~ ~ ~ DON BLANDING (1894-1957) ~ ~ ~


My treasure chest is filled with gold.
Gold . . . gold . . . gold . . .
Vagabond's gold and drifter's gold . . .
Worthless, priceless, dreamer's gold . . .
Gold of the sunset . . . gold of the dawn . . .
Gold of the shower trees on my lawn . . .
Poet's gold and artist's gold . . .
Gold that cannot be bought or sold --

~~ Don Blanding
Leaves from a Grass-House, 1923


Books by Don Blanding have been a part of my life for more than 48 years. Shortly after I arrived in Seattle as a college student, I first heard Blanding's poems on a Sunday evening radio program called "Reflections." Each week for many years, KIXI announcer Dave Ballard wove poetry and prose and music into a wonderful tapestry that often included Blanding's lush, lyrical images of Hawaii and the life of a vagabond.

At first, I dutifully sent in my "10 cents in coin" for a copy of each week's script; then I discovered Shorey's antiquarian bookstore, from which I have purchased many of Blanding's books. A collection was born!

About 1988, having acquired a collection of book reviews, I learned that Blanding a half century before had designed colorful dinnerware patterns for Vernon Kilns. "Hawaiian Flowers," "Coral Reef," "Lei Lani" -- these and seven other patterns take their inspiration from Blanding's beloved Hawaii.

And another collection . . . well, you know how it goes!

My sometimes far-flung search for Don Blanding's books led me to compile this bibliography. If you know of any additional material, I would gratefully add the information.

"Hawaii -- Island Paradise" features impressions by Don Blanding and others and Blanding's illustrations."Whistled Like a Bird" is based on the diaries of Dorothy Binney Putnam, who married Don Blanding in 1940.

"Land of Gold (Tierra de Oro)" is an anthology of contemporary poetry by California writers, compiled and edited by James Neill Northe. Published in 1934, this book's illustrations and accompanying tone-poems are by Don Blanding! Thanks to Mountain House Books, Nevada City, CA, for the listing on ABE...what a thrill to come across a title I had not even heard of before! My copy is number 82/500; many of Blanding's full-page illustrations do not appear in any other books in my collection. In his acknowledgements, Northe writes: "To Don Blanding, that lovable vagabond, whose whole-hearted interest only intensifies the greatness of his character and whose work for this book stands as a lasting gift to sincere appreciation."

"Scarf of Stars" by Esther Baldwin York, with 18 illustrations by Don Blanding, is now in my collection! I have corrected the publisher's name to McInnis, not Dodd, Mead. Thanks to Murph's Books in Anaheim, CA.

Another interesting find is "Colorful Hawaii," published in California in 1956. It's a large-format softbound book with color photos and bits of Blanding's verse. Finally in my collection!

After eluding me for some 35 years, "In An Old Hawaiian Garden" is also on my bookshelf. It took even longer to locate two of Blanding's early books -- "Flowers of the Rainbow" and "Paradise Loot." Perseverance does pay off. In June 2006, I finally found a very fine copy of "The Picture Bridge."

Over the years, I've acquired several editions of some titles, partly because later editions often contain different photos of Don Blanding. One of my favorites is in the 7th edition of "Memory Room."

I hope this bibliography will be useful to other collectors . . . good luck!

E-mail: My Glass Duchess


A Grand Time Living. Illus. by author. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1950, 159 pp.

A Talisman, from a Window in Vagabond's House. Carmel, CA: Carmel Pine Cone, 1938, 3-1/2x5" booklet, paper.

Drifter's Gold. Illus. by author. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1939, 142 pp. (39-30294)

Floridays. Illus. by author. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1941, 127 pp. (41-19388)

Floridays. Illus. by author. Pt. Salerno, FL: Florida Classics Library, 1977, paper (Florida Classics Series reprint).

Flowers of the Rainbow. Illus. Honolulu: Honolulu Star-Bulletin, c. 1926, 59 pp. (27-1390)

Hawaii Says Aloha. Illus. by author. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1955, 160 pp. (55-6469)

In an Old Hawaiian Garden; An Album of Hawaii's Flowers. Word pictures by Don Blanding, floral pictures by T. J. Mundorff. Published by R. Allen Watkins, Honolulu, 3rd edition, 1947. (1st ed. 1943 and 2nd ed. 1945 do not contain Blanding's verse.)

Blanding designed an undated tri-fold brochure for Honolulu's Blaisdell Hotel. The seller believed the date to be about 1939, but the contents suggest 1920s, and it's not too likely that he did such commercial work after the publication of Vagabond's House. Can anyone help?

Hula Moons. Illus. by author. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1930, 303 pp. (prose). (30-28570)

Joy Is an Inside Job. Illus. by author. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1953, 159 pp. (53-8525)

Leaves from a Grass-House. Illus. Honolulu: self-published (?), c. 1923, 57 pp. (3rd ed. 1923 published by Patten Co., Ltd., Honolulu, 1923). (23-17712)

Leaves from a Grass House. Illus. Hilo: Petroglyph Press, Ltd., 1978 (?), paper (reprint).

Let Us Dream. Illus. by author. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1933, 120 pp. (33-25942)

Memory Room. Illus. by author. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1935, 126 pp. 35-17813

Mostly California. Illus. by author. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1948, 158 pp. (48-8393)

Paradise Loot. Cover design and illus. by author. Honolulu: H. T. Patten Co., Ltd., 1925, 57 pp., paper. (25-10677)

Paradise Loot. Illus. Hilo: Petroglyph Press, Ltd., 1978, paper (reprint).

Pictures of Paradise; Moods and Moments in Hawaii. Word pictures by Don Blanding, camera studies (set in) by Frank S. Warren. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1936, 72 pp. (37-602)

Pilot Bails Out. Illus. by author. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1943, 85 pp.

Rest of the Road (The). Illus by author. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1937, 143 pp.

Songs of the Seven Senses. Illus. by author. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1931, 120 pp.

Stowaways in Paradise; Two Boy Adventurers in Hawaii. Illus. by author. New York: Cosmopolitan Book Corp., 1931. (31-29816)

Today Is Here. Illus. by author. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1946, 143 pp. (46-7132)

Vagabond's House. Illus. by author. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1928, 114 pp. (28-24850)

Vagabond's House. Illus. by author. Leatherbound 25th edition. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1940 (?).

*Virgin of Waikiki (The); A Torrid Tragedy of the Tropics. By "Don". Illus. New York: Henry M. Snyder, 1930, 43 pp. (30-3774)

Virgin of Waikiki (The); A Torrid Tragedy of the Tropics. Illus. by A. B. Butler, Jr. New York: H. M. Snyder, 1933, 47 pp. (33-20664)

West of the Sunset. Illus. by author. Selection of best verses c. 1928-1966. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1966, 261 pp.

Other Books

Colorful Hawaii. Berkeley, CA: Mike Roberts, 1956, color photos with verse by Don Blanding.

Hawaii -- Island Paradise. A collection of impressions by Don Blanding, Mark Twain, Jack London and other visitors to the island paradise of Hawaii. 20 full-page illustrations by Blanding from "Vagabond's House" and "Drifter's Gold." San Carlos, CA: Wide World Publishing/Tetra, 1987, approx. 136 pp.

The Picture Bridge. Illus. by Frank M. Moore, poems by Don Blanding. Pasadena, CA: Huntington Hotel, 1933, SB, 42 pp.

The Picture Bridge, in Pasadena near the Huntington Hotel, features numerous painted murals by artist Frank M. Moore that depict historical or popular sites in California. Each page in the book shows one of these murals -- San Juan Capistrano Mission, Santa Barbara Bay, etc. -- many with an accompanying word picture by Don Blanding. Measuring about 5" x 10", the book was sold as a souvenir in the hotel's gift shop. (Photo courtesy of Steve Lawrence.)

Sally Putnam Chapman, with Stephanie Mansfield. Whistled Like a Bird. A memoir by the granddaughter of Dorothy Binney Putnam, whose third husband was Don Blanding. His book, "Floridays," written from their home "Immokolee" in Fort Pierce, Florida, is dedicated to Dorothy. Photos. New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1997, 268 pp.

Edythe Hope Genee, Brief Aprils. Illus. by Don Blanding. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1947, 143 pp.

James Neill Northe, ed., Land of Gold (Tierra de Oro). Anthology of contemporary poetry by California writers; illustrations and accompanying tone-poems by Don Blanding. Ontario, CA: Herald-Silhouettes Press, 1934, 161 pp, deluxe edition 500 numbered copies.

Esther Baldwin York, Scarf of Stars. Illus. by Don Blanding. Orange, CA: John T. McInnis, 1953, 137 pp.


"Don Blanding Gets Large 'Kick' Out of London," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, August 2, 1924, Section 2, pp. 1, 4.

"Don Blanding Recalls ... Christmas 1916," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Hawaiian Life, December 25, 1954, pp. 6-9.

"Living Jewels of Hawaiian Seas," Travel, December 1929, vol. 54, pp. 17-20, illus. by author.

"May Day Is Lei Day," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, a series of articles about how the tradition began, February 13 - March 28, 1928.

"Millions for Headdress, But ---, Blanding Goes to Paris to Study Costumes and Finds Little Costume to Study," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 18, 1924, Features Section, illus. by C. G. C. (Christensen).

"My Hawaii," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Hawaiian Life, September 11, 1954, pp. 12-13, illus. by author. Cover photo of Don Blanding by Wayne Peters Cipar.

"Pig and Poi in Paradise," Asia, July 1930, Vol. 30, pp. 470-475, illus. by author.

"Sea Loot from Hawaiian Waters," Asia, July 1925, Vol. 25, pp. 582-583, illus. by author.


Fall Fashion Number, 1927. "The Gold Fish" is a full-page Don Blanding illustration that served as the cover for the Fall Fashion Number, a special section of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 12, 1927.

Index of Poems and Illustrations

Don Blanding published over 2000 poems and hundreds of illustrations. In response to requests, I am happy to search my collection for specific pieces. However, perhaps an alphabetical index would prove more useful for locating the book in which those few elusive lines reside. Indexing more than 20 books is a somewhat daunting task, but I'm willing to work on it, one book at a time. It's a lot of typing! If you'd like to help by preparing a list from your favorite Blanding book, please let me know. Thanks!

Photo Gallery

Photos of Don Blanding, his artwork and other memorabilia may be viewed in Travels with the Duchess.

Aloha, Don Blanding Collectors Society

Now we have a true gathering place for Blanding fans, collectors and researchers. It's a lively group, and sometimes the e-mails fly fast and furious. So if you'd like to subscribe but don't want a deluge of e-mail, try the Digest or Web Only modes.

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Search many booksellers by author, title, publisher and keywords.

The Moloka'i Country Store

Hawaiian coffee, music and books. . . if you can't go to the Islands, bring Hawaii home to you.

Paper Moon Books

4707 SE Belmont
Portland, OR 97215
Fax: 503-230-0209
Andrea Drinard invites you to browse her book inventory, including many poetry titles.

Basically Books & Maps

160 Kamehameha Avenue
Hilo, HI 96720
800-903-MAPS (6277)
Fax: 808-935-1553
More than a bookstore . . . a gathering of things Hawaiian.

Petroglyph Press, Ltd.

160 Kamehameha Avenue
Hilo, HI 96720
888-666-8644 (toll free)
Fax: 808-935-1553
Publishers of Hawaiiana since 1962, including original titles, historical reprints, and postcards.

Additional sources include The Paper and Advertising Collector (PAC) and and eBay Auction and Books.

More on Don Blanding and Hawaii...

Bishop Museum
The State Museum of Natural and Cultural History

1525 Bernice Street
Honolulu, HI 96817
Information about museum exhibits and other resources.

Don Blanding
Artist by Nature, Actor by Instinct, Poet by Accident, Vagabond by Choice

Keith Emmons offers a detailed bibliography, poems by first line, photos and much more. You can purchase posters, a CD and a book.

Celebrating May Day in Hawaii

J.J. and Chuck have "been there, done that..." and have lots of fun in their travels.

"Native Renaissance in Hawaii"
Hula, Lei Day, ukulele, wood-carving ... Lynn Cook writes about preserving Hawaiian traditions in Native Peoples Magazine.

"The Double Life"
Thanks to singer Jimmy Buffett, a whole new generation has discovered Don Blanding!

"The Cruise of the Spun-Glass Ship"
Don Blanding's poem, based on a true story, appears in The Rest of the Road (1937).

"Gods-Eye View"
Don Blanding's "air map for the earth-bound" appears in Pilot Bails Out (1943).

Franklyn MacCormack

Like Seattle's Dave Ballard, Chicago radio announcer Franklyn MacCormack presented a program of music and poetry. Northwest fan Richard Gillmann pays tribute.

The Lei: A Hawaiian Tradition

The history of lei-making in the Islands; how to make a lei.

"Some Lines Scrawled on the Door of Vagabond's House" and "Vagabond's House"
Now you can read Blanding's most famous poem, and more.

Yesterday Images

P.O.Box 1114
Kihei, HI 96753
Fax: 808-891-0573
Yesterday Images features a collection of nostalgic Hawaiiana prints, including Ted Mundorff's Hawaiian florals that appear in "An Old Hawaiian Garden."

To place an order: I do not have Don Blanding's books for sale at the present time. This Bibliography is intended only as a guide for collectors who also enjoy his verse and illustrations.

However, please E-mail your "wish list" to My Glass Duchess and I'll be happy to search for any books or articles on this list. You may also be able to purchase books by Don Blanding and others from the sources provided here.

Shipping and handling: If I do find a Don Blanding book for you, postage will be determined by weight and destination. Books will be mailed via Media Mail.

Cadia Los
1916 Pike Place #12-162
Seattle WA 98101

"The Rowdy Duchess," to whom Don Blanding dedicated "Songs of the Seven Senses" (1931), is Lorraine Terhune Stevens, daughter of Albert Payson Terhune.

E-mail: My Glass Duchess

Please explore
Index: Don Blanding's Books
Don Blanding's Letters
Vernon Kilns Pottery
Pottery & China: Magazine Ads & Illustrations - Color
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