National Geographic : 1960 Jul
Hawaii, U. S. A. reassurance from the presence of these com bat-ready forces. Their presence also does much to generate tourist travel to the islands. And tourists, or "visitors" as islanders prefer to call them, are soon to become Hawaii's biggest business. They numbered more than 240,000 last year. Increasing by 20 percent a year since the war, tourism is expected to flourish even faster with statehood-and with jet travel, provided so far by three of the ten airlines that fly to Hawaii. Jets bring Honolulu within five hours of the west coast. Samuel F. Pryor, Pan American vice presi dent, looks to the future. Envisioning 2,000 mile-an-hour aircraft in the next decade, he says, "You'll leave New York and be here in Hawaii, because of the five-hour time differ ence, two and a half hours before you left." Where Shahs and Stenographers Play Honolulu is the Hawaiian port of call for transpacific airliners and cruise ships, and its curving beach at Waikiki is the tiara for the tourist trade (pages 22-23.)* New ar rivals are so eager for its sun, sand, and surf that some beach hotels provide special dressing rooms so one can change and "hit the beach" without taking time to unpack. I recall lazing there one day. To my left lounged the Shah of Iran, amid enough beach umbrellas and courtiers for King Solomon himself. To my right, a lone girl unpacked her matting and ointments. A mainland teacher or stenographer deter mined to get her money's worth of tan, I thought. Near her, two servicemen lobbed a beach ball; the girl would not be alone long. Waikiki's hotels and shops, restaurants and cabarets cater to all tastes. The Hotel Kai mana gives travelers from Japan a taste of home with mat floors and sliding paper doors. Beach shops display silks from Hong Kong beside locally made sportswear. But even cos mopolitan Honolulu was given pause when a Chinese restaurant advertised Italian pizza pie. Though airliners approaching Honolulu dispense sun-tan lotion rather than history books, some visitors do go looking for evi dences of the native culture. Iolani Palace, now the State capitol, was once the home of Hawaiian kings. In the room where the House of Representatives meets, red-upholstered thrones are displayed (page 14). Towering above are feathered kahilis, standards of Hawaiian royalty adapted from status symbols of the native chiefs. Perhaps the most photographed object in all Honolulu, save the towering peak of Dia mond Head, is the heroic statue of Kame hameha in the Civic Center. Garbed in the helmet and cloak of the Hawaiian warrior, his figure is so draped with flower leis on ceremonial occasions that only the head emerges (page 18). Oahu's view No. 1 is from the 1,200-foot high Nuuanu Pali, a mountain pass behind the city (page 28). Here, in conquering the island, Kamehameha trapped its defenders and, as the popular song goes, "Pushed 'em over the Pali" to their death. My wife remembers her grandmother telling of being lowered over this cliff in a basket, the only ladylike way to descend. The transit took an hour. Now the cliff is pierced by multilane automobile tunnels, and her grand daughter drives them in minutes. Busy Honolulu Still Honors Boat Day Bustling Honolulu, living out of doors per haps more than any other State capital, has always had a form of year-round daylight sav ing. Office doors open at eight and close at four, though wage earners in this mid-Pacific city of 330,000 now find their free time spent more in traffic jams and crowded supermar kets than in the pounding surf. Honolulu today is as American as straw berry shortcake. Her policemen hand out tickets as impassively as any on the mainland. Her movie theaters make their money from popcorn. The kennels where we board our dogs send them Christmas cards each year. Where Honolulu differs from other State capitals, it differs not only because of its cli mate, but, of course, because of its distance from the main body of the States. (Continued on page 15) * See "Honolulu, Mid-Ocean Capital," by Frederick Simpich, Jr., NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, May, 1954. Pineapple Fields in Martial Ranks Parade the Flaming Coast of Kauai Roads 130 feet apart accommodate trucks with 65-foot booms that spray, fertilize, water, and harvest the fruit (next page). Wavy terraces control soil erosion. Iron stains the earth red; paradoxically, the element exists here in a form the pineapple cannot use. Growers must douse the plants with an iron solution. KODACHROMEBY NATIONALGEOGRAPHICPHOTOGRAPHERB. ANTHONYSTEWART© N.G.S.