Hero Is A Sandwich

We had the pleasure of a major family visit last week: my wife’s sister and her family, plus my wife’s older brother and his family, for a total of 12 visitors. With a Portuguese family and a mixture of spouses, it was a ton of fun.

The days were chock full of things they wanted to do. One of them was to hit the Aloha Flea Market at Aloha Stadium. It’s known for getting incredibly hot, so you have to plan to get there early while it’s relatively cool. Getting the family ready takes forever, so by the time we left the house, it was getting closer to noon.

While I enjoy the swap meet environment, my tolerance is only so I can enjoy certain culinary treats like fresh coconut milk straight from the coconut, a “Pipeline” sandwich, li hing mango and various samples of specialty snacks.

That’s where my amusement ends, for as the noon sun bears down on us walking in literal circles, my only thought is to get the heck out.

On the last row of vendors, as we headed to the car, we came upon the front entrance to the stadium. There is a fairly steep asphalt incline. I was drenched in sweat and walking as though I was in the Mohave desert. That’s when, from the top of the incline, we spotted a grandmother chasing a runaway stroller flying down the incline.

Everyone gasped and screamed, “Oh my God, the baby!” Being the closest, I started sprinting toward the stroller with the hope of intercepting it before it crashed at the bottom of the incline. I hadn’t run that hard since track day for PE at intermediate school. About midway on the incline there were two posts with a chain hung between them.

The stroller went under the chain but the umbrella arms hooked the chain and halted it with a neck-breaking jolt. The stroller contents were then catapulted into the air. I just saw a yellow bundle fly out and I made a diving catch to save the baby. What I caught was a yellow stuffed elephant. There was no infant in the stroller as I handed Dumbo back to grandma while nearly passing out from heatstroke and lack of air.

A baby in peril nearly gave us a heart attack. Saving an empty stroller gave me one.

rnagasawa@midweek.com

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