We grew up on Kāne‘ohe Bay Drive, not far from the Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i.
Marines, then, didn’t have cars and weren’t allowed to hitchhike. Folks in the community were always accommodating to these young men.
I remember when I was little; my mother packed us in the Ford Fairlane station wagon and we’d “go for a ride.”
So, there we are, three kids and a mom piled in a car … and my mother was looking to pick up Marines.
It’s not how it sounds.
When we spotted some, we’d stop and offer them a ride – they always accepted.
As we drove them to Kailua (their usual destination,) we used our body and sign language to confirm if they were “the right ones.”
When my mother felt the time was right, she popped the question – “Would you nice young men like to join us for Thanksgiving Dinner?”
They agreed. A few days later, we shared our Thanksgiving dinner with 3-4 Marines.
They then joined us for Christmas; my mother sewed an aloha shirt for each of them as a Christmas present.
Over the years, these guys continued to exchange Christmas cards with my mother; I know it made her happy.
Wishing you and your loved ones peace, health, happiness and prosperity in the coming New Year! Merry Christmas!!!
One of my favorite Christmas songs, Henry Kapono – Merry Christmas to You (accompanied by some Marines:)