BEACH BOYS OF WAIKIKI, circa 1930s
Every once in a while, I am surprised by a goodie. Sometimes it's in my research when something obviously significant is first learned. Other times, it might be when I connect two previously unconnected dots to gain further insight into the progression of surfing. Often times, the goodie comes in the form of an email message from someone I've never communicated with before, but which leads to a wealth of information.
A recent goodie came in email form from Karen Cotter, with the assistance of her sister Emily Fradkin. The two sisters had an aunt named Emily Campbell Kauha Davis (1896-1987). A school teacher at 20, Emily sailed away to Honolulu at age 22 to the horror of her parents. She settled in with delight, taught school, and soon after met and married Waikiki beach boy and later captain of the Waikiki lifeguards, John Kauha. After over a decade together, Emily lost John Kauha to cancer in 1939.
"Anyway," wrote Karen Cotter, "from amongst my aunt's books I acquired two old poetry books by Don Blanding, published in 1923 and 1925 respectively, and in the back of one, written in pencil, is a list of "Beach Boys of Waikiki" in my aunt's hand which I thought you might find of interest..."
The listing -- by no means complete, but still the largest list of 1930s Waikiki Beach Boys I have seen anywhere -- is as follows, in the order it was written:
William Kahanamoku (whom Emily referred elsewhere as "Billy")
John D. Kaupiko (who was married to Emily's best friend, Helen)
William Keawemaha (nicknamed "Tough Bill")
Enay MacKinney [see comment by DeSoto Brown]
"For many years," Emily's niece Karen wrote, "my aunt wrote a newsy column in the Honolulu Advertiser in the '30s and '40s called 'Beachwalk Girl.' She often sent my mother columns which she thought my mother would enjoy - not all the columns for sure as I believe they were a daily item - perhaps only weekly, but we have a fat scrapbook full of the daily happenings in the neighborhood. My aunt lived on Seaside Avenue and Kuhio so was in the middle of the action!
"... perhaps the list will be of some use in your ongoing research."
Thank you, Karen and Emily.
For those of you reading this who may have corrections on the names, more to add, etc., I would very much appreciate hearing from you. Please leave your comments.
Labels: 1930s, beach boys, John Kauha, Waikiki