SUNGLASSES by the 100’s . Just imagine having so many pairs of sunnies* you could wear a different pair everyday for over 3 years! You’d never wear the same ones twice! Add a terrific smile factor and you have a perfect description of Waimea resident Betty Webster. I’m sure those who frequently are in town have seen this elegant lady wearing brilliantly colourful muumuu and sporting an unusual pair of her flashy shades* . She gets second glances and automatic smiles from every face she meets and from those who catch her passing by!
So it was with current Waimea Arts Council President Amaury Saint-Gilles the first time he met Aunt Betty. It was at KTA’s pastry counter (where else would he be?) and he describes it as magical to watch heads turn and smiles erupt on every face walking by. Many were acquaintances and Aunt Betty always had a few words to share with those she knew. But it was the reason she gave for daily wearing her unusual trademark eyewear that brought an upcoming Firehouse Gallery display to fruition. She said she wears them to spread a bit of joy. Simple and direct – she thinks smiling is good to practice and her glasses merely egg onlookers into that mode. Maybe Pharell Williams had sometime seen Aunty Betty (?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” /Las Vegas perhaps?) when he wrote his recent hit Happy!
When Amaury learned Guinness publishing wanted to include her collection of 1200+ sunglasses in their Book of Records, he volunteered WAC and everyone in the North Kohala as volunteers! Yes – EVERYONE was personally volunteered to help. HOW? Well one of the requirements is that Guinness must have a visual record of any collection like Aunt Betty’s sunglasses. That’s a lot of work so to make it easier and much more fun WAC is having a special display where everyone (sorry but all pets and children fifteen and under must be accompanied by parents) is invited to come have their picture taken WEARING a pair they like. We aim to take photos of ALL 1200 pair of sunglasses in her collection – each on the face of a member of our wide-ranging community. We’ll be set up to quickly take your name for the record and snap a memorable foto. Depending on how long the line might get it should still be a fairly quick in and out.
So we’re urging everyone on HAWAII Island during this unique event to swing by the Firehouse Gallery between March 22nd thru the 29th, Sunday to Sunday. It’s directly opposite the Chevron gas station in Waimea’s Historic Corner with ample parking. Rte 190 (the Upper Road to Waikoloa and Kona) begins at that intersection with Rte 19 which makes a turn toward Kawaihae and North Kohala. It will be open daily from 9AM to 6PM for the convenience of those working. The gallery # is 887-1052. So mark these nine very special days on your calendars and urge all your friends and family to come support SMILING by helping WAC meet the 1200 photos goal for Aunt Betty. We know you’ll go away happy with your own smile in place. BTW you could hardly miss the giant pair of glasses outside!
* Sunnies is Aussie slang for sunglasses while Shades is American slang.