Mark Shelby had a great suggestion for a blog topic – Outdoor Life.
Back in our day, we didn’t have video games or 100+ TV stations to keep us indoors. Once the morning cartoons were over, it was time to get outside and see what’s up for the day.
When it was the start of vacation, there were so many things on our list to do. But after about a week or two, we ran out of stuff. We usually all rode our bikes to some person’s house and hung out trying to decide what to do. You can almost picture it: about 3 or 4 of us sitting on our bikes in a makeshift circle with all the front tire facing the inside of the circle. Hanging over our goose-neck handlebars tossing out ideas.
Then someone suggests “Let’s go swimming at the YMCA pool!”. We all look at the sky to make sure it’s nice an sunny. Then we all race home on our bikes to change into swim shorts and meet up back at whoever’s house in 10 minutes – towels in hand and a quarter for entrance to the YMCA pool. Maybe try to scrounge up another quarter for the candy machine afterwards.
Or someone might suggest “Let’s go hiking up Gorilla Head”. Everyone agrees and we all take off towards Kalaheo Intermediate (at that time). When we got there, we’d lay our bikes down somewhere close to the trail-head and start heading up the mountain. Barefoot. After reaching the top of the mountain and enjoying the view of Kailua on one side and Kaneohe on the other, we begin our trek back down.
I remember one time hiking up “Oneawa Hills” from the Aikahi side and walking along the ridge-line all the way to Kalaheo, then back. Of course we had to stop by the military antennas, the old abandoned water tank, and the pillbox. Again, this was all barefoot. We sure had some leather-tough feet back then.
Another time my friends said “Let’s catch the bus to town!”. So I rode my bike home to change and ask my mom for 2 dimes to catch the bus to town and back home. She said “No”. She thought that I was too young to be catching the bus. Even after explaining that I was going with my 2 friends, she still refused to let me go. I had to meet back up with my friends to tell them the bad news. They went anyway. I had to spend the whole day by myself – mad at my mom. When my dad got home from work, I told him what happened and he said I should go ride the bus around town and explore like he did when he was a kid. But it was too late. My friends went and came back already. I missed the outing. Boo-hoo-hoo.
Sometimes we’d go diving. We used to have the home-made Hawaiian sling – the kine made with the bent door-hinge and surgical-rubber tubing. And an old rusty black spear.
We didn’t catch anything, but was good fun anyway. Was probably pretty dangerous riding our bikes down to the beach hauling a spear, fins, snorkel and mask. I think we used to have a bag – made of old rice bags – that was used just for diving. We’d use it to store all our diving gear in and make it easier to carry – while still riding our bikes with spears facing forward. Talk about Abunai!
We used to have so many things to do when we were little. Even if it was just shooting hoops at the park or hitting tennis balls with rackets we got from Gold Bond stamps. There were so many activities for us – all accessible by bike.
What was your small-kid-time Outdoor Life like? What kinds of activities did you do during the long summer breaks? Share your memories with us.
And Mahalo to Mike Shelby for today’s blog idea!
It’s not live bands – but a MLC kine party nonetheless: