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- The Log of the Empire State - 2/9 -
of his attorney, Louis H. Mooser. At the close of the session, Commissioner Francis Krull imposed a fine upon himself for his merciful tendencies as the judge.
When a crowd of us piled into the wireless room and asked the whys and wherefores, the poor operator gave up trying to explain why the messages were all sent at night, and settled the matter by telling us that the atmospheric conditions were better then, and that the ship was equipped with two systems, the spark and the arc, but that the arc was given the preference. The Empire State kept its apparatus tuned to the one at Sloat Boulevard, so if any of those at home missed us, just all they had to do was to drive past that station any night, and, perhaps, at that very moment, a message was being received from us.
When we saw land, the women immediately planned a meeting to discuss what to wear and do when we arrived in Honolulu on the following day. A. I. Esberg gave an address the evening before on the meaning of our Commercial Relationship tour and the good-will that he believed San Francisco would establish by this mission. Afterward we danced, then followed a Chinese supper. Yes, we were eating again.
No alarm clock that was ever invented smote the ears with greater animosity than did the ship's gong at 6:30 the morning we arrived at Honolulu. If it had not been for the fact that the committee was there (just outside our portholes, in yachts loaded with leis to welcome us) it would have taken even more than that disturber of the peace to arouse us, for sleep seemed the most desired thing after the Chinese dinner dance that had lasted until the wee hours.
We were all at the luncheon given to us by the Honolulu Commercial Club. Faxton Bishop told us of the seriousness of the labor situation and asked our aid. We all remember how eloquently our much lamented spokesman, A. F. Morrison, answered the address and said that California's prosperity depended in many ways upon Hawaiian prosperity and their problems were our problems.
Wallace R. Farrington, Governor of the Territory of Hawaii, said that the labor situation must be solved to insure the prosperity of the islands.
We were next whizzed to the Outrigger Club, and if everyone had seen how hard Warren Shannon paddled to reach the crest of a wave before it broke, they would all be convinced that he was the hardest working supervisor we have.
John H. Wilson, the mayor of Honolulu, motored our party around the island and gave us a luncheon at a hotel near one of the beaches. We will remember this day as one of our happiest.
The first day out of Honolulu we were all discussing our impressions. Most of us had passed the Honolulu schools at recess time and had noted only one or two white-skinned children. It was, as Dr. A. W. Morton expressed it, "Looks like a little Japan." Of course, everyone knows of the vividness and great variety of the coloring of the foliage in sharp contrast to the brilliant pink soil, but we could not stop talking about it. Some of us noted the beauty of a little plant, which at home we carefully water and cherish in some tiny pot, only to learn that on the Island it grows in such abundance that it is considered nearly as great a pest as the Mediterranean fly - so it would seem that beauty in the vegetable kingdom does not always mean desirability, any more than it does in the human family.
Many of us had been taken over the sugar-cane plantations, seen the young plants pushing through the paper (put over them to keep out the weeds), gone through the refineries, seeing the cane stalks ground in the huge rollers and had been allowed to taste the sickeningly sweet molasses. Along the roads were Hawaiian huts with octopi drying on the porches, beside the reclining figures of the strong providers of the family, resting up, no doubt, from the task of catching and killing the octopi by hitting the squid's heads.
Some of the party waxed eloquent about the wonderful leprosy cures, recently accomplished in the Islands, through the discoveries of the chemist Dr. Dean, who took the chalmoogra oil used in India over a thousand years ago as a cure (but according to tradition, the sufferers considered the cure worse than the disease) and made it possible to take.
Some of us stopped to investigate the powerful wireless station with the instruments capable of receiving messages at a distance of 5000 miles. Still others told of the island at the Pearl Harbor Naval station being purchased for ten thousand dollars and then being sold to our government for 400,000 dollars.
Many had not only received the leis, but a new native name as well, for, as you know, it is the Hawaiian way of labeling everyone with some name that to the Islander expresses their predominant characteristic.
We were gazing at the magnificent sunset, when someone who seemed to have inside information, repeated the old adage, "A red sky at night is the sailor's delight, but if followed by a red sky in the morning, it's the sailor's warning." We had all found the tranquil waters of the Pacific so refreshing after the rush and excitement of Honolulu sightseeing, and did not know that the worst storm the Empire State had experienced was before us.
Most of us rolled out of bed the next morning, and the only reason some of us did not fall to the floor was because the bureaus stopped us half way, with many a resounding thud. Many of the party did not attempt to get up or out of the staterooms. Will we ever forget the dining tables equipped with metal railings, divided into sections to hold in the dishes? Even then, the eggs and cream rolled over the cloth or into our unreceptive laps, and the way the waiters moistened the cloth in the spots where they set the water glasses in an attempt to make them stay put. But they would not any more than our tummies would "stay put."
We then appreciated the necessity of the railings all over the ship, especially when we commenced to hit each side of the passage way in trying to step forward. Edward C. Wagner was jestingly remarking to Louis Glass that if he should fall, there would be broken "Glass." It was but a short while afterward when an unexpected lurch of the ship threw him to the deck, breaking his glasses.
We all remember that the deck chairs had an unpleasant way of sliding until they hit the opposite wall, bouncing out the sea-sick occupants. Even in getting out of the chairs (tied to the railings) many of us fell. The upper deck looked like the ward of an emergency hospital. Mrs. A. F. Morrison had fallen, breaking a bone in her wrist, Mrs. E. Dinkelspiel had her head injured, Louis Glass had a bandage over his cut face, and scarcely anyone escaped without black and blue marks.
To see one of our capitalists being led weakly by a strong attendant, while grasping his mal de mer tin firmly, was a sight unnoticed, in the tumult of rushing waves. Of course, all portholes were closed, two of the crew narrowly escaped being washed overboard. Their spotless uniform of white had long since been discarded for rain coats and high boots. Some of us slept out on deck rather than negotiate the treacherous stairs to the uncertain joys of a stateroom in which the trunks had to be lashed to the walls to avoid painful contact (you see, many of us had the vivid recollection of the crashes that woke us). In most cases the dainty bureau scarfs upon which reposed the Cologne bottle, mirror, powder, hairpins, etc., etc., had dashed into one conglomerate, broken mass on the floor.
M. A. Gale and Warren Shannon (usually the life of the party) were seen in dejected heaps, with only half-closed eyes visible above the steamer robes.
Mrs. Carrie Schwabacher gathered about the piano those well enough to be about (after the storm had been raging for two days and nights), playing old-fashioned songs, to try to raise the drooping spirits.
Chanticleer never greeted the morning with gayer spirits than this party, when we saw the clouds had rolled away, and when someone repeated, "On the road to Mandilay, where the flying fishes play" (while we watched the flying fishes play), all the old familiar quotations took on a new significance of realty.
On October 10, Dorothy Gee, the Chinese girl banker of San Francisco, presided over the ceremony celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Chinese independence Day, held in the steerage. Besides giving a clever address, she acted as interpreter for the speeches delivered by F. R. Eldridge, chief of the Far Eastern Division for the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, A. F. Morrison and A. I. Esberg.
Many of us felt a great curiosity to see the engine that had pushed us through the storm, so we descended countless iron stairs, down to the very bottom of the ship; above us towered a bewildering assortment of ladders, levers, pipes and valves. The heat was over-powering, so we rushed to the ventilator and cooled off quickly. The deafening noise prevented us from hearing all the engineer's explanations. Next we were taken singly (as the space between the two massive doors will not permit of more) through the two massive doors separating the boilers from the rest of the ship. In case of an accident all the doors of the ship, including these, could be automatically closed from the deck, dividing the ship into three compartments.
We saw how the thirty-seven cakes of ice, consumed daily, were made, inspected the laundry and peeked in where the precious, rapidly diminishing liquors were stored, and we all felt satisfied that we knew "What made the wheels go around."
With the regular meetings of the Executive committee, with Herbert Hoover's Trade Investigation committee (consisting of Lansing Hoyt, C. J. Mayer, Gordon Enders, E. Kehich, Paul Steindorff and headed by F. R. Eldridge), mingling with the party to assist in establishing friendly commercial relationship; with all those identified with certain businesses and professions divided into groups, and even with the women organized, we felt ready to meet any Oriental dignitaries, or delegations.
We remember well how often Warren Shannon, with his unfailing humor, sent us into gales of laughter, auctioning off the numbers that represented the possible run of the ship on the following day. Louis Mooser bid the first one hundred dollars on the number that won the pool. C. H. Matlage, William Muir, F. H. Speich, Louis Brown, Mrs. S. Schwartz and Mrs. Carrie Schwabacher were also heavy bidders.
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