Daily Archives: February 12, 2013

More glimpses of my mother’s Hawaii in the 1920s

My mother came home yesterday.

I was just finishing up a couple of hours of cleaning and sorting when Bonnie walked into my mother’s old Kahala house yesterday afternoon. She was carrying a nondescript container in a dark colored cloth bag. Inside, my mother’s ashes.

She would have liked the beautiful flowers sent by family, friends, and neighbors. She would also have been interested in the small but growing collection of sympathy cards in a plate near the front door.

We debated where to put the bag, at least for the time being. I suggested a shelf in the middle of her collected genealogy papers, files, notes, letters, references, carefully collected over a long lifetime. It seemed appropriate. So that’s where she’s staying for now.

Later, when Bonnie’s kids are able to be here, she’ll join her brother in the ocean near the Diamond Head buoy.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the cleaning, I’m finding treasures.

1920sYesterday, in a stack carefully saved in a cabinet in her bedroom, a small black photo album tucked away in a yellowed envelope.

In her handwriting:

1920’s Kamehameha to 1931

Summer 1930 Asilomar, CA.

Inside, a wonderful collection of tiny photos, most just an inch or two across. A few are labeled, most are not. Glimpses of old Hawaii. There’s a picture of what I think are my mother and her older sister, dated in 1919. There are scenes probably in Waipahu and other unknown spots on Oahu.

I pulled out the oldest photos to share today. Other photos of my mother and her friends at Kamehameha will come later.

I wish I knew more about the people and places. How I wish my mother had wanted to sit down and share each of these memories. It never happened. And now it’s far too late.

But we can still imagine what it was like, even if the details, like some of the photos, have long since faded and can’t be retrieved.

So just click on the album cover to see today’s photographs.