Dec 6, 2012

Rose Royces at the Royo Hawaiian

My grandmother with her Hawaiian souvenir

When the Royal Hawaiian Hotel opened in February 1927, mainlanders came on ocean liners and brought their Rolls Royces.    The Royal was the most expensive hotel in the world went it opened, built at a cost of $4 million.

I worked at Sheraton Hotels in Hawai`i in the late 1970′s and Manya Levin was my account supervisor at our advertising agency.  We did a bunch of television commercials for the hotels, and brought in the Wheel of Fortune pointer-pre-Vanna-White ~ someone named Susan Stafford ~ to be the “personality.”    It might have been helpful if we had put together the fact that Susan was the pointer, not the host, and that we didn’t really know whether she could talk or not.  Also, there were personality difficulties.  She didn’t have one.

It turned out she couldn’t talk, either.  Also, we hated her, in that way you do when someone you don’t know well is demanding things of you.  Her worst performance was on the Royal Hawaiian spot, where we discovered she couldn’t say her “l”s.  Hence ” People came to the Royal Hawaiian with their Rolls Royces” became “Peepo came to the Royo Hawaiian with their Rose Royces.”  No amount of “takes” could teach her “l words” this late in life.  I can’t remember what we did to solve the problem.

In any event, my grandfather and grandmother came to the opening of the Royal and brought their Rolls Royce.  When they came home, they returned with what my mother described as a “redwood surfboard with the beach boys name carved into it.”    I found this picture, and I am pretty sure it is my grandmother after she returned and had her monogram carved into the top of the board.

My mother remembered it as being 25 feet long, which it doesn’t seem to be.    Maybe that’s what my little kid mind remembers.  In any event, my mother and her siblings used the surfboard to aquaplane behind their Chris Crafts on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin.  Evidently it sunk, and if it survives, it is in the weeds under the water of Lake Geneva.  And no one brings their Rose Royce to the Royo any more.

1 Comment

  • I REMEMBER HER ULTRA THICK, ULTRA SHINY PANTYHOSE—-SPANKS BEFORE THE TIME OF SPANKS. WHAT A DISASTER THAT WHOLE THING TURNED OUT TO BE–GOOD NOW FOR GOOD LAUGHS!

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Gloria. Circa 1955.



Gloria. Circa 2012.




Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

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