In the mid-1950s, Honolulu was still "sailor-town" and there were many seedy areas. Waikiki, the beach area of Honolulu, however, was a tourist area and very elite. It is where one would find the high-end hotels and shopping. It was where my friends and I decided to hang out one day.
It was a school day, and Mike-ee Wai-Kee, Sarah, Vern and I all decided we were going to ditch school and go to Waikiki. We decided we were going to pretend we were rich tourists staying at the Hawaiian Village Hotel.
On the day we had chosen, we all dressed for school and met one another. We rode on the public bus to Waikiki. Once we arrived, I walked around with an unlit cigarette in my hand, trying to appear sophisticated. Some of the other kids chose to light their cigarettes.
We toured the Hawaiian Village Hotel and visited their gift shop. I fell in love with a huge life sized stuffed tiger priced at $600.00 and acted like I was going to buy it but then changed my mind. If I had $600. to blow I probably would have bought it, I liked it so much.
We ate lunch at a small concession stand at the beach, we couldn't afford the hotel restaurant. We walked the beach, allowing the surf to flow across our bare feet. We had our school clothes on so we couldn't go swimming.
After a day of trying to impress everyone we met it was time to return home. We took the public bus back to the school bus and then headed home, where no one knew we had spent the day playing hooky in Waikiki.