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Talk story from Camp 4 Kauai, Hawai

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The tracks for the train were located at the upper part of Camp 4, and during the harvesting season the trains ran regularly during the day delivering the sugar cane to the mill. The sugar cane fields were first set on fire to burn off the leaves leaving only the cane stalks standing. Bulldozers would then go in and push the cane stalks in piles throughout the field. Railroad tracks were then laid down in the field, and a crawler crane would load the sugar cane in the open cars.

I remember waiting for the train, hear the engine and cars going over the tracks, and smelling the smoke and sugar cane as the train went by. One of our past times was to put some nails on the track so that they would be flattened when the wheels ran over them, and we had the makings of a knife. This, and other hand made items became part of our toy collection.

Spam, the one in the can, was cooked in various dishes in our family. It was sliced, and fried, cooked with spaghetti and sauce, with vegetables, with eggs, with just about anything, and it was all good.
Spam was so popular because it was cheap, did not have to be refrigerated so it stored easily, and for a long time. I remember when one of my brothers made spaghetti with diced spam, tomato ketchup, and other ingredients for o
ur Italian dish, and it was quite tasty.

Even today, spam is prominently displayed on grocery shelves, and in large quantities, allowing for it's popularity in Hawaii.


After grade school, the boys from the upper camp, and the lower camp would gather, separately, at the main road to Camp 4. We would "talk story".

There was a fence with four strands of wire along the cane field next to the road, and the boys from the lower camp usually sat on the lowest strand of the fence. One day, one of the boys in our group had an idea when he noticed the electrical outlet on one of the poles for the electrical line for Camp 4. We tapped into the outlet with an extension, and one day when the lower camp boys all sat on the fence we made the electrical connection to the lower strand, and gave them a slight jolt. Boy was it funny when they all scrambled from the fence. That was a one time occurrence since, after being shocked, they never sat on the fence again.

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