January 26, 2004

Visiting with Mike and Gay this month brought back memories of my childhood at Maluniu Avenue in Kailua. Gay was talking about a broom made of the midribs of coconut leaves, and that brought back vivid memories of the family that used to live behind us.

Grandma Gumpher had a broom like that, with the ends of the midribs braided together into a handle. She used to sweep the backporch, steps and sidewalk every day with that broom, and would also use it to sting the legs of her grandchildren when they were naughty. One day when I was visiting, I watched her making a new broom, knotting the midribs together, then winding rag strips around the end for the handle. How we feared that broom, when Grandma's temper was up! And how much worse anticipation made the punishment when a naughty child was ordered to bring her the broom from behind the door!

In our house, the preferred implement of punishment was ... the slippah! Always to hand, and very effective!