the Beach at Waikiki" by Paul McGehee. The Hawaiian Islands of the blue
Pacific ... a paradise filled with sunshine, balmy breezes scented with
tropical flowers, swaying palm trees and rolling surf. On the island of
Oahu lies the beautiful beach of Waikiki, a palm-lined stretch of white
sand next to aquamarine waters, nestled at the feet of the sphinx-like
Diamond Head. So legendary is the beauty of Waikiki, Hawaiian royalty
chose to summer here in years past.
1928, Waikiki Beach was teeming with people from around the world. Some
arrived on the steamships of the Matson Line and stayed at the Moana
Hotel, Waikiki's first luxury hotel, or the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, the
famous "Pink Palace" that had opened the previous year. When ships
docked at Honolulu on "Steamer Day," travelers were greeted with
wonderfully fragrant flower leis, music, and a warm "aloha" before
venturing to their hotels. Once at the beach, bathers swam in the warm
waters of Mamala Bay. Hawaiians and haoles alike enjoyed "the sport of
kings," surfing. Large, heavy surfboards crafted from solid redwood and
pine were used to ride the waves of Waikiki. The Hawaiian beachboys
gave surfing lessons to visiting tourists, or taught them how to paddle
an outrigger canoe and catch the perfect wave back to shore. Meanwhile,
as the happy music of ukuleles and slack-key guitars filled the air,
grass-skirted wahine danced the hula at the Moana Hotel's famous Banyan
Court and the Royal Hawaiian's open-air dance floor.
were Hawaii's glamour days, with the old ways mixing with the new.