Category: Famous and Fabulous


The Hawaiian Chieftain is an interpretation of a typical European merchant trader in the nineteenth century. The hull shape and rigging are similar to those of Spanish explorer’s ships used in the late eighteenth century along the Washington, Oregon, and California coasts. Built of steel in Hawaii in 1988, she is a 103-foot-long topsail ketch.

Purchased in 2004 by the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority in Aberdeen, Washington, the Hawaiian Chieftain joins the Lady Washington on educational cruises and ambassadorial visits in more than 40 ports on the west coast.

American fur trader Captain Robert Gray discovered the Columbia River in 1792, naming the major river of the Pacific Northwest after his ship, the Columbia Rediviva. Accompanying him was another ship, the Lady Washington. We toured the Lady Washington, a 112-foot, 99-ton vessel a full-scale replica of the orginal ship built in the British Colony of Massachusetts in the 1750s.

The Lady Washington vessel has appeared in motion pictures, most notably in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

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Fleet Week Air Show

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Several years ago around the holidays I was waiting for a delayed flight at the San Francisco airport. The airport was in complete chaos.

I was checking on my flight in the main terminal. The lines were long and people were pushing luggage carts creating an obstacle course.  As I strategically weaved through the traffic of people I found myself in a bottleneck stand still.

I looked up and there was Helen Gurley Brown and her husband David.  I recognized her immediately and smiled.  She was slender and elegant.  He was a gentleman in a dark suit and being very attentive to her.

We were standing next to each other waiting for the crowd to move.  I said, “Ms. Brown, I love your suit.”  It looked like Chanel with a Chanel bag on her shoulder.  She smiled and asked my name.  I remember she had a soft distinct voice.  Ms. Brown then introduced me to her husband David.

We both smiled at the confusion and frustration of the crowded airport.  I was holding a couple magazines and one was Cosmopolitan.  I said it was an honor to meet her, as the crowd started moving.

We said goodbye and walked our separate ways.  I was pleased to erase my airport frustrations and instead I was left with a serendipity memory.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/14/business/media/helen-gurley-brown-who-gave-cosmopolitan-its-purr-is-dead-at-90.html?pagewanted=all

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/hairstyles-beauty/beauty-blog/chanel-spring-2012-fashion-show-picture-101411

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The Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park is a spectacular living museum of rare and beautiful tropical plants under glass.

San Francisco’s celebrated designer and artist, Stanlee Gatti, at his dazzling art installation at the Conservatory of Flowers entitled “ONE: An Earth Installation.”  Gatti’s fantastic and intricate Tree of Life sculpture that symbolizes the emergence of plants from the sea onto land.

Gatti has designed some of the most elegant and exclusive events in the country including the Mayoral Inaugurations of Gavin Newsom and Willie L. Brown, countless high profile weddings and several lavish Oscar Award parties for Elton John/In Style and People Magazine. Gatti’s charity oriented efforts include events for San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, SFMOMA, Asian Art Museum, De Young Museum and the Center for the Arts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrZ1qSKSxZU

The San Francisco Symphony previews the Opening Night Gala concert for more than 100 social service and non-profit organizations that serve San Francisco and the Bay Area.  Friday evening pianist Haochen Zhang played a dazzling and powerful performance, I will never forget.

I relish the moment of true surprise.  It is an unexpected special gift from the universe aimed with swift spontaneous force.  I am often left with an unique unforgettable memory.

Years ago I was shopping and exploring stores in San Francisco.  It was a grand opening proceeded by weeks of billboards and banners on building and buses all over the city.  Grand openings are over the top exciting.  People often dress up and are given free gifts, champagne and lots of samples!  All the brass, glass and chrome throughout the store is sparkling and polished perfectly.  The store staff is smiling, meeting and greeting everyone as if they were a celebrity.

I scanned the monster store feeling like I was inside a beautiful museum.  I rode the escalators and elevators to the top while I gazed at the whimsical displays.  I was with my attorney friend who loves to shop.  It was not long until we found ourselves in the men’s custom suit department.  I was fascinated and entertained by the glorious fabrics and the handsome customers who looked like models.

I patiently waited as my friend shopped meticulously for ties.  I found myself discreetly studying the customers as they seriously sorted through the racks of suits.  My eyes stopped and stared at a tall polished shockingly handsome man.  I was hidden behind the shirts which allowed me to easily watch him.  Then it happened, my body was flushed with a rush of awareness and excitement.  The man I found so charming, graceful, and naturally rugged was JFK Jr.

As a child my mother and I shared the joy of reading about the Kennedy family.  I was a big fan.  I followed John’s career at “George” and his wedding to Carolyn Bessette in a secret ceremony on Cumberland Island.

My heart was pounding, I felt silly but I could not help it.  I looked around and no one was acknowledging his presence.  I calmed down and tried to relax.  Later I slowly walked over to my friend, he was shopping a few feet from JFK Jr.  I quietly whispered to him and asked if we could please leave and go to the next floor.  As we walked to the elevator I passed Carolyn Bessette shopping, she was incredibly delicate and beautiful.

We waited for the elevator, finally we were alone as the doors closed, then it was just the two of us.  I took a deep breath and explain to my friend what just happened.  We both could not believe we just saw JFK Jr and his wife.

That afternoon I kept bumping into John and Carolyn as we continued to shop in the mega store.  I remember many special moments.  One time in the middle of the store Carolyn stood on her toes to lightly kiss John’s cheek.  It was like looking at a magazine photo, but it was real.  We all tried to respect the famous couple’s privacy.  Thinking back, it was simply delightful to share my shopping afternoon with “our royal couple.”

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As I strolled through her recent art show or the winding paths of Rochelle Ford’s garden, I was amazed by the number of original pieces of art she has created.   The home of the metal sculptor artist is adorned with colorful mixed, metal creations of sculptures, paintings and collages.  Her creations are sensuous and covered in intriguing bright glorious color.  Each object will arouse emotion, discussion and interaction.

When she works Rochelle uses an oxyacetylene welding torch to fuse recycled metals and other discarded materials into bold objects of strength and beauty.  She is constantly searching for recycled organic and industrial materials.

Her unique art is born and created in various sizes and shapes from steel, copper, brass, feathers, bones, beads, yarn, paint and glass.

www.metalsculptor.com

Meeting Gloria Steinem

In college I followed the life of Gloria Steinem.   A devoted activist and writer, Gloria Steinem is undeniably one of the most important voices of the modern feminist movement.  She is an outspoken champion of women’s rights.  She is unpredictable and continues committed to charting her own path in life.

Several years ago, I attended a book signing for Gloria Steinem.  Earlier in the day the lines were long.  Later, when I walked into the bookstore before closing, I scanned the store and spotted Ms. Steinem looking regal and poised sitting next to a stack of her books.

I hesitated, thinking I was too late, she looked up and we exchanged smiles.  As I approached the counter I felt her confidence, poise and grace when she said a simple ”Hello.”  I was charmed by her natural beauty and genuine warmth as she shook my hand.  All I could think of was how relaxed she was and how I felt very comfortable talking with her.  We had a conversation that truthfully moved me.  As I left she thanked me for coming.  I was so impressed by her unpretentious way and her extreme, confident demeanor.

Later on, I reflected how I identified with one of my favorite quotes in her book, “Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.”

Each day I am searching for new ways to explore life anonymously.  I often attract too much attention.  I would rather blend in or better yet be invisible.  For many years I avoided going to Las Vegas because I do not gamble, smoke or drink much.  To my surprise when I walked into the Wynn Hotel for the first time my mind was swept away by unstaged drama and exciting dynamic visuals.  I saw all kinds of images twirling, floating and flowing.  I was racing towards a mission to capture as many sights as possible.

My wish came true, it was like I was invisible.  No one and nothing inhibited me from wondering the dreamlike halls.  I followed my exploring instincts.  Unfortunately I had less than an hour to see as much as possible.  I danced down the flower-lined stairs to the mammoth pool area.   I was noticing the coyness of the attractive singles in intimate conversations.  I entered the world of beautiful bikinis and ladies with perfect thighs.  It looked somewhat like Beverly Hills.  I gazed at plush pillows, bright fabrics, plasma screen TVs and a pool branching out like a long blue sparkling maze.  I thought this was another world and I became even more curious.

The excitement pulled me into a fast pace walk.  I raced back inside the hotel with vivid colored, plush carpeted halls lined with staff in stately dark suits.  I quizzed them for directions to any sights in the hotel that would continue to take my breath away.  They answered me with excitement, telling me of destinations with futuristic water displays.

In a panic I realized my time was up; I had to end my mission.  I slowly, sadly, sulked and glanced about as I found the front door to leave.  My mind still spinning, I wondered when I would be returning to Las Vegas.

Early in the week I was invited to a dinner party at my friend’s home who is the city’s event planner extraordinaire.

I carefully planned what to wear for the evening.  It was almost like searching my closet for the perfect costume.  Deciding on something I have not worn before, something feminine yet comfy.  I rushed to get ready, my bed was covered with clothes when I finished dressing.  I quickly applied makeup, picked the right jewelry and shoes.  I drove across town singing to my favorite CD, becoming even more excited.

As I walked to the door and into a large room filled with svelte men and fascinating women mingling and holding colorful martini glasses the flirting began.  I am fascinated by creative minds, artists, actors and writers who often perform in local movies and plays.  These artists especially at parties open their souls while living in the moment.  I received lots of hugs and kisses on the cheek as I noticed each person checking out the guests as one might do while shopping for flowers at the market.

The flamboyant people, dressed sexy, have extreme conversations and share the fun of escaping into another world.  While greeting new guests who arrived I heard the sound of water in a hand blown glass fountain flowing softly in the foyer.  The high energy guests continuously made me laugh throughout the evening.  Some were dancing and others were in deep conversations.  The host had a cutting wit, always embarrassing his guests challenging them to come back for more.  I loved his humor.

I darted from room to room listening to new mini dramas.  My friends were generous with invitations to their lake homes and the next dinner party.  On the back patio the guests smoked as I breathed in the cool night air and gazed at the garden.  Each friend was outrageously witty, and shared comments about their day job.  I jumped from group to group grabbing the details of upcoming trips.

We all anticipated the amazing mix of smells floating from the kitchen as we devoured juicy conversations.  As I took a sneak preview at the buffet, I studied the live tropical flowers in the center.  The table display was multilevel with a sunset glow of tangerine colored glass and cobalt blue dishes.  Dinner was announced as we weaved our way around the black table.  Each bite was juicy, bursting with mystery flavors.  One of my friends who I have known for years sat next to me.  He shared the stories of a flamboyant choreographed wedding and the costume he worn.  I told him how I wanted to be there but I was on vacation.  We all ate and drank as the hours flew.

Soon couples were hugging goodbye.  I kissed my friends as I made my final glance around the eclectic designs in the house.  I felt a warm rush of happiness come over me as I walked out the front door.  I thought to myself, this was a magical evening.

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