ISSUE TOTAL SIZE
We could have gone so many directions with Hawaii, topic wise. I'll go so far as to say it is the most unique state in the Union. Alaska comes in at a close second, though Hawaii's terrain and climate is unmatched. Kona Coffee is among the most savored and expensive coffees in the world.
I've never had the pleasure of enjoying a cup of Hawaii's Kona coffee, and it's probably best, as I drown my coffee with a load of cappucino flavoring, drowning out any hint of class in my coffee bean choice.
First Day of Issue
October 25, 2002
NY, NY 10199
Today we are focusing on the baby of the family, Hawaii. She is the 50th state to join the Union, but that didn’t happen until 1959. Actually, Hawaii and Alaska were both welcomed into the family the same year, with Alaska obtaining legal status in January and Hawaii in August. Hawaii is the only U.S. state able to grow coffee plants commercially. It is not the only coffee grown on U.S. soil, as Puerto Rico also has a coffee industry, but Puerto Rico is not a state, rather a U.S. territory. As far back as 1813 there are journal recordings of coffee seedlings planted on the island of O’ahu, but the fate of those plantings is unknown. In 1825 coffee plants were brought in from Brazil by a gardener under the leadership of Captain Lord Byron, with the governor providing land in the same region for the experiment. Unfortunately, two years into the project, the gardener passed away and thus his trees. However, cuttings were taken from those trees to other areas around Honolulu. On the island of Hawaii, Rev. Joseph Goodrich planted coffee as a means of sustaining the Hilo mission he ran. Over his 12 year tenure at Hilo, he taught classes for native Hawaiians on cultivation of the coffee crop as well as tropical fruits. While that was underway, Rev. Samuel Ruggles was transferred from the Hilo mission on the eastern side of the island to a church on the western side in the Kona District. With him he carried cuttings of coffee, although it would take time to get established, his crop would prove to be the most successful.
Read the article in its entirety in the December 2015
Bevil newsletter, which accompanies the cover.
Take a trip
The ink rendering for Greetings from Hawaii turned out fine. I was greatly concerned though, with how it would paint out. The bag of beans in the foreground is what held it all together. I get nervous if my cover design doesn't contain a major, large object. In almost all my 600 issues, you can easily identify the strong object which dominates the cover's illustration. My style, or approach, will most often be made up of this composition formula.