Letters to the Editor: March 30, 2020

TP talk

Let’s talk toilet paper. I remember the waning days of World War II, when our nation was reeling from under-supply and rationing. Paper goods were no exception. My sisters and I would canvass the neighborhood with our Radio Flyer red wagon, and collect newspapers. Our elementary school suggested that this was a way we could take part in the war effort. We collected a lot, and saved some for use in our home. We used this and other things, like the Sears Catalog, for toilet paper. I was about 4, and I remember my mom showing me, while I perched on the potty, to take a strip of newsprint or a page from the catalog, and soften it by rubbing it between my knuckles until it was malleable enough to use without scratching up my okole.

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These days we don’t have as many newspapers and magazines floating around, (thank you, Internet) but there is one huge resource that has never been tapped that could fill the bill for our toilet paper anxiety. Junk mail. When I’ve gone to the post office, I always see trash cans loaded to the brim with junk mail from P.O. box users. We here at home get a substantial amount of that type of literature. I encourage people to take advantage of this windfall, and use this instead. Hey, the Hawaiians used leaves!

One thing, in the 1940s, we did not have sophisticated water treatment plants, and the like, so don’t flush this stuff down. If you do, you risk clogging up your system. This goes for those “flushable wipes” and other things — I have seen horror stories about that on the internet. Use a lined waste basket to collect the stuff and don’t be afraid to toss it in the trash. Newsprint and paper are biodegradable.

In the first World War right into the Great Depression, thinking Americans found another unique item for this necessary task. My father told me that when he was a boy in North Carolina, the folks used corn cobs. That’s right, corn cobs. They had two piles of corn cobs in the outhouse. One pile was red corn, and the other pile was white. You used enough red cobs until you were pretty sure you were okay, then used a white one to make sure. Go ahead, laugh. We could use a good one right about now!

Aunty Lani Lee

Kailua-Kona

A thank you to all

I am sure that we all have heard that we are all in this together. We are and we will get through this together. We are a strong people. Thank you to the doctors, nurses, first responders, police and fire personnel. Thank you to the grocery workers who go to work every day and deal with the public, who are scared in this time of crisis and are not always so nice. Thank you to the teachers who are so giving and are learning new technologies to help our children to keep up their studies and keep learning. Thank you to the truck drivers who keep delivering goods and products and thank you to the shipping companies and airlines who make this possible. Thank you to the bank personnel and thank you to the people delivering the money to banks, stores, gas stations, etc. Thank you to the restaurants who are serving take-out and pick-up orders, we appreciate all of you. Thank you to the construction workers who keep building for us. Thank you to the nursing home personnel who are taking care of our kupuna.

Thank you to each and every person in our aloha state.

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Doreen Vail

Kailua-Kona