ala wai canal 1920 to 1928

Hope some one puts in a picture of Joe's at Waikiki. It was a bar/restaurant on Kalakaua Avenue, on the Mauka side in the jungle area, across from Kuhio Beach. Joe’s was famous to us haole surfers for being off-limits to haoles. Heard about some spectacular fights there in early 1960's. Seems as soon as a west coast surfer, newly arrived, would hear it was locals only there, they would immediately go there and usually precipitate a fight. (Interestingly enough haole women could go there, as long as they looked good). Sort of sounds like George Bush today - that there's just no place on earth that a haole shouldn't be allowed to go to.

I don't think I ever went in there but knew several California surfer types that did as well as a couple of female California women who were more adventurers than surfers. Not too many haole women adventured to Hawai’i then compared to the number of haole surfers.


One of the haole surfer/fighter types was named Larry and he was distinguished from other California surfers by a very realistic tattoo of bright red lips smack in the middle on the right side of his okole. How do I know of this? There was a lot of "browning out" going on in Waikiki by California surfers at that time. "Browning out" was the term later changed to "mooning". I recall sitting in the line up at Queen's waiting for waves and observing several haole surfers sitting on their boards with their trunks around their necks. I wondered if I this was some sort of surfer's ritual, local or otherwise, that I should be doing. Then a wave would come and one of those guys would catch it and "moon" whoever may have been watching from the Kuhio Beach area. Larry was one of those guys.

The "moonings" also punctuated surfer parties at night in the "Jungle" at the Diamond Head end of Waikiki. Waikiki pretty much closed at 10:30 every night then. Don't recall much crime and there were still affordable apartments. I shared various "Jungle" apartments with other California surfers then. The "moonings" often resulted in visits by the HPD in their really cool 50's muscle cars with the police lights on top. The police were usually called by local families who thought the whole "mooning" thing was barbaric. They also opined that California surfers were "trash" and would often shout such things while the police chased the pantsless surfers around to arrest them. There was also one California surfer from Downey who developed such a reputation for frequently "mooning" at parties that he became known as "Rank Frank". I did get to know him both here and later when we both returned to Long Beach State to finish college.

Ed Greevy 2003

see also Elk's Club

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