THE HAWAII FIVE-0 NEWSLETTER
Volume 1 October, 2004 Issue 1
months ago Debbie Fitzgerald emailed the members of the
Annette and I have been working hard to find a new home server for both sites.
After finding one, we set about ironing out the kinks. As neither of us had ever
transferred a website domain name from one server to another server, it has been
a learning experience for both of us. After many false starts, we think we're
well on the way now to switching over the Club site and getting it back up and
in working order. It will take some time yet for the Jacklord.Net to be put back
up, but Annette and I do plan on getting the site up and running before the end
of the year.
Annette and I have been working hard to find a new home server for both sites. After finding one, we set about ironing out the kinks. As neither of us had ever transferred a website domain name from one server to another server, it has been a learning experience for both of us. After many false starts, we think we're well on the way now to switching over the Club site and getting it back up and in working order. It will take some time yet for the Jacklord.Net to be put back up, but Annette and I do plan on getting the site up and running before the end of the year.
My plans for the Central Dispatch will be to continue posting articles of
interest to the
My plans for the Central Dispatch will be to continue posting articles of interest to the
to you for your patience as this transition happens.
Terri Whitman, New editor of the Central Dispatch
Terri Whitman, New editor of the Central Dispatch
MOMENTS WITH MEMORIAL MAKER LYNN
by Jerry Pickard (UHM '72), email@example.com
Jack Lord Sculpture adorned by special Maile Lei made by Jerry’s long, long
time dear friend, Jane Kakelaka. Standing with her is her husband, Sam. Jane met
Jack when he’d visit the United Airlines Red Carpet Lounge where she was a
hostess at the
Lynn Weiler Liverton is the lady who transformed a pile of clay into an alarmingly close likeness of Jack Lord, providing us with his memorial, dedicated on the day of this interview. The bust offers a genuine and fitting reminder of Five-0s legendary superstar. Which is rather handy if one would like to pay respects.
We met just inside Kahala Mall, steps away from her veiled work of art located on the kokohead (east) side, by the shuttle bus stop outside Macys. Within a few moments of our talk, the commemoration would begin, and Lynn was clearly up for this event. It culminated over six months of research, preparation, roughing, meticulous sharpening, fine-tuning and eventually, personal satisfaction with the final product's crucial aura. But first, the writer was privileged to learn an important aspect of such a project: doing a lasting human sculpture entails much, much more than just attempting to create, out of mere earth substance, a facsimile of a person. One in fact gets to know the subject in almost minute detail.
CD: So, Lynn, what's a little about your background?
LL: I graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in architecture, but became interested in sculpting after a trip to Paris. Took a class, then got side-tracked. But a former classmate, who was working Hawai'i, suggested I go for a job in my area over here. Did that for a couple of years, then was laid off and enrolled in art school at UH, and completed the program. There were lots of very inspiring people at UH Arts!
CD: Did you start sculpting then?
LL: Pretty much, beginning with inanimate objects, which didn't really do it for me. People, either those still with us or those who've left, became my first love. I was fortunate to get a City & County grant with another artist, and together we made a hula dancer. But she was generic, that is, not anyone in particular. As a result, there wasn't really any way to compare what we'd done with the real thing.
CD: Then what?
LL: Well, I was teaching at Waldorf School near here, and the chance to do the Stan Sherrif bust in UH's lower campus area, came up. That was a neat project. It was good that his son was around to help point me in the right direction from time to time. But doing it from start to finish in eight weeks, wow, that was really pushing it!
CD: What would you say is your main mission when you begin a piece?
LL: I try to develop a good expression, i.e. not rigid or lacking definition, as well as a strong kinetic sense, as if the subject is just about to say something, or is being very thoughtful. The idea, from my perspective, is to make whoever is viewing the bust, wonder what was going on in the subject's mind at that particular moment.
CD: How do you accomplish that?
LL: It takes a lot of work, especially if the person is no longer around to be observed, like in this case. I knew extensive research would be needed, so that I could learn about his "core" personality, how he interacted with others, and get the truth and realism so I could inject as well as possible, the essence of his life into the bust. Information came from various sources. For example, I have a girlfriend who when quite young, actually delivered the newspaper to the Lords in Kahala. She told me that Jack was always very nice. Then when Doug Mossman supplied numerous stories and characterizations, Jack Lord really came alive for me. You see, before this project, I didn't know much about him at all. My parents had watched the show, but I was just in elementary school when it was truly popular. My image of Hawai'i back then, was actually based on my summer vacations in California. I'd see palm trees there, and people playing in the ocean. It looked cool, and I decided I didn't want to live my life in the desert but go to some place like California or Hawai'i instead. But, to me Jack Lord was simply a scary cop figure, fighting bad guys.
CD: Okay, you got an idea of the man; then what?
LL: Well, without going into all the technicalities of actually sculpting, you start with a bald head, and then rough in some basic facial features, but really, the expression gets the most attention because it sets the tone for the whole thing. That and, in this case, the basic presentation of his signature hair. I should say too, the last thing that I do is make the irises, which always bring it fully alive. I didn't really want what was basically a living entity, in the middle of my home for six months, so I put the irises in just at the very end.
CD: I gather that, strange as it may seem, a definite relationship between subject and artist can probably come about quite easily.
LL: Oh yes, as the form progressed and it took shape, I know I could feel a real bonding so to speak. You see, I was able to work, that is, with my hands in the clay, pretty much only when my son was having his nap, maybe a couple of hours at a time if I was lucky. This meant that, even though it frequently seemed like "one step forward, two steps back," I did get to view it quite often with fresh eyes. Which was good, because it allowed me to make a lot of changes. But the total number of hours actually working on it wasn't as many as you might think. I did have to keep it covered in my house, so the clay wouldn't dry out, and it wasn't visible unless I was specifically doing something with it.
CD: Are you able to share some of the emotions you went through?
LL: Yes, and there were several in fact. An early one was frustration. It was really hard to get good pictures of my subject, from all angles. Those are needed to do the job right. I had a lot of trouble with the nose - usually it's the lips - mainly because Jack's was not symmetrical, and that's likely because it'd been broken at some point. Nostrils were uneven, too. But thanks to a Five-0 screen capture from a scene involving explosives, when a camera angle caught Jack looking down at a ticking time bomb, my problem was resolved. Another very challenging assignment was to get a shot showing his left side, because he always favoured his right. Finally, I found one, with Diamond Head in the background. And you know, so that I could understand how his skull fit onto his shoulders, I was lucky to get a good picture of the back of his head. What positive emotions were there? Well, as I got into the project more, it really hit home that what I was trying to put together, would really mean an awful lot more to a great many more people, than I expected at the start. That made me feel both ennobled - that this trust, actually, honor, had been placed in me - and humble at the same time. There'd be fans coming to view the sculpture from everywhere. I began to realize that Jack had touched countless souls across the country, and around the world. What I was creating was a tangible alternative or supplementation for the mainly sheer adoration for this man, which was expressed on the websites I looked at. So, I guess with this awesome burden, which I perceived, I imposed some extra stress on myself, trying to do the absolute best that I ultimately could. I was also aware that it wasn't just one or two people who'd contributed to pay for the commission; a great number of fans donated various amounts of money for this to happen, and that impressed me as well. With all this, yes, there were a number of times I felt really overwhelmed by what seemed to be a very onerous responsibility. But I received many enthusiastic reassurances, and Julian my husband always gave me lots of encouragement when I needed it.
CD: So you're happy with the results of your labors?
LL: I think so. It pretty much came as close as I could make it, to how I interpreted Esperanza's request (Esperanza Isaacs, of England, who initiated the idea for the project several years earlier). She wanted the sculpture to display a very sensitive, human expression by Jack Lord, dressed as McGarrett during the timeframe of the show.
CD: Any closing words?
LL: Just that it was really a tremendous honor over the past few months to have worked on such an iconic, legendary figure. Thank you.
Lynn did complete an exceptional piece of art in relatively short order, under challenging circumstances while mothering her lively toddler Charley, and teaching at an O'ahu Waldorf school. It's believed Jack, outwardly begrudgingly maybe, secretly would have approved, hands down.
NO FIVE-0 HUSH FROM THIS SWEET CHARLOTTE!
By Jerry Pickard (UH '72), firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotte Simmons, May 2004
The idea which led to this May 2004 meeting actually originated during the State of Hawai'i's award presentation to James MacArthur at the Hawai'i Int'l Film Festival six months earlier. There, Kam Fong's son Dennis Chun offered an introduction to the bubbly and vivacious Charlotte Simmons. He described her as someone who'd been behind the scenes with the show for several years and who would probably have "some neat stories" for the fans. Well, Dennis is many things, but being wrong isn't generally one of them. His depiction was definitely on the money. Charlotte didn't disappoint, whatsoever. Over an extended breakfast at the Wailana Coffee Shop near the ewa end of Waikiki, I was regaled with further insights into a time covering roughly the middle third of Five-0's long run, from the perspective of a key support position. Charlotte's function may have been defined as "assistant to the casting director," but it was obvious her range of duties extended far beyond, including being an occasional at-work confidante for an often weary, solitary Jack Lord. Her word for the many facets of what she did in those days, was "over-powering."
Charlotte has enjoyed a lengthy career on the business end of show business in the Islands, including stints with KGMB, Don Ho, Hawaii Public Television, The Little People, and Tora! Tora! Tora! among others. I gathered, though, that her four years at Five-0, beginning in 1971, ranked well up there.
She replaced Geri Char when production was about to get underway that season, and found herself working mainly with Bob Busch. He took care of the requirements for the larger roles, while she was given responsibility for casting virtually everything else. As other show people whom I've met have said, association with Five-0 was much like being part of a big, extended family ("we worked six days, then usually got together to play softball on the seventh."). That implies both negative and positive aspects, but as she reminisced, it seemed the latter prevailed. It was tough slogging most of the time, however, and there were many instances when she seriously considered leaving. After all, constantly juggling three episodes was highly exhausting. (These included preparing for the new show, dealing with the cast-related challenges of the one currently being filmed, and tying up loose ends from the one before.) When a brand new script came in, and had been looked over by Jack Lord & others, there'd frequently be rework needed. This in turn necessitated Charlotte's ensuring it had white adhesive strips added for minor corrections, but in many cases it had to be completely re-typed and photocopied. By the time the document was in acceptable form, it was frequently late at night. She remembers that Jack's copy then had to be sent over to his Kahala suite, with at least five pages for him to begin memorizing early in the morning for the day's shoot. While she recounted this scenario with hearty chuckles, one gathered that when it was all happening, it was anything but a pleasant or amusing task.
Although Charlotte mentioned Leo Penn (Sean's father) and Charles Dubin as directors prominent in her era at Five-0, it was Michael O'Herlihy about whom she spoke the most. O'Herlihy had worked for Disney, and developed a reputation for being highly cost-effective; as a result, more than once he was called upon to help keep Five-0 within budget when overruns occurred. He was also relentless in his work, and like Jack, commanded similar performance from those around him. In his best Irish tone, he pronounced her name as "Char-LOTTE." They did form a special rapport, largely, I concluded, owing to her innate propensity not to put him (or anyone) on a pedestal. One morning when O'Herlihy was needed on the set but was still at the Kahala Hilton, the producer prevailed upon Charlotte to call him at the hotel to request his immediate presence. Obviously still in bed, O'Herlihy answered in his characteristically deep voice, "Hellooo," whereupon she announced with animation, "Michael, it's Charlotte, move over, I'm coming to see you!" That was enough to launch his start to the work-day, and there was lots of laughter. And there was the instance when O'Herlihy preferred not to stray far from all the hubbub of the set by Diamond Head. However, a scene had to be shot with the battleships of Pearl Harbor as back-drop, a distance of some 10 miles from the studios. His booming albeit facetious response was "Tell them to bring the Navy to me!"
She compared the constant pressure-house of coordinating all manner of activity during her time with the show, to being in a Gestapo-like environment, with requests turning into demands, and then often shrill orders. O'Herlihy was particularly so inclined, running Charlotte close to the brink of total burn-out more than once. When she mentioned to him that she was thinking about quitting, he told her he was purposely ultra-imperious in his behaviour, to help combat what he perceived as the frustratingly laid-back "work" ethic and lifestyle of the Islands. If he did otherwise, he said, he anticipated complete chaos. The bottom line, he stated to her, was "you can't leave, I need you." Gradually, Charlotte (who is a "keiki o ka a'ina" or true daughter of Hawai'i), helped him adjust his attitudes and approaches so that he began to practised the philosophy of treating others as he himself would want to be treated.
The memories and anecdotes kept gloriously spilling over during our interview; rather like the North Shore surf synonymous with the opening of the show itself She would not divulge the identity of one male performer, however, whom she had difficulty contacting to inform of the next day's report time. And she herself could not go home til everyone had been reached. After numerous attempts at this wedded man's home telephone number, he eventually called her and said he'd heard she'd been trying to call him. He was, he explained after being given the needed information, staying over at his girlfriend's that evening. The next day, however, he showed up late. O'Herlihy asked him why, and he told the director that Charlotte had not told him the correct time. O'Herlihy knew from experience this was highly improbable and eventually, after Jack Lord intervened and decided that was not the case, that actor was not allowed to appear on the show again. Ever.
Charlotte had only good things to relate about Jack. She described him as tireless, completely devoted to the show and everything about it. The obstacles were almost insurmountable, particularly in the earliest days. She recounted how, following one of the original scene shootings, Zulu just left and went home, completely oblivious to the need for related close-ups to follow shortly afterward; no one had bothered to tell him this basic fact, and he simply did not know. That would nevertheless, not have endeared him to Jack. He worked extremely hard off the set as well, trying to convince the State Legislators to provide the essentials to keep this production in Hawai'i, and ultimately to participate heavily in investing in quality studio facilities. She believes that few people were ever fully aware of the many profound actions Jack took, or the numerous personal sacrifices he made on behalf of the Five-0 series.
Still, there were lots of light moments as well, like: - The time that a scene called for Jack to open what was to have been an empty coffin, ostensibly to verify the identity of the deceased. Unbeknown to him, the crew had put toothless special effects man Frankie Trott in it. When the lid was lifted, Jack cracked up big-time! - The times that Christine Jorgenson, best known for undergoing sex change surgery in the 70's, and Linda Lovelace, from the infamous XXX movie Deep Throat, came to the studios to read for parts, much to everyone's intrigue. No dice. (Other visitors included The Fifth Dimension, whose presence led to Jack's asking "who is that?" !) - The time that guest star Victor Buono complained to her that he could not view the ocean from his Kahala Hotel room's couch, only from his bed, so she instructed him to ask the hotel to switch those two pieces of furniture! - The time that Aussie Don Knight, whom she smilingly referred to as 'The Poor Man's Richard Harris,' tried to have Five-0 do all his personal laundry, not just the costumes agreed upon. So she jokingly threatened to have his part re-cast, and they later became close friends. - The time that an extremely nervous Jimmy Borges first auditioned for the show, and pal Charlotte knew it. So she told him just to loosen up, that on his behalf she had slept with the director and he was a cinch to get the part. This communication, the first part of which was untrue but which an aghast Michael O'Herlihy was later to find out about, relaxed Jimmy and he did just fine. - The time some members of the crew ordered in malasadas, a fried dessert dough "native" to Portugal; Jack suddenly appeared out of nowhere, so Charlotte quick-wittedly asked him he'd like some with hot tea. He said sure, seemingly glad of the chance just to "hang" with the regular workers. (It appeared likely, the more Charlotte spoke to me, that Jack truly appreciated her approach to him, and he began to bring her small gifts--which she figured had likely been suggested by Marie-as a symbol of his gratitude. She also received from his office at various spontaneous moments certain framed photos, and these she has treasured considerably.) - The time she decided to set up a special "P.A." file in her casting office which, no, did not stand for "Personnel Administration," but rather "Pain in the Ass." It contained a listing of names of people who had been associated with troublesome times on the show; higher-ups like Busch and O'Herlihy got wind of it...and began to use it as well! - The many times that her casting office was used for other purposes, e.g. as a sort of familial sanctuary for the likes of Sean Penn, who as a youth was brought there by his director father. I gathered that when Charlotte was with Five-0, if you were on the set and had no other place to go, you ended up in her area which, by her design, was almost a home-away-from-home. (It's unlikely such would ever be permitted to happen in Hollywood.) - The time during the filming of the Vashon Trilogy, when the chair being used by the judge in the courtroom scenes, was stolen; a replacement was obtained, with some difficulty, and then to prevent its theft as well, the director decided that it would be quite secure serving as Charlotte's "throne" until it was no longer needed. - The time that Jack convinced her to encourage her Big Island parents and son to approach him when he had to go there on show business, even though she didn't wish to trouble him with such activity; the family members did make contact, and not surprisingly were well treated.
In '75 she was approached by Brian Keith, who was then assembling The Little People series, to be his casting director. This represented a sizable promotion and more income for Charlotte, who was then trying to pay her bills as a single mother. Jack did not want her to go, but understood. He said the door would always be open if she ever wished to come back.
Charlotte mentioned that some day, she hopes to write a book about her Five-0 years. In fact, she said, Jack had suggested she try to do this while the show was still in production because, she said, he told her it might allay the image that "everyone thinks I'm an ___-hole!" If she eventually does do this, she may include some trivia, such as how Hollywood would coordinate its annual tropical production needs with Five-0's scheduled hiatus, and thus be able to use its otherwise vacant facilities. But her story will more likely include some vignette gems, such as this one: because she worked particularly long hours, she got into the habit of washing her hair late in the evening at the studios. One night, while doing this in Jack's exclusive make-up room, she was all lathered up when she detected his unmistakable gait, and then the door opened. She could think only to say, "Oh Jack, is that you?" He answered that it was. Then, thinking quickly even with a head full of foam, she rejoined, "Oh sorry, I thought you'd left, can you pass me that towel, please?" Which he did, even imploring her to stay and to insert her curl-rollers in front of him. Amid this atmosphere of informality and acceptance of another's possibly questionable actions of protocol, his graciousness was perhaps not just a little tempered by the inherent loneliness which went with being The Star. And, Charlotte might make mention about when the IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) union, staged some job action at the show. This was possibly part of a larger work stoppage. But the locals decided that the cause of their dissatisfaction would be the quality of the food with which they were supplied while on the job. She knew all too well that this was primarily a ruse, because virtually everyone had always raved in the most positive terms about how good the meals at Five-0 were. So, she pointed out that, did they really want to return to just rice-balls with Spam, which would likely be the case if Five-0 ever decided to pack up and finish its run on the Mainland. Within two hours, wisdom (and the ironclad logic of local lady Charlotte's urgings) prevailed, and the crew returned to work.
In later years, Charlotte would bump into Jack and Marie at Kahala Mall. Usually, Jack would prompt Marie (who apparently had inferior sight) about whom they were about to greet. But about the last time they had such an encounter, this time it was Marie who said words like, "Oh look Jack, there's Charlotte." She wondered about this later, when rumours about Jack's health began to circulate, and she remembered being told by Herman Wedemeyer that he too would see Jack up close in a public setting, only to have Jack go by without speaking as if he didn't recognize his old stage-mate and friend. Although Charlotte's name is not in Karen Rhodes' book and doesn't appear in the show's official credits (to my knowledge), she was very much an integral part in making it the tremendous, long-lasting success that it continues to be. Casting duties were only a small part of her significant contributions; she did - and was – so much more.
Once again, it was an absolute delight for this writer to get to know another special member of the Five'0 'ohana, even a little.
And now a word from our sponsors:
Anyone interested in copies of Hawaii Five-0
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Ron Evans, owner of e/p Partners, also offer VCR tapes of Hawaii Five-0, Jack Lord and James MacArthur, among others. His email is email@example.com.
Hard Copies of the Newsletter Are available.
The Hawaii Five-0 Newsletter is available in print form. Membership is $10 per year for four issues (foreign subscriptions are $14.00 US funds). Checks for membership may be made out to Annette Nixon/H50FC. Since you are reading this on line, you can email her at Spinkick@colint.com for her snail mail address. Any financial contributions are always welcome. The newsletter will be available on the 15th of January, April, July and October.
Submissions, which are always welcomed, to the newsletter can be emailed to me at TW1151@Comcast.Net. Deadlines are one month before each issue. Currently, the Central Dispatch has a new home. You can access it through The Jack Lord Connection located at www.thejacklordconnection.com.
You can still contribute to the Memorial. Just sent it to: Jack and Marie Lord Trust c/o Hawaii Community Foundation, 900 Front Street Mall, Suite 1300, Honolulu, HI 96813. This fund was established in 1988 and was set up by the Lord’s to benefit their favorite charities. We have been assured that while personal responses are not possible, Mrs. Lord is made aware of all contributions.
See you in
Be There, Aloha