Friday Five:  Fame!
Friday, March 29, 2002
Suburbia, California 


Time for Friday Five:

1. If you could eat dinner with and "get to know" one famous person (living or dead), who would you choose?

Jesus, who died and yet lives. Dinner would have to be an intimate one, and not a sprawling, bon voyage gathering as was the "Last Supper."  

~ Painting by Tintoretto

I'd love to leisurely "talk story" with him and fully absorb his wisdom directly without abridgment and revision, untampered by worldly interests.  I wouldn't be such a dim Martha, as I was the last time around.

I'd also thank him personally for the gifts and blessings of this life, followed with a big hug.

2. Has the death of a famous person ever had an effect on you? Who was it and how did you feel?

Israel "Braddah IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole is a Hawaiian musician, who achieved great fame in his homeland and posthumously, with the world. Much beloved, his was the largest funeral in Hawai`i in recent times.  People know Elvis, Britney, Bette, and Cher on a one-name basis; the same goes for IZ.  Mention IZ or Israel in Hawai`i, and everyone knows who you're talking about.

IZ at the N Hk Awards, 1996

IZ.  A gentle man with a big heart, beautiful voice and giant spirit. Those infatuated by IZ's music include the following admirers: Jimmy Buffett, Paul Simon, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jon Favreau, New York Mets' Benny Agbayani, Zalman King, Olivia dAbo, Japan sumotori Konishiki, Akebono and Musashimaru.

In 2000, author Dean Koontz honored IZ on the first page of his book:

"As I wrote this book, the singular and beautiful music of the late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole was always playing. I hope that the reader finds pleasure in my story equal to the joy and consolation that I found in the voice, the spirit, and the heart of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole." 
~ Dean Koontz, "From The Corner Of His Eye"

If you've watched TV in the last three years, you've been touched by IZ, at least on a subliminal level.  Recognize the soulful sound of a single 'ukulele with a gentle voice oohing this tune from the classic movie, "Wizard of Oz"?

>> Click here for IZ's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" audio 
and a slide show, thanks to Jason Dyas

IZ singing Oz music received tremendous mainstream airplay, thanks to the ubiquitous eToys TV commercials, featuring his humming refrain from "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Ooh, ooh, ooooh...

Entertainment Weekly pegged this commercial as one of the ten best of the past year, saying: "The clincher: that swoonily catchy hum of music."

Director Martin Brest ("Scent Of A Woman" and "Beverly Hills Cop") recommended IZ's reprise as the background song of the scrolling of the closing credits of the after-life movie, "Meeting Joe Black" with Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt. One of my favorite movies, "Finding Forrester" starring Sean Connery, ended with IZ's hauntingly beautiful medley, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World."  Marvelous, it was the perfect touch.  

IZ's television music credits also include "Party of Five", "Picket Fences", "Byrds In Paradise", "Baywatch" and "Little Girls In Pretty Boxes".  His film music credits also include "In God's Hands" and "Race The Sun".

>> The Legend Grows

IZ lived Aloha and believed in 'ohana (family). He transcended the boundaries of death and nudged a mother and her children back together after a 14-year estrangement brought on by a tumultuous, bitter divorce. 

Click here, if you wish, for the dramatic and heartwaming effect of IZ's death on my life.

3. If you could BE a famous person for 24 hours, who would you choose?

I would not like to be a famous person, even for a day.  I cherish my present life's privacy and anonymity.

4. Do people ever tell you that you look like someone famous? Who?

My husband and me...
And yes, our dogs do look like mini-versions of
Laddie and Lassie.  We 've been told that MANY times.

I've been told I look like Kristy Yamaguchi more than a few times. Yeah, right. I could be her mother. 


I think it's because we have gummy smiles. (We smile big)

Folks mention that they think my husband looks like Yoyo Ma or Jackie Chan.  I disagree. No slight intended to those fine looking men, but my husband's better looking with his kind eyes that crinkle, then twinkle. 



Of course, I could very possibly be biased... 

5. Have you ever met anyone famous?

I live and work in Southern California.  This is Celebrity Land.  Meeting celebs is unavoidable. I have clients who have claims to fame or are "up and coming," but I would be breaching client confidentiality if I told you who they were, wouldn't I?  

Up in Big Bear Lake where we weekend, we've crossed paths with: Jack Scalia, Oscar de la Hoya, Linda Ronstadt, Debbie Boone of "You Light My Life," Olivia Newton John, Academy Award winning, Ron Howard (we're proud of you!), (the late) Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Kenny Rankin, Richard Karn -- Al from "Home Improvement," Gary Shandler, Rita Moreno, Shirley Jones, Shaun Cassidy, Earl Holliman, and Marty Ingels.

On Big Bear's wooded roads and trails, we acknowledge these "celebs" with polite nods and friendly smiles,  just as we do everyone else.  

We abide by Big Bear's unwritten celebrity rule:  respect their privacy by leaving them alone. Like us, they are there to get away from it all and enjoy Nature's peace and quiet.

"Life is a Gift."

Me ke Aloha, 
Author Unknown

 "The only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson


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This web journal was created on a September Morn, 
September 29, 2001
September Morn 2002