Bo Derek is introduced at the King Harbor Boat Parade awards ceremony by old family friend Bob Meistrell. Photo by Greg Vavrek
Forty years ago, Bob Meistrell chaperoned his then 15-year-old son Randy and Randy’s 16-year old, Narbonne High girlfriend Mary Collins during a week in Catalina aboard the family’s boat Que Paso.
“Mary was a wonderful girl. Her dad Paul was a friend and used to own South Bay Motorcycles on Artesia Boulevard. Then he went to work for Hobie Cat. That week she taught us all how to sail,” Bob Meistrell recalled following the 21st annual King Harbor Boat Parade last Saturday.
Meistrell’s boat Disappearance was the parade committee boat. The parade grand marshal, waiving to spectators from Disappearance’s bow, was son Randy’s old girlfriend, known today to movie fans worldwide as Bo Derek, the star of the film “10.”
“She’s still a 10 and a really nice gal,” Meistrell said. “She talked to everyone on the boat, posed for photos and waived to the crowd from the deck.”
“After the parade, she went to the King Harbor Yacht Club and gave a little talk and presented the awards.
“I gave a little talk, myself, about how she was a lot better grand marshal than Mickey Rooney (a previous parade grand marshal). He drank my wine and ate my chili, but wouldn’t pose for photos and wouldn’t even go back to the yacht club to present the awards.”
The men at the boat parade weren’t the only one’s impressed by Bo Derek, Meistrell said.
“The women all wanted to see her boyfriend John Corbett (co-star of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”) He was as nice as she was,” Meistrell said.
King Harbor Boat Parade Sweepstakes Award winner Ellis Island II, skippered by Peter Ellis. Photo by John Perchulyn
Nearly two dozen brightly decorated boats followed Disappearance up and down King Harbor’s main channel, to the cheers of thousands of spectators.
Ellis Island II, skippered by Peter Ellis, won the Sweepstakes award, for its depiction of “Christmas Dreams.” Its lights depicted animated reindeer, a nutcracker and the Statue of Liberty.
Other awards: Best power boat — Beach House skippered by Mark Downs; Best Sailboat – Enigma 2 skippered by Kevin Heirink; Best execution of Theme — Pascal’s Wager skippered by Lee and Lorraine Collier; Best lighting — Hydro Therapy skippered by Bruce Honer; Best animation (no name) skippered by Jerry Edwards; and Best costumes — Anguillita skippered by Susan Larison.