Pineapple Brings Back Memories

Pineapple, symbol of hospitality and of Hawai`i

Pineapple, symbol of hospitality and of Hawai`i

I learned to cut pineapples from a pre-movie feature at a theater in El Paso, Texas, the year Hawai`i became a state. The Islands were all the rage that year, with the advent of jet travel making it possible for the average mainlander to think of flying off to a tropical paradise newly joined to the United States. I had no idea as I watched that little film that I’d soon be in Hawai`i myself.

But, along with the rest of the country, I was fascinated by our new state. Around that same time, Parade Magazine ran a story about the mu`umu`u fad among college girls. Inspired, I requisitioned a purple blouse of my mother’s and used my newly acquired Singer sewing machine skills to stitch on a matching bottom, creating a floor-length dress. A safety pin held a floppy purple flower at the shoulder and kept Mom’s blouse from falling off me. I felt so islandish.

As it happened, my father was one of those who suddenly looked toward Hawai`i and realized it had always been in his dreams. He brought me here, and here I stay.

That little movie feature stuck with me. I still cut a pineapple in the same way. The other day, a pineapple-farmer friend gave me a gorgeous pineapple fresh from the Upcountry Maui fields. As I always do, I chopped off first the end, then the crown, then stood the fruit upright and sliced down the sides, removing the pineapple skin just as I learned so long ago. I was wearing a real mu`umu`u my mother gave me decades after I made my first one from her old blouse. And I was so grateful to still be living in that dream I inherited from my father. How lucky can a person be.

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4 thoughts on “Pineapple Brings Back Memories

    • Jill

      🙂

  1. Camille Taylor

    Jill all my memories of Hawaii start with Arthur Godfrey playing the ukulele on his TV show, remember that? What a creative young woman you were and still are, well not the young part. Lol!

    • Jill

      I guess I missed out on Arthur Godfrey. And now we all know how old we really are!

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