THE HAWAII FIVE-0 NEWSLETTER
Volume 4 October, 2007 Issue 4
A Kama'aina's Perspective
By Jerry Pickard, UH '72
This is being written at the time of the sixth anniversary of the October 1996 fan/show personality get-together known as MahaloCon. It's still regarded as a stellar occasion by many of us I believe, and rightly so, even - or especially - after a number of years. For the writer, it led to many wonderful follow-ups, including a valued friendship with one show enthusiast who is graciously allowing some of her pertinent thoughts to be passed along.
We were on location director Dick Kindelon's Polynesian Adventure Tours coach Halloween Day 1996, viewing some of the sites where Five-0 had been filmed. The Byodo-In Temple now behind us, our group was gawking at the lush countryside of Windward O'ahu as we headed toward one of the final excursion stops, exquisite Hana'uma Bay. Joyce had an empty seat beside her, and did not seem averse to a lanky haole (Caucasian) guy plopping down beside her. Conversation was immediate; it's recalled that she chuckled visibly about how the character of Che Fong, obviously bearing a Chinese name, was filled by Harry Endo, definitely of Japanese ancestry. (Ethnic origin is almost invariably a topic that gets covered early on whenever the people of these Islands interact for the first time. The intent is not to slam, usually, but to try to enhance one's understanding of another's background and probable status in the social stratum that forms the unique mosaic which is Hawai'i.) Mr. Endo was riding on the same bus, so I nodded in his direction, mentioning that her mirth was certainly in order, and I understood completely. After all, I replied, didn't I know one fellow called Tendo who had once worked with me at Honolulu Airport and who most definitely had ancestral ties to Nippon. This blew Joyce away, and eventually myself as well; it turned out she had gone to school with the same guy, and he was a good friend!
Digressions aside, Joyce kindly did me the honour of offering some of her personal views and insights into the series, from the vantage-point of one who was actually "on the Rock" the whole time it was being produced, and before and after too. While it's certainly a privilege to meet with "the stars" and their ilk, none would be where s/he is without the strong and visible loyalty of their appreciators.
Ironically, however, Joyce - a Honolulu native who also lived in Hilo during her hanabuddah (mischievous childhood) days - does not fit the usual mold of a staunch, diehard fan. She did not attend the '96 gathering primarily to lend her support to the show, in the rah-rah way that others did. Rather, she showed up mainly because she was curious. Curious about "all the old guys," as she put it, and what were they doing now. She had been fortunate to see, and even meet, some of the actors through MahaloCon. Her fellow-islanders who had appeared on the show, particularly intrigued her, she said. Chief among those may have been Tom Fujiwara, whom she described as "not arrogant, and still very good-looking!" She also feels that Jimmy Borges is "now actually much handsomer than in the Five-0 days!" Joyce did not forget her camera, and soon after MahaloCon, she assembled an impressive album/scrapbook that neatly captured much of the essence of the reunion's Honolulu portion - including really fun snapshots featuring herself with Tom and others in the cast. A copy was graciously sent to the author, and I'm most grateful.
At this writing, the show is still being telecast in Hawai'i, and Joyce continues to catch it when she can. She says that she particularly watches for the stars she has seen in person, or even better, met and photographed. Also, the scenes from an earlier era "take her back," she said. In many cases, the landmarks from the time of production either no longer exist, or have lost their one-time prominence, e.g. the revolving La Ronde Restaurant at Ala Moana Center. And, like many locals, she howls in amusement when the characters give a specific, sometimes fictitious location as somewhere else on the Island. She mentioned that she had a baby in 1970, so she ties the show to this event. Thus, Joyce definitely has a strong nostalgic side, as many of us Five-0-appreciators do. Hers, however, is definitely tilted toward the glory days of rock 'n roll, and specifically, the talented and ever-youthful Bobby Rydell. She has been written up as Bobby's biggest supporter in the Islands, even!
Which brings to mind a brief anecdote. The national president of the Rydell fan club has a son who indicated he wanted to go into police work. The mom was not receptive to this, but told him it would be okay only if he joined Hawaii Five-0. Joyce had to correct her on this, pointing out that Five-0 isn't and never was, a real-life entity.
Her favourite episode is 'Grandstand Play'. She states she never saw any of the actors in passing, when the series was in production, but recalls seeing Mr. Endo many times in commercials for his employer, the Honolulu Savings & Loan firm. Her awe at Mike Quigley's - and others' - show websites is enormous, and Joyce cannot believe how much information about Five-0 is out there. She herself would be happy just knowing a bit more about how the series was actually filmed...particularly the scenes shot in the "sleazy" parts of town. As for the more traditional, beautiful tropical backdrops, she realized these were almost always captured with the idea of showcasing Hawai'i's best side to the visitor market ("like Fantasy Island," she compared it). For sure, the legacy of image that Five-0 left, she feels, was that of a paradise where the bad hombres always got what they deserved, because of the application of "old-fashioned" values, which she appreciates. Thus, Joyce doesn't think that the reality of Hawai'i or its people, as she knows them, were truly reflected by the show, pointing out that many acres of downtown were eventually cleaned up primarily to allow for filming.
She summed it all up this way: "When I watch episodes now, it's not 'just a cop show.' I see the bygone Hawaii scenes, the once youthful actors/actresses and also I recognize people who I never knew back when the series was on. Some of them have become 'somebody.' There are others that I wonder 'whatever happened to them?' There are so many nostalgic moments, too."
Joyce, it was kind of you to share your memories and impressions with the Inquisitive Canadian. Many of us mainstream fans have probably wondered, on occasion, why there haven't been perhaps a few more locals speaking up about the show on the online mailing-list, newsgroup or elsewhere. Your commentary may help us to better understand that, on its home turf & surf, Five-0 is mainly just accepted for what it was and is. No need for any "huhu" yeah?
He left his mark in King's Village and in the hearts of his fans and friends as well.
In life we meet many people. Most we call acquaintances, a few we call "friends." Some we forget, others seem to leave a permanent mark in our hearts and thoughts.
Al Harrington's handprints remain at King's Village in the cement. And, after all these years, the memory of witnessing that day remains in my memory. My husband took some photos of Al as he kneeled to place his hands in the concrete that day. Though it has been several years since that event, it seems like only yesterday.
On our last visit to Hawaii this January, I walked over to King's Village to see if the handprints were still there. Sure enough, there they were. I kneeled down, kissed my fingertips and gently rubbed them over Al's prints. "This one's for you Al" I whispered. "I haven't forgotten you." I then said a silent prayer for his happiness and good health. Though we haven't heard from Al himself in a few years, I know we too are still in his heart and thoughts. True friends remain there forever.
I have a friend like that back here in Ohio. Her name is Evon. We attended High School together. We were as close as sisters. Her home was my home and vice versa. When we stayed at each others homes our parents put up with our all night giggling, talking, and whispering. We shared our innermost thoughts and secrets with each other. After graduation, we both married and later we were involved raising our families. Our children are close in age, and from infancy to today they remain friends.
When Bob and I moved to Hawaii I didn't see Evon for many years. When we moved back from Hawaii to the mainland I picked up the telephone and called her. As we talked to each other it seemed as if we were never apart. We picked up right where we left off. Last week her husband and mine and Evon and I had a wonderful afternoon together. We talked about the "good OLE' times" in High School, and from there our conversation proceeded to our children, then the last topic was grandchildren. Those memories and their friendship are "priceless."
When you connect "Spiritually" with a person that bond is for a lifetime. It doesn't happen often. It is said that you can usually count your "true" friends like this on one hand. It is a "blessing" if you have just one. Many people do not.
The weather and people walking over Al's handprints and the others at King's Village have started to wear down the area. In time if they don't place a cover of plastic or some durable material over them they will eventually be gone. The memories of that day however will remain in my thoughts and heart forever.
Here is another article from the former newsletter. As I come across them I’ll try to post them for you to enjoy. This article was also found in the March 1997 newsletter.
A DRIVE BACK INTO TIME
The 1974 McGarrett Car
by Michael Timothy
Regular readers of the newsletter will recall my article ("Book 'Em") on the 1968 Mercury Parklane I found in Hawaii, and which appears to be the car used on the show from the 1968-69 season through the 1974-75 season. [The article is in issue # 34. Ed.] In that article, originally written a few years ago, I referred to the other car used by McGarrett, a '74 Marquis which replaced my car on the show. In the article, I stated that its fan and whereabouts were unknown and encouraged enthusiasts to go out and find that car. As many of you know, the car has been located and a few fortunate convention participants were offered the opportunity to view, ride in and drive this special car!
The car is presently owned by John Nordlum, who is president of the Hawaii Stunt Man's Association and a former stunt double for Jack Lord and Tom Selleck. Rita Ractliffe, Karen Rhodes and myself were fortunate to spend a Saturday morning with John, as he gave us a tour of the island via the McGarrett Mercury.
As John tells the story, at the close of the show in 1980, he approached Lord about the car. Lord cleared the way for John to get title from CBS Television, and John has used the car as his only means of transportation since then, When John got it, the car had approximately 30,000 miles. Presently, it is showing 280,000 and is still capable of pursuing criminals to swift justice (I confirmed this myself when I got my turn behind the wheel). John has maintained the car during his ownership, and kept the gigantic car in operable condition. The car is not restored by any means, but functions as his everyday driver.
With John's gracious permission, I was able to examine the entire car, as well as all paperwork he had. I was anxious to see what similarities, if any, there were as between his car and mine. Not unexpectedly, the glove box was crammed with Jack Lord pictures, similar to baseball cards. (There were no pictures of the car, such as I had found in my glove box). Sixteen years of maintenance receipts showed the usual for a car of this age and mileage.
Digging deeper, I was able to locate the original window sticker as well as warranty information traditionally supplied with the purchase of a new car. The window sticker was fascinating, A normal retail Marquis of this vintage would have a sticker with the Lincoln-Mercury logo at the top, along with Chauncey the Cougar trademark. Not this one. The sticker was attributable to Ford Marketing Corporation (whatever that is). A long list of factory options was disclosed, but most interestingly, THERE WAS NO PRICE FOR ANY OPTION OR THE ENTIRE CAR. The delivery dealer was Lynch Lincoln-Mercury of Santa Monica, California (no longer there).
About the car itself: It is a 1974 Mercury Marquis Brougham 4-DR hardtop. Originally, that model sold for $5,519.00, base price, and weighed 4,853 pounds. Ford built 4,189 copies but apparently sold only 4,188. This particular car was built in the St. Louis assembly plant on August 31, 1973, and was intended for distribution to the Los Angeles area, apparently as a promotion or marketing tool. The car is equipped with most available factory options, and is powered by a fuel slurping 460 cubic inch V-8. At 280,000 miles, it still has its push, as John let me demonstrate while jumping onto the H-1 freeway during our tour.
John relayed a number of stories about the car, one of which emphasized the perfectionist nature of its first driver. This car was equipped with a silly gimmick known as a Rim-Blow horn which enabled the most impatient of drivers to merely squeeze the wheel to operate the horn. No need to waste precious time with locating the pad in the center of the wheel. As Lord would exit the car during filming, he would accidentally squeeze the wheel and honk the horn. Not a very dignified appearance for the head of the Hawaiian State Police. The sound technicians would plead with Lord to let it be; they were more than capable of editing out this gaffe. Not Lord, however. He wouldn't tolerate any slip‑ups, not even his own. The scenes were always reshot until perfect. The Rim-Blow eventually got the heave-ho, and a separate switch for the horn was installed on the dash. Another interesting trivia bit is the engraved sign glued to the passenger side of the dash reading in the most strident of terms, "ABSOLUTELY NO SMOKING IN THIS VEHICLE". Eagle-eye viewers can occasionally get a glimpse of the top of this sign while viewing interior shots of the '74. [It's quite visible in "Man in a Steel Frame" when the killer is getting into and out of Steve's car to take out and later replace the fuse in his radio. - Ed.]
So, that's it for now as to the fate of the second car. Someday surely the two cars can be reunited, whether in my home in Chicago or in Honolulu. I shudder to think of the fuel expense for either car, whichever way they go. So next time you set an old black Mercury 4-DR, give a wave and a honk, and see if you can convince the owner to pull just one more end run, for old times' sake. Aloha.
A word from our sponsors:
2008 Hawaii Five-0 calendars are now available
The 2008 Calendars will be ready for mailing by November 1, 2007. Once again, we have two to chose from. Hawaii Five-0, the seventh season has screen captures from 12 different episodes from that season. The Jack Lord calendar has pictures of Jack from magazines, photos and screen captures. The cost for each calendar is $11.00 in US funds. The cost for non-US residents is $15.00 for each calendar. Payment can be made through Paypal email@example.com or by sending a check or money order to Debbie Fitzgerald, 682 Durham Road, Adams, TN 37010. As in the past, all proceeds will be sent to charity.
Anyone interested in copies of Hawaii Five-0 episodes (mostly all full versions) can contact Barbara Brindle at 105 Warren Road, Sparta, NJ 07871. Barbara does not have an email address so you’ll need to phone her at 973-729-9232. Her rates are reasonable and she’s very reliable.
Ron Evans, owner of e/p Partners, www.networksplus.net/caseyguy/epPartners.htm, also offer VCR tapes of Hawaii Five-0, Jack Lord and James MacArthur, among others. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karen Rhodes, author of Booking Hawaii Five-0, would like contact from anyone who has purchased the unauthorized DVD set being sold on the internet by dvdavenue.tv or anyone else. She says she is specifically interested in getting a look at the episode guide they advertise to go with the DVD set, to check for possible copyright infringement. Contact Karen at 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. You can contact Annette at Spinkick@colint.net and ask her for her mailing address. Any additional 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadlines are one month before each issue. You can find the Central Dispatch on Terri’s Jack Lord Connection located at www.thejacklordconnection.com.See you in January, 2008
Be There! Aloha!