Help Us, Rhonda
west palm beach girl rhonda adams could help you get anyone outta your heart
When the kids in Rhonda Adams' West Palm Beach neighborhood went looking for style, they found it on her front porch. That's where an eight-year-old Rhonda was giving free haircuts to anyone willing to sit for one. All comers got the same treatment -- long in back, short on the sides. "My mother remarked how strange it was that everybody had the same haircut," Rhonda says with a mischievous grin.
Rhonda still loves making herself and others look good. (Her work here proves that point.) And although her mother has reclaimed her sewing scissors, Rhonda has kept her adventurous streak. "I'm willing to try anything once," she says, as a result of her mother's habit of volunteering her daughter for almost every activity. Rhonda has dabbled in flute, baseball, dance, ballet, baton and cheerleading.
She tells me this as she sips a soda at a restaurant on the 95th floor of the John Hancock Building in Chicago. The view up here has never been better, and I'm not even looking out he window. Rhonda continues chatting, oblivious to the attention she has been receiving from busboys and waiters and bartenders. Born in Georgia, Rhonda moved south with her mother when she was two. As soon as she was able, she began to master all things Floridian: bike racing, aerobics, jet skiing, Rollerblading and wearing a swimsuit. And she has made her mother proud. "Someone I've never met will come up to me and say, 'Your mom showed me your modeling pictures,"' Rhonda says. "That happens all the time."
Despite her reckless streak - days after getting her RX7, she struck a car driven by a teacher at her high school - Rhonda insists she's now more safety conscious, at least some of the time. "I used to do front flips on the trampoline, but not anymore," she says. She'll leave the flips to the rest of us.
-- Chip Rowe
Photography by Richard Fegley