Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Do you remember the time?

I wrote a post about Chamorro bloggers, to which Tami responded with a post about her non-Chamorroness, yet obvious localness. She wrote about 20 things that she remembers from the good ol' days. I told her she should tag other bloggers to write about their memories of the good ol' days and guess what? She tagged me!

Well, I didn't grow up in Saipan, but I did visit here a few times as a kid. I've decided to reminisce about 10 things from my childhood and 10 things from my return to Saipan two years ago.

Here it goes, stuff from when I was a kid:

1. You could find glass balls on the beach.
2. It was a real treat when we'd go get fresh donuts at the donut shop next to the college. Was it called "galaxy" something or am I just a moron?
3. We used to catch hundreds of fish at Forbidden Island before it was a protected area.
4. I would get up early to feed the chickens and the pigs with my father.
5. I loved digging in the sand looking for clams to make soup.
6. I used to be really good at finding sea urchins at Obyan Beach.
7. I remember when the roads didn’t have any names..oh wait, they still don't. They just have street signs.
8. All you used to get to eat at a rosary was a cup of corn soup and some Kool-Aid
9. It was a huge treat to stop at a store for a single can of Fanta after an afternoon of fishing.
10. Every time we went to Bonzai Cliff we saw a green sea turtle.

Things I remember as an adult:

1. I met EJ at Godfather's. She came up to me and Emily and introduced herself. Soon after that she became Saipan's #1 Korean Party Girl.
2. I met Jeff Turbitt at Godfather's. He was wearing white sneakers.
3. The first time I heard about Harry Blalock, one of my cousins was telling me about this guy on the radio who "tells it straight, bro."
4. We called Beautify CNMI the "Beautification Group" for about a month. I kept thinking to myself that "beautifiction" was a stupid word.
5. I had chicken kelaguen on my first day back on Saipan. Chicken kelaguen is the real reason I've stayed here for the past two years.
6. I was shocked at the number of foreign language signs in Chalan Kanoa when I first returned. When did that happen?
7. I was shocked to see the dump in Puerto Rico. Who let that monstrosity get like that?
8. I vowed that I would never work for the local CNMI government when I got here. I'll be 30 this year and I'm still going strong.
9. When I got here I thought that the electricity was pretty cheap. I've since changed my mind.
10. My first experience with the retirement fund left a bad taste in my mouth. They are corrupt and they are going to end up screwing a lot of people.

I tag Cinta, Gus, Bev, David, Guns, and Bree. You guys have to come up with 20 of your oldest memories of Saipan, whether they are from 1905 or 2005.

I'd tag EJ, but she says she's not blogging anymore. Please call Russ Quinn at 235-9090 and thank him for turning her off from blogging. Way to go, Russ.


Tamara said...

Actually I wrote my "20 things" post a couple weeks ago but never posted it, just saved it as a draft because I wasn't done with it. I saw it again yesterday and copied and pasted and posted it...good timing though since it coincided with your post : )

I remember Galaxy..Isn't it still there? I haven't been to that area in ages..

My mom made the best clam chowder with those clams...its such a shame that they have all but dissapeared!

I remember Puerto Rico dump when it was actually a hole in the ground..once the garment factories came it quickly started turning into the mountain it is today...

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

I'm glad you wrote it. I hope this meme runs through our little blogosphere like wildfire. Stuff like this is what Walt and I envisioned when we came up with the We Love Saipan idea.

On another note, if Saipan were to ever get around to coming up with a long term development plan, we'd probably find that our vision for the future looks very much like the past.

Boni said...

Galaxy is still there and they still have the best chicken kelaguin on island. Does anyone remember Hot Diggity Dog? Was I just dreaming that?

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Is it really? Do they still make donuts?

SteeleOnSaipan said...

Russ Quinn is a dangerous, Manson-like, cultist. You should keep EJ far away from him.

Boni said...

Oh yes, donuts, turnovers, chicken kelaguin, rosketti, they make it all and they haven't expanded a bit.

bradinthesand said...

galaxy is still there and they make some greasy-ass donuts that will rock your world. they make the kind of fat pills that put krispy kreme to shame!

dekada lawyer said...

Galaxy is still there? Where is there?

It originally was in Garapan (little Ginza, remember that?). It is no longer there.

Then it moved up near NMC ... or on NMC property, but I don't know about now.

I thought it went downhill when it moved from Garapan ...

Boni's news here is new to me.

Tamara said...

It is there! I had someone check it out for me this morning and they brought me some empanada from them and it was DELICIOUS! They brought me some donuts too but I was too full from the empanada to try them...Good Stuff!

Bryan said...

I'm guessing the Galaxy which everyone is raving about is that little dive up near NMC on your right after the turn before you get to the main NMC parking lot. If so I had soba there once...guess I should have opted for the doughnuts...

Tamara said...

I'm having too much fun reading everyone's memories..Someone should compile everything and save it somehow?? Any suggestions?

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

You definitely touched on something with your initial list.

Let's see how far this goes then we can think about compiling everything.

I'm really interested to see what people miss about the old Saipan. In moving these islands forward, we should hold on to those things that we cherish and incorportate those things, like our newfound diversity , into our lives.

I think we've lost some things in the last 20 years, but I think we can get them back.

In the meantime, Galaxy should think about advertising with a "Hey, We're Still Here!" campaign. Come get your donuts!

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

It might make for a nice little book, either a coffee table book or a souvenir book to sell somewhere. What do you think? Can we get some old pictures? I know I can get some from the 80's.

Saipan Writer said...

Galaxy--still there, still making donuts. I heard a rumor years ago that they got the recipe from the Navy, but I wouldn't credit the source, so really don't know why I've added that. The donuts are great--no, they're not on the 2008 diet, no, no, no. I also like the 50cent empanadas.

The Puerto Rico dump--I remember when it was nothing but a lot of dirt. I remember when it was dangerous and I got a "scratch" on my leg, through my jeans, as I unloaded trash, which turned into an infection that took weeks of antibiotics to clear. I remember having clients who lived by picking through the trash. I remember when the gov't. dredged the ocean and dumped tons of sea-bottom on the dump and my sis-in-laws collected jars and jars of shells from it. I remember going to a public hearing in Tanapag or San Roque, with Florence Kirby, to discuss once again addressing the dump. I was just along for the ride and, really, the plans to go out drinking afterwards. I don't remember if we ever got to that drinking, but we talked, listened and debated at that public hearing about possible plans for new locations for the dump. And I remember the closing of the dump. From 1984 when I arrived, to the Babauta administration--that's all it took.

When I arrived, I remember researching the possibility of a Clean Water Act case because we didn't have potable water. We still don't have potable water.

Ah, it's a good time to look back.

Glass balls-yeah--at dawn at Old Man by the Sea or any east-side beach.

G'ma said...

Saipan Writer, you're right about the donuts recipe. I was told a former Navy guy, Dick Dunn, married to Margaret Sablan from Tanapag, (I believe she's Tina Sablan's auntie), introduced the recipe. They were some great donuts for sure!!!! They were very light and fluffy and quite delicious! I didn't know the Galaxy is still there. Will have to stop and check out the donuts