Category Archives: History

What to do with Vintage Hawaii 78 RMP Records?

Old 78sI’m again wrestling with what to do with some of items my parents left behind when they died.

One of the “treasures” that my mother saved through her long life was this box of vintage 78 RPM records, mostly recordings of Hawaiian entertainers. I haven’t counted them, but I think there are probably around 40 records. These are old, thick 78s. I don’t know how to assess their condition.

With the renewed interest in records, does anyone collect such things? Can I connect them to a good home?

There are several record labels, including 49th State, Bell Records, Decca, and a few that have a label with a flower lei that simply credit “Advertiser Publishing Co. Ltd.”

KauaiOne record, with a somewhat worn record jacket, features the Kauai Canoe and Racing Association Choir, and was privately produced for the group. It is pitched as “Musical Memories of your Stay on Kauai.” Date unknown.

Vintage Hawaiian records

Bell Records

Advertiser Publishing Co.

And there are at least ten records featuring Augie Goupil and his Royal Tahitians, a group which became popular in the U.S. in the 1930s.

Decca Records put out several sets of Goupil’s music in 1939, one of which included this small booklet about the music and the artist.

My mother met Goupil in 1938, before she was married, and since she saved these records until her death, I have to assume that they had some kind of relationship, although I don’t recall her ever elaborating.

As an aside…She did describe a family connection to Goupil in an essay about her grandfather, Robert William Cathcart. It’s interesting to see threads of history coming together in this story.

She wrote:

There were quite a few British subjects living in Honolulu when Robert W. Cathcart arrived in 1881, so it didn’t take him long to meet others from the British Isles. One with whom he became friendly was Major Hills, a former British army officer who had lived in Tahiti where he married a Tahitian woman. The Hills lived in the Waikiki area where they operated a soft-drink bottling company on Kalakaua Avenue mauka of what is now Kapiolani Boulevard. They called their premises “Sunny South” where every Sunday a group of their associates gathered for a day of pleasant relaxation. There were friends and relatives, many formerly of Tahiti, and visiting seamen from ships out of the South Seas, so conversation often centered on Tahiti. Cathcart because one of the Sunday regulars and it was there amidst reminiscences of that south sea island that he became obsessed with a desire to visit that fabulous land. The obsession held him in its grip until he finally realized the dream 20 years later.

At “Sunny South” Cathcart formed a close friendship with Captain Chapman, a sea captain who operated sailing vessels between Tahiti and Hawaii. The captain’s home was in Tahiti where his wife and children lived. My family tale relates that the captain was influenced by Cathcart to bring his two daughters to Honolulu to be educated at St. Andrews Priory. I have a lingering memory of having heard that after the two daughters returned to Tahiti, one married a Mr. Hall and was the mother of John Hall, who enjoyed a somewhat short career as a handsome movie star in Hollywood. The other married a French-Tahitian and was the mother of Augie Goupil, a popular Hollywood musician and Polynesian dancer in the 1930’s and 1940’s. I met Augie in California in 1938 a few years before he died.”

Throwback Thursday: Passing through Umatilla, May 1997

It was May 1997.

We were driving from Portland, Oregon to Walla Walla, Washington for the Spring Commencement ceremonies, where Meda was slated to receive an “Alumni of Merit” award.

Along the way, a “flea market” sign on a storefront in Umatilla, a small town in Eastern Oregon, drew Meda’s attention and brought us to a temporary stop.

I don’t remember much about the store, but you always get an interesting view of a place while wandering through its thrift stores or flea markets.

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Rabbit Kekai, 1920-2016

In honor of the passing of surfing legend Rabbit Kekai, here are a few photos of him in his prime. The photos were among my father’s collection from the early years of the Waikiki Surf Club. Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version.

[That obnoxious auto correct did damage to the title in the original version of this post. I had corrected the same error in the body, and then it repeated in the title. Aargh!]

December 25, 1948. My dad, Waikiki Surf Club President John Lind congratulates Rabbit Kekai, winner of the first Diamond Head Paddleboard Race.

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Winners of the 1st Annual Diamond Head 6-mile Race, Christmas Day, 1948. Winners of the first 10 places. L-R: Rabbit Kekai (#1), George Downing (#2), Robert Krewson (#3), Herbert Bessa (#4), Edward Whaley (#5), Wally Froiseth (#6), Dorian Paskowitz (#7), Frank Freitas (#8), Blue Makua (#9), Russ Takaki (#10)..

Christmas Day 1945

More from the early years of the Waikiki Surf Club, probably around 1949=50. Rabbit is on the far right. Next to Rabbit is Rudy Choy, catamaran designer and major supporter of the Waikiki Surf Club in its early years. Second from the left is Ed Whaley, and then David Kapahulehua. It looks to me like this was a team of paddlers from a canoe competition in Waikiki. There was no date on this photo, showing the winners of an unknown competition.

c.1949

There’s also a sign-up sheet from the WSC’s Christmas Dance, also held in December 1948. Rabbit was #92 on the “Kane” list. There are a few others who signed with their nicknames–Longy, Juja, Brother, and Twinkle, but unlike Rabbit, their identities are probably lost forever.

Throwback Thursday: What happens in Vegas…

I think this meeting took place in Las Vegas in the 1990, although it might have been in Reno sometime the previous year. The photos from two trips ended up in the same album without a clear break between them. Both trips were organized around Meda’s conferences, as we continue to do today.

Perhaps someone else out there remembers where my friend was based at that time.

Las Vegas, c.1990

Quietly celebrating Mothers Day

In memory of our mothers, two photos from the archives.

Top: Meda and her mom, Margaret Renton Chesney, probably early 1948.

c.1948

Below: My mother, Helen Yonge Lind, and I in the back yard of my parents’ home, also likely 1948. Last year, we finished renovating their old house and moved back, so that this is now our back yard.

c.1948