Honolulu, Hawaii

Sunday, October 20, 1929

Last night and this morning I read All Quiet on the Western Front, a splendid book by Erich Maria Remarque. Besides being well written and interesting, his style is a departure from any I have ever seen before. I think the modernistic trend is in this direction. Short expressive sentences; a different way of expressing facts, leaving some to the imagination; a chain of separate incidences or events that connected to make a story. Descriptions are vivid with no words used that are not necessary.

Took a walk out along Waikiki Beach this afternoon and watched the crowd of bathers.

Later, while getting a book from the Y library, I met Mrs. Noble, a very nice middle-aged lady who was going to introduce me to some kids, etc. but when John came for me it turned out he knew her. Eddy was along and we drove out to the house where Vance and Jeff were, a good friend of Eddy’s. We all fell to and helped or retarded the getting up of a dinner. Vance made the coffee and scrambled some fried potatoes after much help and kidding. The remarkable thing is that his cooking tasted OK, and the meal was a success. The bridge game Vance and I waged against Eddy and Jeff was not so successful.

Later we four drove up to Pali, a lovely drive in the full moonlight. Pali is a sort of pass to the other side of the island. The rugged walls tower perpendicularly far above the winding, climbing road. There is a luxurious growth of trees to shade the way. At the pass proper there is a drop of several hundred feet, and the road snakes down the side of the lava cliff. When King Kamehameha I captured this island, he waged battle on the present site of Honolulu, drove the foe back through the pass, and finally to the edge of this cliff. Rather than surrender, they met destruction by leaping down to the rocks below. The trade winds blow a stiff gale through here as a rule, but tonight it was calm. On either side the lava formations rose a jagged mass to a point, well above the road. The broken valley lay far below in the bright moonlight—a hill here, a clump of trees there, a wall of dark lava stretching away on either side like a huge amphitheater. The uneven coast was bordered by lava hills, and beyond the vast sea fading into the night.

It pays to read the papers. In reading of the voyage of the Asama Maru, I discovered much to my surprise that the only difficulty experienced en route to Honolulu was running through a typhoon on the second day out. Don’t recall being unconscious on this day nor do I recall a typhoon. On the other hand, I do not believe the skipper, G. Shinomiya, to be anything less than a truthful man. Guess that makes me a rotten judge of typhoons, having only considered the day a windy, stormy one.

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