This oral history interview is a project of the Historical Committee of the Outrigger Canoe Club. The legal right to this material remain with the Outrigger Canoe Club. Anyone wishing to reproduce it or quote at length from it should contact the Historical Committee of the Outrigger Canoe Club. The reader should be aware that an oral history document portrays information as recalled by the interviewee. Because of the spontaneous nature of this kind of document, it may contain statements and impressions that are not factual.
Ronald Dewolf Higgins
Ronald DeWolf Higgins was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on July 15, 1899. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1918 to 1924 and from 1946 to 1957. He retired as a Rear Admiral. He was with the United States Naval Reserve from 1925 to 1946. He graduated from Punahou School in 1918 and received his B.S. degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1923. During the years when he was not on active duty with the Navy, he was with the Western Union Telegraph Company and Lyon Metal Production Company.
He was President of the Council-Waimanalo Community Association, 1960-61; Trustee, Hawaiian Botanical Gardens Foundation since 1962; Director, Hawaii Shade Tree Council, 1958-1963; Chamber of Commerce of Honolulu, 1959-68; Navy League; Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, 1960-69; Propeller Club, 1959-68; Retired Officers Association; Navy Academy Athletic Association; U.S. Navy Academy Alumni Association; member of Central Union Church, Oahu Country Club, Outrigger Canoe Club.
He married Margery Emma Addoms, December 30. 1923. Sons, Everett Chipman and Silas Alden Higgins.
Francis Andrew Imaikalani Bowers
Francis Andrew Imaikalani Bowers was born on May 18, 1900, in Honolulu, Hawaii, the son of Julia Kealiikaumealani Lovell and Winfield Walker Lane Bowers. He entered Punahou School in 1905 and remained until 1918, when he left school to enter the service during World War I. He returned to Punahou and graduated in 1920. He joined the Outrigger Canoe Club in 1916 and was a member until 1921.
Frank was married to Laura M. Pratt on March 30, 1926. The couple have two children and both graduated from Punahou: Francis A. I., Jr., 1945; and Laura Elizabeth, 1948.
Frank has been associated with horticulture during most of his career and spent the years 1947 to 1965 in the Hawaii Agriculture Experiment Station at the University of Hawaii as an horticulturist. He was particularly involved in developing taro, guava and lilikoi plants.
KJP: This is an interview with Ronald Higgins (RDH) and Francis A. I. Bowers Sr. (FAIB) The interview is being conducted on June 9, 1978 at the Outrigger Canoe Club. Ron has been a member since 1911, while Frank joined in 1915 and was a member until 1921. The interviewer is Kenneth J. Pratt (KJP), representing the Outrigger Canoe Club Oral History Committee.
KJP: Ron, before we get into your early days at the Outrigger, will you tell us something about yourself?
RDH: Well, in the summer of 1911, I had a job as the office boy for the contractor who built the YMCA, which is now the Merchandise Mart, and got $3.00 per week. I worked until the middle of August and accumulated enough money to join the Outrigger and buy a surfboard. I spent so much time at the Outrigger Club that during the ensuing years my father and mother had grave doubts as to whether I would ever become anything at all in this world. However, on June the 11th, Kamehameha Day, 1918, I enlisted in the Navy at Pearl Harbor and was transferred immediately into a transport which was en route to the East Coast. Incidentally, my division officer on that transport was Ted Center, the younger brother of Dad Center. I spent four years at the Academy (Annapolis) and finally made it and was commissioned in June, 1923–55 years ago.
KJP: That’s terrific!
RDH: And furthermore, I have just returned from my 55th Class Reunion at the Naval Academy, where we had sixty-four members present. In 1950, I had a yen to come back to Hawaii and managed to convince the detail officer in Washington that I should be ordered back to Honolulu. He said there were many others who wanted to go to Honolulu, but since I was born and raised here, he felt that I had a better claim on the job than anyone else and so I was ordered here. When I received my orders to come to Honolulu, I found that the Outrigger Club was conducting a membership campaign, so I wrote out a check for $100 and wrote a letter to the Club and asked them to consider my application as I intended to be in Honolulu about the first of July. When I got here, I found that I was again a member of the Club and I have been once ever since.
KJP: Well, That’s terrific, Ron; that means you’ve been a member for how long, roughly?
RDH: Well, I don’t know. I’ve never figured it out. If you figure from 1911 to 1918, that’s seven years, plus ’50 to ’78, that’s 28 years. Twenty eight plus seven is 35 years.
KJP: That’s a good long time. Now Frank, you probably haven’t traveled around the world as much as Ron, but I know you’ve been a mighty busy man since you’ve been at the Outrigger. Will you give us some of the high points in your life?
FAIB: Well, I joined the Outrigger Canoe Club approximately in 1915, as near as I can remember, and stayed here until 1921. During that time, World War I had started up and someone played the band and someone waved the flag, and I ran away from school and enlisted. I joined the Signal Corps at Shafter. We packed up and moved to Schofield and stayed there for approximately 13 months, and then I was relieved from the Army and went back to Punahou and tried to pick up the loose strings there. Ernest Chase decided that if I wanted a diploma from Punahou, I would have to finish my school work, which I hadn’t done when I took off for the Army. So I repeated my senior year. In that senior year, I didn’t have such a bad time; most of it was repeat work. I got better grades for one thing. I was a little better motivated. And in 1920, I graduated from Punahou and matriculated at the University of Hawaii the same year.
KJP: Well, that’s very interesting. Ron, you joined the Outrigger on August 11, 1911. Did you visit the Club earlier? Can you tell us how it started?
RDH: Well, in 1908, in the winter of 1908, my mother and father and I stayed at the old Seaside Hotel and Mr. Alexander Hume Ford used to come down and have dinner at the hotel almost every night. And one night, along about February, he and my mother and I were sitting out on a little hau tree terrace, in front of the dining room, and he told me about the proposed Outrigger Canoe Club that was going to go in right next door. And I got all fired up over it and wanted to join. However, I was a pretty young kid at that time and when the Club actually started, I did not become a member. However, in the summer time I used to go down and spend several weeks with the Alexaners, who stayed at the old Damon place, which is now the eastern part of Fort DeRussy. And during the day we used to saunter up the beach to the Outrigger and talk to the boys up here and play around at the Club, even though we were not members. And, as I said before, I didn’t join until 1911 when I had accumulated enough money to join.
KJP: Now, you mention the Seaside Hotel. That’s where the Royal Hawaiian Hotel is now?
RDH: Yes, that’s right, where the Royal Hawaiian is now. The Seaside Hotel consisted of a hotel type of building –a building with rooms, with the seaward end built over the water–sort of a lanai deal–and the dining room was separate–on, about 100 feet Diamond Head of the main building. And then, of course, they had numerous cottages out in the yard on the Ewa side, on the road that swung in from Kalakaua Avenue.
KJP: Well, you say you played with some of the fellows there in 1908,1909; that’s before you joined?
KJP: Can you throw out a few names? Some of the fellows who were actually the first members?
RDH: No, I’m sorry; that’s too far back to recollect exactly who it was I was playing with. I don’t know–probably Ainsley MacKenzie and maybe Jack MacKenzie and some of the old timers who were contemporaries of mine in age.
KJP: Well, probably some of them were still in the Club when you joined it in 1911 and you got to knoew them better.
RDH: That’s true, and as far as those who were members when I joined, I cannot identify them. The only fellow I really identify is Edric Cook, who walked into the Club the same day I joined and he wanted to join, too. We both put our money down at the same time.
KJP: Yes, and Edric stayed a member for many, many years. I remember that. Frank can you think of some of the fellows when you joined in 1915? Duke Kahanamoku hadn’t joined, had he?
FAIB: No, he was not a member at that time; he was still with Hui Nalu. But when I joined up, there was Edric and Dad Center. Dad had me working around the Club–oh, helping with the canoes and one thing and another I spent most of my time down there, whenever I could get away, painting canoes, fixing sails. As I remember, we needed some booms for the old No. 1 and No. 2 sailing canoes and I made them. I made them out of one-by-threes.
KJP: That’s great!
FAIB: And strange as it may sound, they actually worked; and they were used there for a number of years. There was Joe Stickney, who used to come out. There was Ernest Chase, who played volleyball. Well, Charlie Lambert–he was my contemporary–we swam on the team together. In fact, the only swimming medal I managed to hang on to is a silver medal and he got the gold in the same race. We only had to swim about four times to get it; there was always a disqualification and we had to swim it over again.
KJP: Well, at that time, where did you swim
FAIB: Well, of course when we were training, we swam down at DeRussy. We trained off of Queen’s Surf back into Canoe Surf and back into the clubhouse. But the races were down in the harbor. In one of the slips down there.
KJP: Oh, yes.
FAIB: They would anchor two barges and then before each race, they would check–before and after each race they would check the marks on the piers on both ends to be sure that we actually swam a hundred yards and not 99 yards and 34 inches or something like that. And in fact that’s where I saw Duke swim the 52 in the hundred. He and Norman Ross had a fancy 220 race and the 220 was where they “met”. Ross was a long distance swimmer; Duke was a sprinter. And the 220 was where they “met”. And that was “dog eat dog”. You never could tell which one was going to win.
KJP: Well, it was out in the harbor that the Yale swimming team participated.
FAIB: Yes, and Duke swam in that–very much so. We had teams then from Yale, from Illinois, from California, from Washington, and we had one or two others. I can’t recall right now.
KJP: It was in the early ’20s wasn’t it?
FAIB: Ah, 1917 and 1918.
KJP: Oh, when Lorrin Thurston came out with the Yale team?
FAIB: That was in the ’20s.
KJP: But they had come out in ’17 and ’18?
KJKP: That’s very interesting. And the Duke, in that time, was still in his prime swimming ability.
FAIB: And one of the things I’d like to stick in here is that the Duke never won a race with a runaway. If he swam against the poorest swimmer of any team, regardless of the distance, he’d just beat him and that was all. He didn’t go out “for blood”. And I think that’s about the height of sportsmanship.
KJP: If he had the present competition, he’d probably be beating them, too.
FAIB: He’d be breaking the record every time he swam. ‘Cause he swam one 100-yard relay–he swam as anchor man, of course–and when he came up on his anchor, he was about five or six yards behind the leader. And he had a “rooster tail” over his feet coming up the slip, and he was just out-touched; just couldn’t quite make it. But Kealii–I think was the other man–Kealii knew he had been in a race. I think he broke his own record about twice in the same race.
KJP: That’s very interesting. Duke Kahanamoku was probably our most famous member at the Outrigger Canoe Club, no doubt about that. Can you fellows give us a little background about the Duke? Ron, do you want to start it?
RDH: Well, the Duke was a little bit older than I was and so I never was very “palsy-walsy” with him. However, he used to come over and talk to us at the Club here and we used to be out in Canoe Surf, surfing together. And when he came back from the Olympics, he had learned to squirt water with his hands, either with one hand or two hands, and he would sit out there and nonchalantly, while he was waiting for the waves, just squirt water 10 or 12 feet. And that intrigued me, and so I used to practice and practice and practice and I finally got to be able to squirt water about 10 feet, which incidentally has been my prize trick. Whenever I’m in the swimming pool, it always attracts a lot of attention. And particularly when I was coming back from Australia swimming in the tank on the ship, the Mariposa, I was squirting water and one of the tourists sitting up there looked at me and said, “By gosh, you sure as hell can milk a cow!”
KJP: Ha, ha; that’s pretty good. Well Frank, you maybe know a little bit more about–1916 there was nothing because of the war. How about 1920?
FIAB: Well, in 1920 he (Duke) came back. He’s been swimming in Antwerp then and there was big to-do. Of course the old Matson boats used to come in the foot of Fort Street. There was quite a big celebration arranged for him. He came up Fort Street in a big open car with the top down, and the thing that impressed me was that there was a little shoe-shine boy sitting on the curb, up about where Liberty House is now, somewhere in that neighborhood and this kid just stood up with his shoe-shine box and said, “Hello, Duke” and Duke took the time to say “Hello” back.
KJP: He was a great man, a great man.
FAIB: And I thought that was pretty good. He’d come out to the beach–I used to meet him out there quite often whenever he was around. I’d go over to Hui Nalu and sometimes he’d come over to the Outrigger and we’d go out. I didn’t go out surfing with him because he was too good for me; I couldn’t stay with him. But I was out on the beach one day when he caught the “big ride”. We had first break–Castles–which was breaking almost straight out from the Outrigger Club. He caught a wave out there, came around in Sans Souci, came down through, out there–what’s that one? Queen’s–no, Queen’s is over there–Canoe, Popular, came back into Malihini and rode the wave right up on the beach and stepped off on dry sand. It’s the longest ride that anyone has ever made.
KJP: Do you remember, it came out in “Believe It or Not” by Ripley?
FIAB: Yeah. The same thing came out in Ripley, but I saw it.
KJP; We should cut that out; it would be a great thing to have.
FIAB: If you could find it. Maybe it’s down in the morgue.
KJP: Well, that’s very interesting. The Duke remained modest right to . . .
FIAB: Right to the very end.
KJP: Just fantastic! Well, how about a little background on George David Center. He was another great booster of the Outrigger Canoe Club.
RDH: Well, Dad was a member of the Myrtle Boat Club in his earlier days. I also believe he was a member of the Outrigger Canoe Club. However, it’s my recollection that he was not particularly active in the Outrigger Club until 1913 and then he was made captain and from there on he was very aggressively the captain and developed quite an athletic program. Of course, Dad worked for T. H. Davies & Co. and usually tried to finish his work about 3:30 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon and get down to the Club where he would supervise or direct us (we kids) in painting canoes, tying them up, doing all kinds of work. He also bought some one-inch doweling and made long spears for us, which we learned to use with glass bottom boxes and life preservers around our waists. He also became the only surfboard–he and Edric Cooke became partners and were really the only surfboard makers in Waikiki and they turned out many, many surfboards and they were beautiful. They were made, of course, out of the 24 inch wide selected redwood, three inches thick–no, two inches thick–and anywhere from six, eight or ten feet long.
FIAB: Ten to fourteen.
RDH: Ten to fourteen, was it? Well, some of us, the smaller kids, had shorter boards. And I remember it was always 24 inches back from the stem and 24 inches back from the stern where the taper began and I remember they always did that, and they used a little Japanese adze to taper off the wood and they were very akamai at that.
KJP: And no skegs at that time?
RDH: No. And to get back to the skeg thing. In the list of old-time members that I have here, I mentioned “Baldy” Baldwin (H. P. Baldwin, not of the local family), who was really a hoisting engineer, but a very ingenious guy, and he had Dad build him a surfboard. And “Baldy” was having an awful time. Every time he would get a wave, he would huli. So finally one day he came out there and had on the stern of his board these two little skegs and 12-inches long and I’d say about an inch or an inch and half high screwed on to the under surface of his surfboard and of course, we all thought that he was a little “lo-lo” and we asked him what all this was about and he said, “This is going to be it. This is going to keep me from “huli-ing” and I don’t remember whether it improved his performance or not, but anyway those were the first skegs I ever saw.
KJP: Now you don’t see a board anywhere without a skeg on it.
RDH: Well then, later on of course when they brought in the lightweight boards, I guess they were developed in California, with the big skegs on them, that was something else entirely. The surfboard is entirely different from what it was in our day when we had those big redwood boards.
KJP: Would you say that if you can learn to ride a board now in two days–I mean to “make out”–it would take three or four, maybe five, months to learn on the old redwood? Take a lot longer anyway.
FIAB: Yes, it took longer.
RDH: They were heavier and took longer to start and also they were more stable. In other words, having the 24-inch beam, they were much more stable than the narrower boards of today, but still they were hard to control. You couldn’t steer them at all hardly.
FIAB: Well, very little.
RDH: Very little. You could lean one way or the other, but they didn’t respond very well.
FIAB: You had to stick your hand out or your foot out, or stick your hand out to steer it, the same as you would a canoe.
KJP: Yeah, I remember. I learned on the old redwoods, also. Now, I understand that Princess Kaiulani used to have a home called Ainahau. Do you remember that?
RDH: Oh, yes, very well. Yeah.
KJP: Where was that located?
RDH: That was located up–well–I can’t place it exactly, but the old stream that used to go up between the Outrigger Club and the Moana went back mauka into the duck ponds. My recollection is that the Ewa end of the Ainahau property came down to that stream, and it ran back a considerable distance. . .
FIAB: Back towards Diamond Head.
RDH: Up towards Diamond Head, and there was quite a large one-story building there which was the residence of–it was her residence and later on it became a hotel. Don’t you remember that. Frank?
RDH: I don’t know what finally happened to it. I think it was still functioning as a hotel when I left in 1918. Although Prince Kuhio used to keep his canoes up there and when Prince Kuhio gave us permission to use his Aa canoe, we went up there–Dad took a bunch of us up there and we carried that canoe down from Ainahau to the Outrigger Club–the Aa.
KJP: Boy, that would be a job.
FIAB: We carried it down off of Steiner’s place, and then we rigged it there.
RDH: Oh, was that it?
FIAB: We rigged it there, on the wrong side. We got in it and started to paddle it along shore to get back to the Club and a wave hit us just right and the darn thing tipped over. That’s when we found out that in that boat you swung straight or you went overboard.
KJP: Now, you mentioned the stream that came down into the lagoon at the Outrigger. In your recollection, would you say maybe it came down where Kaiulani Avenue is?
RDH: No, it came down between the Moana Hotel and the Outrigger Club, and it went practically straight up towards Manoa Valley.
KJP: Where the Princess Kaiulani now is. It would have gone right through that hotel?
RDH: NO, it would have been a little on the Ewa side of that. It would go through where the old Outrigger Canoe Club had its parking lot.
KJP: Oh, the parking lot. I remember the parking lot.
RDH: Right straight up there . . .
KJP: I see.
RDH: There was a concrete bridge on Kalakaua Avenue that was high enough so that when you took a small canoe, you could get down underneath and go right under the bridge and paddle the canoe up the stream.
KJP: I see. You couldn’t go as far as where later on the Ala Wai was?
RDH: Oh, yes. That’s where the duck ponds were. We went that far up. That’s where the duck ponds started.
FIAB: And whenever they had the extra heavy rains, that was the stream that overflowed and it was rather common to get a surfboard or get a canoe and paddle up Kalakaua Avenue and go up into Ainahau.
KJP: Wouldn’t it be kind of smelly, with all . . .
FIAB: Yes, slightly.
RDH: It depended on how long it had been there.
KJP: Did you have any ducks float down on to the Outrigger Canoe Club grounds?
RDH: I have a story on that, but I don’t know whether to tell it or not.
KJP: Ron, do you recall any interesting episodes that might have taken place in the old Outrigger site?
RDH: Well you were asking about the stream and the duck ponds. I’ve got a story but I don’t know whether I should relate it or not.
KJP: Oh, sure; go right ahead.
RDH: Well, one of my pals, Don Hayselden, had a sixteen-gauge shotgun, single barrel, and he disassembled it and brought it down to the Club, put it in his locker, and one Saturday morning he and I got together and he decided he would like to go up shooting ducks because here were a lot of ducks in the duck ponds at the head of the stream. So we got out the little canoe–I think it was No. 10–and got it under the bridge and we got up to the head of the stream and sure enough there was a flock of ducks up there, just swimming around–nice white Peking ducks. But they always stayed in a cluster, their necks in a group of 12 inches in diameter. He couldn’t segregate (them). He didn’t want to shoot them all; all he wanted was one duck. So, finally he–I edged the canoe up to a mud bank with deep grass and he got out to get up as close to the ducks as possible, but the mud was so soft that he went up to his knees and as he did that, the muzzle of his gun went into the mud. He recovered his balance and wandered around a little bit and finally he got one duck segregated and he raised his gun and fired. He got the duck all right but the whole front of the gun just split wide open just like a piece of newspaper. We captured the dead duck and put him in a bucket and took off down the stream, as fast as we could, so the Chinese duck keepers up there couldn’t follow us or find out what was going on. And when we got about halfway down the stream, on the Ainahau property, we got under a hau tree and plucked the duck and got him all nice and clean and put it back in the bucket and took it down to the Outrigger Canoe Club where he got old Sasaki to put him in the refrigerator for us. And that evening we wrapped him up in newspapers and took him home and Don got his mother’s very faithful Japanese cook to roast him for us and couple of days later Don brought him back to the Outrigger and we had a nice luau.
KJP: Well, that’s great. Now you mentioned Sasaki. I remember Sasaki myself, but not back in those days. I was too young. I’d sure like to hear something about the old boy. Did he start when the Club started, or shortly thereafter?
RDH: So far as I know, he was there when the Club started. I didn’t join until 1911 and he was very much the boss around the Club when I joined. In fact, I filed my membership application and my money with him when I joined the Club. He ran all the help–the men that gathered up the suits, dried them, put them out on the lines, and the towels. He also ran the little sort of commissary store there, where they sold canned goods. He also cooked rice and sold it to us for a nickel a bowl. He, at first, did not live on the grounds but the Club, after he had been there several years, had a building brought in and set up in the back part of the Club property and he and his wife and children moved in there and so he became a resident of the place and sort of a watchman as well. He was quite a boy; we all liked him and he always treated us kids very well and I think, the members all liked him and he was very, very loyal. When I came back here in 1950, I believe, he had already been retired. However, I think Dad Center organized a dinner in his honor, somewhere along in the ’50s and brought him over and he was the guest of honor at the dinner at the old Outrigger Club. I lost track of him after that; however, I happened to read in the paper his obituary and that the funeral was going to be held right down in the Nuuanu Cemetery. So my wife and I went down and attended his funeral and that was the end.
KJP: About when was that?
RDH: I think it was about 1967 or ’68, somewhere along in there.
KJP: Now, actually, Alexander Hume Ford started in running things when the Club was first organized, right? But then he left. Was he there when Sasaki was running things?
RDH: Oh, yes. Oh, sure. Alexander Hume Ford was the organizer and I would say the moving spirit behind the Club operation when it first started; but it’s not my recollection that he ever participated in the day-to-day operations of running the help. I think Sasaki did all of that.
KJP: I see. Well, that’s interesting. Do you remember Sasaki, Frank?
FAIB: Very much so. He kept the younger kids sort of “squared around.” He had some rules and those rules were obeyed, period! But at the time I was told, or at least I heard, that he was an ex-army officer from Japan. Well, he acted like one.
KJP: He was tough, huh?
FAIB: He was tough when he needed to be.
KJP: Well, they needed someone there apparently from what I read in the history book (Outrigger). They had a little trouble around 1909 and 1910 and that’s apparently when a lot of the old records were misplaced or lost. He probably took over. I think after that the records were in pretty good shape.
RDH: Well, I don’t think–well, when you say records–well, it may have been at that time but, gee, I don’t think he was ever involved in the upper echelon–managerial field. He was only–he only ran the day-to-day operations of the Club. I don’t think he had anything to do with the finances. I don’t think he was the custodian of the records. Maybe they had a box or something to keep the records in . . .
FAIB: I think that was probably in the little commissary.
RDH: In the little grass shack there, yeah.
KJP: They didn’t have a regular business office.
RDH: Oh, no.
FAIB: No, there wasn’t anything like that until later.
KJP: Very good. Now, Frank, do you remember Queen Liliuokalani’s home? That apparently was down off of Kalakaua somewhere.
FAIB: Now that I don’t remember; I remember the one uptown, of course.
KJP: This was probably her summer home.
RDH: She had a place down here at Waikiki, just about where Kuhio Beach is now. And she had a little pier out in front of her place, just like the Moana pier.
FAIB: Well, that one I remember.
RDH: Yeah, that’s right, and old Bill Kanakanui lived right next door.
KJP: Well, how about the Steiner property?
RDH: Steiner was further down, and the Hustace property was further down.
KJP: I see, and the Castle home was even further?
RDH: Oh, no, the Castle home was about here, where we are now.
FAIB: Out here.
RDH: Where we are now is where the Castle home was, right on the point here.
KJP: Yes, but back in those days in conjunction with the old Outrigger Club, it was further on down the road than the Steiner place.
RDH: Oh, sure, that’s right.
FAIB: In fact, wasn’t the Elks Club in the old Castle house?
RDH: Yes, the Elks Club bought the Castle house.
FAIB: Yes, that’s what I thought.
RDH: The Elks Club bought the Castle place and turned it into their clubhouse.
KJP: Oh, yes.
RDH: That’s the big white house out on the point, you know.
KJP: And that’s the place they put the new building on in the early ’60s.
RDH: Right, right.
KJP: Yes, I think the Outrigger was pretty lucky because they (Elks) needed a little money for the new building and that was one of the . . .
RDH: Incentives . . .
KJP: Incentives to let the Outrigger come out to this property, I recall. Did you ever take the bus–no, the old street car–from town out here? What kind of a route would you have followed on that?
RDH: Oh, did we take it! That was the only way we could get here.
KJP: I thought you came out in Frank’s old jalopy?
RDH: Well, Frank’s car wasn’t running all the time.
KJP: Oh, I see.
FAIB: Sometimes, it had to go in for repairs.
RDH: No, I tell you, you could get–when we kids at Punahou–we could get on the street car at Punahou and with our little school tickets (2 1/2 cents) go downtown to Honolulu and get a transfer to the King Street line, see, coming to Waikiki. We could get off at King Street and go into the Chambers Drug Store and get an ice cream soda–chocolate ice cream soda–and then when the King Street car came along, go to Waikiki. We could get on that car and come all the way out to Waikiki, all on our 2 1/2-cents.
KJP: Wouldn’t it have been faster to run down to King Street instead of going all the way into town?
RDH: Oh, we could have got the car the other way, you know, the car that we got at Punahou went both ways. You could get the other one; we just chose to go downtown.
KJP: Oh, you wanted the extra ride?
RDH: We wanted the extra ride and the ice cream soda. We could get the other one that went to Pawaa Junction, see, and get a transfer there to get the King Street car and come all the way out.
KJP: Then that would go down McCully, was it?
RDH: It would go down King Street to what is now McCully, turn across the duck ponds on the old stone viaduct, across to Kalakaua Avenue, and then it would turn to the left and there was a switch there where the two cars passed and then it kept going towards Diamond Head and, of course, it passed the Outrigger Club and we got off. And then it kept on going and when it got up to about where Kuhio Beach is now, there was another switch and the two cars passed and the one that was going towards Diamond Head went off to the end and the end of the line was right out here at the end of the park–yeah, the end of the park where–what’s the name of the street that runs up Kapiolani Park?
KJP: Paradise? No, that doesn’t sound right.
FAIB: It does begin with “P”.
KJP: I know the one you mean, but I can’t think of it.
RDH: Well, anyway, right up here at the end of the park, the end of the ironwood trees.
KJP: Then you would have to retrace . . .
FAIB: It would turn around and go back the same way.
RDH: We didn’t have to catch it at Diamond Head; we’d just wait to catch it going the right way.
KJP: What was Kalakaua Avenue called in those days?
RDH: Kalakaua Avenue.
KJP: I thought it was Waikiki Road or something like that.
RDH: Oh, maybe that was away, way back.
KJP: Well, talking about Kapiolani Park and so on, do you fellows remember the polo games, the horse races?
RDH: I do.
KJP: Where would that have been located, as far as the park was concerned.
FAIB: Well, where the trees are in there now, in the present park, there used to be a big open place just above it and the grandstand used to be there on the makai side here, a nice big grandstand. And there was a one-mile track in there.
RDH: If you go over there now, you’ll see, if you look carefully, a line of date palms.
RDH: You’ll see a line of date palms which defined the edge of the race track.
KJP: Oh, I see.
RDH: Yes, it was an oral race track and they played polo in the middle of it.
KJP: Oh, I was wondering about that–it was big enough? You need about 300 yards for polo, don’t you?
RDH: Oh, yes, there was plenty of room; it was a dirt track, too.
KJP: Now, that wouldn’t have extended as far as the present rose gardens, would it?
FAIB: Oh, no; it might have extended over the present road that goes up to Fort Ruger.
FAIB: Yes, Monsarrat. I think the oval would have been over the end of it.
RDH: I think it runs into part of the zoo.
RDH: I think the date palms end at part of the zoo and come around.
KJP: Where the golf practice range is?
RDH: Yeah, right in there. That’s right.
FAIB: The fact is during my summers when I was 12 or 13 years old, my Dad decided it was time for me to get an education and learn to use my hands so he put me in a shop, learning to be a mechanic, and finally two of us got to be the Ford experts in the shop. I handed the tools to the other guy. We developed a system of having the car down at seven o’clock in the morning. We’d have the entire motor out on the floor, in pieces, by eight o’clock. At noon we’d begin putting it back together with new rings, bearings, what have you and by four o’clock we’d take it out for a test run, and then the owner would come and pick it up at half-past four. And so it wasn’t a bad deal and I got the enormous amount of nothing a week the first summer and the second summer I got 50-cents a week. But that was big money in those days. I could go down and take in a movie for 15-cents, I could get a soda for a dime and I’d still have change.
KJP: That’s great! Now, you were going to Punahou about that time, too. They didn’t have the old shop at that time. I think that was later on.
FAIB: That was later. No, during our time at Punahou, they didn’t have any shop work for the students.
KJP: What do you think about shop work. Just to get off the subject for a second.
FAIB: I think it’s a mistake that they don’t have it now. For a while they did have it and Jack Stubbart ran the shop up there for a while and he had the kids tearing automobiles down and rebuilding them and all that–taking junk and making an automobile out of it.
KJP: Yeah, I think it was too bad that they discontinued that.
FAIB: The woodworking shop stayed together a little bit longer, but even that is only for one year, I think–for Junior School.
KJP: For eighth grade, I believe. Well, to get back to Waikiki again–I recall the boys playing ukuleles, guitars, along the beach, having a ball, and never expecting a nickel–in fact, they would be insulted if you gave money. How about–now I’m talking about the late ’20s, early ’30s–how about during 1913 and so on–did they do that?
FAIB: They did at the dances, at night, at the old Moana pier. The gang would come over with an ukulele, a guitar, or whatever they happened to bring there and the instruments were passed from one person to another and very seldom would the instrument go home with the same person it came down with, because there were too many dates to be taken care of. Fellows would come down, play for a bit, sing and attract the girls down there and pretty soon one of the boys would have a date and take off and leave his guitar with one guy and someone else would leave an ukulele with another fellow and maybe the next morning, or the next week or two weeks later, he’d get his instrument back. Someone would bring it down and he’d find it.
KJP: Now, you mention that was at the pier. You mean at the end of the pier where the pavilion was?
FAIB: Yeah, the little . . .
KJP: How big was that?
FAIB: That must have been 10 or 12 feet square on the inside; then it had a little walkway around it.
RDH: Yeah, a little lanai around it.
KJP: Get 10 or 20 people in there–not too crowded?
FAIB: Yeah, that would be about a load. For instance, Duke’s younger brother–David for one, and then, what was his name?
KJP: Sam, Louis?
FIAB: Sam came down–he had a beautiful voice–he would come down and sing “Wahine U’i” and the girls would just melt. Then he’d, of course, have to go and take care of them. That would be the end of Sam for the rest of the night.
KJP: Oh, that’s pretty good.
FAIB: The the dances at the Moana were very popular and when and if Dad gave us permission, when we were on the team, swimming, we could go out to the Moana dance and take one of the girls from the team–not some outsider, but one of the girls on the team. Go out there and dance, but we had to be home and in bed by half-past ten.
KJP: This is the Punahou team you’re talking about?
FAIB: Oh, no, the Outrigger swimming team. And if Dad suspected that you were running over into midnight, when we went down to DrRussy the next morning, he’d find out for sure when he timed you on the 100-yard sprint, because you didn’t make it.
KJP: That’s where you practiced–down at DeRussy? No, actually, wasn’t there a swimming competition between Gray’s Beach and the Outrigger Canoe Club for a while there–were you here then? I read about it.
RDH: No, there was no organized competition there at that time. It was all down at the harbor.
KJP: How about the Castle Swim? When did that start–the Thanksgiving “deal”?
RDH: That started bout 1916 I think, when they had the first one.
KJP: I see.
RDH: I think it was about ’16, wasn’t it?
FAIB: Somewhere around then.
RDH: Ernest Cook won it, didn’t he?
FAIB: He won it one year.
RDH: Do you want to get back to this music on Waikiki Beach?
RDH: Well, in my era the boys didn’t come down and sing along the beach. The only music we had was Lorrin Thurston and his steel guitar and a few others. I think Harold Harvey and some of the other kids had ukuleles and they used to come and play. We’d have our kaukau on the Hau Terrace and then in the evening we’d go out and sit on the sand and Lorrin would play his steel guitar and he was pretty akamai at it too, and the boys would play their ukuleles and we’d have a little fun out there and that was about the extent of the music on the beach in those days.
KJP: Now, there was a Thurston who was a charter member. Would he have been the Lorrin you’re speaking of now or would it have been his father?
RDH: Probably his father, although Lorrin (P.) could have been. (Note: It was probably Lorrin A. Thurston, the father)
FAIB: He’s not so much older than we are . . .
RDH: No, he’s about a year older–I think he’s about my age–he was just one year behind us at Punahou, I think. Yeah, I was in ’18 and I think he was in ’17 in Punahou ’cause he was captain of the swimming team when I was there.
KJP: I guess he was a senior when they (Yale) came out in ’22.
RDH: Well, he was at Yale. I’m talking about Punahou, then from Punahou he went to Yale.
KJP: Do you fellows recall anything about the bathing suits back in those days? And what happened when Desha passed his bathing suit law? Was that necessary or was it just a matter of being overly careful of the gals?
FAIB: No, I think at the time–I think personally it was a good thing, because we were getting to the point where anybody and everybody was running all over Kalakaua Avenue with damn near nothing on. That’s about how they’re running around now, but in those days that was a “no-no”.
KJP: They had more on than the present bikinis.
FAIB: Oh, hell, yes–no, the general rule was that you had to have wool or a cotton suit, and it had no bare bellies–nothing like that–and it had to have a skirt on the front or all the way around . . .
KJP: Oh, yes.
FAIB: And the skirt had to be–with the women the skirts had to be a certain number of inches above the kneecap or some such thing as that. They were a little more lenient with the men. But menfolks had to have a top on their suit so none of this running around with just tights on.
KJP: Yes, I recall all the old pictures–all have tops–and the gals usually wore stockings, too.
RDH: Right. In that connection, there used to be a lifeline stretched from the beach out to the diving stand offshore there, about 150 yards out, and this lifeline was supported by redwood blocks every four feet or so. Anyway, we had our trunks and our top white pieces and when we went surfing, we would get on our boards and paddle out about two-thirds of the way to the diving stand, take our top pieces off and tie them to the lifeline and go surf, see? And then when we came in, we would recover our top pieces and put them back on and come ashore.
FAIB: And that was all right; that wasn’t indecent exposure.
KJP: The gals couldn’t see that far out.
RDH: The girls didn’t give a damn.
KJP: Very good. Well, that’s fine then. I understand just from reading–I think it was the book about the Outrigger Club that Ruth Stacker was one of the first who changed the old style bathing suit into one that was a little easier to swim in.
RDH: Well, Ruth Stacker became, I guess, one of the first real women swimmers in the Islands. She was really good and Dad Center took her under his wing and she represented the Outrigger Club and she used to train down there–he was her trainer–and she, of course, couldn’t swim a race in a wool suit with a skirt on it. So she had a rather tight fitting racing suit that had a skirt on it, and she was really a very good swimmer. She was followed by Ruth Scudder.
KJP: How about Mariechen Wehselau?
RDH: Well, they came later . . .
KJP: (Helen) Moses, I guess, was a little later . . .
RDH: Just a little bit later. See,they were the next echelon.
FAIB: And all those girls–Dad making up the swimming team for the 1917-18 races, sent back to Gantner & Mattern for silk racing suits or jersey silk for the boys, and they were measured to order. And when they came down here, many of the girls didn’t have any racing suits and they were swimming in these heavy, heavy wool suits. And so when we got down to the harbor why they’d go around, “Well, you’re about the same size, same build as that girl; hou lend that suit to her when you get out of your race”. So the girls were using cold suits that the boys had been using . . .
KJP: Wet suits, huh?
FAIB: Wet suits and Phina (Josephine) Hopkins wore my suit and when I got it back, it was stretched all out of shape.
RDH: Oh, that’s right–Phina Hopkins was another one of the contemporary swimmers in those days.
RDH: 1916-’17-’18. And, in connection with those ladies’ racing suits, they used to race in the harbor, they always had a bathrobe over their shoulders from the starting line an another girl stood right beside her and held on to the bathrobe so when they dove in–when the gun went off–the girl holding the bathrobe pulled it off, see, and they had another one down at the other end, and when the girl came in and touched the end, they hauled her up and they put the bathrobe on.
KJP: Very modest.
FAIB: Very much so. Well, they had a group we called the rocking chair fleet who used to sit up on the lanai and, well, they served a useful purpose I suppose, altthough we didn’t think so. We thought it would be a good thing if they started swimming–go straight out to sea and keep right on going it would have been a good thing. But they sort of kept the young people sort of “squared around” and they were from the Women’s Auxiliary.
RDH: Mrs. Swanzy was head of the Women’s Auxiliary.
KJP: Yes. That brings up another point. Now, actually, I understand getting dues from the gals helped the Club out when they were having some of the roughest times. Was that 1911, 1912?
RDH: Kenny what did you say?
KJP: It was an all-men’s or all boy’s club in 1908, but somewhere along the line, when would you “guestimate” the date was 1911, 1912–when they let the gals in.
RDH: Well, they never did let the girls in. They had a Women’s Auxiliary which was a separate organizastion and the girls all belonged to the Women’s Auiliary of the Outrigger Club. They didn’t belong to the Outrigger Club proper, as I understand it.
KJP: Oh, I see.
FAIB: I think that’s right.
KJP: I see. Then later this same group–I think it was about 1938 or thereabouts–went over to the Uluniu. It must have been a lot earlier than that, or was it 1938?
RDH: Oh, I don’t know when the Uluniu was started.
KJP: But, that was the same grup–they were the Auxiliary here and they went over there. . .
RDH: Well, the Uluniu had another club; they were separate. And when the Outrigger Club had to leave, the Uluniu people invited the Women’s Auxiliary or the Ladies Auxiliary from the Outrigger Club to come over and join them. IO think that’s what happened.
KJP: Oh, I see. Now Ron, you weren’t here in ’20, were you?
RDH: No, but I came back in 1920 on my midshipman cruise.
KJP: Oh, yes, but you weren’t here too long?
KJP: 1920. I understand they had a real expanded athletic program. Was Dad behind this?
FAIB: The swimming part of it he was, and then he was also spark plugging the canoe races and then later the surfing. He wasn’t quite as active in the surfing as he was in the canoe racing.
KJP: But I understand they went into football . . .
KJP: Baseball also?
RDH: I’ve seen pictures of the 1920 baseball team.
KJP: They, I think, held University of Nevada (aas it) in 1920 to a 0-0 tie, which was quite something in those days.
RDH: I think that picture shows Bill Inman, “Tramp” (James O”Dowda), and I’ve forgotten who else. You’ve got the picture stored away here somewhere.
KJP: (Atherton) Gilman was apparently the . . .
FIAB: Gilman and Doc (Paul) Withington played for a while.
KJP: He probably was the coach too, wasn’t he?
FAIB: Yeah, all the plays were Harvard . . .
KJP: Oh, is that right?
KJP: Ron, volleyball has been one of the most popular sports in the Club ‘way back when you fellows were there and even right now when they’re turning out championships teams. Can you tell us about it, after you joined?
RDH: Well, there was no volleyball here when I became a member and it really didn’t start, as I recollect until early in 1915 when Dad Center went down and bought a couple of volleyballs and volleyball net and they put the net up temporarily between the surfboard lockers and the canoe shed there parallel to the beach. However, that wasn’t big enough, so they finally relocated the volleyball court and put it in front of the so-called little commissary and the big lanai, which eventually became the dining room. And it was, of course, a sand court and it became very popular. We had some pretty good teams. We didn’t have very many other teams to play with. I remember they went down to the Oahu Prison and played the prisoners down there once; only time I was ever in the prison, to tell you the truth.
KJP: Well, that’s good.
FAIB: Well, Palama used to have some pretty good volleyball teams. We went out to Palama a couple of times–played out there, and I think there was another team that came out and played us out here. And they didn’t like our court; they were used to playing on a hard floor. They got out on the sand and it “killed” them.
KJP: Yeah, you really had to have tough feet to play on that hot sand.
FAIB: Not necessarily tough feet, but you had to have good legs, because that sand is hard to play on. And unless you got used to it you couldn’t jump on sand, you know, for slamming–spiking.
KJP: It took different timing.
FAIB: Timing and everything else.
KJP: And you could dive for a ball on the sand but on a hard court–I imagine it was in reverse, too. I imagine when you fellows played on the hard courts, you’d get some lumps.
FAIB: Yeah–some beautiful “strawberries”.
KJP: Yeah, I would think so. Now, Ron, in 1908 the Great White Fleet came out here. President Roosevelt had something to do with that. Do you remember that?
RDH: I remember it–not too distinctly, but I remember it. Of course, President Roosevelt wanted to show the flag around the world, so he dispatched the United States Fleet, or most of it, on this round the world trip under Admiral Evans, who had the nickname of “Fighting Bob”, “Fighting Bob” Evans was in command of it and they came around the Horn, as I recall, from the East Coast and up the West Coast to San Francisco and then to Hawaii and I have a dim recollection of going up Manoa Hill and looking out towards Diamond Head and seeing these ships coming around Diamond Head. They were in line abreast–not in a long column, but in a column of lines abreast–and they came in to–off the harbor here and several of them, as many as could come along-side of the piers down in Honolulu Harbor and the flagship, which was then the Connecticut–I’ve forgotten what the flagship was–but, anyway, she came in and was moored at what used to be Pier 5, across from the old Naval Station.
KJP: Say, Ron, could you tell us a little about the housing and the places you had to change back in those days.
RDH: Well, before I joined, I used to come up the beach once in a while and talk to the boys up here at the Club. They had the original grass hut right at the edge of the beach and it was a real grass hut and they had bamboo pegs in the framework to hang your undershirts and pants on. And that’s about all they had.
KJP: No space to shower or . . .
RDH: Yes, as I recall, they had a pipe. . .
FIAB: In a hau tree.
RDH: Yes, I guess it was.
FAIB: That’s what I remember.
RDH: They had a pipe and a shower head, I think, somewhere around there to take a shower; but when I joined–before I joined, they had brought this additional grass hut in and opened up the side and one end of it and made–they put a wooden floor in and made sort of a commissary and office out of it. They also built locker rooms. The junior locker room was along the ewa border facing what later became the Uluniu Club.
KJP: I see.
RDH: And then they had a wing that came out toward Diamond Head, which was the senior locker room. And in each of those locker rooms, they had cold water showers; and they had the surfboard lockers built against the wall of the senior wing that came out.
KJP: In those days, you didn’t have locks on the surfboard lockers, did you
RDH: Well, they had hasps on them. You could put your own lock on if you wanted to. Then later on they built an additional wing parallel for the seniors. So they had the two wings parallel to each other for the seniors and a cross connection at the end for showers and toilets. No. the showers were on the Diamond Head end; toilets and things were on the Ewa end.
KJP: Yes, I see. One of them would be fairly close to the lagoon?
RDH: Oh, no, these were still way on the Ewa portion of the lot; over towards the lagoon, they didn’t have anything. The lagoon part of it was occupied by the pavilion with the grass roof that burned down. Haven’t I gone into that?
KJP: No, you didn’t mention that. Give us the history on that.
RDH: Shortly after the Club was started, they built this pavilion over the lagoon with water around three sides of it and they had a regular Hawaiian grass roof and they used to hold dances there periodically. I’ve forgotten just exactly when it was, but I would say around 1915, the roof caught fire one night and burned completely. However, the floor was not damaged appreciably and then they cut the floor into sections and dragged the sections across the lot down on to the top of the beach and they raised the floors up about 10 feet above the beach on pillars or posts and made a lanai up there and put a roof on top of that and that became the first beach lanai with the canoe shed underneath.
KJP: I see.
RDH: Then, that was on the Uluniu end of the beach; a few years later that lanai became so popular they had to have a bigger one and they needed a dance floor so they built a new lanai adjacent to it on the Diamond Head side and that ran, I guess 125 feet towards Diamond Head and that’s the lanai which they turned into a dining room.
KJP: I see. That was a very popular spot, too.
FAIB: Very much so.
KJP: Frank a lot of the fellows at the Outrigger were Myrtle oarsmen–Myrtle Club oarsmen. Can you give us some of the background back in those days about the various clubs and where they competed–something about that?
FAIB: Well, I started in “messing around” down in the harbor there around the same time I joined the Outrigger–a little earlier perhaps. I used to “knock around” at the old inter-island drydock, which was right next door to Healani and as long as I was with them, of course, Myrtle was no good. But then later I joined the Myrtle Club . . .
KJP: This is after you joined the Outriger Canoe Club in 1915, you went over to the Myrtles?
FAIB: Yes. And then for a while there, weekends, I’d go down to Pearl Harbor and we had a yacht club down there–Honolulu Yacht and Boat Club. We went sailing. We had all kinds of sailing vessels down there–sailing boats, rather–including the old yacht Hawaii and the old La Paloma. And they had anchorage at the end of the peninsula. We were sort of custodians–take care of them. I used to go down Saturday mornings and bail the boats out if they were full of water and then the gang would start coming in Saturday afternoon after lunch and then in the evening and then at night. And the afternoon crowd would go and clean up the boathouse–get a couple of boats ready to go out crabbing that night and then in the evening we’d go crabbing,come back, get the ice on the beer. Then the eleven o’clock gang would come down and we’d have a crab and beer bust around midnight or one o’clock.
KJP: That’s terrific!
FAIB: I was very much the junior member. I was really the mascot and some of the fellows took a dim view of my drinking beer so they put a damper on my efforts, but they took pretty good care of me. We rowed down there and used to race in Pearl Harbor. But in the Honolulu races on Regatta Day, we had boat clubs from Maui–the Puunene Boat Club–and they had a beautiful boat built locally by old man Walker–he was right across the street-let’s see–King Street mauka of–right across . . .
RDH: Between King and Young Streets–King and Hotel Streets.
FAIB: King and Hotel, opposite the Advertiser.
RDH: Yeah, right in there.
FAIB: Up in there. And that was a beautiful boat and a beautiful turning boat. I rode in her many times. And then Hilo Yacht Club had a good crew going up there and they’d come down here for Regatta Day and then the Honolulu crews–that is, Healani and Myrtle Clubs would go up to Hilo for the Fourth of July and up there we’d row a dog-leg course and we had a dog-leg course down here in Honolulu, especially the seniors. They started way down by Railroad Wharf, came up to the lighthouse, turned and went out to spar buoy, turned at star buoy, came back and finished at Pier 10.
RDH: Right–yeah, that’s right.
KJP: What years were these?
FIAB: That would be–well, I was rowing in 1915-16-17, along in there and then joined the Myrtle Boat Club when they had to get out of their location at what is now Pier 2 and moved up to what is Pier 3 or Pier 4, right in that neighborhood.
KJP: I see.
FIAB: And they had another boathouse there and that’s when I really joined up. I rowed Junior Boat for three years straight.
RDH: Actually, the Myrtle and the Healanis raced for many, many years–went way, way back–I don’t know how far back, but as far back as I can remember–prior to 1910. Every Regatta Day, the Myrtles and Healanis had their boat races-the seniors, the juniors, the pair oars, you know, single sculls and all of that.
KJP: You mean usually there were just the two clubs?
RDH: Just the two clubs, and it wasn’t until Frank says, around ’15 or ’16 when Puunene came down, and then I guess Hilo came, and the Kauai people came.
FAIB: An then there were a couple of years when Alameda came down here and then there was another club from Oakland that came down and raced. They got “clobbered” but they raced.
KJP: And they’d have to come by boat, so that would be a good six-day trip, I guess.
FAIB: Yeah, twelve days on the water.
KJP: And coming between the Islands there would be a good twenty-four hours, I guess.
FAIB: No; about twelve hours. And the thing that made it kind of rough on the outside islands and for us, too, was that you had to ship your boats, too, and those rowing barges were tricky–that is, if they weren’t lashed down properly, they could get very badly busted up.
KJP: What were they made of, do you recall?
FAIB: Ah–spruce and monkeypod; monkeypod stems. . .
RDH: Monkeypod stems and spruce sheathing and I think they had little oak ribs in them, and they had some kind of fabric covering for decking.
KJP: Canvas, maybe?
RDH: Canvas or something like that–light canvas over the bow–with sliding seats and outriggers . . .
KJP: But not too heavy? Fairly easy to carry, I guess?
FAIB: Oh, no–well, six men could pick them up.
RDH: Oars twelve and a half or thirteen feet long, I guess.
FAIB: Three and Four had about 12-foot oars and One and Two and Five and Six had the shorter ones.
KJP: How far would they go? Mile, quarter-mile in the different races?
FAIB: The senior race was a mile and a half–mile and seven-eights–something like that.
RDH: It seems a long way down from the Sugar Pier up the main channel, then out to the spar buoy and turn around and come all the way back to Pier 10. Well, that’s a long way.
KJP: How would they compete time-wise with an outrigger canoe? A lot faster?
FAIB & RDH: Oh, yes, a lot faster, no question about it.
FAIB: The outrigger wouldn’t–well, for instance, the races used to be won in about twelve minutes–mile and one-quarter, mile and one-half, whatever it was, so those boats moved . . .
KJP: They’d really slide, I think.
FAIB: Well, if you shot your slides, it didn’t. Then if you caught a “crab”, that was the end of the race right there. The time I rode up in Hilo, Number Four caught a “crab”–well, he just collapsed on his oars and that threw him back and I got the oar in the back and that stopped the stroke oar and we were giving our last ten for the finish–right up to the finish–and we were beginning to pick up. That was the day we had old man Crozier training . . .
RDH: Oh, George Crozier . . .
KJP: “Junky” Crozier’s dad, huh?
FAIB: No, an uncles, the old skate. He was a tough man to row for, but he made tough crews and his junior crews were always tops. And the thing that he built into them, all through from the first day you started rowing with him, was that you had to be able to finish or you got out of the boat. And so, on the finish day–look out!–if a junior boat was within a length and half of you, you lost the race, because they’d pick it up and take it away from you. And we were overtaking the lead boat when this guy caught a “crab” and it was the end of the race for us. It was a hard one to lose.
KJP: You fellows remember any outstanding managers in your time? Or weren’t there any such? I can’t recall any names–there was a fellow by the name of Cherry, but he was after your time, wasn’t he?
RDH: Cherry? I don’t recall.
KJP: He was a hotel man first.
RDH: No, there was nobody by that caliber in the club when I was a member.
KJP: Was it the Board of Directors that pretty much were running the Club?
RDH: You’re right–they were. The president more or less ran it, as I recall it . . .
KJP: Sasaki would do the daily operations . . .
FAIB: Yes, and he was told by the Board . . .
RDH: What to do–yes.
FAIB: Dad Center was the go-between. He took the words from the Board and told Sasaki. It went from there. It was sort of free-wheeling organization at that time.
KJP: Say, Frank, and Ron, you’ve done a terrific job in bringing back incidents that I’ve never heard about or read about. Now, Ron can you give me a few names of fellows who are still around, who were also members of the Club back in the early days?
RDH: Well, let’s see–Roy Graham is still alive; he’ll be out here, I think, this fall. He’s a Rear Admiral, Retired, Navy. “Toots” (A. E., Jr) Minvielle, of course, is still around. Jimmy Woolaway crewed for me in the sailing race we won back in 1917. Kenneth Emory, out at the Bishop Museum; he was reasonably active up until the time he got involved in studying Hawaiiana. Somebody said Frank Girdler was up in the Volcano area. Don Hayselden is still around; he plays golf up at the Oahu Country Club. That’s about all I can give you. Oh, Edwin Benner; I think he’s still around.
KJP: Were any of these fellows charter members?
RDH: The only charter member I know of is Jack MacKenzie and these other fellows were fellows who came in along the way–not many of them before I was a member.
KJP: Maybe in ’14 or ’15?
RDH: Yes, along in there.
KJP: Well, that’s very interesting. Maybe we can get in touch with one or two of these fellows. I think you’ve covered it pretty well and I’m not sure that they could add to the story.
RHD: Well, I don’t know.
FAIB: Well, they’d probably have something to add that would be different from what we have.
KJP: You never know.
FAIB: One of the things that the Club did, in my time, was to participate in the Night Boat Parade down in the Honolulu Harbor. We took the two big canoes and lashed them together, like a catamaran, and then on top of the platform we built a bamboo frame and covered it with bunting so that it looked like a wave, and we fixed two surfboards on this wave and put two men on there, as though they were surfing, and we lighted the whole thing up with torches, on the corners of the float. And then we got Guy Rothwell, who had a very nice power fishing sampan, to tow us. So we always entered this thing in the Night Parade down there and always got a lot of hand clapping for our effort, but we–they never handed out prizes for it, but at least we participated in the event.
KJP: Well, Ron and Frank, this has been a highly informative session. Thanks very much for sharing with us your stories of the Outrigger during a most exciting time. Many, many thanks.