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.
Note: 12/25/13, Here a little Christmas present for us – a different postcard image of Baby, obviously taken the same day as the first one. It was scanned for us by collector Paul McAlpine. Note that the message on the back is nearly identical to the first card. Our best guess is that a tourist brought or sent both of these cards home in 1927, and Paul and I each ended up purchasing one of them at recent postcard shows. kgw
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"