Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Yours Truly At Detective Chang Apana's Grave In 1982

This picture was taken in 1982 at the beginning of my research on the life of Detective Chang Apana.  The gravestone to the right is that of  Apana.  The little boy on my lap is my nephew Andrew who is now a grown man.  If you had visited Apana's grave site recently, you would have noticed that the surrounding area is kept in a much better condition than it was in 1982.  In fact, Apana's grave had been "lost" for quite some time, and it was only with the expert help of the cemetery caretaker Tommy Wong, that I was  able to find the grave at all!  It had been totally overgrown with weeds and tall grass.  I worked on clearing and cleaning up  the site for some weeks to get it in the condition that you see in the photograph above.  I will be revisiting Detective Apana's grave site soon, and I will post video of it on this blog.  It will be a video tour that will make it easier for all to find his grave as it is in an out-of-the-way section of the Manoa Chinese Cemetery.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Royal Hawaiian Hotel - A Major Location For The Filming Of "The Black Camel" (1931)

I recently visited the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, also known affectionately as the "The Pink Palace".  Many scenes from the 1931 Charlie Chan movie "The Black Camel", were filmed there.  You might find this surprising, that even though I was born, raised, and lived my whole life in Hawaii, I had never visited the Royal Hawaiian Hotel before!  What makes this even more interesting is that I only live a couple blocks away from it.  The Royal Hawaiian Hotel is magnificent, and one can sense the history of the place just by walking around its gorgeous lobby.  I spoke to some of the staff about my forthcoming book "Charlie Chan's Hawaii", and also the Royal Hawaiian Hotel's connection with "The Black Camel".  They were enchanted, and to help me with my research, they gave me a free copy of the book "The Pink Palace", written by Stan Cohen, which is a lovely and succinct history of the famous hotel.  The picture at the top of this post is the actual cover of the book.