Bruce McKenzie got stranded on one of the outlying islands by a major Hawaiian airline last February. “They didn’t even give out free pineapple juice the way they used to,” he grumbles. He decided to do something about the problem—he bought his own airline. At 28, McKenzie is president of Air Hawaii, which has seven 10-passenger planes flying throughout the Aloha State. “We have united the islands,” proclaims McKenzie, whose prop planes go into more smaller airports than his jet-powered competitors. The trip may be a little slower, but tickets cost less too. McKenzie, who claims to be worth about $2.3 million, pays himself only $750 a month, but Air Hawaii picks up the tab for his apartment and Rolls-Royce. “Sure it’s ostentatious,” he says of the car, “but it’s very impressive when I take a client to lunch.” Raised in Baton Rouge, McKenzie dropped out of LSU and then bounced around New York, Australia and Dallas in the travel business. He paid $1 for the American International Rent-A-Car franchise in Hawaii and expanded from seven cars to 1,200 in five years. With capital from that business, McKenzie formed Air Hawaii. To bolster his current fleet, McKenzie has ordered three British-made Shorts (30-passenger aircraft at $1.35 million per) which he calls “the 747s of the commuter planes.” Then Air Hawaii will serve free pineapple juice.
Cathy Guisewite not only bears a passing resemblance to the cartoon character she is working on below, they are also sisters under the skin. The spaghetti-haired young woman is the subject of a comic strip—not coincidentally called Cathy—that appears in 118 daily and Sunday newspapers all over the U.S. Cathy is torn between the traditional values of her parents and the more liberated approach of her friends. “It’s not totally autobiographical,” explains Cathy’s 27-year-old creator. “I don’t want to expose my personal life on the comic pages. But about half the things that happen in Cathy happened to me first.” Guisewite, a self-taught artist, drew greeting cards as a child in Midland, Mich. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1972, she worked for several Detroit ad agencies, while sending cartoon-illustrated letters to her parents. At her mother’s urging, Guisewite submitted Cathy to Universal Press Syndicate, received a lucrative contract, and the strip began to appear a year ago. Guisewite works in her airy three-bedroom condo in suburban Southfield and is concerned about keeping her strip up-to-date. “If women have harems full of men several years from now,” says Cathy, “that’s what will be in the strip.”