Remembering Shirley Temple’s Hawaii connections

Shirley Temple and Duke Kahanamoku. Courtesy: Bob Sigall

American sweetheart and beloved child star Shirley Temple passed away Monday night at her home in California from natural causes at the age of 85.

Temple was already a Hollywood star when she and her parents traveled to Hawaii in July of 1935.

“Fifteen thousand people came to greet her ship and it scared her. Until she saw Duke Kahanamoku in the crowd. And Duke Kahanamoku waved at her and she yelled at him, and pretty soon she was on his shoulders,” author and historian Bob Sigall said.

Temple fell in love with the islands.

“They brought her to this hotel the Royal Hawaiian and she enjoyed the beach here,” Sigall said.

One of the reasons they stayed at the Pink Palace was because her favorite color was pink. And it was at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, where many say history was made.

“The staff of the Mai Tai Bar just behind me would create a drink for her the ‘Shirley Temple,'” Sigall said.

The Shirley Temple, made with ginger ale, grenadine, a splash of orange juice and a cherry, is still enjoyed by millions across the globe.

It was on that same visit when she met another soon-to-be famous beach boy, Lex Brodie.

“And when Shirley Temple came, they lined the beach boys up in front of their surfboards and Lex was one of them. You can’t miss him. He’s tall and thin and light-colored hair,” Sigall said.

“I love Honolulu and I hope I can come back someday. Aloha,” Temple said in a video provided by Movietone .

She’d return to Hawaii in January of 1950, where she met her second husband, Charles Black.  Black had served during World War II and was a surfer and executive living on Oahu.

“And the surf was flat that day, so he went to this party that he was invited to and he met her and he did not know who she was. And she was taken by the fact that he wasn’t star struck,” Sigall said.

The two fell in love and were married in December.

“She said it was love at first sight for her, not for him,” Sigall said.

They remained married for 54 years until his death in 2005.

It was a match made in Hawaii for a woman who had much aloha for the islands.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s