[private] Who & Where From?: Utila is a place where most people wear as little as possible: no shirts, no shoes … One of the people who goes against that trend to follow her own drummer is Linda Halverston. A Utila native, Linda, 40, went from Utila to Berlin just in time to see the wall come down. She modeled for United Colors of Benetton, worked at a catering service and as a translator. In 1999, after 12 years in Germany, Linda came back to Utila and purchased the property where she was born. The property included an almond tree where her father buried Linda’s navel string (i.e. umbilical cord, placenta). Linda married Dr. Kurt Halverston with whom she has a son Haden, whose navel string is also buried under a tree. “That’s why we are so attached to the island,” Linda says about the island tradition. Wow … it looks like Bay Islands are littered with people’s navel strings.
What & Why: We caught up with Linda during Semana Santa as she checked on her employees working at Munchie’s Restaurant. “Everybody is going to the beach. It’s very peppy and it’s very, very hot,” says Linda. Illegal in Florida (but perfectly legal on Utila), the fire red “Brazilian low cut bikini” was purchased in Brazil by Linda’s little nephew Johnny Allen. Her black, transparent and see-through top, or “vestido playero,” was purchased in a La Ceiba Carrion–Lps. 990. Her charcoal Old Navy flip-flops were sent down from Napa Valley, California, by Linda’s sister. “This outfit has a touch of sexiness and a touch of elegance to it,” says Linda. “Show a little bit, but don’t show everything.” Her silver, round, four-inch diameter earrings were a gift from an employee. Yes, the employee still works at Munchies. A steering-wheel shaped pendant, studded with zirconias, was another gift from employee Gabbie. Linda’s coordinating watch was a Hawaii Walmart purchase, $25 and it works. Another accessory: Nine West black leather purse was purchased in Hawaii, on sale for $60. “I like to mix, unite things. You do it with people, you do it with clothes. It has a certain touch to it,” said Linda. Her golden nose stud with an inset diamond was a gift from Ingrid Mall, Linda’s ex-mother-in-law, about whom Linda says, “She always wanted to do it, but never built-up the nerve.” The nose stud has been with/on Linda 24/7/365 since 1990. “This is a very special thing,” says Linda of her wedding ring. “I like silver and my husband likes gold,” says Linda. So the couple compromised, and Linda wears three rings on her wedding finger: an engagement ring with a diamond and two wedding bands–one silver and one gold. “It was worth it.” Her fourth ring, a platted silver ring, was also a gift from a Sudanese friend in Berlin.
In Conclusion: Regarding her perception on Utila, “I stand out on the island as ‘She knows about fashion,'” says Linda, who organized the 2007 Utila’s Miss Playa contest. “To look all the same, all the time is boring. I like to change my look,” says Linda. “What you wear should depend on where you are going and whom are you going with.” For us Semana Santa would not be quite the same without Linda. [/private]