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Aloha, Joan Crawford

It was something to sustain her through the long, involved production of Daisy Kenyon. Whenever the lights seemed too hot, or her temper too uncertain, she could think of it. Hawaii. Long, cool nights, and palm trees, and stars. Long, golden days, and clean sand, and water stretching to the other end of the world.

Then, in the middle of packing, she weakened. “I don’t know, Theo—” Theo Larsen, her friend and secretary, slammed the catch shut on a small suitcase, and turned to glare. “You may not know, but I do. You’re worn out, and you’re going.”

“Three weeks,” Joan said miserably. “And the kids not coming.”

The kids, Christopher and Christina, had already ensconced themselves in the car, and were waiting for their mother, their mother’s luggage, and the chance to drive to the dock and see the Matsonia.

The Matsonia, a troop transport during the war, is now converted into a glamor boat, and it’s the only luxury ship which makes the trip to Honolulu.

It impressed Christopher and Christina considerably. At the party in Joan’s stateroom, they scrambled around inspecting portholes and trying beds, while Joan grew tearful.

“I thought for a minute you were going to follow them clear off the boat,” Theo said later. “Cheer up. Think of the good long rest in Honolulu.”

Joan thought, and was mildly cheered. Six hours later, she and Theo were both so sick they had to keep each other from jumping overboard. Theo was sicker; she couldn’t even go down to eat. Joan had dinner at the Captain’s table, but she didn’t gorge.

And when they docked at Honolulu, there were 15,000 fans lined up to see her arrive. “Oh, no, no, no,” she murmured, torn between pleasure and despair. “How lovely of them to come, and how I wish they hadn’t—”

She was terribly grateful and proud that: 15,000 people should have cared that much about her, but she needed a rest, and it looked as though she wouldn’t be getting it.

By the time she got to her room at the Royal Hawaiian, she’d decided that she and Theo would take the Matsonia right back, on its return voyage.

Before that, though, they had a couple of days on the island, and the days were wonderfully pleasant, full of sun, and exercise, and as few autographs as possible.

When they got on the boat again, Joan was wearing a lei she’d been given, and as the Matsonia pulled away, she threw the flowers overboard. (This is a custom which signifies the flower-thrower’s intention to return some day.)

All the way home, Joan and Theo were only moderately seasick, and had to take fewer seasickness pills, which was fortunate, because they’d about run out of their supply.

They talked, casually, sprawled in chairs on the deck. “I think maybe I’ll head for New York next,” Joan said. “See some shows—Finian’s Rainbow—buy some clothes—”

Theo began to sneer.

“—and take the kids with me,” she went on.

“Oh,” said Theo thoughtfully. “I see.”





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