Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine, Summer/Fall 2018

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Page 107 of 315

t started with my aunt. My Auntie Mable from Hawaii. She moved from San Francisco to the Hawaiian Islands with United Airlines. Her airline travel privileges allowed shopping getaways to Hong Kong and Japan, where she would return with sparkling jewels and often share those finds with my sister and I. Sometimes it would be a gift of jade or a domed princess ring of pearls and sapphires, but always ac- companied by a fresh flower lei she would place around our necks. We would feel Hawaii through the sweet fragrance of those flower leis. We were little countr y girls living on a farm, but I was always a collector at heart. My cherished finds were a mosaic of agates from Bodega Bay, sand dollars from the beaches of Mendocino, or rocks found beside the railroad tracks behind our country home. In a treasure box, tucked away in my clos- et, sat sand dollars, agates, rocks and my auntie's gifts of jade and jewels. I didn't know the difference at the time. They were all precious to me. Now, I open a different type of box that holds those childhood mem- ories. It's old and battered from a lifetime of moving it to wherever I live, but I still have the sand dol- lars and agates, while the rocks have long been tossed away. And, wrapped in a silk pouch, are my aun- tie's gifts of jade and that beautiful princess ring, along with a photo of her in a aloha shirt on the beaches of Waikiki. Collecting is mostly about collecting one specific item, not from a single place or destination. However, one of the most popular places with collectors is Hawaii, which has a rich life as a design style. This concep- tion is often touted as "Hawaiiana," which became hot during the '50s through the '80s. The phrase, "Hawaiiana," was coined by Nona Beamer, a child of a Hawaiian family who had been expelled twice from Kamehameha School for speaking the Hawaiian language and for performing hula. Later in life, she introduced the concept of Hawaiian culture classes in the schools, and, at age 84, gave this movement its name in a televised 2007 interview. She wrote the word "Hawai-'i-ana" on a blackboard, turned to face the teachers and said, "I would like us to study this word." In the 1930s, the movement began with the opening of the first Tiki Bars: 106 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 1 8 COLLECTING T E X T A N D P H OTO G R A P H Y B Y M A R J O R I E S N O W Collecting Hawaiiana I A crowd favorite, the Woodies, seen at Concours on the Avenue, Carmel, com- plete with their surfboards, silk leis dangling and Hawaiian floral upholstery.

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