[an error occurred while processing this directive]What Volstead Did
for a South Sea Isle
Prohibition Caused Boom in Soft Drinks, and Bora Bora Rose to
Prosperity's Peak on Vanilla Bean Poles, Then Fell Again
by Armstrong Sperry
New York Herald Tribune, Sunday, March 28, 1926, p. 8
Note from the Webweaver: This is a fragment of
an article copied from a very tattered piece of newspaper. I will do my best to locate
the entire text -- perhaps it's available on microfilm -- and post it here.
[missing] lava and coral, lying unknown in the loneliest ocean in the world.
It is a story as strange in its small way as the gold rush of California or the discovery
of diamonds in Kimberley.
I had written many old friends that I was coming, champing at the bit in Tahiti,
until I should once more set foot upon Bora Bora. How wonderful that little harbor
looked as we rounded the rocky headlands in the treacherous "Jeanne d'Arc."
A crowd was gathered on shore and I scanned it anxiously for a glimpse of my friends.
As we drew nearer I saw many smiling familiar faces and the air quickened with calls
of "E Sperry iti e! Ua hoi mai oe!" (You have come back to us!)
But looking beyond the smiling faces to the wharf I saw a strange sight: a group
of automobiles. Seven-passenger Hudsons on Bora Bora! A motorcycle lay near by. A
whitewashed barn of a house proclaimed in large letters CINEMA, while lurid posters
of Tom Mix and Charlie Chaplin showed me that Hollywood had invaded even this retreat.
There were the young bloods dressed like tropical Valentinos and girls coifed à
la [missing]. Neat wooden bungalos with galvanized-iron roofs
bought on its sandy shore, but now champagne flowed like the proverbial water. Everyone
was gloriously and hilariously drunk from early dawn till dewy eve. My return was
the signal for many celebrations. Never will I forget the dinner given in my honor.
There were baked beans made and canned by Mr. Heinz; there were frankfurters from
Germany and sardines from Marseilles; spaghetti from Italy and maple syrup from Vermont.
Crême de menthe was served in water tumblers and champagne was followed by
cognac and crême de cacao. How unlike the dinner given on similar occasion
in former years, when we had eaten great steaks of raw tuna fish smothered in a sauce
made from lime juice and sea water!
Never will I forget my friend Mautaua as he sat that night at the head of the groaning
board, dressed in a black frock coat and starched shirt front, sweltering in the
tropic night, gloriously happy in his European finery; nor Tapeta, his mountainous
wife, seated opposite in [missing]
© The Estate of Armstrong Sperry
This page last updated Friday, 04/03/09,
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