As parts of the U.S. (Oregon is one of them) are having unseasonable weather - even majorly disagreeable weather - this week it is no wonder I was attracted to this particular postcard in the box. I have been keeping an eye on the conditions in Rhode Island and Connecticut.....the flooding situation looks terrible and I feel sad for residents dealing with it.
It's crummy and cold outside in my town. Where we are certainly lucky to not have flooding here, the rain is giving it a good go in some areas. I watched a squirrel running along our border fence today soon after I had put peanuts in the gazebo feeder. With full nut in mouth it charged madly in the rain toward the base of the maple tree and began digging in the ground with its front feet...testing, testing for the suitable spot to bury his prize. That didn't seem to be a satisfactory area so the little guy ran across the soggy lawn, stopping under a birch tree and began plowing with his "fists" and when he had a deep enough hole he dropped the nut into it, then punched and punched the sod back into place. It was a delightful autumn scene........except it is the end of March!
So, for those needing a mental vacation maybe this old postcard will help. I hesitate to point out the roiling dark clouds that appear to be coming onto the scene - a reminder that, even in "paradise," some rain must fall......
Now known as the Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa -- and often referred to as "The First lady of Waikiki" -- the hotel has the coolest little book at its website describing
The Rich History of the Moana. As you click to turn the pages you are treated to old photos and a marvelous narrative that, in about five minutes, gives you a real sense of the place. I'm quoting a bit from the history (highlighting and emphasis is mine):
On March 11, 1901 Waikiki began a climb to global recognition as a tourist destination with the building of its first historic architectural treasure -- The Moana Hotel. . . (It) had 75 guest rooms that were the height of fashion for the day, offering spacious accommodations, telephones and private baths, a billiard room, parlor, library, salon and the first electric-powered elevator in the Territory. . .
The rise of "hapa-haole"* marks the beginning of Waikiki moving into full swing. The year was 1934 and Hawaiian music gains worldwide popularity. It begins when Harry Owens and his big band became icons of popular Hawaiian music, followed by the launching of the popular worldwide radio show Hawaii Calls. The show was actually broadcast from the courtyard of the Moana Hotel from 1935 until 1975 and a hallmark of the show was the sound of the waves breaking in the distance. Many new stars were created in Waikiki, including Hilo Hattie (Clarissa Haili: Oct. 28, 1901-Dec. 12, 1979) . . .
In 1952 a new hotel was built adjacent to the Moana on the east side, called the Surfrider Hotel. In 1959 the Moana hotel was sold to the Sheraton Hotel chain. After the sale to Sheraton a new tower was built on the Moana's west side in 1969. This new tower was named the Sheraton Surfrider Hotel and the old surfrider building was made into a wing of the Moana. . .
The hotel underwent a $50 million historic renovation in 1989. . . In May of 1999 the resort undertook a $2 million completion of its historic Banyan Wing exterior enhancement project. . . Today the resort has expanded to accommodate 794 guest rooms, including . . .
the Moana Surfrider Resort & Spa today
~My Old Radio features three episodes of the old Hawaii Calls radio show. Click to access them.
~~*I've not yet visited Hawaii, and was clueless as to what "hapa-haole" was referring to in the history above. Maybe you are too. Interesting background and lots of songs are noted at this website: Hapa Haole Songs.
~~~The blogosphere's very own 21st Century Hilo Hattie!
Hattie's Web is a great blog written by a blogger who lives in Hilo, Hawaii, and she offers an eclectic look at the world through her eyes. That is because she lived in Europe for years and travels everywhere, including this week....she is right here in the Pacific Northwest visiting relatives! (I love sampling her marvelous Essays and Fiction linked in the sidebar at her blog.)
On March 3, 2010, Hattie posted Why Hilo? in which she includes random links that indicate why she and her husband chose to live there. She writes:
I don't know. Explain why you love someone. Logic does not have much to do with it...We lived too long in Europe to fit in to most standard American communities, which we find unbearably bland. At the same time, we got very tired of being foreigners. So here is a bit of America where eccentrics like us can hang out and be happy.