In the years since the Grand Canyon trip, Charlie has become one of the regulars in our casual group of river runners, joining us at least once a year for canoe or kayak trips and, when prompted, he will tell us stories about growing up in Hawaii.
Charlie’s father, Bill, was a Texan who met and married a young Hawaiian woman just before WWII. (Yes, the young lady in the photo had grown up.) After the war, Bill settled into life with his wife’s large extended Hawaiian family.
When they heard the roar of the airplane engines that Sunday morning, they hurried outside and could just make out the “rising sun” emblem on the aircraft fuselages. Bill told Baby to go to her brother’s house and he rushed to Hickam Field. He was unable to get airborne but was on the tarmac firing his sidearm as the later waves of Japanese planes went over. He and Baby did not see each other again for two weeks during which time she and other officers' wives stayed at her brother’s house.
I also gained some understanding of the song and rhythm of life that is the hula.
Our Hawaii, Erna Fergusson, A. A. Knopf, New York, 1942
For another connection to Charlie and his Hawaiian family, see the blog entry of June, 2012, titled, "No Angel: A Seaside Mystery"