Joined: Nov 03, 2006
|Posted: 2006-11-03 11:54 am  Permalink|
This is fantastic! My son, Archipelago, informed me about the site, and I think I can make some interesting contributions.
My father, Joe Chastek, first was introduced to Polynesia when he and a high school buddy stowed away to the Philippines when they were both 17. After that, he became so immersed in the culture that it literally became his whole life until he died in 1995. He was one of the first to open a nightclub with the South Seas motif. His first was the Zamboanga, where he entertained movie stars and sports celebrities. The Zamboanga was featured on the TV Biography series that discussed early 1940's South Seas nightclubs in Los Angeles. His second nightclub was the Tradewinds. His third, the Vagabond's House was on Wilshire Blvd in LA, and was incredibly popular with, again, movie stars and sports celebrities.
I have been communicating with a man who is writing a book about Don Blanding, who wrote the original poem, "Vagabond House". He and my father were acquaintances, and I am fortunate enough to have some of their correspondence and a picture of Don. My son has posted a few pictures from the Zamboanga, which I was pleased to see. One of Joe's close friends at that nightclub was Johnny Weismuller. I have a very early picture of the two of them, and then have a later one taken at the Vagabond's House years later.