Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hilo Days: Now THAT Was a Car!

Back in the day, we had carnivals. They weren't like anything you see today. I mean, these were Carnivals with a capital C. Lots of games and rides, and some pretty nasty side show stuff too. One of the attractions I always remember is when Al Capone's car came to town.

I wrote about it in my now defunct "Hilo Days" website, but here it is for your bathroom reading enjoyment:

Al Capone’s Car

At least once a year, the E.K. Fernandez Carnival would come to town for a couple of weeks.  It situated all over the place, but generally near the present Hilo Civic Auditorium, or at St. Joseph's School, about a half-mile away from Obachan's house.

Invariably, it rained.  One of Dad's favorite saying was that whenever E.K. Fernandez comes to town, it was going to rain.  Come to think of it, I heard that a lot in those days.  I believed it too, until I realized that no matter who came to town, it was going to rain.  Hilo simply was the rain capital of the world.

One year, Obachan told me that Al Capone's (she pronounced it "Capo-nay's") gangster car was going to be displayed at the carnival.  I think it was Walter Janado and I who walked to St. Joseph's, and paid our dime to see the historic car.

It was an old '30s sedan, with bullet-proof windows.  The man showed us where the bullets had bounced off the windows, leaving little marks.  We gasped at the bullet holes in the fenders.  We gasped at the little holes where Al Capone's tommy guns stuck out.  We gasped at everything.

The car was probably fake.


casch said...

But what a thrill to the youngsters!!

Craig Miyamoto said...

Yes it was! It made me find out who Al Capone was (or as my grandmother called him ... Al Caponay).