ala wai canal 1920 to 1928

The Brady Bunch at San Souci Beach . 1972-73 season.

The first time I heard about Hawai'i was from watching the Brady Bunch show when I was eight years old. I watched the show religiously with Cynthia, Sheila and Yuri, the kids of the family who my mom worked for as a maid/nanny. She was there day and night. So was I. They were my best friends. They were also the people most like the Brady Bunch I'd ever met. Sheila was even more popular than Marcia Brady!

The Brady Bunch went to Hawai'i for three episodes. Cynthia, Sheila and Yuri got to go about a year later. If both the Brady Bunch and these friends got to go, I thought it must be THE place to be. And that I would never get to go.



Like everything else the Brady Bunch did, going to Hawai'i was evidence that you were 'normal'. For my friends and me, Hawai'i became the gold standard - the vacation that everything else was measured against. If you weren't able to go there, you hadn't quite made it.

This was confirmed by my friends. When they got back they told me that everything was very expensive. "Ice cream cones were $3 US each!!!" Unbelievable, I thought.

Also a bit unbelievable was the 'tarantula spider' that crawled up Peter's chest. Even though I was only a kid, I knew that that was something the show stole from some Zoro-like Mexican plot.

Years later I did go to Hawai'i for work. As I looked at my fellow passengers on the flight there, I was reminded of the Brady Bunch. I wondered if it was this television show that brought them to Hawai'i. Or some other part of the desire-making machine that told you where you had to go to 'arrive'.

Nandita Sharma, 2004