Postcard book offers snapshots of history

LIHU‘E — Stormy Bradley is a detective of history. Her love of photography, extensive postcard collection and fascination with history was the inspiration for her latest book, “Kaua‘i: 100 Years in Postcards.”

The former Waimea Canyon Middle School teacher and children’s author, who goes by the pen name Stormy Cozad, will sign copies of her book 6 p.m. today at Kaua‘i Finds in Hanapepe and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Kaua‘i Museum in Lihu‘e. She will also host signings at 5:30 p.m. June 24 at Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe and 6 p.m. July 2 at Ship Store Gallery in Kapa‘a.

Flipping through Cozad’s book, readers step back in time and see Kaua‘i through the eyes of the island’s first visitors.

There are postcards of popular tourist destinations — such as the Coco Palms hotel, Hanalei Plantation and the Fern Grotto — and poscards lost to history — including the “hole in the mountain” in Anahola, the picturesque Ola Pua Gardens (which is now closed to the public) and The People’s Market.

The oldest postcard featured in the book dates back to 1881.

Another early postcard tells the history of the first batch of airmail to be delivered to Kaua‘i — it involves a submarine towing a stranded seaplane.

“So many things seen in the postcards no longer exist, so it was a human treasure hunt locating the person or persons who would know the information I needed,” Cozad said. “It took a whole community to write this book.”

Cozad comes from a family of historians.

She is the owner of a five-generation postcard collection, which was started by her grandfather.

“I like to honor my ancestors. I really think when they say ‘When an old person dies you loose a library,’ it’s true,” she said. “Old people think what they have is useless and to two generations down, it’s fascinating.”

Cozad is also the author of “Kaua‘i,” which tells the history of Kaua‘i through historical photographs.

“To me, it’s my love of Kaua‘i and to keep the memory of what was alive for the other generations,” she said. “You can tell your grandchildren ‘Oh, I remember when I used to play here.’”

“Kaua‘i: 100 Years in Postcards” is available at Ship Store Gallery in Kapa‘a, the Kaua‘i Museum in Lihu‘e, Kaua‘i Finds in Hanapepe, Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe, the museum gift shop at Koke‘e State Park and in hotel gift shops around the island.

The book is available online, but Cozad encourages readers to support local shops.

Cozad will be signing copies of her books 6 p.m. today at Kaua‘i Finds in Hanapepe, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Kaua‘i Museum in Lihu‘e, 5:30 p.m. June 24 at Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe and 6 p.m. July 2 at Ship Store Gallery in Kapa‘a.

• Andrea Frainier, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681, ext. 257 or afrainier@ thegardenisland.com.

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