Matson Lines Sailed to Exotic South Seas

Advertising Posters Lured Travelers to Adventure

Hawaii steamship

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Now that spring’s balmy breezes are here, we’re reminded that there are adventures awaiting and a world to explore. For decades the legendary Matson Shipping Lines turned people’s travel dreams into reality.

 

couple-in-moonlight

1963 Matson Lines Ocean Liner Cruise Ship Pacific

Paradise on beach

From the early to mid-1900s, long before we lived in a 24/7 global, connected world, the Matson Shipping Lines sailed to exotic places that most people only dreamed about.

tahiti

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its world-class luxury liners provided the fastest, finest and most elegant service available to the Hawaiian Islands, Polynesia, New Zealand and Australia.

girl with yellow floweraustralia

new-zealand

Offering the promise of South Seas adventures and tropical paradises, the cruise line commissioned top artists and photographers to create advertising posters that would lure travelers to book passage on its ships traversing the Pacific Ocean.

 

Artists Frank Macintosh, John Kelly, Eldridge Logan, Louis Macouillaird, Richard Moore and Eugene Savage all painted iconic island scenes for Matson.

luau

Even famed photographers Edward Steichen and Anton Breuhl got on board to celebrate the Matson dream.

Matson horizontal ship

samoa menu

Ladies with fruit basket

Steichen photo ad in VogueThe advertising posters were showcased in adventure and travel magazines ranging from National Geographic to Holiday and in glossy fashion magazines like Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.

1949-matson-cruise-line-lurine-captains-table

That era of glamorous adventures on the high seas may have come to an end, but the posters and the dreams live on.

honemooners A

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Flamingos Add Color to Life!

Birds are In the Pink

Caribbean_flamingo

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Lightmatter_flamingo

The word “flamingo” comes from Spanish, meaning flame – an apt choice for the brightly-hued birds. Whether wading in the water or in flight, flamingos are a sight to see.

Flamingo_flying

The long-legged animals themselves are native to parts of Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Mexico and other temperate-to-tropical locales.

flamingos wading in water

But their plastic namesakes – the garden décor variety – are likely to pop up anywhere, especially in beach communities. In fact, there are probably more of the hot-pink plastic flamingos than the natural ones.

plastic flamingos in yard

Don Featherstone

A garden accessory as popular – and some would say as essential – as the garden gnome and tiki torch, pink flamingos came to take up roost on our lawns and patios because of one person – Massachusetts artist and inventor Donald Featherstone, who developed them in 1957 as a product for his employer Union Products, a plastics manufacturer.

plastic flamingo

What better way to showcase the company’s plastics than to mold them into the eye-catching birds?

Plastic-pink-flamingos garden box

Both praised and put down by art critics and everyday people alike, pink flamingos have stood the test of time and become iconic symbols of a fun-loving lifestyle that isn’t afraid to be flamboyant (another word that means flame).

flamingo-fun-plastic surfing

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel have caught sight of the pink birds at the beach and throughout the OC. In fact, Patti even has a pink flamingo in her own back yard.

DSC05502

Plastic flamingo at beach

Patti’s husband Greg likes the colorful birds, too, even if he finds them puzzling.

Inspired by a wildlife photo in National Geographic magazine, Featherstone’s neon pink flamingo creation is now a bird for the ages, inviting us to look at the lighter side of life and to add a splash of color.

flamingo and palm tree postcard

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Puerto Rican Parrots Rebound!

Recovering After Hurricane Maria’s Devastation

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

When SurfWriter Girls first wrote about the parrots of Puerto Rico scientists were working hard to save the iconic Puerto Rican Parrots after Hurricane Maria decimated most of their jungle habitat in the tropical forest of El Yunque.

Only two out of 56 wild parrots survived the massive hurricane that struck the US island territory in September 2017.

In the 1800s there were more than 1 million wild parrots in Puerto Rico. But, over a century of forest clearing and development virtually extinguished them, leaving only 13 birds in the wild in the 1970s until a breeding program increased the population to 56. Then came the hurricane.

It became more important than ever for the island’s breeding program to save the bird population. Birds in captivity were waiting to be released into the wild in the El Yunque and Rio Abajo forests, but before that could happen scientists needed to make sure that there was sufficient habitat and food to support them.

With many of the tall trees where the parrots would nest gone and the protective forest canopy of leaves and branches still thinned, it was a challenge to find safe places for the parrots.

Marisel ­Lopez, who’s in charge of Puerto Rico’s parrot recovery program, said at the time that “the priority now is to start releasing them” and hoped that in 2019 the first group of 20 parrots would be able to venture out. The birds were released and since then, due to the success of the program, other groups have followed.

Now more than 200 parrots are in the wild and the jungle is alive with the unique sounds that they make.

Parrot Love Haiku

by SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti

Vibrant wild parrots

of Puerto Rico still sing.

Two against the storm.

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Hail to the Monarchs!

Majestic Butterflies Return to CA

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

“For everything there is a season.” – Ecclesiastes

Along California’s central coast the majestic orange-and-black Monarch Butterflies have made this the season to return after years of declining numbers during their fall/winter migrations.

In Pacific Grove, a key resting stop on the butterflies’ migration from the Pacific Northwest to Mexico (November to March), over 12,000 butterflies were counted in 2021. In 2020 fewer than 2,000 butterflies were counted. Some areas had none.

Looking at the butterflies’ arrivals at other spots so far – Pismo Beach counted over 22,000 thru December – it’s estimated that there will be at least 100,000 butterflies throughout the West this season. A cause for celebration.

Seeing the butterflies arriving has been good news for California after growing fears that they might not come back at all. Given the obstacles they face – from dwindling habitat due to farming and housing development to lack of water and food – the Monarchs have a difficult journey each year.

Scientists aren’t sure what’s caused the bounce-back in the butterflies. Ironically, some have speculated that it may be because the state’s drought has created warmer, dryer flying conditions. And environmental groups have been working to plant more milkweed and nectar plants – sources of food – at the butterflies’ roosting sites.

Whatever the case, the butterflies’ return this season is encouraging. And, while it’s far from the highs of the 1980’s when there were millions of Monarchs, still it’s a stunning sight to see them in flight again.

Hail to the Monarchs! Long may they reign.

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Pantone’s Color of the Year

Very Peri Blooms in 2022

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

It’s that time again when the Pantone Color Institute chooses its Color of the Year – a choice that influences design, fashion, home furnishings, packaging, and much more.

For 2022, Pantone was inspired by the blue periwinkle flowers that bloom in so many gardens and created Very Peri, “a dynamic periwinkle blue with a vivifying violet red undertone” that the New Jersey-based color influencer says embodies “an empowering mix of trust, faith, energy and verve.”

In choosing its Color of the Year, Pantone relies on a panel of experts in the fashion and design fields, arts and entertainment, and social media.  Now, that it’s officially announced, Very Peri is already showing up in home decor and fashion.

A color that brings to mind the blue in Claude Monet’s impressionist painting Water Lilies, periwinkle has many associations and names, such as sorcerer’s violet and fairy’s paint brush. The color has a dreaminess to it and a sense of untold possibilities.

While Pantone has long been the arbiter of the new year’s dominant color since its first COTY selection in 1999, other rival companies have started making selections of their own, including paint manufacturers Sherwin-Williams (Evergreen Fog) and Benjamin Moore (October Mist) – both, coincidentally, shades of green.

But, if blue or green isn’t your cup of tea, there’s still coffee. When the Wall St. Journal asked readers to come up with their own COTYs, Eileen Ferris, SurfWriter Girl Patti’s sister, submitted this color featured by the WSJ: “Toffee Nut Latte – a warm pale beige reminiscent of the most dependable source of normality that I have relied on through the pandemic.”

Whatever colors brighten your year, each adds another dimension to the color palette. And, in the case of Pantone’s Very Peri, it symbolizes “transition and happiness” – things much in demand now.

So, let color bloom in 2022 and color your world beautiful.

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Surf Artist Drew Brophy Needs Community’s Help

Creating Wonders, Making Waves

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Surf artist Drew Brophy has been creating artistic wonders and paying it forward to help upcoming surf artists his whole career. Now he is seriously ill with Covid and needs the support of the community to recover.

See Drew’s story below and find out how you can help:

A pen in the right hands can create wonders. This is especially true when it’s one of the Posca paint pens surf artist Drew Brophy uses to apply his electrifying images on stretched canvas and surfboards.

“The pens saved my life,” says Brophy, explaining that they enabled him to paint in an entirely different way, freed from the labor intensive and messy air brush methods he had used before. Paintings that took all day to do could be done in a fraction of that time. And the detail and clarity were far superior.

Brophy’s journey to becoming one of the world’s top surf artists wasn’t easy, filled with setbacks, rejections, and questions about whether he could turn his passion for surfing and painting into a career. But, through it all he never lost faith in his abilities and desire to create his own unique vision for all to see.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel are always in awe of Brophy’s powerful paintings and how they draw you into another world of color and excitement. You’re in a parallel universe where the suns are brighter and the oceans are bluer.

Raised in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, when Brophy was four years old his dad got him a Styrofoam kickboard and he wrote his name “Drew” on it with crayons. “It was the first board I ever painted,” says Brophy. Who would have guessed that this was the start of the surfing and painting life Brophy has made for himself?

Along the way, one pivotal event helped him to find his path to success. It was an act of kindness by a family friend. In 1992 Brophy was talking to his parents and their friends the Rosens about some colored ink pens he thought would be great for painting surfboards, but they were only available in Japan.

“Two weeks later I came home and was surprised to find a giant box on the kitchen table. It was full of Uni Posca paint pens of every size and color,” Brophy recalls. “Mr. Rosen had gone to Japan on business and searched all over the city to find them for me.”

With his wife Maria, who he met in 1996, by his side Brophy has achieved a level of success greater than he ever dreamed. His soulmate – the Yin to his Yang – Maria is also a marketing expert who has helped Brophy find his artistic niche and develop a global audience.

Brophy has painted surfboards and skateboards, T-shirts and shoes, music CD covers, event posters, giant canvasses, worked with brands (Liquid Force Wakeboards, Keen Footwear, Billabong, Google, Pepsi, Hard Rock Casino), exhibited in museums and his own gallery in San Clemente, CA.

SurfWriter Girls and Patti’s husband Greg Kishel were at the gallery for the launch of Brophy’s new book Painting Surfboards and Chasing Waves. Written with Maria, it tells his incredible story and message to artists: “Find you passion and pair it with your art.”

And, pay it forward. On his travels he always leaves some Posca paint pens behind so upcoming surf artists can use them to create their own wonders.

A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help Drew heal. If you’d like to pay it forward back to Drew, click on this link: GoFundMeDrewBrophy

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Vital Farms Brightens the Holidays

Making a Vital Difference

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

With the holidays here and everyone thinking about special meals and celebrations it’s nice to see a family farm that is devoted to “improving the lives of people, animals and the planet through food.”

The chickens and cows at Vital Farms couldn’t be happier. At this collective of family farms that was established in 2007 “the girls” are allowed to roam free with year-round outdoor access. The goal is “to bring honest food, ethically produced to your table.”

Vital Farms says that it began as a single-family farm in Austin, Texas. “As we grew, we didn’t want to make our farm bigger. So, we found more like-minded farmers who put the welfare of their feathered friends first. And today we partner with over 225 small family farms who give the girls the outdoor lifestyle they deserve.”

Unlike conventionally raised “factory” chickens that are kept in cages, the pasture-raised chickens at Vital Farms each have at least 108 sq. ft. of pasture and plenty of fresh air and sunshine.

And the cows aren’t confined to barns or fenced-in yards either, but allowed to contentedly graze in open pastures, putting them in a “mooed” to create delicious milk for an array of dairy products.

The company’s website has a video that lets you see the chickens enjoying the outdoors, stretching their legs and foraging for local grasses, succulents and wildflowers.

And it prints the name of the farm where the eggs came from on each box so you can see for yourself.  When SurfWriter Girls looked at the box we had just bought we were surprised to see that the name of the farm – K & K – was the same name as Patti and Greg’s consulting business. Small world.

SurfWriter Girl Sunny discovered the delicious eggs from Vital Farms a few years ago and has been a fan of them ever since. She’s not alone. The farm’s egg and milk products are sold nationwide in over 16,500 stores.

So, they’re sure to find a place at many Thanksgiving tables and holiday meals, making everyone – the chickens, cows and us – all a little happier.

Happy Holidays!

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Coral Reefs Dazzle with Color!

More Fall Colors to Sea

 Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

With autumn’s red and gold leaves taking center stage now, it’s easy to overlook the dazzling colors hidden from sight below the sea in the ocean’s coral reefs.

Exotic and mysterious, coral reefs around the world, from Hawaii and the Caribbean to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef exist in an endless variety of color.

More than just objects of beauty, coral reefs are underwater living ecosystems that provide food and shelter to more than 25% of the ocean’s sea life. Coral reefs have been called the “rainforests of the sea.”

And like trees protecting the land from the elements, coral reefs protect the world’s shorelines from storms and erosion and help to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.

The different colors of the reefs – red, orange, yellow, blue, pink, and more – come from the mix of algae in their tissues and varying light conditions and water temperatures. The brighter and bolder the colors, the healthier the reefs.

Marine scientists are working to keep the vivid colors in the reefs – no easy task given the threats from climate change, pollution, habitat destruction and overfishing.

In her children’s book The Great Barrier Thief author Dr. Sue Pillans (AKA “Suzie Starfish”), a marine scientist and visual artist, tackles the problem of “coral bleaching” and the reasons that many coral reefs are losing their colors.

With the help of her protagonist, a pink fish named Anthia, Pillans hopes to ensure that the Great Barrier Reef doesn’t lose its dazzling colors.

From the tallest trees to the deepest coral treasures SurfWriter Girls are excited about the world of fall colors to sea.

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Japan’s Ichigo Ichie

Living in the Moment

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Summer is always a time to relax and make time for ourselves, something that’s especially important now. While you’re enjoying sunny days, the Japanese philosophy of ichigo ichie (living in the moment) may be just what you need to regenerate.

A phrase that might sound silly the first time you hear it, ichigo ichie is a tenet of Zen Buddhism that dates to 16th century Japanese tea ceremonies.

It calls on us to use all our senses to take in and celebrate the beauty of the moment, here and now. Instead of fixating on the past or worrying about the future, it is a chance to get rid of our negative emotions and feelings of fear, sadness, or anger.

Performing the tea ceremony’s intricate rituals of preparing and drinking the tea causes us to focus intently on each step of the process and the environment itself, being fully engaged in the moment and finding harmony and tranquility.

Ichigo ichie also heightens our awareness of the fleeting nature of time and the need to embrace the things and experiences that are meaningful to us before they are gone – such as the famed Japanese cherry blossoms that only bloom for a short time in the spring.

When Japanese greet each other by saying “ichigo ichie” it tells you that the encounter is unique and special and should not be allowed to slip away. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be savored.

By employing ichigo ichie and savoring the moment we can enhance our awareness and joy of life and create harmonious interactions with others.

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Kimonos Showcase Olympics

Japan’s Wearable Art at Games in 2021 

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

The kimono, the national garment of Japan, has been worn by emperors and samurai, Buddhist monks and geishas, the rich and the poor.

Now, in preparation for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics Games, through its KIMONO Project, Japan has created 213 handmade kimonos inspired by each participating country’s culture, history, and scenery.

Valued at 1 million yen each – $9,000 – the handmade kimonos are each made by leading kimono artists using traditional handwoven and dyeing techniques.

Whether for everyday activities or to celebrate a wedding, formal occasion, festival – or even the Olympics – kimonos, with their different patterns and designs, are woven into the fabric of Japanese life.

A quintessential part of Japanese culture, the kimono was introduced into Japan’s Imperial Court by envoys from China’s Tang Dynasty during the Kofun period (300-538 AD).

Over the following years the original Chinese designs were supplanted by Japanese motifs often representing nature and the seasons. Made from the richest silks and finest cottons, kimonos are known for their deep colors and intricate patterns.

One of the most popular motifs is the Three Friends of Winter pattern depicting images of pines, plums. and bamboo – plants that do not wither in the harsh winter days. The pattern represents prosperity.

Kimonos with cherry blossom motifs are often worn just before Japan’s famous cherry blossoms bloom in the spring. But, only until the blossoms start to bloom because it’s considered unlucky to try to compete with the real blossoms.

Depending on the fabric and method of construction, kimonos can range in price from a modest amount to upward of $50,000.

Among the most beautiful kimonos are those made by Chiso, the iconic Kyoto kimono house established in 1555 that created the KIMONO Project Olympics kimono representing Japan. Chiso’s hand-crafted kimonos can take up to eighteen months to make and involve a production process of 20 to 25 steps.

Wrapping the wearer in folds of timeless fashion, the kimono truly is Japan’s wearable art…and the perfect showcase for the beauty and strength of the Olympics Games – games that for the first time will include surfing, which, like the kimono, has a long and storied tradition.

Let the games begin!

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Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to this copyrighted material. Publications wishing to reprint it may contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com Individuals and non-profit groups are welcome to post it on social media sites as long as credit is given.