Also see the photos: The Kailua House and Pat Crane
WOI: Have I told you about the canned goods? WGI: I remember that one! It's hilarious! WOI: Yeah, that one was really good. The war had gone on and everything had gotten to be about as normal as they could be. I was in "Shop 08" which was a shop that was responsible for the utilities and the general services for the harbor. I'd gotten a call early in the morning from a commissary steward at the sub base. He said he wanted five dump trucks for an hour or two. If I could send him five dump trucks? I said, "Yes, I can, but I have to have them [back] right after lunch." [He said,] "OK. You'll have 'em" As it turned out, the trucks didn't return. So I got in my station wagon to see what was going on. I had a truck foreman, a glorified laborer, that was in charge of these five trucks. We called him "Likki." From "likki-likki" which is "quick-quick" in Hawaiian. [I asked,] "Likki, what are you doing with these trucks?" He said, "I'm haulin' canned goods!" "You're hauling canned goods?" "Yeah! We haulin' *canned* goods!" "Where you hauling them to?" "We haulin' 'em to the dump!" "Good God! Food is rationed. Not here in Hawaii, but it's rationed all over the rest of the world! Let me see what you're doing." So he took me to the Chief Commissary Steward. Here was a huge warehouse full of canned goods. WGI: Big industrial sized cans, I imagine. WOI: Yeah! All gallon sized. Six gallons to the carton. So I went in there and looked at it, and there'd be a carton of catsup, maybe. And maybe one can was broken and everything would be covered with catsup. There'd be a can of peas, a can of peaches... a six pack of peaches - whatever. Dehydrated potatoes. I said, "Fellow, what in the world are you hauling this to the dump for?" He said, "Do you see [this] little piece of gold braid on my cap?" "Yeah." He said, "Nobody's going to bother me for hauling this to the dump. But if I poison a hundred men with some contaminated food they're going to strip that little gold band off my cap! So why the hell can't I haul this to the dump?!" I said, "You got a point there, I guess." So I said, "Likki, do you know where I live?" "Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah!" "I live across the Pali." "Yeah, I know where you live." I said, "Why don't you take five of these trucks, one [load] apiece, and haul a load of these and dump them in my back yard." "OK, Mr. Bill! OK! We'll do it." I get home that night, and here was a mountain, a *mountain*, of gallon cans in my back yard! Both: <laughter> WOI: I thought, what the hell am I going to do with these cans? Well, all my neighbors gathered around. "What's going on here?" [they asked.] I said, "I just got a donation from the Navy base." We decided that we'd just eat around the edges of the pile. We'd pick out a can of peas, and everybody'd divide up the peas. Of course, you couldn't eat a gallon of peas, but among us all we could eat a gallon of peas. As it turned out, the flies started to gather around with the stuff that was spilled around from the leaking cans. I thought, that's no problem, I'll just take the garden hose and hose them all down. So I hosed the pile down. Kind of separated a few of them a little bit. After I'd thoroughly washed them down and the sun came out the next morning, all the labels shriveled and you couldn't tell what was what! Both: <laughter> WOI: So we got kind of a game going [among] five or six neighbors, I think it was, that were in on this. We decided that we'd all put in a dollar, in the pot, and we would pick out a gallon can. And we'd shake it. This fellow'd say, "That sounds like... peas!" "No, no, that corn!" "No, that's peaches!" We'd record what each one said and whoever was the winner would pick up the six dollars. Then we'd divide up whatever the hell it was! And we'd eat it that night! This went on and on. Finally we gathered a crowd and it got bigger and bigger. <chuckle> Finally we worked quite a hole into the pile. But we had quite a lot of fun at it. Here was a man... WGI: Mystery food! WOI: Yeah! Mystery food! Here was a man shaking a can close to his head, close to his ear, "Nah, this is peaches!" "No, this is pears!" Both: <laughter> WOI: We had a lot of fun over that!Copyright © 1996 by William G. Innanen. All rights reserved.