Wood Craft

By Ben Wood

Saturday, July 24, 1999

Kahuna, Cats howl
at Tropics

Mug shotBig Kahuna and the Copa Cat Pack ripped the joint apart Wednesday night to open its engagement at Tropics in the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Matt "Big Kahuna" Catingub and his tight 11-piece band, and singer Ginai were outasite. This is not just big band swing; it's a swinging show. The colorfully dressed musicians swing and sway with instrument choreography as they pump out Matt's groovy arrangements. Matt's vocals, such as "Every Day I have the Blues," and his sizzling sax and piano solos are treats. "This is the hottest thing to hit Hawaii in years," said Jimmy Borges, after dancing to a jazzy "Hukilau." Swing dance lessons by Claudia Heu's hep cats are part of the evening. Singers Anita Hall, with old-time finger-wave hairdo, and Sonya Mendez, wearing one of her dad Ben's suits, were outrageously chic. Danny Couch, Betty Loo Taylor, Mihana Souza, Leah Bernstein and Vinny Villapando were other show-biz types attending ...

Tiffany event sparkles

Breakfast at Tiffany's at the Moana Hotel, with beautiful Waikiki beach as a backdrop, sparkled, as did the Tiffany gems that were modeled last Saturday during the program. The event, headed by Dr. Laurie Tom and Kanoe Cazimero, with strong support from Tiffany V.P. Claire Chao and Michelle Chestnut, benefited the American Diabetes Association. Kanoe was hostess, emcee and vocalist. Kit Sampson played piano, Nyle Hallman played harp and Aileen Kawakami played flute. Models sporting Tiffany jewelry from the Jean Schlumberger collection and wearing Dior gowns cruised through the audience. A $95,000 diamond necklace and matching bracelet were modeled. Pierce MacGuire, from Tiffany in New York, gave Schlumberger history. Marlys Payne won a $5,400 diamond tiffany ring ...

July 14 is Bastille Day in France and in Honolulu it's also dermatologist Norm Goldstein's birthday. Among wife Ramsay's gifts to the good doctor were two engraved stones reading, "Create Love" ... Lisa Josephsohn bought a silver Saab convertible for herself on her July 7 birthday, which she calls a "biggie." Not to be outdone, Lisa's pal, actor-singer Larry Paxton, who stars in many diamond Head theatre shows and teaches at the UH, bought one just like it in black ...

THE HVCB took Hawaii to the recent A&P tennis classic in New Jersey in the form of leis, orchids, music and crafts. Isle products were offered at the Chicago and Beach Boys concerts, which were part of the classic. Orchid petals were dropped from a hot air balloon at the Beach Boys show, which was opened by Hawaiian entertainers ... Kurt Greer, a pro at the Riviera Country Club in L.A., is home for a visit. his parents, Lowell and Joan Greer, own Kailua's A Country Treasure store. Lowell taught Kurt, a kailua High grad, how to play golf at Mid-Pac ...

Ciao Mein marks 8th

Ciao Mein in the Hyatt marks its eighth year tonight. Manager Vital Demonti and Mai Tai Sing will greet guests. Chef Hing Lim Lee has a birthday menu of favorite dishes for $50 ... Ryan's beerfest runs through Aug. 22 ... Hawaii Prince exec chef Goran Streng's first name was misspelled here July 3 ... Honolulu opens at Sheraton Waikiki's Esprit Monday. Chant has the Thursday-Friday slot ... Emme Tomimbang, in a July 31 rebroadcast of her show seen last night on KHON-TV, calls Jack de Mello an octogenarian. "I always thought I was Portuguese," sez Jack ... Byeee ...

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets
of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of
people, places and things every Saturday.
E-mail him at

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