ALL OF A SUDDEN FEBRUARY 29, 2016
All of a sudden the other day, I felt human, and here’s what came out of it: I thought of an old story. I’m going to tell you this story–a true one–that once upon a time, I knew—actually, in person knew none other than Maya Angelou, and you know, at the time of her demise, she was a very renowned and revered individual who was entertained by many of the greats of this world.
Now, I knew Maya back in the 1950’s and 60’s, when I was a frequent Pan Am flyer to Hawaii. I had those bars around San Juan Capistrano and Laguna Beach at the time, and there was a reason I would take a vacation at the drop of a bathing suit. There was my old soft ball pal, Annie (real name Amy,) sitting with a small hotel on Kapiolani Blvd across the street from the Honolulu Zoo about 200 yards from Kalakana Ave. the main thoroughfare of Waikiki, Hawaii!
This hotel had only 10 rooms on the 2nd floor. The entrance on the ground floor was home to the neighborhood. It was the hotel’s “registration” and “office” and was a swingin’ early day bar for the locals. It would stay open till everyone got tired. Now hurry up, let’s get up to the third floor, the piece de resistance. There was only a juke box in the Little Dipper, while there was not only a juke box up in the Clouds, there were also live musicians who accompanied the live entertainers who were booked in from the Mainland.
There were celebrities all over the place. The stars of that era were all there— the Big Band Singers, The Single Acts, Comedians — Rusty Warren with her “Knockers Up” routine , grabbing all the ladies in the audience to get up and serpentine the room while singing Knockers UP! Ladies, Knockers UP!! along with her. That always brought the house down.
The stars were not only doing their stuff on stage, there were stars and famous people in the audience. I’ll just name three who were there when they were in town. How about Frank Sinatra? His ”money” carrier would always settle Frank’s tab (guests included) and there would be at least a hundred dollar bill, for tip — sometimes more. Others you may recognize were Barbara Hutton, the Woolworth heiress who spent many winter months every year hunkering in at the Royal Hawaiian. Now Doris Duke had her own winter pad high up from the ocean around the west side of Diamond Head (lots of mansions in this “hood.”) And how about her own elevator to go down the cliff for a little dip.
The Writer has slowed down, and wants to take a break. However, the break is going to become a Part II. We haven’t had a continued story for awhile, and so I will rest up, and there will be more to come.
MELITAS FORSTER MONDAYS, OR WHENEVER
YOU CAN CATCH HER