On March 3, 2018, historian Rick Helin premiered his production of "SS Malolo, The Millionaires Cruise of 1929" to his colleagues at The California Pioneers of Santa Clara. Now in the hands of PBS station WGBH Boston, this original and captivating film documents the infamous Pacific Tour that was sponsored by the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and Matson Navigation Company. Some 350 specially selected millionaires left San Francisco on September 21, 1929, for the most luxurious cruise ever offered, sailing aboard the new luxury liner SS Malolo. In just over a month, they would learn of the world's largest stock market crash, that marked the beginning of the Great Depression. Journalist Phillip Andrew Hamilton attended and chronicled the event in his blog https://HamiltonHistoricalRecords.Wordpress.com/Blog/.
Shown above are, at left, journalist and blogger Phillip Andrew Hamilton, and author McPhail. At right, Hamilton appears with historian Rick Helin and a colleague from California Pioneers of Santa Clara. Helin's web site is: https://www.ssmalolo.com/.
We started in 2015 at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, generously sponsored by donors to Hanna Boys Center in Sonoma. Then we were welcomed at Book Passage in Corte Madera, then Books Inc. stores in Palo Alto, San Francisco and Mountain View, and Talk Story Book Store in Hanapepe, Kauai.
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July 13, 2016 (Wednesday) at 7PM: Books Inc. Mountain View (301 Castro St., MV 94041...650.428.1234). Books Inc. manager Harriet Moss and a standing-room audience provided a thoughtful welcome and asked lively questions at McPhail's home-town bookstore, Books Inc. on Castro Street in Mountain View. A followup book event was scheduled with a local book club.
April 3, 2016 (Sunday) 2 to 5PM, Table Discussions. 430PM Reading From "The Millionaires Cruise": Palo Alto Rinconada Library, at 1213 Newell Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303. At the invitation of librarian Anita Delaney, Palo Alto H.S. alum Donald McPhail returned to his hometown library to participate in the annual Local Authors Festival. McPhail graduated from Paly in 1958 and went on to a forty-year travel industry career. His novel is found in the Local Interest Collection.
January 13, 2016 (Wednesday) at 7PM: Books Inc. San Francisco, Laurel Village in Presidio Heights (3515 California St, SF 94118...415.221.3666). http://www.booksinc.net/book/9780692366110
Author and former travel and hospitality executive Donald McPhail returned to San Francisco where his career began. His travel novel "The Millionaires Cruise: Sailing Toward Black Tuesday" had its earliest roots back in 1965 when he was studying world literature at San Francisco State and working nights at United Airlines. Many thanks to Books Inc. and Ingrid Nystrom for a lively and and sophisticated audience. Ingrid's own affection for Matson Lines and ships like the Lurline and Malolo reinforced McPhail's description of the 1929 Millionaires Cruise.
2015 was a big year for "The Millionaires Cruise", with regular mention in local media, along with three major book events and two feature articles in July and August. A festive launch-party at San Francisco's elegant St. Francis Yacht Club was sponsored by Hanna Boys Center, a renowned residential school and treatment center for troubled young men, located in Sonoma. This special recognition was followed by two notable Bay Area book events. These were held at Northern California's most respected book stores: Book Passage and Books Inc. Enthusiastic participants greeted me and my special guests, musician Dick Fregulia at Book Passage in Corte Madera, and historian Rick Helin at Books Inc. in Palo Alto. Dick provided a lively shipboard atmosphere with jazz tunes from the 1929 era. Rick presented fascinating historic findings and extraordinary photos, all from the actual 1929 millionaires cruise.
July 18 (Saturday) at 7PM, The Book Passage in Corte Madera, California
A large, fun crowd. We enjoyed lively music from the Twenties by acclaimed jazz pianist and Paly classmate Dick Fregulia. Lots of audience participation with questions and comments. Thanks to Sam Barry and his Book Passage team! They bring unique events and cultural activities to the Bay Area, and they really know how to help new young authors like me!
July 23 (Thursday) at 7PM, Books Inc. in Palo Alto (Town & Country Village), California
Standing-room-only for this Palo Alto presentation, located just across the street from my 1958 alma mater, Paly High School. Historian Rick Helin joined me, presenting new discoveries from this 1929 Pacific tour, including a possible documentary film created from recently-discovered black-and-white movies from the actual cruise.