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November 19, 2003

Missing Hilo

Hello. My name is isobal, and today, I was really missing Hilo so much. What prompted my missing Hilo today was a conversation that I had a work . We have a new person at my job that moved here from Florida and wanted me to talk about Hilo because she and her husband are planning on a weekend trip there. I am the wrong person to ask about Hilo.... because once I start singing Hilo's praises... I cannot stop! I remember days when we got ice cream at the Isles and sushi from Kawamoto Store and great banana split from Paramount Grill... (my mom worked there when I was a child). I remember after ballet class I walked to her job and got a banana split. Yes... the hanna butta dayz in Hilo were the best.

Posted by isobal at November 19, 2003 09:20 PM


Posted by JJ on November 20, 2003 3:01 AM:

I have fond memories of Hawaii and the people. I think I visited Paramount Grill in Hilo while I was on vacation. Is it the restaurant on Piilani Street in the Kaikoo Mall? If it is, the fried rice was great but I didnít try the banana split.

Posted by Jen on November 20, 2003 7:20 AM:

If Ryan and I could live anywhere in the world, it would be Hilo. We met there in college. We still go back now and then. We're really in love with the whole big island, really. But Hilo is so special. We'd drive every other weekend to Hapuna beach, before the hotel was there.

Posted by Ryan on November 20, 2003 7:41 AM:

What my wife said. My family - the Hawaiian side - is from the Big Island, Hawi to be exact, and at a very deep level the energies that pervade the whole island always centers and rejuvenates me. But Hilo is very special to us... a place I would never have thought would make an impact on me, but became the epicenter of so many aspects of my life.

I know I missed out on "Old Hilo," but what was there for me was still special. And when it gets rainy and cool here in Honolulu, I get especially nostalgic.

Posted by Linkmeister on November 20, 2003 10:56 AM:

One word: sampans.

Posted by isobal on November 21, 2003 6:31 AM:

Ryan and Jen: Rainy and cool.... yes like these past few days here in Honolulu, made me miss Hilo so very much. It made me think of Bears Coffee Art and I setting at one of the sidewalk tables sipping their awesome dark brew and their great spinach omelette, and watching the rain fall.... as it does in Hilo more often then not. Hilo is a great place to relax at and raise a family. Hilo No Ka Oi.

Hello JJ: You are right. Their fried rice was so ono. Oh my God...... all this "food typing" is making me hungry!

Link: Sampan. Oh yeah..... I think they are all gone now. My mom had lots of pictures of her ridding that as a normal mode of transportation....... so unique.

Posted by macpro on November 21, 2003 11:14 AM:

Growing up 40 miles north of Hilo in Honokaa, I still have these memories:

Posted by macpro on November 21, 2003 8:51 PM:

More stuffs from Hilo...

Posted by isobal on November 22, 2003 6:58 AM:

Hello Macpro

Thank you for all the examples you sited. I experienced most of what you listed, but the rest..... just by growing up there. I can tell that you like myself truly love and if I dare say, miss Hilo. I love the Puueo Bridge.... to unique and quaint and the restuarant that used to be a bank.... I think it was Roussels. There are so many places, people and experiences that makes Hilo special. I remember my husband and I riding bike from Banyan Drive all the way to Hilo Coast Processing....... or from Banyan Drive all the way to Kings Landing and sometimes to Shipman Industrial Park thats on the way to Keaau. Or roller blading all around Hilo. I also love the town of Kamuela and its cold sometimes foggy days.

You know what..... Art and I are going to have to take a trip there soon..... that's all there is to it!

Posted by macpro on November 22, 2003 7:22 AM:

Yes, the Puueo Bridge... it's still there... one of the landmarks in Hilo....

Kamuela has its own charm... That place has its own character despite the growing population and some congestion there... the foggy afternoons are nice and so are the rainbows that you can see as you drive up from Kawaihae.

Posted by isobal on November 22, 2003 8:37 AM:

Oh yes Macpro

Kamuela... that is such a great place to stop and dring good strong coffee and savor it..... knowing that it is so chilly outside. We used to buy lots of great produce at the little markets and stands there. And what about Tex Drive In at Honolkaa... no way can you drive back to Hilo without stopping there and getting their malasadas! Sometimes it would not reach home....... the bag would be empty!

Posted by macpro on November 22, 2003 3:18 PM:

Here are some Hilo & Big Island links:

Posted by isobal on November 22, 2003 3:26 PM:

Mahalo Nui Loa.... Macpro

More nostalgia for today. By the way.... remember the Suisan fish auctions... I don't think they have it anymore. And... Roberts Bakery and Jimmy's Drive In. The stew and Loco Moco at Cafe 100...... so ono.

Boy sure are giving Hilo great advertising!

Posted by ZZ Type on November 22, 2003 9:26 PM:

My dad and his family were from Papaaloa, above Laupahoehoe. I saw MacPro mention the April 1, 1946 tsunami. My uncle Robert was down there when it happened! One of my nephews, Cody Lindsey, wrote an essay for the Hilo Tsunami Museum, after interviewing Uncle Robert.

Posted by macpro on November 22, 2003 9:52 PM:

Wow, that was a powerful essy about the tsunami. Everyone should read it.

My dad went to the very school that is now long gone. Laupahoehoe school was located in the valley. Everything was washed away by the 1946 tsunami.

I have been to the site a few times and all that remain are cement slabs where some of the structures once stood. The area is now a public park and has been for the longest of time.

In 1996 there was a 50th anniversary obeservation of the April 1 tsunami that was attended by my Dad and many others who lived there or nearby. A few of the survivors also showed up and the entire thing was filmed for a National Geographic TV special.

My Mom fondly remembers the railroad that linked Hilo to most of the Hamakua Coast. The train service ceased on the day of the April 1 tsunami.

To tie this back into Hilo, the same tsunami hit most of Hilo town and caused great loss of life there as well as a lot of damage.

The whole process was repeated again on May 23, 1960 when another tsunami hit Hilo.

Posted by Ryon Rickard on December 10, 2003 11:08 AM:

Am restoring a Hilo Sampan. It is a '50 Chevy and was #71 in the fleet. Am looking for old photos of the sampan buses to help in the restoration. Mahalo.

Posted by DINO MURSHIGE on May 16, 2004 7:21 PM:


Posted by Sheena on June 15, 2004 8:51 AM:

Hey all ... I was doing some research about the King Kamehameha statue da one in front of bay front and I came upon this site .. however i'm kind of different from every one here .. I live on the Big Island all of my life ... some times it gets alittle boring but I couldn't imagine living any where else ... I love the beaches here (Hapuna my favorite) and the food is ono .. My father is a fisher man, so i've been raised up with the poke and poi ... I love it still til this day ...and also Cafe 100 food is great .. i've worked there for alittle over a year, it was fun, I had to quit because I was going to school and the hours wasn't working for me :( .. but that doesn't stop me from eatting there :) anways hehe .. just wanted to drop in some lines ..
Cya .. Hilo gurl Sheena

Posted by MNF on July 21, 2004 11:54 PM:

I was surprised to get a mention on your web site for our one-ton chips. We are planning to rebuild and should be up and running about January or February of 2005.
Thanks again,
Maebo Noodle Factory

Posted by Penny Kelii on February 16, 2005 12:21 PM:

Me - 1962 Hilo Hi grad...Hilo girl through and through - now live in Waimea - need to remind all of you that the town and area we live in is WAIMEA - NOT Kamuela. There is only one small area that is "Kamuela"...that is the post office - named that to keep from confusing with Waimea on Kaua'i, Oahu...etc...

Memories of Hilo - "Shake-shake" the sampan bus driver...4 Miles make-out place....tidal waves...Standard Drug - Charlie, the soda guy at Hilo Drug...metal skates - skate keys....swimming at the ice pond...(the water seems MUCH colder now) picking opihi....picking watercress from the upland streams (back when the water was clean & good) - catching opae in those same streams - now no more cause someone put crayfish in the streams and they ate all the opae!?!#! Dumb buggas

Smoking dried bagass - and dried ferns.

Coconut Island - paddling our to-tung roof iron canoes...

Excersizing the horses for John Silva at the Ho'olulu stadium...

The old Cow Palace downtown...old Hilo Theater...both wiped out after the 60's tidal wave.

Watching the "fights" behind the old chorus building at Hilo Hi...

Primo beer/drag races

Oh yes - Paramount Grille....the guy who (still) makes the ono-ono fried rice is "Blackie" - the Grille burned down - Blackie still makes his fab fried rice (with side of takuwan) out of his home - we call him and he delivers! Paramount grill was in downtown Hilo, near Kress store....remember the colored sweet popcorn that Kress had? No, you are all too young I think!

Ryan - Re: Hawi - God was in a very good mood when he made Hawi!

Ah, good fun days! Hilo, NO KA OI! Always! OK, pau for now!

Posted by isobal on February 16, 2005 3:19 PM:

Hello Penny
I attended hilo Intermediate School for a little while and I remember this girl by the name of Penny Pitman who was a year older then me. I admired her greatly and thought that she was so smart and so beautiful and was very popular. Are you that Penny?

Posted by Ellen on February 25, 2005 7:42 PM:

I was born in Hilo and grew up on Paauhau plantation. Last time I was in the family house, someone had painted all of the beautiful hardwood floors an ugly, ugly brown. Anyone remember riding the cane bundles?

Posted by Sandra Hennessey fka Sandy Hemingway on March 3, 2005 3:14 AM:

Came across this site in search of info re: Orchid Island Hotel -- read that it burned down! I lived in Hilo 1968-1969; worked for Hotel Manager Phil Garrett at the Orchid Island Hotel. Co-workers were Lorraine Jitchako (sp?) and Harold Rapoza. I previously worked for the Furtado family at their restaurant near Banyan Dr. that overlooked a pool containing large goldfish that were "called" by rapping on the side of the outside wall. Got to know many good families while in Hilo; experienced walking across (and inside) the "active" Kileaua crater with a geologist, also, swimming at Hapuna Beach and snorkling in Hilo Bay. A former 1964 RHS classmate, Chris Brown, still resides in the "horse country" of Kohala, I believe. It's been 30+ years but my memories seem like yesterday. I've always dreamed of going back.

Posted by isobal on March 3, 2005 5:48 PM:

Hello Sandra
All those names are familiar to me. In fact I knw Harold Rapoza and his wife. I was a desk clerk at the Naniloa Hotel around 1964. I was a teen at the time and so green..... LOL. Hilo is the best!!!!

Posted by dt on August 30, 2005 11:52 PM:

Yup! I've been in Hilo all my life and I too "miss" the old days! Some of you must remember the Hele-On buses. White and purple? That was my time. I think by the time I was old enough to "catch" the bus the sampan's were long gone. Gosh, I laugh just thinking: riding a sampan on a "rainy Hilo day" that had to be an experience. Sun Sun Lau is no more. Dragon Inn Restaurant is another gonner. Mun Cheong Lau, on the corner of Kalakaua and Keawe. And the old police station? How was it that "telephone company" was next door of that police station? Oh, and Hilo Hotel, I always believed that was a hospital reincarnated into a hotel. Fuji Restaurant, ate there only once, just before they closed. I myself could go on and on of Hilo. I remember when the first McDonald's opened. That was when it wasn't enclosed and the birds would share french fries. LOL! This is an amazing site! As I type, it's raining. Hilo is the best. When was the last time chinese take-out was waiting for the manapua man to drive by your house? I've since moved back into my old neighborhood but not a sign of the manapua man! Shucks! I liked going into Tiny Town, National Dollar, and Ah Mai's, they had anything and everything needed for boys scouts and girl scouts. I believe Hilo Dry Goods was another place to find what you were looking for. You all remember Save More Super Market? And the Hilo Hospital (the green one) is gone too! The civic was known as the civic and Seven Seas was seven seas. Itsu's used to be on the corner by the civic, you went there either for 'ice shave' or fishing supplies. Hilo has surely changed, if you're lucky you might find something from yesteryear. Robert's Bakery, Hatada Bakery and Lanky's, ono ono ono, banana cream pie from Robert's, ensamada from Hatada's and choco tart's from Lanky's, were my favorites! Magoo's Pizza. Waiakea Kai Theatres, and Apple Annies. Gee, I should stop and let someone else share their moments in Hilo.

Posted by hilogirl on January 6, 2006 5:19 PM:

Memories of summers in Hilo as a kid:

-foot long hot dogs on sweet bread buns near Waiakea Theaters

-Fun Factory after/before movies at Waiakea Theaters. Playing Galaga and trying to find cute boys.

-The old YWCA and the creaky wooden floor

-Roy's Gourmet, then Kay's Lunch Center (RIP), and now Kalbi Express

-KK Tei and the animated dolls (?) this is a faint memory, can someone help me remember this?

-Kikaida on Fuji TV

-Stan's Orchid Island Surf Shop when it was near Kawamoto Store. And his oogly eyes when he told young girls "...go try on the bikini and come out..."

-Ruben's Mexican food, still there, who eats there??

-The evaporated milk ice shave at the Fuji Hotel

-Satsuki (now Seven Seven)

-The traveling carnival that set up by the Hele On bus terminal

-YWCA Summer Fun and excursions to the control tower at the airport and the Haleiwa egg farm

-Safeway before it was Ben Franklin's, across from Pizza Hut

-Hukilau restaurant and their abalone steak at the Hilo Seaside hotel (across from ice pond)

-the ice cream shop on the side of Suisan

So many great memories. Sad how it has changed with the ugly monstrosities: Walmart, Ross, Office Max.

Posted by malihini cheesehead on February 13, 2006 10:02 PM:

How plain our experiences become through our own eyes, especially throught the milky filter of time.

Yet how special those same experiences can be when put into the ears of a malihini. How is this? Because the malahini knows the uniqueness that has drawn them here, while our own memories are mundane. So we, newcomers, can more appreciate, with our hearts, what is special.

Do not think these experiences you have had are mundane, not worth talking about. In this special place, it's up to you to keep the old Hawai`i alive for us. Please - tell us your stories, however plain, however simple. Please, keep the old Hawaii alive. This is pono. Ua mau ke ea. The life is the truth is the memory.

Posted by isobal on April 23, 2006 8:23 AM:

Yes.... I still missing Hilo.
Remember the Broke Da Mouth plate lunches that were vegetarian but still so delicious on Mamo street. My mom used to work at Paramount Grill and I used to love their peach cream pie and their ono burgers and lunches. What about Jimmy's Drive in and their great menu? I also remember the Pauls and Dicks coffee houses. The restaurant on the corner of Waianuenue and Kam called Lehuas. Bears Coffee, and for a very brief time, right across bears there was a services station turned eatery called Garden of Eaten. I also miss the burgers on Mamo from May Goya.

Posted by Christina on May 22, 2006 7:33 AM:

I guess I go farther back then some. I remember Mamo theater where I worked. Hilo Drug where we all met on Friday afternoons after school for either a milk shake or a Sundae. My cousin Theresa work there. Most of all I miss all the good foods. Everytime I go home the first thing that I ask for is the cone sushi.

Posted by Kukini Vredenburg on August 9, 2006 5:04 PM:

And no proget Palace Theatre for .10 cent movies.

Posted by isobal on August 12, 2006 8:49 AM:

I went to school with Gordon, Kukini, are you related?

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