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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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Sunday…My dad’s observations soon after arriving in Hawaii nearly 70 years ago

September 28th, 2008 · 2 Comments · History

[1939 letter]What was it like getting off a ship in Honolulu for the first time back in 1939?

In a word: “Swell.”

At least that’s what my father wrote to a woman back home in Long Beach, California, just about a month after he stepped off the boat to start a new job in the islands.

He arrived with a new Dodge, he wrote, “with two (surf)boards on the top of it, a trunk hanging out the back end and with the sunburn I aquired on the trip.”

The letter is an interesting peek into the past.

It wasn’t among my dad’s accumulated papers. It was discovered by a friend who is now living in the Seattle area. She sent it as a Christmas gift several years ago after finding it among boxes of letters and postcards in a Seattle collectibles show. She had no idea the writer was my father, but just thought I would enjoy seeing something written about Hawaii by another “Lind”.

You can imagine how surprised I was to unfold the pages and start reading. It’s a very small world, indeed!

I was able to track Marjory Beck, who married a James Marsh in Long Beach. She died in Auburn, Washington, in December 1991.

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