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Old 06-28-2011, 11:05 AM   #21
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When the Navy moved us to Oahu in 1989 there were almost no big-box stores on the island. I believe Costco had opened in 1988 but not even K-Mart was here. No Wal-Mart or Home Depot or Lowes. Even local icon City Mill didn't carry all the hardware and home-improvement supplies we sought.
Hey!! When I left in 1975, we didn't have those stores but we had Holiday Mart which was great.

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It got pretty tiresome hearing "Six to eight weeks from the Mainland, brah."
Ugh, does THAT bring back memories. And then they would tell you that, but it could take 3-4 months if you weren't lucky. Everything took forever to get.

Also there were limits on what was even available. I remember getting a cute orange and yellow dress for school from Sears, a real eye-catcher, back in 1965 and finding to my chagrin that two classmates got the same one. That happened a lot, because we didn't have much variety of styles to choose from in Honolulu back in those days.

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Today we can "just buy it when we need it", but it's awful hard to unlearn those "I might need it someday" habits. In the back of my mind, "someday" might be a Cat 5 hurricane or a shipping strike.
Internet shopping must have really improved the quality of life in the islands.
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:51 AM   #22
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Hey!! When I left in 1975, we didn't have those stores but we had Holiday Mart which was great.
Ouch! Share those memories around here and people will start calling you "kupuna"... way before my time but IIRC it's gone from Diaei to "Don Quixote", which name choice I still haven't figured out.

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Also there were limits on what was even available. I remember getting a cute orange and yellow dress for school from Sears, a real eye-catcher, back in 1965 and finding to my chagrin that two classmates got the same one. That happened a lot, because we didn't have much variety of styles to choose from in Honolulu back in those days.
We have a set of wooden pull-down steps in our rental home's attic that we installed in 1990. They were impossible to find anywhere on island, but one day we saw a newspaper ad that a shipment of them was arriving at Home Improvement Warehouse. I was at sea that week and couldn't be there. On the blessed arrival day spouse finished her 12-hour midwatch at 6 AM, drove downtown from the CINCPACFLT Makalapa Crater compound, and napped in the parking lot until they opened at 9 AM. There were only 12 of those steps kits on the container but by 9:05 she was the proud owner of #11.

HIW went out of business a short while later. When the state's first K-Mart took over their space, the opening-day crowds completely gridlocked Honolulu traffic for a 10-block radius.

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Internet shopping must have really improved the quality of life in the islands.
The big deal before the Web took off was being able to shop from the Navy Exchange's international catalog... even though you were technically stationed in America.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:50 AM   #23
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Ouch! Share those memories around here and people will start calling you "kupuna"... way before my time but IIRC it's gone from Diaei to "Don Quixote", which name choice I still haven't figured out.
Don Quixote sounds weird! And yes, I probably qualify to be called that by now, I am so old. Don't have a grandkid yet so I won't take my mother's nickname of "tutu" quite yet.

Back in the 70's Holiday Mart was considered to be really modern and state of the art - - it had groceries and everything, "jus' like Mainlan' sto'ahs..."

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There were only 12 of those steps kits on the container but by 9:05 she was the proud owner of #11.
That was quite an achievement! And if she had not done that, you probably wouldn't have seen those steps for another decade. When my father had our house built back in the 1960's, one of the biggest tasks was ordering all the building supplies in the correct order. The first thing he had to order, even before the ground was leveled or the slab poured, was the flu for the chimney (why he had one, I will never know). That had a 4-6 month lead time or more, as I recall.

And I remember "back in the day", it really made a huge difference if you paid for air mail postage because otherwise a letter could take a month or longer to get to the mainland.

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HIW went out of business a short while later. When the state's first K-Mart took over their space, the opening-day crowds completely gridlocked Honolulu traffic for a 10-block radius.
I can't believe HIW is out of business. Not that I went there much (being a renter at the time), but that's another store that I think of as recent.

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The big deal before the Web took off was being able to shop from the Navy Exchange's international catalog... even though you were technically stationed in America.
That's something we never tried! But then my ex and I were just dating in Hawaii, and didn't marry until shortly after he got transferred away, in 1975. He did take me with him into that big Navy Exchange, I think at the Pearl Harbor base a few times and it was pretty cool.

Even though Hawaii has changed so much in my lifetime, still I have wonderful memories of long ago. My friends and I would sit around in muu-muus or bikinis in the heat stringing ginger leis and orchid leis to wear just for fun, walk barefoot into Kailua town for shave ice or li hing mui, drink fresh coconut milk on the beach, body surf at Makapuu, mud slide at Nuuanu, skinny dip late at night at Kailua beach, climb through tropical rain forests to the top of the Pali, swim in isolated mountain pools, that kind of thing. Most of those activities are still possible even if it isn't possible to shop at Holiday Mart dressed only in one's string bikini any more.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:07 PM   #24
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He did take me with him into that big Navy Exchange, I think at the Pearl Harbor base a few times and it was pretty cool.
I think that was two NEX's ago. The "new" NEX, which has been up for several years now, is reputed to be the world's largest combined NEX/commissary. (It's still next to the Navy/Marine golf course but with a much bigger parking lot.) They built the two operations around a central rotunda & food court that's open to the public. The rotunda ceiling is actually a Wyland whale "wall".

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Even though Hawaii has changed so much in my lifetime, still I have wonderful memories of long ago. My friends and I would sit around in muu-muus or bikinis in the heat stringing ginger leis and orchid leis to wear just for fun, walk barefoot into Kailua town for shave ice or li hing mui, drink fresh coconut milk on the beach, body surf at Makapuu, mud slide at Nuuanu, skinny dip late at night at Kailua beach, climb through tropical rain forests to the top of the Pali, swim in isolated mountain pools, that kind of thing. Most of those activities are still possible even if it isn't possible to shop at Holiday Mart dressed only in one's string bikini any more.
In the last year our daughter has addicted half of her dorm to li hing mui powder, one chow package at a time. It'd be easier to ship it in 10-pound cans.

I was going to suggest that you're overdue for a hana hou visit, but I don't think you want to disturb your hanabutta memories by seeing what's happened to the islands since you left!
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Old 06-30-2011, 09:56 AM   #25
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Today's project is taking a truly stuffed hybrid to nearby BigTown to sell books to the used store. Then later, take the "silver" to an antique mall and see if I can sell it. Keeping the silver flatware, but I NEVER have been able to polish these serving pieces to any satisfactory result. Wish me luck!
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:13 PM   #26
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Report: sold most of books (4 medium bins, each of which contained about two of the boxes we had the books in) for $120, not too bad. Now taking the rejects to library. Only spent $18 inc tip to share a Vietnamese lunch w/ spouse, and accomplished a few other errands. I am beginning to see the house emerge!
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:51 PM   #27
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Don Quixote sounds weird!
Yes. You might be interested to know that the Don Quixote store in Kailua (formerly known as Daiei) is no more, and will re-open in about a year as a (hold your breath) Target!
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:01 PM   #28
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Yes. You might be interested to know that the Don Quixote store in Kailua (formerly known as Daiei) is no more, and will re-open in about a year as a (hold your breath) Target!
That is hysterical! What amazing changes.
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