What the Heck?
COURTESY OF LOLA BY RACHEL HUNTER
Photographer Scott McAulay shoots Rachel Hunter in her new swimsuit line atop the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.
Rachel Hunter does the Royal Hawaiian
Rachel Hunter is tired. She orders a virgin mojito, brushes some sand from her feet, and sits down near an outdoor fire pit at the Sheraton's RumFire beachside bar. She's thrown on a black silk caftan after a long day modeling swimsuits.
Swimwear is full circle for the New Zealand supermodel, who rocketed to prominence 21 years ago as a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model. She was paid $1.8 million to pose nude for Playboy, graced the cover of Cosmo, became (and after 15 years and two children, unbecame) Mrs. Rod Stewart.
Since then, there have been a few reality TV shows ("You can always get those," she shrugged), and a few acting gigs -- most notably the title role in the music video, "Stacey's Mom." At age 38, the video demonstrates, she's got it going on.
"Still," she noted, "it's the time in my life when I have to diversify, do some branding." She has a skin care line, a jewelry line and now a line of swimsuits, designed with fellow New Zealander Madge Walls, who plops down next to Hunter in a denim miniskirt.
"They're swimsuits for real women," said Walls. "The kind with boobs and a bum."
This season's suits are called Rachel at the Royal. That is, the Royal Hawaiian. "I love this hotel," said Hunter. "It's so old Hollywood, so pink." The crew -- Walls, two ad agency staffers, a photographer, and a hair-and-makeup artist -- began at 7 a.m.
Now that everyone's relaxing, Hunter's joined by her teenage children, Renee and Liam. She makes sure they order something to eat. "Poo poohs?" she says. "Do they really call them that?"
Hunter decides she needs a few photos with the kids. Renee at 15 looks almost ready to become a model herself, insisted Walls. Hunter, of course, lights up for the camera.
But at 13, Liam is self-conscious. He has wild-as-a-mop hair like his father, Rod Stewart. Every time the shutter clicks, he ducks behind his mother and sister. "Oh, Liam," said Hunter. "Would you just sit still for once?"
This sky cam remote-controlled helicopter has a rotor span of 6 feet. It would hover 40 feet in the air, then shoot up to 150 feet.
Zoom With a View
It was one of the coolest toys I'd ever seen. Buzzing over a parking lot on Kalauokalani Way was a not-so-small remote control helicopter, a snazzy yellow thing with a rotor span of 6 feet. It would hover 40 feet in the air, then shot up to 150.
It wasn't entirely a toy. Working the radio controls of the $6,000 chopper was its owner, Urban Lindhe. Controlling the pan and tilt of the camera mounted underneath was photographer Joe Cramer, who watched the real-time results on a video screen with real estate agent Kai McDurmin.
Here's the deal: If you are going to put up a high-rise condo, like the one slated for this former parking lot, there's only way to see what the views will be like -- taking photos from a chopper. "And no way can you bring a full-size chopper into a neighborhood like this," said Urban.
In the past eight years, Urban has snapped previews for most major projects in town. He said the towers of the Moana Pacific were actually reoriented on their site when his first flight didn't yield any ocean views.
So is this work? "No, no, it's fun," said Urban. "I flew them for 30 years before I figured out something practical to do with them."
50 Years of Statehood
Wednesday was the 49th anniversary of Congress passing Hawaii statehood.
Time to start thinking: How should we celebrate the 50th anniversary next year?
A good place to start: Get everyone in the rest of America to acknowledge we're a state.
Another thought: Statehood in Hawaii was celebrated with a free concert. The headliners were Bob Crosby and Bobcats. Although Crosby died in '93, the band still performs. Among the emcees were Tom Moffatt, Ron Jacobs and Eddie Sherman. All still alive. Hana hou?
Loretta Unleashes Waterworks
Loretta Ables-Sayre is already doing six-night-a-week preview performances of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "South Pacific" at New York's Lincoln Center -- while continuing daytime rehearsals for the show's official opening.
You can follow her progress on show's "backstage blog," written by theater critic Brendan Lemon. For instance, Lemon writes of the first time the cast sang with the full orchestra: "The emotion in the room was close to the surface. Just when you think you are laughed- and cried-out from the whole experience, you find yourself reaching one more time for a tissue.
"That final waterworks moment came courtesy of our Bloody Mary, Loretta Ables-Sayre, who, after singing 'Bali Ha'i,' broke down for a moment. After composing herself, she said, 'You have to realize that this is the first time I've ever sung with an orchestra.'"
Ten Percent of Nothing is Nothing
Highly enjoyable was the roast last Tuesday celebrating Eric Chock and Darrell Lum, for the highly unlikely achievement of keeping a nonprofit local literary quarterly, Bamboo Ridge, afloat for 30 years.
From poet Cathy Song to pidgin guerilla Lee Tonouchi, the literati sharpened their pens to skewer the two founders.
Tony Lee, a national pharmaceutical rep here, was an unannounced surprise speaker. Turns out that when he was a student at UH, Lee told Darrell Lum about his favorite fishing spot -- out in East Oahu, a cliff where the homemade bamboo poles of the Japanese fisherman were once packed so tightly that the place became known as Bamboo Ridge.
Lum apparently knew a great title when he heard it.
In mock indignation, Lee demanded a royalty for all these years -- 10 percent of the profits. Lum reached in his pocket and handed him a quarter.