Three of the most important years of my life were spent on a Marine Corps Base in Hawaii. I was 7 when we moved there in 1967.
We lived on the main road into officer’s housing just across the street from the Officer’s Club golf course. Our yard was sometimes littered with stray golf balls if the foursome at the hole closest to us had too much to drink or were just novice golfers.
It was a small 3-bedroom ranch on a corner lot. Outside my bedroom window was a palm tree that would drop coconuts on the roof, sometimes startling me out of a sound sleep.
There was no need for insulation in Hawaii. If you hammered a nail into a wall and then removed it, daylight would stream through the hole. It was military housing and nail holes were pretty much forbidden. They were too much of a bother to fix to pass housing inspection when transfer orders were received. You didn’t just pack up and leave military housing. The house had to be squeaky clean from top to bottom. Many women had a side gig cleaning houses with a guarantee of passing inspection.
There was also no need for air conditioning most of the time. The windows were all thrown open to the island breezes. We had an extended carport with a covered patio – the patio was called a lanai. My mother, and my father too if he were home, would sit on the lanai and watch the children play on the communal playground just beyond our backyard.
I racked up some hours on the swing set and merry-go-round.Continue reading