Monday, October 26, 2009

Once in Wakiki

What with clogging your inbox with annoying forwards and subsidizing scam identity theft protection companies, people over the age of 50 pretty much are nothing but a thorn in the side of us young uns' internet-wise.  The exception to this I've found is a small community of old people on Flickr who have scanned in old photographs from their entire lives, usually with lengthy descriptions on each photo that tell an entire life story in photographs.  Finding these is an amazing affirmation that the heart of the internet is its ability to share un-notable, unknowable strangers' stories.

Here are a few of photos from a woman who has an amazing collection of photos taken in a jazz nightclub in Hawaii her single mother owned and operated during the early 1960s. The photos are a mix of the B-list celebrities from the era and some surprising (for the era) interracial hangouts. The woman appears as a teenager in some photos in amazing poofy dresses. There's a suprising racial element here where there are she looks white, though her mother appears to be half black (or perhaps Hawiian?), and there's a mixed crowd at the club hangin' out in harmony.  Could just be the jazz scene, or is it possible that Hawaii was more of a progressive-minded place during that time?  Anyone have any idea about this?

The Flickr user is the curly haired girl on the right:


A female saxophonist at the nightclub:


The Flickr user as a teen at a party with her mother:


The guy in the unbuttoned checked shirt in this last photo is identifed as Hollywood actor Steve
Cochran, who had an insane death:

"Cochran died on his yacht off the coast of Guatemala due to an acute lung infection. His body, along with three alive but upset female assistants, remained onboard for ten days since the three women didn't know how to operate the boat.There were various rumors of foul play and poisoning, and Merle Oberon tried to use her influence to push for further police investigations. No new evidence was found." (from his Wikipedia)

17 comments:

Rachel said...

Can we have the link to the whole flickr stream? Thanks!

party pooper said...

just click on any of the pics.

Rachel said...

Oh,right. I can be a little slow. Thanks!

Asa said...

I'm not even close to an expert on this. But from talking to Hawaiian friends and general absorption of popular culture, I gather that race is looked at in an entirely different way in Hawaii because there are so many different races and cultures represented. Everyone is all mixed together and jammed onto a couple islands, so there isn't nearly the racial segregation that occurs elsewhere in the U.S. Check out the term "Hapa" and it's variations, which is used to describe mixed-race people:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hapa

Asa said...

Also: I think I'm in love with the women in that first photo, especially the one in the middle.

TeeVeeEll said...

Beeyootiful! Every one of them!

Anonymous said...

ITS ME.....SUGARBARRE, MY MOTHER IS NOT BLACK...AND there are many photos...she owned the orchid room, and she was in show biz long time.
Go flker..Sugarbarre1...or go and search Reta Ray
and you'll get mom then follow along. What is your problem.
However, steve cochran jumped 108 hits on one, then more on me and his daughter. why in the world do you think my mom is black?

Anonymous said...

Steve Cochran also had a legendary huge penis.

Michelle said...

These pictures are so beautiful! It's kind of nice to take a short break between drunken club bitches and frat guys choking on their own vomit. (Not that I want those pictures to stop, mind you - that's why I come here - but still.)

Sybil said...

this is a great post! too bad sugarbarre seems a little too offended about someone assuming her mother is black. BOOHOOO

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I seem offended but My mother is clearly not black. My mother is reta ray, I love to have you all see this history. Imagine before television. Anyway people went out to night clubs, but this is afternoon jam session. My mother knew from being on the road, most clubs were dark on sunday and the entertainers were bored and lonely. So she sent them telegram, Hi, we getting together for a jam session and the drinks are on me....this brought more than b list actors, great stars. Sarah Vaugn, Mel Torme, Herb Jeffries is a legend and is still kickin it at 95 or so. He sold 50 mill records for duke ellington and was the first black cowboy, The black musicians are from downtown Hawaii, Honolulu, was full of service men in all the depts. And the downtown was rough.
Black entertainers were not allowed of welcome at Waikiki beach, so they came to our club to meet and greet and play together.
I was surprised to misread as my mom black and so on and old people...kinda stung a bit. You know old people dont think they are old...MANY ARE VERY HEALTHY AND SHARP. Im still gorgeous...and you know it when I enter the room.
xxx Sugarbarre1...at flkr. also i have 4 mill hits at webshots.com

Sybil said...

sorry your mom DOES look black.

Anonymous said...

Syble,
you are not looking at my mother,
or else you have shot of her with tan from the beach, this is my mother.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sugarbarre100/3984792277/

I wouldn't care if she was black, but she was no and neither am I.

Anonymous said...

Hello Miss Sugarbarre! Was yur mother really Black?

Anonymous said...

How funny. Those are my stepmom's photos. Glad to see them on your website!

Anonymous said...

'sugarbarre' is a scam and a con, not to mention a pedophile. it is disgusting to see them get this kind of attention and that people fall for it left and right.

Anonymous said...

a pedophile..what the hell is wrong with you
i was young girl..in the picure is me
btw deleted by flkr
you cant see these by clicking them any more..i though they would be gone cause they are gone...
i am a scam..
thats bull shit....
who are you?

the flkr stream shows me
go there and search
sexy granny...and i should come up in search then hit one and find all alive there now i am sugarbarre2
was deleted because of these pictures...and some more i took..
of young models...

but these are gone
there are several of my mother..
sugarbarres mother with her friend
christine jorgensen...
very valuable..personal pics of most famous transexual.
I never put my mothers name out then i decided i would...
who are these mean people that say sorry sugar your mother is black
go to flk and see her now...
thank you....