Our Morris Minor

Since we had orders for Hawaii after West Point, and we were on the East Coast leaving from California on a military-contract ocean liner, we had to deal with our household goods and our car.

Now we couldn't see trying to have the Army ship all of our household goods by sea to Hawaii, especially our large mahogany bedroom suite. So, as I recall, the Army paid to move that and the other bulky furniture into storage (I think in Denver) while the smaller items went with us in foot lockers.

The car was another matter. While the Army would ship it to Hawaii, it was already 9 years old. It would make better sense to sell it in the states, and buy a new one either before we left or in Hawaii. Patsy and I discussed it, and decided we would drive it all the way to California, and trade it in for a new, but smaller car. Not much room to drive around on Oahu, Hawaii. Which car the Army would ship. We also would be able to visit Vernon Simpson, Patsy's older brother, in Los Angeles, where he had a restaurant, and he could help us find a good car dealer for a trade in. We would then drive our new car north from LA to Fort Stoneman where it would be turned in for shipping, after we visited my sister Dorothy and her two boys who lived in San Fransisco.

That worked out great. For we traded our getting-old car for a brand new, small, convertable English Morris Minor - a Morris 1000 model. And we lucked out when the Army was able to have it put right on the same ship we, and a substantial number of other military families sailed for assignments in Hawaii.

We, in effect, had the use of it just 24 hours after we docked in Honolulu.

Below is the first picture I took of it,  in Hawaii, with Patsy, David and Becky in it. I think I took that in the rental apartment area of Wahiawa - about 20 miles from Honolulu and just outside Schofield Barracks, where we first lived before I was made a Company Commander - which then required I live on Post in government housing.

That was our most wonderful car for tooling around Oahu, top down as much as it was up. The two kids loved it. And we brought it back from Hawaii after my 3 year tour.



                              Recreation on Oahu


 And of course as soon as we could, we headed for Waikiki Beach in Honolulu to enjoy it.

We would drive down the 20 miles from Wahiawa or Schofield Barracks through the Dole Pineapple and Sugar Cane fields past Pearl Harbor and end up in downtown Honolulu. And of course we would splash around in both the sea and in closed pools along the beach.   

And over time we would buy the native garb for everyone - Mumus, sandals and other things. So we could dress native when the spirit moved us and I had time off. 

On occasion we would venture around the eastern side of Oahu where the Marine bases were. 



You can see iconic Diamond Head in the background of this picture.

Patsy reminded us all, that she was born in the 'old' military Tripler Hospital on Oahu, living with her military family (Sergeant Bailey Simpson, Mary, and their oldest son) in quarters right ON the backside of Diamond Head, because it was, up through WWII, a Coast Artillery post, with cannon pointing out to sea.

She would get into trouble as a toddler, when she clambered up to where the gun ports were.

We were able, as Army personnel without much money, to take advantage of the fact the Army owned a small strip of the shore line, administered by Fort Shafter, the earliest Army Post on Hawaii.  Those facilities were where Army families who could hardly afford the pricey tourist-oriented hotels along the 'strip' could rent rooms, and still enjoy the same beach as the better heeled tourists.

In later years (1980s on) the Army contracted with a large new hotel complex called Hale Kola where active duty military personel from all branches, soldiers on 5 days 'R&R' breaks from combat in Vietnam and later wars, wounded warriors, all were offered large discounts for military families. 

Our Morris Minor made our three years on Oahu a joy to ride around in.