ALL OF A SUDDEN …… PART II MARCH 07, 2016
I will try not get tired before I finish this like I did last week.
I could go on saying how exciting it was to see all these entertainment people and proceed to name off names. Some of them would stop in Laguna Beach to see me at the Barefoot Bar on the Main Beach in Laguna. There would be my Jazz combo playing weekends so those visitors would be more than happy to get up to do a little entertaining so they wouldn’t get “rusty.” If I started with names, I could just go on with the names – forget a story. You kids wouldn’t know who I was talking about anyway.
So there I was in Honolulu on one occasion, it happened to be during Maya’s first gig there. (She played the “Clouds several times.) Her act was to sit at the grand piano, tinkle the ivories, singing or humming a little song, and talk to the audience.
They loved her. In those early days you would think she had just flown in on the jet stream from Haight-Ashbury district in San Francisco. That’s what her ensemble reminded you of—the old flowing cotton gown and the bandana-like headpiece. (Later she cleaned up her act. See photo) And didn’t she look all put together later in life when she was traveling around being a celebrity?
We became pals, Maya, Annie and I.
Maya had traveled to Hawaii alone, and was staying at the hotel. We would leave for the Halekulani Hotel and Beach around noon every day. We’d have a bit of breakfast in Annie’s snazzy apartment first. We would rest out on the beach—in and out of the surf, then cocktail time came along and we would move up on the Terrace where those striking Chinese women in their gorgeous Chinese silk gowns waited on the customers.
We’d have a cocktail or two with hors d’oeuvres but couldn’t stay as long as we would’ve have liked, the three of us had to be back at the Clouds and be ready to go to work. We had to get into our get-ups for the long shift ahead.
One of the reasons for me to take these little “vacations” is because I would have such a wonderful time helping Annie with her “Clouds”. I just loved to bartend, so Annie would stick me in a little cubby hole, which was the service bar where the servers would come to pick up drink orders for their customers. There I was pouring drink after drink. Annie couldn’t put me behind the beautifully designed bar with all the mirrors in the main room with the customers and entertainers – I wasn’t glamorous enough. That’s where she stuck herself.
We were in our 50’s, at that time, and had loads of fun with Maya. She was a very circumspect young lady. I look back thinking how lucky I was to have spent time with her and it would be a special treat if she happened to be playing the “Clouds” when I showed up for one of my little jaunts.
Every day the three of us would go off to the Halekulani for our leisurely day with a little swimming, little lunching, a little cocktailing and lots of laughter.
Every night, we took care of business; Annie was the Boss. Maya took care of entertainment, while I poured drinks in the closet.
You know what I forgot to tell you about? The employee situation at Annie’s hotel is worth a word or two. Of course, there were bartenders, waiters and waitresses all over the place, but then there was one – just one more employee who made that place run like a Rolex watch. Now this is only one more employee. His duties, however, were numerous, he was head (and only) housekeeper of the 2nd floor hotel rooms. He cleaned the Little Dipper in the early morning before it opened, then go clean a room or two, go out and sweep the sidewalk, clean the elevator, halls, or plunge a toilet. Then, later in the day he would go get the Clouds all nice and clean for opening around eight o’clock. Now then, listen to this: Here’s this little guy not even 5’ tall taking care of all these “chores.” He was completely adorable. He was of Philippine extraction and a little munchkin. His name was Moses. Can you imagine how lucky Annie was to find little Moses? She got by with him doing the work of five or six people. (She was always a sharp one!)
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Years ago, Maya came up with the following quote. Today, in this day and age it couldn’t be more apropos. Many Thanks, Maya.
“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the Past,
threatens the Future, and renders the Present