Monday, June 27, 2022 |
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• A trip through memory lane
A trip through memory lane
By Duane Shimogawa Jr. – The Garden Island
The best things in life are free, so they say, but I think that the best memories in life are free.
Earlier this week, I had an assignment, not from The Garden Island, instead it was from my grandfather (Stupe Shimogawa, who turns 80 tomorrow). The assignment: Find some of his old barefoot football articles from the mid 1940s. At first I thought I’d spend just a couple of minutes going through the archives at the Lihu‘e Public Library, but it turned out to be a two hour trip through memory lane, not my memories of course, but memories for the age when my grand-father was in his 20s.
The group of barefooters will reunite this Saturday at the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center. This semi-pro league went on for about five years and it was even open to youngsters.
My grandfather mentioned that there was an eighth-grader on one of the teams and this reminds me of the current AJA baseball league, which features young players like Egan Kouchi, Jordan Garcia, Jessica Iwata, just to name a few.
It’s a special treat for the kids to play with experienced, battle tested individuals. If anything, it can only make them better and it’s good to know that back then, there were opportunities for kids to play in men’s leagues, just like there are today. The sports editor back then was Joe Shiramizu and he had a column called “Sports Sidelights.” The Garden Island only came out once a week, so it looked a lot different from what you see today.
I read a column Shiramizu wrote, about the need for more sports facilities around the island, especially on the westside.
He brought up great points and although we have made great strides, there is still a need for more facilities around the island. If we want kids off the streets and off the drugs, we’ll need to create avenues in which they can concentrate on things that will improve their lives. I never thought I’d be so interested in something that happened over 60 years ago, but it was definitely a learning experience and I found myself enjoying it.
Not only did I find a lot of articles about the barefoot football league, but during that time, there were only a few KIF sports. Basketball was the sport that started up back around the mid 1940s. Also, KIF sports like softball, soccer, and even tennis weren’t recognized by the league at that time.
However one thing I did notice was that the same last names that appear in The Garden Island at that time, still exist today. The Shimabukuro’s, Schumacher’s, Perreira’s, Rapozo’s, just to name few, were all in The Garden Island back in the 40s and those same names are still in the newspaper today.
When we trudge ahead and look to the future, it’s extremely important to take a glance at the past, because after all, the past is what layed the ground work for all of us today.
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