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September 8 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

An Evening with Cesar A. Becerra


Books & Books


September 8
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Books & Books in Coral Gables
265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134
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Books & Books presents…




Sunday, September 8th, 6PM| Books & Books, Coral Gables


Books & Books is proud to present an evening with Cesar A. Becerra discussing Kaimiloa

This event is FREE and open to the public and books will be available for purchase the night of the event! Please RSVP only if you intend to join us.

About the Book:

On the 100th year anniversary of one of the greatest Pacific voyages of our time, Historian Cesar Becerra reveals untold history.

In 1924, the SS Kaimiloa embarked on a remarkable journey across the South Seas, carrying the enigmatic Medford Ross Kellum. Despite the grandeur of this expedition, much remains shrouded in mystery: the uncharted destinations, the scientific investigations, and even the identity of the ship’s Captain—a man whose vision, unwavering dedication, and leadership fueled this epic adventure.

Historian Cesar A. Becerra has crisscrossed the globe in pursuit of this enigma. His quest led him to Tahiti, New Zealand, Hawaii, and San Francisco, tracing the path of the 230-foot-long Barkentine Ship that Kellum ingeniously reconfigured from an old sailboat called The Luzon. The Luzon had sailed the waters between San Francisco and the Philippines from 1900 to 1924. By late 1924, after extensive retrofitting—nearing the centennial milestone of its voyage—the ship transformed into a motor-yacht, still boasting four towering masts that reached skyward, equivalent to 13 stories tall.

Building upon his previous book, Orange Blossom 2.0, which unveiled the true origins of Miami and the overlooked contributions of Mary Brickell. Becerra has focused his attention on this incredible voyage with the help of great granddaughter Beatrice (Bea) Brickell. Becerra met Bea Brickell while working on Orange Blossom 2.0 and during that project, she spoke about a large ship that sailed the South Seas in 1924 with former Miami’s City Clerk, the magnanimous and mysterious Medford Ross Kellum whose spouse was related to the Brickell family. Always seeking out a good story, Becerra delved into critical research, piecing together the final details of this captivating narrative that spanned the South Pacific islands.

“I’m on a voyage to trace a mysterious figure named Medford Ross Kellum who upon marrying Elizabeth Storm Lauder, the niece to Andrew Carnegie, set out on a journey on a massive ship that took off from Hilo in October of 1924.”

“It was one thing that it was big, but Med along with Elizabeth, his second wife, spared no expense. Aside from tiled bathrooms and gilded furniture, its second voyage pioneered a technology we take for granted today, the ability to communicate with the world. For onboard the ship was a Naval officer in cahoots with a private wireless company saying sayonara to spark wave communications and hello to the new age of tube-based tech that made it possible to have freighter ships safely cross great distances with proper information.”

About the Author:

Cesar A. Becerra is a South Florida historian who’s taken part in chronicling and sharing the stories of the region for two decades. He is the author of half a dozen books ranging from hiking the Appalachian Trail to the logging history of the Big Cypress Preserve. He is the former publisher of The Everglade Magazine, an award-winning publication printed during Everglades National Park’s 50th anniversary. He has walked, hiked, slogged, canoed, kayaked, air-boated and swamp buggied all across the Everglades. In 1997, the Miami Herald named him an “Everglades Evangelist” and the New Times called him “Miami’s Most Peripatetic Historian. He is now engaged in writing the epic tale of the 230-foot SS Kaimiloa that plied the South Seas one hundred years ago.

Cesar’s love for the past and sense of adventure is where his two worlds unite. He has a penchant for hidden history and knows no boundaries or distances when it comes to searching for it.