts in my bedroom on Diamond Head. It’s a memento of the right of passage I guess!……lol

    Since I am such a sentimental guy and all……..

    Place Embarrassed Face smiley here!

  21. Rodney says:

    @Ankles – How long were you out?!?

  22. Rodney says:

    @4G – Having to shower after PE. Yes, definitely a rite of passage.

  23. Mark Shelby says:

    Scared of riding the old green Honolulu buses for the first time in the 1960’s….and having to put a dime in the ding ding ding box! It was very smelly! But at least the windows went down! They were really old!

  24. 4G says:

    Eh, howzit @ankles. Long time.

    One of my bosses, many years ago, had a similar experience-dead and back. I asked him about lights, out of body experience, etc. His response was like yours, too, “Nothing, absolutely nothing”. LOL!

  25. ankleBYTERS says:

    Death – one foot was in the door while I was under anesthesia…stopped breathing….no bright lights…nada. All I remember is waking up in the recovery room afterwards with all of my kids present…..even my ex was there ❗

  26. ankleBYTERS says:

    – Getting drunk for the 1st time – in high school….really plastered, from a bottle of Ripple….I didn’t even remember getting home. The 2nd time was my wedding. There was no 3rd time…I learned my lesson ❗

    – Buying your 1st MLC car at 33 – vette of course 🙂
    – Black balloons on your 50th BD

  27. 4G says:

    @Rod – yeah, cannot forget, but still never learn! LOL!

    Holding your baby for the first time – this was in the delivery room. My daughter was so small, I could cradle her in one arm, her head in my palm. Was like carrying a football! LOL.

  28. Rodney says:

    @Masako – First Drink – forgot about that one.
    @4G – Getting sick from drinking too much – can’t forget about that one.

  29. 4G says:

    Cutting class/playing hooky the first time – gets a lot easier after the first time! 😉

  30. 4G says:

    Getting caught in a rip current

    Getting hijacked

    Catching the bus by yourself

    Having to shower after PE

  31. 4G says:

    Registering for the draft

  32. Mark Shelby says:

    Hiking up Diamond Head when I was just 11 years old all by myself in the mid 1960’s. And I thought I was a mountain climber!…..hehe That was back when nobody was allowed up there. And I would explore all of the bunkers around the rim. Especially the four story bunker at the very top.

    This launched me into many years of wonderful exploration hikes all around our islands.

  33. Hawai'ian by Heart says:

    Howzit everyone?

    I will comment later. Im at a HAPA concert. Waiting fo dem to start.

  34. M says:

    eat fugu- done that

  35. 4G says:

    Rocky Mountain Oysters – Yuck! LOL.

  36. M says:

    ate dog-done that

  37. M says:

    ate balut- done that
    ate rocky mountain oyster- done that
    ate fried crickets- done that
    ate dog- dog that

  38. M says:

    Church Mission trip- been there

  39. M says:

    Hernia- been there

  40. M says:

    Retirement- soon

  41. M says:

    Bad boy M….. 😆

  42. M says:

    restraining order against me – been there…

  43. M says:

    Getting arrested not once but twice- charges were dropped both times.
    Been inside the jail cell not once but twice.

  44. 4G says:

    Your first bicycle

    The first time your pet dies

    The first time a person of significance in your life dies

    Your first “camping” trip or night away from your parents/family

    The first time you force yourself to do something that you are really afraid of doing – for me, it was jumping off the high diving tower at the Farrington pool. I must have been in the fourth grade. That was REALLY scary. Climbed all the way up, looked down and went, “Ho, that’s a LOOONG way down!” Thought about it for a few seconds, seriously considered chickening out. Then – ah, WTH, BANZAI!!! LOL. It is, seriously, a long way down!

    Your first crush

    Your first date

    Your first girlfriend

    Your first heartbreak

    Your first canteen (dance) – talk about “nerjous”. LOL.

    Your first bank account – I remember we actually did that as a part of early elementary school. The class even had “tellers” and you could make deposits! LOL. Remember passbooks?

    Your first slow dance – “nerjous” again!

    Getting loaded the first time – multiple “first times”, ‘cause the different substances are, well, different . . . .

    The first time you really believed you were going to die – that was a frightful experience accompanied with full-on panic and freakout. After the first time, it’s still a little scary, but not nearly as traumatic. 😉

    Your first paying job (likely part-time)

    Your first “real” (full-time) job

    Your first “major” purchase

    Getting your driver’s license

    Your first car

    Your first car accident

    Getting sick from drinking too much – LOL; you swear you will never do that again – yeah, right! LOL.

    Driving loaded for the first time – I actually went off by myself to accomplish this. I figured that, if I didn’t do so well, I didn’t want to involve any of my friends . . . . LOL.

    Fake ID!!!

    Your high school graduation – not so much the graduation itself, but the fact that you are done with high school! And the parties – oh, the parties . . . . Must be a bummer growing up these days. I would refuse to attend a graduation “party” that was chaperoned (especially with one or more of my parents!)

    Turning 18 – this was a biggie back in the day. Today, it’s 21 – bummer! LOL.

    Your first charge card – Sears! There it is again . . . LOL.

    Losing your virginity – ‘nuff said. LOL.

    Moving out from your parents’ house

    Your first “home” purchase – that’s a LOT of papers to sign! LOL – had to sign my name so many times, I kind of forgot how to sign my name by the end . . . .

    Getting married – yeah, would really prefer to not do that again! 😉

    Having a kid – no regrets, but certainly no motivation to do that again, either! Timing is everything. I remember the stereotypical “birth”, growing up. The “dads” are in the hospital waiting room, smoking up a storm! LOL. Ummm – no, your butt will be in the delivery room (to say nothing of the Lamaze classes leading up to that – talk about TMI! LOL.) and you will have to go quite a ways away from the hospital if you even want to think about a cig . . . . LOL.

    Getting divorced – hopefully, never getting married again, then don’t have to revisit this one, either. LOL.

    Becoming a grandparent – hopefully, not anytime soon! Not looking forward to this one.

    Retirement – yeah, right . . . . Likely is not going to happen till the day I die. Which leads me to –

    The ultimate rite of passage – the final curtain call! Scary, but also kind of an adventure, to me. You never really know until you experience it yourself, eh? LOL – plus, people that have experienced it normally don’t recount it for you. 😉

    Is there something on the other side, or is it just nothing? I recently read something (can’t recall exactly what – LOL) – something about a parent explaining death to a young child. Went along the lines of, “Do you remember what it was like before you were born?” “No . . . .” “Well, death is kind of like that . . .”. Hmmm – makes a lot of sense . . . .

  45. Lowtone123 says:

    For me my list would include…
    Graduation from high school (a little anti-climatic, my grandfather passed away days before…it would have been the graduation of his first grandchild). My grandma said he was really forward to it.
    Purchasing my first home ( a one-bedroom townhouse, my bachelor pad). It would also be the moment I moved out of my parents house.
    And yes, there is one that I left out on purpose.
    Getting married
    Arrival of my first born (being a first time parent)

  46. jaydee says:

    First kiss – A girl from Radford whom I’ve mentioned more than once before…oh so unforgettable!

    Learning to ride a bike – My older sister Toni pushed me down a small hill and I was good to go.

    First ticket – Well, more like a warning. Made an illegal U-turn in Waipahu. The officer looked at me then my age, 17, and said, “Next time be careful”, and let me go.

  47. Masako says:

    Other Rites of Passage:
    Going to the prom – Over rated.
    Graduation from High school – One of the highlights of my life.
    Moving out of the parents house – The best part was being able to walk to the living room or kitchen from the bedroom in your undies when getting water or needing to get something you forgot.
    Having a master bedroom – Similar to above
    First Drink -Probably when I was 16 years old.
    Becoming empty nesters – Nice at times but sometimes I miss touching bases with the kids daily at the dinner table and I even miss their sports events or going to children’s activities. Miss them tagging along with us. Those of you with little ones, ENJOY, they grow up really fast.

  48. Masako says:

    Learning to ride a bike – I had a bike with training wheels and one day I just didn’t need them.
    Your first traffic ticket – I was driving a sick friend home, cop still gave me a ticket.
    Your first job – Pioneer chicken. Took the family out to dinner with my first paycheck.
    Your first fight – Never got into a physical fight, just verbal, probably in preschool with a playmate.
    Shaving – Probably in high school.
    Getting Lickins’ – Not too often, I was a quick learner.
    Going into the military – Did not do.
    Getting married – Would do it again.
    Having children – Would do it again.
    Divorce – Been through it once, never again.
    Being a obachan – Looking forward to it, hopefully after I retire so I can be full time grandma.
    Retiring – Looking forward to it!
    Driving a family van – I drove an SUV instead.

  49. M says:

    Guud morning MLCers!
    Smoking pot-been there
    Taking drugs- been there

  50. ankleBYTERS says:

    Learning to ride a bike – remember trying for the 1st time on a grass field in Japan on a military base. No strawberries or road rash…
    Jumping off the highest diving platform – nothing fancy, feet first..
    Your first traffic ticket – Friend and I with a car load of social girls from Leilehua returning from Bellows. It was in my BF’s Chevy Nova and was stopped just before the H1 ended in Pearl City. It was ‘taken’ care of…. 😉
    Your first job – And your first pay-check. Service station @$1.60/hr
    Your first fight – Around 10…win a few, lose a few….
    Shaving – As I look back, it’s a wonder we didn’t bleed out with the single razor blade Wilkinson’s. No way I would use those now.
    Getting Lickins’ – Life wasn’t normal if you didn’t …. lol …
    First prom – with a girl from Farrington whom I met from a social event. Bought my suit from Sears
    First auto loan – Having something that you own personally, even thou the bank still owned it
    Going into the military – Not a chance unless I enlisted…draft # was too high..
    Getting married – Yes
    First home – Yes
    Getting divorced – Yes
    Having a ‘soul mate’ – Yes, talk/text/email/IM every day
    Getting remarried – NO, but in a complicated relationship with FWB
    Having children – Yes
    Attending your kids wedding – Yes…one more to go 🙂
    Being a grandpa – Yes..that ‘G’ word is a good feeling when you hear it from your grand kids
    Colonoscopy – Yes
    Hearing aids – Yes
    Driving a family van – As I told my friends when we bought our 1st van…”I’m a marked man now, they will never mistake me for being single driving this thing around” 🙂 This was before the term ‘soccer mom’ or ‘mama mobile’ became popular
    Being retired – Next year…been attending retirement seminars to prepare myself

  51. superman808 says:

    Getting Laid counts?

  52. Mark Shelby says:

    One more…..

    Body surfing Makapuu since 1966 when I was just 11 years old! That launched my body surfing life! Totally dedicated! And went every chance I got! I actually began to love it more than surfing. I felt one with nature…….and the waves of Hawai’i. Our early morning sunrise body surfing sessions were always da bess! Nobody out! We would lay there in the early morning dark on the sand and watch the sunrise! We loved OUR Aina! We felt it, we breathed it, we lived it.

    got to go now cuz get tears……

  53. Mark Shelby says:

    Learning how to surf at Waikiki Beach in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel when I was just 7 years old from a local Waikiki Beach Boy in 1962. On one long board of course! That’s all we had back den! That launched my surf life!

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