Why Septembah my mos’ fav’rite month:
My bes’ friend’s birt’day.
Maurice Sullivan’s birt’day.
Who dat, Maurice Sullivan? He da guy went start Foodland Supah-Markets, and ‘cause of him, every Septembah is Give Aloha Month. You can go Foodland or Sack ‘n Save and donate money to one nonprofit organization dat stay sign up wit’ Give Aloha. An’ den Foodland give them money too. As’ whatchoocall matching gifts. As’ how they honor Mistah Sullivan’s mem’ry—wit’ one whole month of doing what he was famous fo’ doing—giving aloha to Hawai‘i charities.
So, when I stay ma-ke, die, dead, I like you guys make li’dat fo’ me. I like you remembah me wit’ Tita Out Month. In fack, no need even be one whole month, ‘cause I no tink you guys can handle. Jus’ do Tita Out Day on my birt’day. Every year, on Septembah 13, all you guys go eat Spam musubi, talk pidgin, an’ trow da atta-tita-tude. No fo’get, OK?
One nodda t’ing good about dis time a da year: County Fair! I still love County Fair, even though now not as good as small kid-time. I know, everyt’ing was mo’ bettah, small-kid time. But if you was lucky enough fo’ be on Maui back in da old Kahului Fairgrounds days, you know what I mean. Like my maddah, she get mem’ries even mo’ happy than mines. Back in her time, in da olden days, da kids used to get da day off from school and da whole class go County Fair on da Kahului Railroad train!
By da time I was grade school, in da sixties, we nevah get da day off, but by six o’clock Friday night, everybody was down da Fairgrounds. All day Saturday too, until midnight. Yo’ parents drop you off in front wit’ twenny dollahs fo’ last da whole day, but if you lucky, you run into yo’ uncle or yo’ fadda’s bes’ friend, an’ dey give you their loose change: “Here, Tita girl, I treat you, go ride da Ferris wheel!” And if you real lucky, you run into Uncle right outside da Beer Garden, when he come out fo’ use bat’room in da old grandstand in da back, ‘cause den he give dollah or more!
I went Makawao School, so all my classmates was country kids. They all put stuffs in da Produce, Livestock, and da Homemakers exhibits. Me, I no could cook or sew for beans. I no could even grow beans! But one year—I think I was sixth grade—I went win da County Fair jingle contest. “Fair time is fun time for every girl and boy. Fair time is happy time in Maui no ka ‘oi!” They went play my jingle on da radio and I won fifty bucks! Was ‘nuff fo’ treat my whole class to fair tickets, plus eat all da Pronto Pups, flying saucers, and red candy apples I like. I donno why they call dat “junk food”—no taste junk to me!
In fack, nottin’ junk about da food court—every single booth is one fund-raisah fo’ local nonprofit groups. So you almos’ obla-gated fo’ grind da grease, ‘cause you helping support all kine good causes. Spesho tip: da Mana‘o Radio BBQ pork is onolicious!!
Tita is the pidgin-speaking alter ego of local actress and Mana‘o Radio cofounder/DJ Kathy Collins. Both Tita and Ms. Collins grew up on Maui.