I could tell it was harvesting time when masses of laborers appeared in the fields. I felt a special connection with the laborers, as my Chinese ancestors migrated to Hawaii to work on the plantations.
For days, under the hot sun, they picked pineapples with their gloved hands, and loaded them onto a conveyor belt. Each pineapple travelled up the conveyor belt, and then was packed into bins. Trucks transported the pineapples to the cannery to be processed and distributed.
Sometimes, if we timed it correctly, my friends and I would sneak into the pineapple fields at night to grab our own pineapples before they got harvested. The fields were private property, so we had to find an area off the main roads. Armed with a flashlight, we crept through the field in search of ripe pineapples. We figured taking one or two was reasonable, and not enough to result in getting in too much trouble.
After collecting our pineapples, we headed home to cut into the delicious fruit. Somehow, the stolen ones tasted even better than ones purchased at the store.