THE HAWAII FIVE-0 FAN CLUB NEWSLETTER
Volume 6 July, 2004 Issue 23
The Jack Lord Memorial Dedication is a Success!
On Saturday, June 19, 2004, many Five-0 fans gathered outside the Kahala Mall for the unveiling of the Jack Lord Memorial. The bust was designed by local sculptor Lynn Weiler Liverton. The memorial committee, headed by Esperanza Isaacs in England and Doug Mossman in Hawaii deserve a big round of applause for their hard work and dedication to the project. I'm sure it is something Jack would have been very proud of.
There are many articles archived in the Honolulu Star Bulletin (www.starbulletin.com) if you missed the postings to the internet group. One full length article is in Tim Ryan's column June 17, 2004.
Jerry Pickard was there and had this to report:
It was an absolutely phenomenal event. Saw Enis and Brian, Annette and Cindy. Plus it was attended by Jimmy Borges, Dennis Chun, Seth Sakai, Margaret Doversola, Dick Kindelon, Charlotte Simmons, Eddie Sherman, Hans Strasser and more. Mrs. Lord was not able to be present, but was told of the event and will be provided with some photos. Doug Mossman had a very unfortunate health problem and it didn't look as if he'd make it, but gladly he arrived as the proceedings wound down and Jimmy Borges was able to step in as master of ceremonies. The UH Band did a truly rousing rendition of the theme and there were hulas. And yes, at the providential hour of 10:00 as things were just getting underway, the skies opened up and the rain bucketed down ... but only for a few moments. The blessing of the commemoration was conducted by Reverend Patterson, who also oversaw the committal of Jack's ashes in 1998.
The sculpture itself is a very worthy likeness of Lord. Currently it is bedecked with leis, including a braided maile garland fashioned by a dear Hawaiian lady of 80 who is a close friend of mine. I was able to speak for a few moments with Lynn Liverton, the sculptor. Perhaps in an upcoming issue of Central Dispatch, a recap of this conversation about the making of this very handsome work of art can be shared.
Words written by Esperanza Isaacs in England were read and warmly applauded. And, the liberty was taken by yours truly, to present Doug with a simple declaration of appreciation on behalf of the fans for all his dedication as well, in making today's unveiling a reality.
To those who all contributed to the cost of the memorial and to all who cherish Jack, mahalo nui loa.. If your on Oahu, stop by the Kahala Mall, (east end Macy's toward Wai'alea Avenue) and share in this fitting tribute.
(I also received photos from Rich Salzer, Annette and Cindy. They will be posted on the Fan Club site shortly.)
MERRIAM OLDS, LEADING-LADY OF LEONARDS
by Jerry Pickard
would be very hard-pressed to find a more enthusiastic booster of the Hawaii
Five-0 legacy than Merriam Olds. To the best of the writer's knowledge, no
other subject to date, has ordered Karen Rhodes' definitive book BOOKING HAWAII
FIVE-0 the next day as a result of the interview! Almost 25 years following the
last original episode's airing, this lady simply cannot say enough good things
about the show and its people. Perhaps it helps to know that Merriam, of
Lebanese ancestry, was a virtual "kama'aina," or long- time Hawaii’s
resident in her earlier years. But that was when she went by her maiden
So, who is Merriam, and what is her Five-0 claim to fame (so to speak?)
As the set-up for production in Hawaii’s began, creator Leonard Freeman needed an on-location assistant/secretary, both for himself as executive producer and for those whose abilities he could trust as proven producers to put the show together. The task of hiring for this key position fell to Robert Stambler. He settled, in 1968, on Merriam. She had impressive credentials, coming from active involvement in promoting her family's Alfred Shaheen clothing line in the Islands (www.alfredshaheen.com). It can still be found in Reyn retail outlets, incidentally. Also, Merriam was part of Hawaiian Airlines' promotion team. She traveled and worked for that venerable organization for 13 years, which included, in San Francisco, specifically working for the VP Sales and Marketing.
When speaking with her in the summer of 2003, the writer gathered that Merriam had been very well regarded by the show's early movers and shakers. (She was affectionately nicknamed "Ahab the Arab" by one, because of her strong Middle Eastern features and equally vivid sense of humor; that most probably would not happen in today's politically sensitive climate!) Leonard Katzman, of whom Merriam was particularly fond, later asked her to work with him in Hollywood. She declined, but was very flattered by the invitation. In other show business ventures, she multi-tasked with Bill Dana (a/k/a Jose Jiminez) as his personal assistant.
Merriam's tenure with the series was sweet but short; still, it was the best of all the years, she believes, as it was the ground floor and the beginning. She remembers fondly Dennis Donnelly, Max Stein, Ted Thorpe and stuntmen, Beau and Chuck and Richie Egan. Actually all of the Hollywood crew were memorable and fun and so very talented in their own right. This magic time with Hawaii Five-0 lasted only for the first two seasons because wedding bells, which later proved to have a false ring, led to her resignation. But during her Five-0 time, she formed sound impressions of what made the show tick. First and foremost (and not too surprisingly), it was Leonard Freeman who set the tone and the pace. Merriam described her primary boss as completely lacking in self-importance ("no Hollywood ego there, Jerry"), and always both truly a professional and highly respectful gentleman. He had, she said, a remarkable ability to listen, especially to those who worked with him. His professional relationship with Leonard Katzman took on the same direction and there was a wonderful mutual respect. In fact, when as an essentially "local" gal she pointed out to Katzman some glaring misuse of pidgin English to be used by Island people in certain dialogue, Kaztman listened, made revisions and as a result, Merriam was able to help correct other discrepancies in the scripts.
Leonard Freeman treated his producers very well, she recalled, and this tended to filter down to the most journeyman members of the crew. Bringing in exceptional people, whether behind the camera or in front, was another of his fine attributes, she felt. And he did all this from an amazingly low-profile stature, walking-cane at the ready, a result of an old injury. Merriam believes too that Freeman was fortunate to be blessed with great foresight. Hardly any U.S. TV series up to the late 60's were filmed very far from Southern California. Yet Leonard always believed that Five-0's success depended on thorough location shooting, with a visible mix of quality pro and non-pro local talent. In a very substantial sense, it could be rightly said that Freeman gambled in taking on one of the very first "reality" programs, and he was right -- this one worked fabulously!
Of Jack Lord, Merriam has highly favorable recollections too. She did acknowledge that he was certainly not lacking the generally requisite manifestation of self-importance which almost always accompanies stardom at this level. However, she emphasized, Jack in the main really did care a lot for those who helped make Five-0 work as astonishingly well as it did. Which was not to say, of course, that all was a piece of 'haupia' (coconut cake) with Jack. His compulsion to be serious at essentially all times, made for many tense moments for everyone, both on and off the set. Still, she found him to be invariably considerate. He presented her with his own painting centered around the anthurium flower, which Merriam naturally treasures. One day when she found herself filling in for Jack's regular secretary, she mentioned to him that it must be quite difficult to be a celebrity of his stature. "It is," he confided, "you have no idea how difficult it is...so many demands are made and they're not always easy to meet." Some years later following her departure from the show, he recognized her by name while transiting San Francisco Airport, much to her amazement and delight. She realized that he never forgot a face.
The two principals, Freeman and Lord, had an amicable relationship overall, Merriam offered. Leonard was disposed toward weighing Jack's ideas about the series' direction; insightfully accepting that Jack's ongoing presence in the Islands gave him unique perspective. They really did tend to work well together, it seemed.
Merriam had a couple of particular filming memories to relate, from those first two years. She recounted that, in the course of one downtown sequence, there was an actual "busting" of an illegal gambling operation. This caused quite the hoopla in the local papers; everyone got a big kick out of Five-0's ability, by chance, to contribute to enforcing the law in real life as well as on the small screen. On another occasion, Leonard Katzman asked her quite spontaneously one day if she'd like to appear in an episode herself. Merriam immediately said yes, of course, so off they went to the rainy windward side they went that was dry-- until filming started! She does not recall which show it was (possibly The Singapore File), but well remembers getting drenched as a double for someone (Marj Dusay?) in the back of a pick-up truck...while the regular cast were under comfy- cozy shelter not far away. To this day, Merriam remains delighted with that particular contribution.
An interview over the phone is never an adequate substitute for a face-to-face meeting, it's been reinforced to the writer since beginning this project in February '02. Nevertheless, with Merriam in Las Vegas and myself in Vancouver, I sensed the development of a definite Five-0-based rapport during our chat of an hour and a bit. She truly does have an intense love for the series, from a vantage- point that very few could experience. As our conversation wound down, I asked her what one lasting thought she would like us fans to keep in mind, from her perspective. Her response was immediate: Five-0, she proclaimed, virtually unfailingly embodied <respect>, that is, genuine acceptance of and appreciation for the people who comprised it and for the special place where it was sited. Merriam wanted us to know that, with Leonard Freeman's setting high quality standards and Jack Lord's carrying those on, Five-0 bequeathed an Islands legacy for real TV acting that has seldom been replicated since.
Book 'Em, Digitally
by Michael Milner
(Let me first offer my apologies to Michael - he sent me this article, published in the Daily Press in April, 2003. I lost it!!! While cleaning up my files, I found it in the wrong place but just in time for this issue. Michael, I'm sorry it's taken so long, but here it is!!)
TV COP SHOWS LED TO NASA CAREER
As a boy, Michael Milner would plop himself down in front of the television to watch suave Hollywood actors do their best impressions of crime-fighting police officers.
He spent years - even as an adult - watching Jack Lord play Hawaii Five-0's Steve McGarrett, the head of an elite state police unit that chased bad guys against the tropical backdrop of sandy beaches and ocean waves.
It was those early years of watching police dramas that piqued Milner's interest in law enforcement.
As a federal cybercrime investigator for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the 33-year old Milner is trying to make those early dreams of fighting crime a reality. Working on the campus of NASA Langley Research Center, Milner investigates all types of cybercrime committed against the federal space agency.
At the core of his work is a high-tech network of equipment that can track e-mails, delve into the hidden secrets of other people's computers an trace hackers.
In homage to his television heroes, Milner has named his computer hard drives after his favorite Hawaii Five-0 sleuths - McGarrett, Danno and Kono.
Milner's job falls under the auspices of the NASA Office of Inspector General, made up of federal law-enforcement officers who conduct criminal and regulatory investigations in cases where NASA is a victim. Those cases could include hackers looking to tap into the agency's super-computer, those looking to brag that they gained entrance to a federal computer system and employees downloading pornography.
"A lot of crimes these days have a computer involved," Milner said. "Everybody leaves a digital trail."
He works out of a small office in the sprawling Langley campus, but Milner's job can take him - even if only virtually - all over the world.
In November, Gary McKinnon of London was indicted by a federal grand jury in nearly $1 million in damage to federal computers, including ones at NASA Langley.
McKinnon allegedly hacked into military computers used for national defense and security. Once inside the system, the Briton allegedly copied password files and deleted user accounts and critical system files. McKinnon now faces up to 10 years in prison.
That 17-month investigation is only one of dozens of cases that Milner has contributed to since joining NASA's investigative arm in 2000.
Part of the challenge of Milner's job is keeping up with ever-changing technology. Often, innovations are driven by those seeking to do criminal behavior, which leaves investigators and computer-security experts always playing catch-up.
"This is a constantly evolving science," he said.
That means that Milner relies on other, more specialized computer experts to help him do his job.
"I can't be the best cop and the best computer guy and know all aspects of both fields," Milner said. "I've resigned myself to always being a generalist."
Most police departments don't have officers who specialized i computer crime. Much of that work is done by the state police. Often, local agencies do ask for help from some o the federal investigators, so Milner got involved in the Hampton Roads cybercrime working group. that group - made up of federal, state and local agencies - meets periodically to figure out how to best help one another with cybercrime cases.
Milner got his start in law enforcement as an offer with the Smithfield Police Department. It was there that he went to a cybercrime training class.
There wasn't much use for his computer training in the small historic Isle of Wight County town, Milner said.
"I filed it away as something I'd like to do if the opportunity ever came up."
Eventually, Milner left Smithfield for a job with the U.S. State Department's diplomatic security office, where he was the agent in charge of the computer-incident response team. He moved to his NASA assignment in 2000.
Smithfield Chief Mark Marshall said Milner's fastidious attention to detail made him well-suited for computer-crime investigation.
"He's an intelligent articulate man that turned out to be just a fantastic police officer," Marshall said.
Even more than his on-the-job dedication, Marshall said, Milner always went beyond what was expected. While in Smithfield, Milner helped to start the town's bike patrol and got it started on the process of getting accredited by the state. He also spent a lot of time, both on duty and off, working with young people in the town's community-policing programs.
Milner continues to volunteer his time to young people. He participates in NASA's middle school initiative, which gets NASA employees to talk to students about NASA-related careers.
Although he misses the more frequent face-to-face contact that he got as an officer in Smithfield, Milner said he enjoys working for the federal government because it has a wide-scale effect - protecting taxpayers.
"At heart, I'm a detective," Milner said. "I've always enjoyed putting together the pieces of a puzzle, the mystery."
This is my last newsletter as editor. It has been a great "almost" 6 years with the project and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Central Dispatch and the Hawaii Five-0 website will continue under the leadership of Terri Whitman and Annette Nixon. If for some reason the website is down for a short period of time, don't panic - it's just a matter of getting everyone set up in the right place.
I would like to thank everyone who has made this job fun and easy. To those who did interviews, episode reviews, trivia and photos, Mahalo! I'm sure you will be just as helpful to the new editors as you have been to me!
Copies of the show can be
obtained by contacting Barbara Brindle at 973-729-9232 (EST) or writing to her
at 105 Warren Road, Sparta NJ 07871. If you prefer to use the internet,
you may also contact Dr.
Ron Evans for copies. Both are very reliable.
Next issue: October, 2004