Saturday, August 21, 2010

Today in History ... August 21

Hawaii became the 50th State in 1959. And some would like to go back to the old Hawaiian way.
In May of that year we flew to Hawaii from Vancouver on a propeller plane. It took 12 hours to get to Honolulu and we arrived in the night about 10 pm and were greeted as they did then, by a beautiful Hawaiian with a kiss and a fragrant frangipani lei! The warm breeze was memorable. It was truly a land of swaying palms and friendly people.
Our hotel was the Hawaiian Village, all new and shiny and pink, as was everything owned by Henry Kaiser at the time. The Kaiser Hospital was pink, construction cranes working on Henry Kaiser projects were even pink.
We stayed in a thatched roof hut on the grounds as honeymooners.
Each breakfast plate had a small orchid nestled amid your bacon and eggs and at dinner in the open air restaurant, a concertina player strolled with soft melodies. On Sundays, Hawaii Calls was broadcast from the Moana Courtyard, the worlds longest running radio show, played to smiling suntanned visitors. Alfred Apaka sang in his mellifluous voice, and even held a pose for my haole girl while she snapped his picture.
There were only six hotels actually on Waikiki Beach then; The newest Hawaiian Village, the Ala Moana, the Reef, the Princess Kaiulani, The Royal Hawaiian, and the Outrigger I believe. In the evenings Hawaiian beach boys would soak pillow cases, inflate them in the air, and run along the edge of the water to dive onto the pillow for a fun ride into the gentle surf. No technology needed to enjoy the ocean waters.
We rented a jeep with a pink striped canopy and drove around Oahu, even sneaking into a pineapple field to steal a huge ripe one, which we mixed with gin in our pink ice bucket as an edible cocktail. Once out of Waikiki, Hawaii was quaint and serene with a feeling it might never change.
We were thrilled to see Tab Hunter in the lobby, and Sal Mineo at the outdoor bar by the pool. Jimmy the pool caretaker tried to teach Jane to dive instead of plummet.
We met two other May 30th honeymooners, Chuck and Eileen Deering from Boston, who took us to Schofield Barracks Officers` Club for dinner! And Martin Denny played his jungle sounds at the International Market place.
Hawaii was old Hawaii then, and in August of that year, a huge change was about to happen. King Kamehameha would no longer be the alii in charge of the Hawaiian spirit.
A semblance of that time still remains on the East coast of the Big Island today, north of Hilo if you explore side roads. You`ll be back in the innocent forties.
Yet we still have to say, Hawaii no ka oe. Hawaii is the best.
Aloha and muhalo.

Friday, August 06, 2010

No inquiry in the Picton case?

Wally Oppal and Phillip Owen were on the air this morning regarding the Picton case. Both of whom kept repeating the lines that Willie Picton was already in jail and so a public inquiry would be useless and a waste of money.
Both of whom were clearly not in favour of such an 'investigation' of the facts leading up to the conviction of Picton. Both of whom were in positions of power during the initial Picton investigation.
Nicely done guys, you have cleverly added to the subtle steering of the Vancouver media into leaving it all alone. Former Mayor Owen even said we should move on as nothing could be accomplished by an inquiry.
Oh, for the days of investigative reporters like Jack Webster. When the manipulations and machinations couldn't slip by him, no matter how slick or greasy was the messenger.
The Vancouver media seems to be quite happy with this result, although the families of the poor tragic women are not.
Could the real reason for the powers that be, to be so against a public inquiry be that perhaps OTHER information might be revealed?
Willie Picton is in jail, unlikely ever to be free again. We got our man. Everybody can relax now.
But .... there are niggling questions remaining, lingering in the ether like a Cheshire cat's grin: for instance - Did Willie, all by his repulsive self, go to the Downtown East Side, seduce those women into accompanying him to the pig farms, or the so called Piggys Palace all by himself? Did he put on his gumboots, get a tractor and go hunting?
Not likely is it?
So who HELPED Willie in this? Why wasn't the only woman who escaped from Willie able to testify? Deemed an incredible witness, she was ignored. Isn't that the job of a talented lawyer, to elicit the truth out of a liar?
There are so many unanswered questions here that ONLY a public inquiry could try to answer.
But if one carefully watches the responses of people who MIGHT have some esoteric knowledge, we MIGHT see a tremble of fear there, and we MIGHT suspect that something is tragically awry. There has been the suggestion that certain mayors, officials, policemen, police chiefs even, prominent businessmen, gang members and other known people attended the parties at the Piggys Palace. With drugs and prostitutes. These people would have much to account for if their names were revealed in a quest for the truth.
Better to leave well enough alone and let Willie take the rap for all of us.
Move on, no public inquiry is needed.
Vancouver media, go on to something else, no emerging Jack Websters here. Willie Picton did it all by himself. Right?
Well er, right?