Edit ModuleShow Tags

O‘ahu in 1945: “I Want to Go Back to My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawai‘i”

For 133 years HONOLULU Magazine has kept its readers and advertisers at the vanguard of fashion, insight and fun. Starting out as Paradise of the Pacific in 1888 with a commission from King Kalākaua, we’re the oldest continually publishing magazine west of the Mississippi. Here is a look into our archives.


Published:

hawaii history

 

Jack Nelson was one of many U.S. sailors who stopped in Hawai‘i during the war. Paradise of the Pacific writes: “He was a citizen, a sailor, a photographer, and a very lonely guy”—and one of many who knew a signature song about the Islands that starts, “I want to go back to my little grass shack in Kealakekua, Hawai‘i.” When he heard it, Nelson brightened up for the first time. “My Dad bought that record one Christmas.”

 

“Is there really a little grass shack over there?”

 

There was, though not at the time the song was written. Over the years, so many servicemen had gone looking for it that writer Ellen Davis said, “we got so embarrassed we whipped one up.” The Kona Historical Society says the ti-leaf thatched hut appeared on the grounds of the Christ Church next to an impromptu USO site with ping-pong tables, music and socials. Servicemen who couldn’t reveal their location in letters took photos in front of the shack as a hint for their families.

 

The shack now only exists in photographs. But the 1933 tune that served as its inspiration is No. 41 on our list of 50 Greatest Songs of Hawai’i.

 


covers

Learn more about the evolution of covers in HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific: 125 Years of Covers, available at shop.honolulumagazine.com.


 

Find more photos from Honolulu’s past every Thursday on Instagram @honolulumag.

 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Subscribe to Honolulu

Honolulu Magazine July 2020
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Trending

 

9 Greatest Honolulu Homes

Great Homes

Stunning, historic, extraordinary.

 

Can the Mainland Do Poke Right? Do We Want Them To?​

Poke

Martha Cheng, author of The Poke Cookbook and former line cook, talks about how a New York City publisher decided Hawai‘i’s favorite pūpū was for everybody.

 

50 Essential Hawai‘i Books You Should Read in Your Lifetime

Books

The most iconic, trenchant and irresistible island books, as voted by a panel of literary community luminaries.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Local Fruit in Hawai‘i

Fruit

Fruits are part of our history and culture, a way for us to feel connected to our community.

 

A Local’s Guide to Buying Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Sunscreen

Five Hawai‘i brands have created reef-safe sunscreens that are safe for your ʻohana and the ocean. 

Edit ModuleShow Tags