COURTESY CARTER BLACK
Carter Black's painting of the Moana Hotel from the ocean shows the pier that fronted the hotel in the 1920s.
Artist captures the Moana of another era
When a former Army corporal receives a handwritten letter of thanks from a retired Army chief of staff on stationery bearing four stars, it is a much-appreciated keepsake to be framed. And that's what I did with a letter that retired Gen. Fred Weyand
sent me. He wrote to thank me for writing about a reception for the general, thrown by First Hawaiian Bank CEO Don Horner
last August, for being the man behind the construction of the Hale Koa Hotel. Sen. Dan Inouye
attended, as did a former Army chief of staff from Hawaii, retired Gen. Eric Shinseki
OK, fast forward: With Gen. Weyand's letter in hand, I entered Kevin Brewer's Frame-Arts Hawaii to have the letter framed. There I saw a large, striking painting of the Moana Hotel, a view of the First Lady of Waikiki from the beach when she had a pier. The hotel opened in 1901 and the painting, 7 feet wide, shows how the hotel and Waikiki Beach looked in the 1920s. The pier was removed in 1930, according to hotel records. I told Kevin that I remembered the old Moana, not when the pier was there, but not too many years later. I told him I enjoyed the painting and he took me a few doors from his shop to meet the artist, Carter Black.
Carter was finishing up another large painting of the hotel, this one with a view of Diamond Head. The home of Frank Hustace, a Ward Estate heir, was located on the Diamond Head side of the hotel and is in the paintings. Imagine having a home on Waikiki Beach, which was rather bare at the time. Carter says he enjoys painting historical structures. After the paintings were framed, Carter and Kevin and helpers took them to the Moana Hotel's new Beachhouse restaurant, and hung them on the Diamond Head wall. I checked them out Saturday. It's a perfect place for the paintings, as the Beachhouse has views of the ocean and the Moana's spacious lanai, which is similar to those that gracious homes and hotels had in old Hawaii. It's well worth a visit ...
Maestro comfortable with 'Don Carlo'
There's good reason why Maestro Ivan Torzs
feels right at home conducting the Hawaii Opera Theatre's production of "Don Carlo," opening Friday at Blaisdell Concert Hall. He has conducted many HOT productions over the years, but this is the first time he's working on an opera that bears a close relationship to the historic region where he resides. He is general music director for the Flemish National Opera. Don Carlo unfolds around the conflict over the area known today as the Netherlands, a hotbed of the reformation during the reign of Don Carlo's father, King Philip II of Spain. It was the will of King Philip to force the people of this region, a Spanish colony at the time, to become Catholics. Torzs says the area has pockets of deep religious convictions that impassion daily life even today ...
, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of people, places and things in our Hawaii. E-mail him at email@example.com