I think I can tie this post to Memorial Day.
Today we grilled chicken teriyaki skewers and peach halves. The flavor of the teriyaki sauce yanked me immediately back to Hawaii, where I used to buy teriyaki sticks for a quarter whenever the Navy guys were grilling on the beach for a party or something.
"Dad, can I have another one?"
"OK, here's a quarter."
Loved that stuff, even though it was always overcooked and rather skimpy.
Today we made some teriyaki sauce ourselves and marinated chicken breast strips in it. Then we threaded the meat on skewers and grilled them, to uproarious, insane, happy-dance success. Tender! Is that possible? And the grilled peaches. Peaches don't taste like this! Just slightly singed and warmed, juicy and insane. I gotta get another bag of mesquite. Tasted like pure Hawaii.
Here's the Memorial Day part. We lived on Ford Island, a tiny navy base/airstrip nestled inside Pearl Harbor. The base was so small there were no schools on the island, and I had to take a boat to Oahu to learn my three Rs. (There's a bridge now to the "mainland." A bridge!)
Every school day we would pass right by the sunken USS Arizona, which was felled right next to Ford Island. It was just there, and we all knew it. We even knew people who knew people who had survived. Or died.
But it was not a monument then. It was a sunken navy ship. I would think about the skeletons still down there. I was pretty young, so I wasn't having patriotic thoughts, but I sure knew it was there.
Now it's a Memorial, all architected up. Fine. Good.
But there was another sunken ship, right off my shore of the island, outside my front door. The USS Utah. Never heard of it, huh? It has a memorial, too, but it's not all splashy-fancy.
There was also the USS Oklahoma, on the other side of the island. Battleship Row. I didn't pay too much attention to it because it was on... hah... the other side of the island.
Whatever. I was pretty young.
But I sure knew those ships were there and that men had died on them.