Whitesburg KY

Going bananas!

Banana pudding, banana cake, banana bread, many uses for bananas. I love ‘em.

I pick up some every time I go to the grocery store. The potassium in them keeps my old legs from cramping.

We tried to grow a banana tree in northern Florida in 1969, but it didn’t work.

Then I was sent to the Island of Guam. We landed at midnight. The first thing I saw the next day, after I noticed the coconut palms, was the abundance of banana trees about 20 feet tall loaded down with stalks of bananas in various stages of ripeness.

I never knew until then that bananas grow pointing toward the sky!

Instead of staying on Andersen Air Base all day, I bought a car and explored the island. I turned up every road just to see what was there. In 15 months, I put 15,000 miles on that car on an island 35 miles long and four to 10 miles wide.

I met a lot of the natives, learned their language, and got invited to weddings, christenings, parties and festivals. Everyone had their own banana patch.

Taun “Pop” Yoshida was a good friend. I helped him build a house. He had 12 kids and three grandchildren living there. Behind and beside the house were many banana trees, and every day I was there he would give me about 10 bananas to take back to the base with me. I shared them with my roommate.

He offered me a whole stalk of bananas for $5, and I accepted the offer. But I wanted to pull a joke on my roommate first. Pop and I made plans and I went back to the base.

The next day I told my roommate that I knew where we could get a whole stalk of bananas, free. He went with me to get them.

I pulled over to the side of the road beside some banana trees, got my machete and cut down a stalk of bananas.

As I started back to the car with the bananas on my shoulder, Pop came out of his house nearby yelling and shooting his shotgun in the air yelling, “Get out of my bananas!”

My roommate was yelling at me to hurry up — just drop the bananas and get in the car and let’s go!

We escaped with that stalk and hung it on an airconditioning pipe running through our room to ripen. We shared them with the whole barracks when they got ripe. I never told my roommate the truth about buying those bananas from Pop Yoshida.

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