Thursday, January 10, 2008

Low-Tech Toys from Sugar Cane Days

“Back small kid time, we never had money for toys,” said Shin Matayoshi, retired biocontrol entomologist for the Hawaii state Department of Agriculture. “On the plantation, we made our own.”

Shin picked off a crisp green leaf from the sugar cane growing at La'akea Gardens, bending it in half at the midrib and peeling off a thin section of the blade. “Can’t be a brown one. Has to be stiff enough,” Shin said.

Then he cut the midrib so it would hang freely….

And got ready to launch…

A missile! Which you can’t really see in this photo. But trust me, it did sail over the roof of La'akea’s event pavilion more than 100 feet away. Wow! Kids don't know what they're missing these days. I'm going to have to have Shin show me that again so that I can prove to kids that fun in the outdoors beats being stuck in the house hour after hour with mind-numbing video games and internet anytime.

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