Extraordinary Stories

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The "A Shop Called 'Newt'"Story

The Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Honolulu.
It was an ordinary day.  Trying to kill some time before we head to the island of Kauai.  We are staying in a hotel in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii so we decided to head down the street to the pink colored place we could see from our 11th floor room at the Aqua Waikiki Wave.  Took the elevator to the lobby and headed toward the beach and the pink place.  
The window of Newt.
Wasn't long before we were on the grounds of The Royal Hawaiian Hotel situated on world famous Waikiki Beach.  The Royal Hawaiian is known as "The Pink Palace of the Pacific" and was built in 1927.  It was upgraded four years ago and now offers a new era of redefined luxury in 2014.  
"Newt" owner, Jim.
Walked the grounds and thought we would take a look at the lobby when we discovered a row of stores at ground level along the side of the hotel.  As Carol was visiting a jewelry store, I wondered past a few of the other stores. There, in one of the windows, was this beautiful "Aloha Shirt" staring back at me.   As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it.  Grabbed Carol and entered the shop known only by one word: "Newt."  Standing inside was this finely dressed gentleman wearing the neatest Aloha Shirt.  "I love that shirt," I said to him.  He replied, "I've had it for 7 years and it's not for sale."
Display showing the "classic" Hawaiian Shirts.
Well, we got to talking and before long I had selected a new "Hawaiian Shirt" for my collection.  The design is one of a kind and can only be found at the store called Newt.  Jim, the store owner, bought the store from Mr. Newton years ago.  The popularity of the Hawaiian Shirt or Aloha Shirt can be dated from July of 1939 when Ellery J. Chun began selling new Aloha Shirts in the King-Smith Clothiers shop in Honolulu.  
Another view of the inside of the store.
Mr. Chun's sister, Ether Chun Lum, created the designs on the rayon shirts.  They were so popular with the tourist trade that they quickly sold out.   "Newt" Tropical Sports Wear has remained true to the original designs of the Hawaiian Shirt in both pattern and cut.  The shirts date back to the original patterns of the 1940's and 1950's.  The shirts feature material that is fabric washed before cutting to eliminate shrinking.  Also has 12 stitches to the inch, real coconut or mother of pearl buttons, pockets that match the pattern of the shirt and vents for comfort and fit.  I had a hard time deciding between about six patterns, but finally chose the "Ti Leaf" design which features plants.  
Pattern on my new shirt.
The plant is considered sacred to the Hawaiian god Lono and to the goddess of Hula, Laka.  As Carol and I stood and talked with Jim, we quickly realized that we needed to return to our hotel to catch our flight to Kauai.  My visit was fruitful with a new shirt and a new friend.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

2 comments:

  1. The shirts date back to the original patterns of the 1940's and 1950's. The shirts feature material that is fabric washed before cutting to eliminate shrinking. Also has 12 stitches to the inch, real coconut or mother of pearl buttons, pockets that match the pattern of the shirt and vents for comfort and fit.
    TV T Shirts

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  2. Thanks for the comment. I loved the place and the designs they had.

    ReplyDelete