A Natatorium sleepover story

Our post the other day about a 1942 lifeguard picture brought to light a delightful related story.

Emma Veary on “Long Story Short”

We mentioned that one of the people in the photo was Nana Veary, matron of the Natatorium and secretary to its superintendent, Walter Napoloeon.

We also mentioned that Mrs. Veary, who became a well-known Hawaiian spiritual teacher and author of Change We Must: My Spiritual Journey, was also the mother of Hawaii Music Hall of Fame singer Emma Veary.

The Natatorium was her bedroom

That brings us to the related story: How the Veary family came for a time to actually live at the Natatorium. Turns out their landlord needed their rental home back, and… well, let’s let Emma herself be the teller of this tale. It starts at about 5 minutes, 10 seconds into Part 2 of this 2008 Long Story Short interview that Emma gave to PBS Hawaii’s Leslie Wilcox.

A swim first thing in the morning and another last thing before bedtime. Sleeping on grandstands still warm from the daytime sun. “We were happy with our lot, and grateful,” Emma remembers.

Mahalo for the memories, Emma. We’d love to fix the Natatorium, reopen it and let some other little girl doze in the grandstands on some future warm summer evening.

Categories: History and Uncategorized.

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