Members of the Hawaiian Singing Group
Standing from left to right, Mrs. Andrade; Mrs. Clemens, leader; Mrs. Pahu; Mr. Andrade. Squatting: Mr. O. Pahu; Steven P. Lukua; Mr. Schenck Clemens, manager.
A LETTER FROM A HAWAIIAN BOY FROM AMERICA.
Below you will see the thoughts of a Hawaiian boy by the name of Kiwini Lukua [Steven Lukua], writing to his mother Mrs. Rebecca Lukua of Honolulu nei, describing what his singing group is doing, where they are living in America, and so forth. He has sent many letters, and this below is one of his letters.
“Dear mother, much aloha to you:–Here we are on break, and we are doing better, but our cold are not completely cured; we are still coughing, but not like the previous months. I think within two weeks our colds will probably be over, and maybe we will go sightseeing.
“I have some things I want you to buy for all of us, that is this, six pairs of Japanese sandals [kamaa pale wawae], and send in under my name and I will send you the money for the expenses. Our old Japanese sandals are all shredded up. That is all I want, and do not forget to send send a book related to Hawaii; do not forget to send a book of that type every month, that being a book in Hawaiian like those written by Jack London, etc.; a book written only in Hawaiian.
“I have good friends here who I want to read those books, and I will send you money to cover the cost of those books, because my friends will pay for those books.
“The days here are getting warmer. This place is much like our Manoa. The birds are singing and all the plants and the landscapes are beautiful to see.
The frigid days have gone by and we are happy that we have warm days, and the blooming flowers. Everywhere people are no longer lighting their fireplaces. These days we are staying at home quietly, and each evening, we went exploring for an hour and returned, because our colds are not completely over.
“Here, if someone gets a cold, several months will go by before that cold and sickness is over. This place is strange and not like Honolulu. Here if someone catches a cold, that cold will live in the body until the warm period. And if you catch a cold once again during the warm period, it will be worse. That is the reason we are staying in the house. But the haole tell us that our troubles are over, and so too was what the doctor said. But we wanted to be very sure before going traveling about here and there.
“Everyday, that haole invite us to go to their homes to see them, but we do not accept because we are sick. Here there are haole who went to Honolulu, and each evening, they always come to our hotel to talk with us.
“I am truly tired of living here, because we have many days before we work again. I have the sheet music and am practicing singing, “Hawaiian Rose.” This is a beautiful song.
“Today we are going to see the place with clams, that being olepe, because it is high tide now. The owners of this hotel are taking us to dig for clams; we are paying this hotel an extra charge of $5 for the day. But the hotel owner is reducing it to $3.00 for the day.
“This hotel is nice; there is a bathroom in each room, and we are the only dark-skinned ones in this hotel, because Blacks are not allowed to stay here. The cost to stay here per day is $3.00, added to the cost for meals. And the meals here fine, just like the Moana Hotel.
“Each evening the people dance on top of the Roof Garden without charge. We dance as well because it is fun. The music for the dancing is played by a Jazz Band. I forgot to tell you this, if we live here for two months the manager of the hotel has agreed to give us a monthly rate, that being $15.00 for a month, and we agreed on that rate, because it is very cheap, and he put in a request that we play every Saturday on the Roof Garden during the breaks, and he will pay us $15.00 per night; we are lucky, because we will receive an extra payment of $15.00. We will begin playing in April.
“With these little thoughts, I will conclude. May God guide and watch over us until we meet again.
Your loving son,
STEVEN P. LUKUA,
Happy Hawaii Co., Swarthmore, Penn., Wyoming, Delaware, U. S. A.
(Kuokoa, 5/24/1923, p. 3)