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Theresa Gouveia Cabral’s recollections of bygone days on Kauai

“At Christmastime, the Hawaiians would come to serenade us, and Ma would serve sweet bread, pickle pork and wine.

“On Christmas Eve, we would hang a stocking and, the next morning, we would find an apple, some nuts and a handful of candy that was our gift and, boy, we were thrilled.

“We used to live near rice paddies and we used to watch Nagusta, the Japanese man, plant and harvest rice. He would tie cans on long cords the length of the rice paddies and to his house. When the birds would come, he would pull at the cords and the cans would make noise and scare the birds away. He also had lots of scarecrows.

“When they harvested the rice, they would cut and tie the bundles and stand them in a circle around a post. Then, they would have a team of horses going round and round in circles to separate the grain from the stems. The straw was left to dry on the hillside to make brooms and thatch houses and whatever.

“Dad built our beds with lumber and Ma would sew large bags for the mattresses. She had a little sewing machine with a handle. We would go up the hillside to cut a certain kind of grass to fill the big bag for our mattresses.

“I remember when we first had electricity, a little cord hanging from the ceiling with a bulb.

“On Fourth of July, the plantation would have a big celebration in the Lihu‘e baseball park. Everybody was invited and everything was free, all kinds of games and prizes, all kinds of food and goodies, ice cream, hot dogs, hamburgers, soda.

“Just before World War I we moved to O‘ahu. Dad got a job as a mason, and the pay was good. So we stayed on O‘ahu and bought a home in Kunawai Lane, off Liliha Street.”

The Gouveias later moved to Kaimuki.

Theresa Gouveia Cabral and her husband, Edward Cabral, had four children: Patrick, Guy, Erna and Sylvia.

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This is the second of two parts. Part 1 printed Sunday, Aug. 1.
Source: The Garden Island

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