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Talk Story #15 – "Hawaii Calls" Us Still to Waikiki and a Life of Aloha

Now dwarfed and surrounded by tall buildings, it was 110 years ago this month the Moana Hotel (now Moana Surfrider) became Hawaii’s very first ‘high rise,’ a magnificent 5 stories tall! It was the biggest and most exciting building on Waikiki Beach. Adjacent to the hotel was a stream which emptied into the ocean, when the Ala Wai Canal was constructed about 10 years later, that stream was redirected and the beach area of Waikiki became a separate entity, for it now had a firm boundary from the rest of Honolulu.

The elegant ‘Pink Palace’ called the Royal Hawaiian Hotel opened in 1927. Waikiki was becoming quite famous, but even more so when in 1937, during those sad depression years and on into the difficult war years, millions across America were able to listen to a live broadcast called “Hawai’i Calls” from the Banyon Court at the Moana Hotel, and their image of that faraway tropical dream was evolving.

I was a fortunate I was here, and lived it. As a carefree little girl in the turning decade after the war ended, my mother would have her special treat and tea on the veranda, or by the large banyon tree, and enjoy the live entertainment while my brother and I played on the beach.

One year, around Christmas time, we got up really close to the mike where it was located to catch the “sounds of the waves at Waikiki” and together we yelled, “Hello Grandma, Merry Christmas!” and sure enough, back in Illinois, our grandparents were positive they had heard us on their radio!

Memories are easy to make, so why not start yours now? If Hawaii beckons you, and it is a perfect time to decide on having that vacation or primary residence, then let’s “talk story” about what you are really wanting and how I can assist you in obtaining it. There is a wide variety of available properties, just contact me, and I will be most happy to provide you a personal gallery to consider prior to our meeting. The beaches, sunsets, warmth, and rainbows are free!

I send you some music now of Kaimana Hila Leon, Malia Koa to relax and enjoy. Hoping to hear from you, until then, Aloha, Jeanne.

Note: In Hawaii, there is often a gathering of family and friends, and in a casual way, stories are told of that days happenings, or past events. We call it “Talk Story.” My continued series will be about different places around Oahu with a bit of their history, and the many opportunities for you today. I would love to hear about your personal Hawaii memories to share, perhaps during the territorial days, like I was, growing up out Koko Head way. Hawaii is a special place and so are the people. Follow me as we discover a lifestyle best suited for YOU. Whether it is a new military move, a casual beach house, a downsized retirement home, a golf course fronted resort home-away-from-home, a grand residence with superb view, or a high rise condominium, the choices and the Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers resources are many. Contact me, let us “talk story!”

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David Buck

March 23, 2011

Great article Jeanne. I wish I could go back in time to those good ‘ole days at the Moana and Royal Hawaiian and see what life was like… Glad to see those hotels still thriving.

David Buck

March 23, 2011

Great article Jeanne. I wish I could go back in time to those good ‘ole days at the Moana and Royal Hawaiian and see what life was like… Glad to see those hotels still thriving.

Pam Deery R(B) Big Island

March 24, 2011

Jeanne; What fabulous memories you have. While change is both the inevitable and at the same time encouraged for our future, the past is what we reflect on for our balance for the “now”. Great writing Jeanne. I look forward to your “talk story” in future writings.

Pam Deery R(B) Big Island

March 24, 2011

Jeanne; What fabulous memories you have. While change is both the inevitable and at the same time encouraged for our future, the past is what we reflect on for our balance for the “now”. Great writing Jeanne. I look forward to your “talk story” in future writings.

Katie Minkus, R(BIC)

March 25, 2011

Aloha Jeanne. I assume that’s you in the photo?? Adorable!!! The Moana was the first hotel I ever stayed at on Oahu (Of course I had already been to the BI a few times! hee.) and I was absolutely taken by the place. There’s no doubt things have changed and time marches on, but you can still catch a whiff of the times you write about, I believe, if you stop, relax and listen hard enough. The Moana and the Pink Palace are the grande dames of Waikiki and occupy a very special place in my heart as well. Thanks for sharing, I love your Talk Story blogs!!

Katie Minkus, R(BIC)

March 25, 2011

Aloha Jeanne. I assume that’s you in the photo?? Adorable!!! The Moana was the first hotel I ever stayed at on Oahu (Of course I had already been to the BI a few times! hee.) and I was absolutely taken by the place. There’s no doubt things have changed and time marches on, but you can still catch a whiff of the times you write about, I believe, if you stop, relax and listen hard enough. The Moana and the Pink Palace are the grande dames of Waikiki and occupy a very special place in my heart as well. Thanks for sharing, I love your Talk Story blogs!!

Jeanne E Buboltz RB

March 25, 2011

On March 25, 2011 Jeanne Buboltz, R wrote: Thank you Katie, pleased you like what I am doing with the ‘Talk Story’ series.I love sharing a few of the memories I have and Yes, to who ever asks… That is me, around 4 years old. The photo came out ‘chubby’ due to resizing.The Moana Hotel building is the white one behind me. Nothing was in between it and the Royal Hawaiian much…no buildings that I remember, just a lot of beach. The Royal had wonderful acre+ garden grounds in front out to the Kalakaua roadway. Then they built that monsterous concrete shopping center right in front and took away all the gracious garden except a little tiny bit. Can’t even find the Hotel now. It was magnificent and we had to tip toe and not run when going in to it. As the years went by,with 4 children now, Mother used the large spacious restroom (which is still there) for us to change from our Sunday school clothes to swim wear. I am sure Dad was most pleased to drop us all off for the afternoon…and have some peace and quiet. Ha. The Royal had a grand circle driveway in the back by the ocean with more grounds until that too got chopped up when they built the tall adjacent hotel off to the right..Same with the Halekalani Hotel. I remember there being exclusive private bungalows beside the main hotel entrance…with some grounds. Such a shame. The ambience of graciousness was lost.

Did the music come through ok for you, at the end of the #15 blog? I just picked one of my sisters’ “Leon and Malia” ones which was already in my computer. I think they had done a gig down in Waikiki one evening and it was recorded later with their son Koa. You can Google “Leon and Malia” and a page worth of info comes up about their 40 years worth of “past activities” such as Award, Albums, the very popular ‘Keiki Calabash’ or Hawaii Kids Calabash for children, the Opening of the Honolulu Symphony one year with the only one ever written by a Hawaiian, the cantata “Boy with Goldfish”.The story,music written and then sung by the two of them – collaborated as a multi media presentation with giant murals painted by well known Artist John Thomas (now in Bank collections) and the most intricate orchestration of their music arranged by Composer Jerre Tanner. Anyway, Thank you for your comments. Aloha! Jeanne

Jeanne E Buboltz RB

March 25, 2011

On March 25, 2011 Jeanne Buboltz, R wrote: Thank you Katie, pleased you like what I am doing with the ‘Talk Story’ series.I love sharing a few of the memories I have and Yes, to who ever asks… That is me, around 4 years old. The photo came out ‘chubby’ due to resizing.The Moana Hotel building is the white one behind me. Nothing was in between it and the Royal Hawaiian much…no buildings that I remember, just a lot of beach. The Royal had wonderful acre+ garden grounds in front out to the Kalakaua roadway. Then they built that monsterous concrete shopping center right in front and took away all the gracious garden except a little tiny bit. Can’t even find the Hotel now. It was magnificent and we had to tip toe and not run when going in to it. As the years went by,with 4 children now, Mother used the large spacious restroom (which is still there) for us to change from our Sunday school clothes to swim wear. I am sure Dad was most pleased to drop us all off for the afternoon…and have some peace and quiet. Ha. The Royal had a grand circle driveway in the back by the ocean with more grounds until that too got chopped up when they built the tall adjacent hotel off to the right..Same with the Halekalani Hotel. I remember there being exclusive private bungalows beside the main hotel entrance…with some grounds. Such a shame. The ambience of graciousness was lost.

Did the music come through ok for you, at the end of the #15 blog? I just picked one of my sisters’ “Leon and Malia” ones which was already in my computer. I think they had done a gig down in Waikiki one evening and it was recorded later with their son Koa. You can Google “Leon and Malia” and a page worth of info comes up about their 40 years worth of “past activities” such as Award, Albums, the very popular ‘Keiki Calabash’ or Hawaii Kids Calabash for children, the Opening of the Honolulu Symphony one year with the only one ever written by a Hawaiian, the cantata “Boy with Goldfish”.The story,music written and then sung by the two of them – collaborated as a multi media presentation with giant murals painted by well known Artist John Thomas (now in Bank collections) and the most intricate orchestration of their music arranged by Composer Jerre Tanner. Anyway, Thank you for your comments. Aloha! Jeanne

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Allen Roy

January 13, 2012

Hi. I am writing a biography of Webley Edwards who hosted the Hawaii Calls program. I’d like to interview you about what ever you may remember about the program. thanks.

Allen roy

Allen Roy

January 13, 2012

Hi. I am writing a biography of Webley Edwards who hosted the Hawaii Calls program. I’d like to interview you about what ever you may remember about the program. thanks.

Allen roy

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