Alpin and Dana led me up a rickety ladder to an empty room in a java plum high above the Hamilton’s main house. While setting up the tripod and camera, I was surprised to see these “earth children” hippie kids pull out a mirror, makeup kit, hairbrush and start preening. Three walls of windows, an opaque plastic skylight roof and venetian blinds created ideal lighting for this unnerving “coming of age” portrait.
“My best friend was Alpin, Bobo's daughter. Me and Alpin hung out a lot together. Alpin was only nine and I was thirteen in this picture. We were the trashy little teenagers, free souls who had no idea what was in store for us. Alpin’s mom was a real heavy drinker and Alpin had a hard time dealing with that. She started getting into heavier drugs. We would drop acid and run the trail to Hanakapiai topless. I spent a lot of time trying to protect Alpin from the local boys. That was our time of growing up. It was probably the safest place I could have grown up. Had I been in the city on the mainland where I'm from, I probably would have been a lot worse, so I don't regret it at all.” — Dana Mitsui