By Dave Donnelly

Tuesday, June 1, 1999

Big weekend on Big Isle

THE Memorial Day Weekend music and treasured artisans at the Four Seasons Hualalai made it the perfect place to get away from the hubbub of Honolulu. Why else would Dickie Wong and his family have chosen it as a haven to escape reading about Bishop Estate affairs? Also showing up for the concert Friday night was another involuntarily retired trustee, Lokelani Lindsey. She sat with the Wongs for most of the concert, but when they left to get their young daughter to bed, Lindsey slipped up and surprised one of the singers who had already performed, the Hoku-winning Kawai Cockett. He was seated in the back row of the appropriately named Hoku Amphitheater, and the two appeared to belong to a mutual admiration society, hugging and kissing and then sitting together as Myra English closed the show. Another oldtimer, Kealoha Kalama, got things under way, joined by her daughter just as Cockett was by his son. A Merrie Monarch-winning halau of eight young women added much to the nostalgic tribute to Hawaii, old and new ...

Mug shot THE Big Isle trip was a good opportunity to try out Sam Choy's newest restaurant, located in the Keauhou Beach Hotel. His name is on the door, but I got the idea the place was more of a Sam Jr.'s, needing some attention from Choy himself and perhaps more training for the youthful and inexperienced wait staff. I mean, forget that the interior is nondescript. The least one could hope for is to get the entrees that were ordered, and we didn't. Choy's two Oahu restaurants are personal favorites, so it's a shame to report that the Keauhou Sam Choy's pales by comparison ...

Nuuanu East

WHO should be leading the quartet of musicians backing the "musical treasures" at the Hualalai Memorial Day fest but Kawika Trask. Leasehold problems with his landlord, the city & county, caused him to shutter his Punani's on Nuuanu Avenue. It's been closed for a couple of weeks while negotiations continue ... Trask has the most unusual style of ukulele playing. There are basically two ways: The one used by nearly everyone else, and the way Trask plays, best described as upside down. He rests the large end of the uke on his right shoulder, and brings his hand up from underneath to strum it. Kawika, who's often played casual gigs where there weren't enough microphones to go around, says he found if he held the uke close to his mouth while strumming, people could hear both music and voice over one microphone ...

Final weekend notes

Four Seasons G.M. Kathleen Horrigan, one of the few female general managers in the islands, delighted in showing off the new chef of her Pahui'a Restaurant, 28-year-old Meagan Barnes. Like her boss, she's of Irish descent and very inventive both in vegetable garden and kitchen ... Dean Hyry is resort manager, having left the Kahala Hilton one day in January and going to work for the Four Seasons the next ... Localites Gail and Red Morris also dropped over from next door at the Kona Village. The two were unwinding after meetings at the Mauna Lani ... And no trip to Kona would be complete without stopping by the Office. Previous bartenders there included the legendary one-armed Pat Dorian and "Little Al Farr." Now Lathen S.K. Lum is behind the plank and his card reads, in part, "Manager of Moods & Master of Mixology." ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.
His columns run Monday through Friday.

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