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Gale Cocanour's Gama's Hawaiian Quilt


Grama would be thrilled to see her quilt on the internet, let alone spotless. She passed away at 104 yrs. last march. She never saw the internet, but she saw the overthrow of the monarchy and Halley's comet twice! (her comment the second time "Ho, junk dis time, small, las time was beeg!"

Here is what dad wrote about the history: (dad has lived in the islands all his life. The family saw the bombing of pearl harbor as they got out of church that fateful day.....).  

The kapa was a gift from the women, the Hawaiian women of Kunawai lane. They had a quilting bee and made grandmas quilt as a wedding present about 1925. Shoo Tsin Kau Tseu's father (gram's dad), Kau Tet On, owned the store on the Makai corner of Kunawai Lane and Liliha street from about 1910. His primary language was Cantonese., his second language was Hawaiian and his third language was English.  I remember his speaking Hawaiian when we visited him 1930's. He sold the store about 1940 just before the war and when the family went over papers after he died in 1942 or so, they were shocked that he let his Hawaiian neighbors on Kunawai lane and others there charge their groceries to the ultimate debt of $25,000 during the depression. The family knew he let his neighbors charge for groceries but had no idea the amount was so large. Teachers made about $200.00 a month then. (grama was a teacher) My grandfather said the family always had enough to eat so that was ok. He also owned the cottages behind Kunawai lane but could hardly collect the rent during the depression. He kept roofs over all the families living in his cottages.  

I remember mom (grama tseu) traveling to Honolulu to attend the funeral during wartime and the blackout and martial law.  I remember the store/home, It was two stories tall with the kitchen in back of the store, bedrooms on the second floor, there was a big mango tree in the backyard under which we ate breakfast and dinner most of the time.

Mom told me that the streetcars in Liliha street were horsedrawn in her childhood and that she saw Halley's comet then and it was so big and bright you could see it during the day.