The Making of the USO Exhibit

Uso

History has a funny way of coming to life. Without knowing it we are enlightened by events of the past. We become “detectives” as it were. One clue leads to another and discoveries are made.

It all started with a visit to Louise Smith a year ago. Cherie Attix and I went to her Kula home. Among the things she wanted to give the Museum was a shield-shaped plaque with a set of steer horns attached. Later we discovered in a photograph that the plaque came from the walls of the Crossroads USO Club that was located in the building presently occupied by Casanova Restaurant.

Recently, while talking to my friend Kristina Lyons, we discovered she had a large painting produced by a GI at the request of Ethel Baldwin, the organizer of the USO Club. The painting had been hanging on the front porch of the Lyons home for more than 60 years! Now, thanks to the generosity of Kristina Lyons, it graces a wall in the Museum and will be the focal point of our next exhibit.

The story doesn’t end there. Enter Maizie Cameron Sanford, the consummate keeper of Maui history. A number of years ago, she gave Kristina Lyons a treasure-trove of photographs, stories, names and places about the USO Club’s origins and activities. The Museum is fortunate to be able to photocopy the collection of photographs and letters that will be included in the exhibit.

By Darrell Orwig