grandmother, Amelia Nakapa`ahu Machado, lived on Kapahulu Avenue, in
the lane across the street from the Waikiki Public Library. I grew up
in her house. With my sister and cousins and neighborhood kids, I swam
often at Kuhio beach, hung out at the Zoo, Aquarium, Queens Surf, the
old boat house, the "wall" and areas all up and down the beachfront.
I got to know all of Waikiki quite well.
grandmother had many jobs in her life. In the 1950s she worked at Tripler
Hospital in the food service department as a cook. Before that she was
a schoolteacher. Earlier in her life, during W.W.II, she was also the
housekeeper in a house of prostitution in Waikiki ran by the US military.
Once she showed me a photo of her at the brothel. She was one of two
local women in the photo, and looked very Chinese. The other five were
beautiful haole women who worked there as sex workers.
shared with me that at this brothel only haole women were allowed to
be sex workers. She said that the haole men seemed to prefer the haole
women, which is why she, herself, as beautiful as I think she was, was
never approached by the haole clientele. Anyhow, she said that nonwhite
women were generally regarded as 'help'.
wish I still had this photo. It got destroyed when my house flooded
in the 1970s.