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Ian Lind • Now online daily from Old Kahala

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A step back into pre-WWII Hawaii (photos)

January 24th, 2013 · 5 Comments

I spent a little time yesterday identifying and then looking through my mother’s financial records, the things we’re going to need for all the legal steps that will need to be taken when she passes.

Helen Yonge, 1936Then I noticed one of her personal scrapbooks and opened the cover. Inside, photos dating back to the mid-1930s, a few from before she met my father in 1939, most apparently during their early romance. I don’t recall her ever bringing these photos out for general sharing with us as kids, or as adults, for that matter. These stayed in a cabinet in her room. I may have seem some of them before. Others I was seeing for the first time.

My mom dated this photo in 1936, just a year after she graduated from the University of Hawaii. I don’t recall seeing this one before. It’s a wonderful picture. She seems so happy. She hasn’t been as happy for many years, I’m afraid.

It’s amazing to see the vibrant young woman at the same time as we accompany the 98-year old woman on her final journey. It seems so long ago, seen in these photos, yet so close, immediate.

They say the best camera is the one you have with you. Yesterday, I had my iPhone. So I used it to copy a few photos, which convey a flavor of Hawaii in that pre-war period. Not the best copies, but sufficient for this purpose.

Click on Helen’s photo to see the rest of this small collection.

Tags: History · Photographs

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Raleigh // Jan 24, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Looks like a couple of pictures from a trip to Waimea falls.

  • 2 maunawilimac // Jan 24, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Don Gedge of Union Oil ’76? At the time these pictures were taken, a Mr. Zabriski was the district mgr. here. Fishing buddy of my dad’s prior to WWII.

  • 3 Ian Lind // Jan 24, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Yes, I’m pretty sure that’s right.

  • 4 Nancy // Jan 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    She appears to be wearing a guy’s (her boyfriend’s?) sweater.

  • 5 Lovely, honest pictures // Jun 10, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Some great photos. Things have changed so very much, but it’s true, WWII changed things so much so fast. My aunt moved there in about 1925, married and raised a family rarely to return to the Mainland. She always felt that “something died” there through the War.

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