Tuesday, June 7, 2016
A Father's Memories
My father is old enough to remember moving to Hawaii back in 1938. He was much older when he met and married my mother because he fought in both World War II and the Korean War. He took time to tell me a little bit of what Waikiki looked like way back then.
At the time he came over, there were only four real hotels in Waikiki. The Royal Hawaiian which is a bright pink building over near the yacht club side of the area, The Moana which is closer to where I'm staying, a place with lots of cottages, and one other place. He's getting old enough that many of his long term memories are fading.
They arrived via ship because that was the standard method of travel back then. He said that his mother (my grandmother) had made reservations for them to stay at the Moana Surfrider Hotel but there was no representative at the dock when they arrived so she decided not to go there. Instead she found an apartment near Punahou school where my father went for a while.
I know they left the Islands on December 25, 1941 via ship to head back to Corvallis Oregon. I remember my father had a copy of the December 7th paper which talked about the bombing at Pearl Harbor. I am not sure if they stayed there between 1938 and 1941 or if they moved back to the mainland and back in that three year time period. I'm going to have to ask later on. I do know that as soon as he graduated from high school in June of 1942, he enlisted in the Navy and spent the rest of the war working on board ship as an orderly.
I love when he talks about his personal history because he never spoke about it much as we were growing up. As he speaks of his life, I'll share some tidbits but more tomorrow on Waikiki Beach itself.