Saturday, October 10, 2015         

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Swimming coach trained a number of isle legends

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 9, 2015
In the spring I wrote about Soichi Sakamoto, who coached some of Hawaii’s top swimmers at the Waikiki Natatorium. Another swim coach will be inducted into the Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame on Saturday, and I thought I’d write about him.

Bogus story of pirates’ raid provides ‘Five-0’ with a plot

By Bob Sigall
A reader, Tom Holowach, asked me about a story he heard. Holowach is manager of the Paliku Theatre and acts in local productions. He told me he was was an extra in the Season 6 opening episode of “Hawaii Five-0,” which premieres tonight.

Big international moviefest created at East-West Center

By Bob Sigall
Last week I wrote about the East-West Center and its role in creating the Polynesian Voyaging Society. Another signature island institution that got its start as an East-West Center project is the Hawaii International Film Festival.

East-West Center helped launch voyaging society

By Bob Sigall
I was chatting with Karen Knudsen, East-West Center director of external affairs, a few months ago. I told her I'd like to write about the center and asked her to think of story angles my readers would enjoy.

Efforts afoot to restore splendor of Irwin Park

By Bob Sigall
Irwin Memorial Park in front of Aloha Tower Marketplace celebrated its 85th anniversary Thursday with a significant celebration put on by Hawaii Pacific University and the state Department of Transportation.

Long ago, life in ‘the camp’ felt like nothing was lacking

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services
One of the things I like about writing this column is that readers tell me stories about growing up and living in Hawaii, and introduce me to things I never knew.

Southerner devoted lifetime to nisei soldiers from islands

By Bob Sigall
Two weeks ago I wrote about Earl Finch, the “one-man USO” who befriended thousands of Americans of Japanese ancestry when they were sent to Camp Shelby in Mississippi in 1943 for World War II basic training.

Local actor got first break on TV series ‘Hawaiian Eye’

By Bob Sigall
Last month I wrote about companies that were named after songs, movies and TV shows. One TV show was called “Hawaiian Eye.” Dr. John Corboy named his company the Hawaiian Eye Center based on it.

Finch served Southern warmth to AJAs, then tried isle aloha

By Bob Sigall
I was talking to Tom Moffatt recently, and he told me about Earl Finch, the man from Mississippi who befriended the young men of the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team at Camp Shelby.

Matson ship serving in WWII enabled a gargantuan rescue

By Bob Sigall
A few months ago I asked my readers to share their stories about Matson’s Great White Fleet. Most talked about coming to Hawaii, seeing Diamond Head for the first time and being greeted with music and lei.

Kewalo Basin’s rich history resonates with Ward Village

By Bob Sigall
At one time the family of Curtis and Victoria Ward owned the land that included Kewalo Basin and the fishery that extended out to sea. Ownership changed in 1913, when the Hawaii territorial government purchased the fishery for the paltry sum of $1,800 under threat of condemnation.

More eateries enter annals of Oahu diners’ nostalgia

By Bob Sigall
A couple of longtime Honolulu restaurants closed this month, and I thought I’d write about them and a few other restaurants that are now in our collective “rearview mirror.”

Pop culture inspires names of a host of isle businesses

By Bob Sigall
Many Hawaii companies, past and present, have names that are associated with songs, movies or TV shows. This can be a popular move for business owners because the name already has public visibility but generally cannot be granted a copyright.

‘Weightlifting saved my life,’ Olympian Tommy Kono says

By Bob Sigall
The Honolulu Quarterback Club is celebrating its 69th anniversary this year. It meets Mondays for lunch at Maple Garden restaurant in Moiliili and is open to the public.

Readers get it right, from Mighty Mouse to Obama

By Bob Sigall
OK, I admit it. I blow it on occasion. I get some part of the story wrong. For instance, last week I wrote about the Pawaa Theatre and the Mickey Mouse Club weekend matinees for kids.

Arriving on the Matsonia, he began a new life in isles

By Bob Sigall
A few months ago I wrote about John Weiser, founder of easy-listening radio station KUMU, who came to Hawaii in 1957 to swim with coach Soichi Sakamoto at the Natatorium. My article on Matson caused Weiser to tell me about his first day in Hawaii.

King and Punahou streets began as ‘canoe enclosure’

By Bob Sigall
I was sitting in my car recently, waiting for a green light at Punahou and King streets. There’s a Subway sandwich shop on one corner, and I was trying to remember the name of the drive-in that was there before. Then I realized the area had several noteworthy stories my readers might like to hear about.

Maritime memories made aboard Matson’s vessels

By Bob Sigall
Last week I wrote that Wade Shirkey suggested I write about the Lurline and other Matson White Ships. I asked readers to share their stories, and over a dozen responded. Here are some they told me.

Curious readers generate ideas for tales of isles' past

By Bob Sigall
Every now and then, I stop to share stories or questions readers give me. Wade Shirkey suggested I write about the Lurline, and other Matson White Ships. Do any of my readers have stories about being aboard any of these vessels?

Local rugby team's book reflects on 50 years of fun

By Bob Sigall
Rugby just celebrated its 50th anniversary in Hawaii and a local team, the Hawaii Harlequins, borrowing the name of a famous English club, came out with a book about the team's exploits going back to 1964.

Mark Twain never forgot sights, scents of the isles

By Bob Sigall
Television news reports this week of lava bubbling in Halemaumau crater on the Big Island reminded me of a famous person who came to the volcano in 1866 and wrote eloquently about it for a mainland newspaper. The writer was Mark Twain.

'Mid-Pacific' name of club, institute once very popular

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 8, 2015
My Pau Hana Pump­ers group works out at a gym/rehab facility named CHART on King Street. Blaine Yoshioka, one of the physical therapists there, asked me about the Mid-Pacific Country Club and how it got that name. Was it related to Mid-Pacific Institute, he wondered?

Chinese businesses enjoy profitable history in Hawaii

By Bob Sigall
Linda Louie asked me to speak to the Hawaii Chinese Civic Association recently about some of Hawaii's top Chinese business leaders. The Chinese in Hawaii have a long and rich history. Here are some of the things we talked about.

Radio veteran Ron Jacobs was 'pop-culture visionary'

By Bob Sigall
One of the greatest marketing and promotions people in radio in the United States is a local boy who was born in Waikiki four years before the Pearl Harbor attack.

Hotel employees reminisce as 25-year gala approaches

By Bob Sigall
I remember living in St. Louis Heights in 1986 when the old Kaiser Hospital was demolished with dynamite. I had a good view of it and took a photo of the white cloud of dust that was expelled into the air.

A tsunami tale, and the man behind the 1954 Honor Roll

By Bob Sigall
Every now and then, I pause to share comments from readers and cover short topics that come across my desk. Jeff Cook, in response to last week's April Fools column, told me his grandparents had their own April 1st story, but it wasn't a joke.

Pranks for the memories, thanks to Aku, newspaper

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 3, 2015
Readers often ask me where I get my ideas for articles. Sometimes it's accidental. I frequently am looking through old microfilm of the daily papers for something and find something else on a nearby page. That's what happened while I was searching for information on Sears Pearlridge.

As delegate, 'Prince Cupid' won hearts in Congress

By Bob Sigall
Yesterday was Kuhio Day, and I thought I'd write about the "Citizen Prince" in my column this week. A hundred years ago he was the bright, shining light of Hawaii, a man everyone looked up to, a leader of the Hawaiian people.

Natatorium shaped U.S. swim champions

By Bob Sigall
I wrote about the Natatorium last month and several readers shared their stories with me about it. Molokai resident John Weiser told me he had a lot of job opportunities after getting his MBA from Stanford in the mid-1950s.

Longtime employees share Sears Pearlridge memories

By Bob Sigall
I had the opportunity to sit down with five people who are retiring soon from Sears at Pearlridge Center after working there for 40 years. We may have lost the Ala Moana Center store, but Pearlridge, Kaneohe, Hilo and Kahului are still open.

Cook named isles after his patron

By Bob Sigall
Did Native Hawaiians eat sandwiches when Capt. James Cook arrived in 1778? Surely not. Did the islands look like some sort of submarine sandwich to the Brits? I couldn't see how, so I decided to sink my teeth into the subject.

Maxims impart wisdom to Winners' Camp teens

By Bob Sigall
Which organization was founded by an orphan who grew up feeling she was stupid and ugly? The answer is Winners' Camp Foundation at the Hawaii Leadership Academy. It provides weeklong programs for Hawaii teens at its facilities atop Kame­hame Ridge in Hawaii Kai.

Family tales on Natatorium add depth to documentary

By Bob Sigall
My column last week on watermen "Dad" Center and Alexander Hume Ford prompted Donna L. Ching to write to me. "I am working on a documentary film focusing on the swimming and ocean sports history of the Natatorium."

Watermen 'Dad' and 'Pop' led an ocean sports revival

By Bob Sigall
A hundred years ago in Hawaii, it seemed that everyone had a nickname. Two examples were George David Center, whom everyone called "Dad," and Alexander Hume Ford, known as "Pop."

Theater's history includes humble start, Hollywood star

By Bob Sigall
‘5000 miles off Broadway." That's how artistic director John Rampage described the third-oldest live theater company in the United States. Yes, we are way, way off Broadway but, in some ways, closer than you might think.

Anniversary column shares more tidbits on isle history

By Bob Sigall
This is my 200th column for the Hono­lulu Star-Advertiser, so this week I thought I'd share some of the stories readers have told me or answer some of their recent questions.

'Wake-a-thon' put KPOI, deejay Rounds on the map

By Bob Sigall
How do you welcome a new radio personality who's moved from New York to Hawaii? Today it might be an ad campaign on radio and TV. But in 1959 the United States' youngest program director had a different idea: Keep him awake for eight days in a department store window.

Hawaii Golf Hall of Famer shared tales of rich past

By Bob Sigall
The top female golfer of the 1930s, Codie Austin-Cooke, began playing golf at the age of 5 … barefooted. With the help of the Oahu Country Club pro, Alex Bell, she blossomed into the top female golfer in the islands by the age of 14.

Immigrants and experts introduced karate to isles

By Bob Sigall
It may surprise you to learn that the first place karate was demonstrated outside of Japan was Hawaii. The Nuu­anu YMCA, specifically. Seven hundred people attended the demonstration on July 8, 1927 after the initial introduction in March. It's an interesting story.

Stories of notable people, places filled column in 2014

By Bob Sigall
With the new year just beginning, I thought since this is a look-back type of column, that I'd look back at 2014 and some of my favorite stories in Rearview Mirror last year.

Solid workmanship secured palace fence for nearly a century

By Bob Sigall
A fascinating fact about the Iolani Palace fence was uncovered during renovations in 1983. When ironworkers took apart the ornamental fence surrounding the palace grounds to clean and paint it, they were surprised to discover there wasn't a single weld in it.

Trumans' Hawaii vacation delighted local residents

By Bob Sigall
A year ago, I wrote about how a local boy saved first lady Bess Truman from falling into the Hudson River while boarding the USS Missouri. This week, I have another story of Harry and Bess Truman, who spent a month vacationing on Coconut Island in Kaneohe Bay in 1953.

A behind-the-scenes look at constructing a column

By Bob Sigall
This week, I thought I'd do something a little different. I get so many questions from readers about the column, I thought I'd write about what goes on behind the scenes at Rearview Mirror.

Woman was ready to spring into action on Dec. 7, 1941

By Bob Sigall
I've written about Dec. 7, 1941, a "day that will live in infamy," many times. Usually, it's from a military (and man's) point of views. This time, I thought I'd write about a local woman who took it as her duty to find a role for herself leading up to the war.

When a call came to serve, Damien never hesitated

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 28, 2014
Jozef De Veuster was a strapping young lad who was stocky and muscle-bound, Dr. Kalani Brady says, and his parents hoped he would take over the family corn business. But that was not his calling.

USS Missouri's admiral gracious in WWII victory

By Bob Sigall
I've written quite a bit about Henry Walker Jr. and Sr. in the last year or two. I recently came by another story I thought my readers would enjoy, this one with Third Fleet Commander Adm. William "Bull" Halsey.

Honolulu's Shirokiya keeps a 352-year tradition alive

By Bob Sigall
Manolo Morales at KHON-2 News called me this week to talk about Shirokiya. They're interested in moving to the new Ewa wing of Ala Moana Center in the near future.

Archive reveals surprising proposal for Koolau tunnel

By Bob Sigall
Two of my readers, Jerry and Mary Bacon, offered me a number of old newspapers they had saved for many years. One was the final edition of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin from Dec. 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor Day.

Brown's two grave markers signify 1 love of his life

By Bob Sigall
Last month I wrote about Francis H. I'i Brown, Hawaii's greatest golfer. Teddi Hussey wrote in to say she was related to Francis' longtime girlfriend, Winona Nancy Love, who was a well-regarded hula dancer.

Graham's influence lifted popularity of Tahoe Keys

By Bob Sigall
Last month I wrote about Donald Graham, who developed Ala Moana Center. Bob Hampton, who owned the Territorial Tavern downtown, wrote to say he once worked for Graham.

Historical connections with Russia run deep in isles

By Bob Sigall
Russia has been in the news this year, with the invasion of the Crimea and eastern parts of Ukraine. Russia seems very far away to most of us in Hawaii, but we have a few connections you might not be aware of.

Aina Haina’s Ranch House remains in readers’ hearts

By Bob Sigall
Last month I wrote about Aina Haina and the Ranch House. Several of my readers had stories of their own to tell me. Liane K.L. Lum said that as a little girl growing up in Aina Haina, "one of my absolute favorite places was M's Ranch House.

Opening beachfront hotel was man's 'biggest dream'

By Bob Sigall
Last week, I wrote about the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel. The founders of the hotel were Shigeo and Akino Shigenaga. They have an interesting story that I thought I'd focus on this week.

Where novelists, sculptors, and isle rebels all roamed

By Bob Sigall
The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel is celebrating two anniversaries this year. The first is the 60th anniversary of its founding in 1954 by Shigeo and Akino Shigenaga.

Old-timers may still recall Aina Haina’s Village Green

By Bob Sigall
In the last month I've written about Aina Haina, the shopping center and the Ranch House. This week I thought I'd write about what was, at one time, called the Village Green.

Development replaced Aina Haina fishpond, dairy

By Bob Sigall
Last month, I wrote about the Ranch House in Aina Haina. Before Henry Kaiser developed Hawaii Kai, Aina Haina was the last outpost of the city of Honolulu, said Jim Napier, who grew up in the area and later managed the shopping center.

Mississippi city reflects the isles' names and places

By Bob Sigall
If I told you that you could own a beautifully landscaped 3,000-square-foot home on Kipapa Way or Hamakua Street with three bedrooms, three baths, a two-car garage and a huge deck for under $200,000, you'd be pounding on my door for more information.

1964 vision for Honolulu filled Oahu with fake parks

By Bob Sigall
This week's column is about the 1964 Honolulu City and County General Plan. Sounds like a real snoozer, doesn't it? But wait. There are some amazing -- some might even say bizarre -- things in that plan.

Iconic Ranch House eatery had deep Aina Haina roots

By Bob Sigall
Possibly the most iconic restaurant in East Honolulu from the 1950s to 1987 was the Ranch House in Aina Haina.

'Mr. Golf' earned reputation as a master on the links

By Bob Sigall
Hawaii's first truly great golfer was Francis Hyde I'i Brown. During the 1920s and 1930s, he was to golf what Duke Kahanamoku was to swimming and surfing.

Top isle movers and shakers inspired 'Real Estate Diva'

By Bob Sigall
Whenever there's a TV news story on real estate, the go-to person in Hawaii for the major stations seems to be Stephany Sofos. On more than one occasion, the two of us have been interviewed at the same time, and that is how we met and became friends.

Celebs, international drama descend on private terminal

By Bob Sigall
Last week I wrote about the private aviation terminals in Hawaii and the people who use them. Tom Anusewicz, who's worked in aviation for more than 45 years, had some interesting stories to tell me.

Private-jet pro has aided isle jaunts of many celebs

By Bob Sigall
Most of us have flown in and out of Honolulu Airport many times. But we probably didn't see Frank Sinatra, Harrison Ford, Greg Norman, the Rolling Stones, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter or Prince Philip passing through because they came in the back door.

Hawaiian Humane Society once protected women, kids

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 18, 2014
Many organizations in Hawaii have shifted their missions dramatically since they were founded. The YMCA, for instance, thought Hawaii was too hot for serious exercise until its third decade.

Kahanamoku, fellow surfers came to rescue in California

By Bob Sigall
Judge Ed Kubo spoke to my Rotary club recently, and one of his comments stuck with me. He said, referring to a criticism of the Veterans Treatment Court, that it was better to save some people than none at all.

Upgraded rainbow murals dazzle onlookers once again

By Bob Sigall
I attended the unveiling of Hilton Hawaiian Village's renovated rainbow murals last week. After 45 years in Hawaii's sun and salt air, the original murals -- two identical ones on each side of the building -- were showing their age.

Isles’ global relationships have captivating histories

By Bob Sigall
It occurred to me recently that Hawaii has special connections with many countries around the world that go beyond our residents' places of origin. Yes, many of us trace our roots to Polynesia, China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Portugal and other nations, but I was thinking of something greater than that.

Blaisdell showed leadership on and off athletic field

By Bob Sigall
The first Hawaii-born athlete to pitch for the Baltimore Orioles was nicknamed "Rusty." He was one of the finest all-around Hawaii athletes in the early part of the 1920s. He was Neal Shaw Blaisdell.

Kapiolani Park's horse stables enabled riding lessons, polo

By Bob Sigall
A few weeks ago in my column, John Veltri asked about the history of the Diamond Head Tennis Center at 3809 Paki Ave. Veltri said he heard that it was the site of the horse stables for the Honolulu trolley system.

Kapiolani Medical Center was born from 2 hospitals

By Bob Sigall
About 6,000 babies a year come into the world at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children. Since 1890, when it opened, it's estimated that more than 400,000 babies have been born there.

Deejay's stunts resulted in new car, meeting with Elvis

By Bob Sigall
I had lunch with Ron "Whodaguy" Jacobs recently. Jacobs was a disc jockey for several radio stations in the 1950s and later program director at a few more. He and Casey Kasem created the "American Top 40" radio show.

Many stories and questions come straight from readers

By Bob Sigall
I receive a lot of email from readers each week. Some add their story to something I've written, and some suggest possible future topics.

Film likely inspired name of departed Yum Yum Tree

By Bob Sigall
Many of us here in Hawaii fondly remember Yum Yum Tree. It began as a coffee shop with yummy pies at Kahala Mall where Chili's is now. For me it was a great place to take a date after a movie when I was going to the University of Hawaii.

The history of the Ward Village area

By Bob Sigall
Most companies are too busy telling you what's on special this week to tell you about their history. I think that's a big mistake. The companies that do a good job of sharing their stories connect better to their customers, I believe, and hold onto them.

Short Judd Street enjoys a lengthy and rich history

By Bob Sigall
I find myself driving down Judd Street in Nuuanu at least once or twice a week. Recently it occurred to me that the street has a lot of history my readers might enjoy knowing.

Recollections of nuke tests at Johnston still burn bright

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 25, 2014
In 1958 the skies of Hawaii were lit up on several occasions by nuclear tests at Johnston Island, 700 miles away. The first explosion, on Aug. 1, 1958, was clearly visible around 1 a.m. in the territory of Hawaii.

Iconic palace replicated in a winter wonderland

By Bob Sigall
An Iolani Palace outside Hawaii? I was looking through old photos of Iolani Palace in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser archives a few years ago, and one stunned me — it showed snow falling around the palace.

Nisei war heroes gave rise to 'people's bank' 60 years ago

By Bob Sigall
Central Pacific Bank celebrated its 60th anniversary this year. It was founded by returning World War II nisei veterans, meeting over plate lunches at Ala Moana Beach Park. It's an interesting story.

Family, fish prints inspired notable restaurant names

By Bob Sigall
A few months ago I wrote about how several Hawaii hotels came to have their names. This month I thought I'd explore how several restaurants in town came to have their monikers.

Outrigger's connection to Colorado inn

By Bob Sigall
Richard Kelley, chairman emeritus of Outrigger Enterprises, had an interesting experience recently. He and his wife, Linda, were visiting The Baldpate Inn, a lodge in the mountains of Colo­rado.

It'll take more time to detail Chinatown's names, places

By Bob Sigall
One could write a book about Chinatown. Estimates are that 30,000 to 50,000 Chinese came to Hawaii from the early 1850s until about 1890. Most came to work on plantations, but many left those jobs to open shops. By 1880, 60 percent of stores in Honolulu were Chinese-owned.

Readers' assistance sought on Blaisdell, H-1 queries

By Bob Sigall
Last week, I wrote about the Palolo Golf Course, at the request of one of my readers. This week, I've gotten a few more requests. Tanya Harrison is looking for people with knowledge of the opening of the Neal Blaisdell Center in 1964.

Golf course in Palolo Valley opened some 80 years ago

By Bob Sigall

One advantage I have as a columnist for the paper is the interaction I have with my readers.

More memories to savor of folks, food at Kuhio Grill

By Bob Sigall
Last week's column on the Kuhio Grill, or KG as some of us called it, in Moiliili generated more than 50 comments and emails. This was my 150th column since I began about three years ago, and the number of comments may have been a record. I thought I'd share some of them.

Kuhio Grill, a place for good food, camaraderie

By Bob Sigall
Gwen Taketa emailed me recently and suggested I write a column on the old Kuhio Grill in Moiliili. Artists like Satoru Abe, Tadashi Sato, Bumpei Akaji, Tetsuo Ochikubo and others used to trade artwork for food when they were poor, she said, and later as they got more successful they continued to drink and eat there.

Islands held a special place in Shirley Temple’s heart

By Bob Sigall
Shirley Temple died this week. She was 85. My readers probably know she came to Hawaii several times and fell in love with the islands. But they may not know she met her future husband and fell in love here as well.

Kailua deli owner served up good food and great stories

By Bob Sigall
One of my favorite places in Kailua for many years was Gee…a Deli. They had great sandwiches, and the owner, Doug Izak, was very friendly and inviting. I loved his onion rolls, made especially for him. Any sandwich on them was heavenly.

Educator who discovered Machu Picchu was local boy

By Bob Sigall
You probably have heard of Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, high in the mountains of Peru. But did you know that a local boy discovered it? His name was Hiram Bingham III. His grandfather was a missionary who founded both Kawaiaha'o Church and Punahou School.

Recent columns bring flood of memorable, funny stories

By Bob Sigall
Every week it seems my readers send me interesting memories that my column has brought to mind. On Sept. 6 I wrote about Elaine Frisbie's Puka Puka Otea show at the old Queen's Surf in Waikiki. Moke Strassberg wrote and told me he used to work there.

Buddhist deity keeps watch over Oahu's dangerous areas

By Bob Sigall
John Clark spoke to my Downtown Exchange Club recently about the warning markers that Japanese fishermen placed around Oahu in the 1930s where others had been killed while fishing. It's an interesting story and the subject of his seventh book, "Guardian of the Sea: Jizo in Hawaii."

Schools, retailers and more will mark birthdays in 2014

By Bob Sigall
Many local companies and organizations are celebrating important anniversaries in 2014. Here are some of them.

Obama speaks fondly of isles, 'tough as nails' grandmother

By Bob Sigall
With the first family wrapping up their vacation in Kailua this week, I thought I'd write about President Barack Obama growing up in Hono­lulu.

Because of World War II, airline hired 13-year-old

By Bob Sigall Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 27, 2013
One of my favorite characters on Oahu is a man named Alan Lloyd. Lloyd, 84, is a former Hawaiian Electric Co. employee and an expert on the Battle of Midway. He lectures all over the world about it. He was also, most likely, the youngest employee in Hawaiian Airlines' history.

Phone cable installation shut down Hanauma Bay

By Bob Sigall
When I interviewed Lex Brodie about 10 years ago, he told me that when he was a Boy Scout on Oahu around 1930, his troop hiked from the end of the paved road at Kahala to Hanauma Bay.

USS Missouri gave Walker 2 'brushes with greatness'

By Bob Sigall
Last week I wrote about Adm. Chester Nimitz and Henry Alexander Walker Sr., who was president of Amfac, at one time Hawaii's largest company. Nimitz and others called him Sandy, from his middle name.

Laie property was refuge for Adm. Nimitz during war

By Bob Sigall
Every week, people ask me where I get the stories for my column and books. Sometimes it comes from questions people ask me, and I start digging, or, in the case of this week's column, they share a great story with me.

Thanksgiving date changed with preferences of kings

By Bob Sigall Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 29, 2013
One of my readers asked me recently if I had any information on Thanksgiving in Hawaii. Christians here celebrated Thanksgiving on various days going back 200 years. In 1849, Kamehameha III proclaimed Dec. 31 to be a day of Thanksgiving, feasting and prayer.

1843 map provides insight on Beretania, cross streets

By Bob Sigall
Some of our streets have interesting stories behind their names. The newspaper does regular features on the subject, and my friend Rich Budnick even wrote two books about it: "Hawaiian Street Names" and "Maui Street Names."

Famous Liliha teahouse attracted host of celebrities

By Bob Sigall Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 15, 2013
Two weeks ago this column looked at Japanese teahouses. At one time we had more than 30 of them on Oahu, many in the Nuuanu area. One of the most famous was Mochizuki Tea House in Liliha, on Kunawai Lane below Judd Street.

Passing up 'pig farm' gig proves a bit embarrassing

By Bob Sigall
Tommy James and the Shondells, one of the top U.S. rock bands of the late 1960s, were performing in Hawaii in August 1969. It was the week that their hit "Crystal Blue Persuasion" reached the top of the charts.

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