Since I was away for Labor Day weekend and have not had time to write a full post, this week’s edition of Mystery Dancer brings you a photographic treat instead. Over the past week, I corresponded with one of the authors of “Hollywood to Honolulu: The Story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company [LASSCO],” the book I mentioned in a previous post (“Ursula’s Hawaiian Adventure”). This fascinating volume chronicles the history of the company that owned and operated several cruise ships — including those that Ursula sailed on – running between California and Hawaii during the “Roaring Twenties.”
Co-author Gordon Ghareeb has generously shared with me the pages of a 1930 LASSCO promotional brochure that features several photographs of the S.S. City of Honolulu, the luxury ocean liner on which Ursula and her friend Elizabeth spent six days at sea steaming toward the Aloha State (well, U.S. “territory” back then). Sailing first-class, Ursula was one of 301 passengers on board. She may have rubbed elbows (or gone swimming!) with ex-Senator James Wadsworth of New York, movie comedy star Chester Conklin, and other prominent fellow travelers.
I’m not sure if Ursula and Elizabeth shared a stateroom (or suite), or had their own rooms, but they would have been comfortable (if seasick – they did encounter some rough seas on their ocean voyage). With the City of Honolulu, LASSCO aimed to duplicate the experience “of the most palatial of hotels.” The brochure touts staterooms with comfortable beds, hot and cold running fresh water, electric fans and heaters, and ample space for clothing. (For more ship details, please see the “Hawaii-Bound” post.)
The following photos (thank you, Gordon!) will give you a glimpse of what Ursula’s life was like aboard the elegant ship.