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Hawaii

By Dave Donnelly

Sunday, April 7, 2002


1969: New Lahaina railroad
is finally getting on track

AN announcement should be made this weekend by Makai Corp. and Tap Pryor of construction plans for the long-awaited Lahaina, Kaanapali and Pacific Railroad. After several years of financing problems, it looks now as if the tourist-oriented railroad may be building up a new head of steam, and Pryor may be at the throttle instead of developer A.W. McKelvey, its original engineer. (April 10, 1969) ... Even self-proclaimed psychic Irene Hughes my be surprised by this one: Judge Allen Hawkins was driving down Kealaolu Avenue Saturday night with the police escort he'd been assigned when six jailbreakers were loose -- all Circuit Court judges were assigned cops as bodyguards for the duration of the manhunt. He was on his way home from a wedding at the Kahala Hilton. The officer with him remarked offhandedly, "I'll bet those guys are holed up in one of these fancy houses." P.S. Three of them were! ... Judge Hawkins' escort was in plainclothes, wearing an aloha shirt, and was denied entrance at the wedding party. Said the judge, "If he doesn't get in, I don't go in." P.P.S. He got in! (April 13, 1971) ...

THE Gulab Watumulls are treating a theater party of 94 at tonight's performance of "The Imaginary Invalid" at the Commedia's Ala Moana Hotel theater. Then, tomorrow night, the Commedia takes "Arsenic and Old Lace" to Honolulu Hale, the first theater group to play City Hall -- unless you count the regular occupants. (April 11, 1973) ... It looked like a revolt at the new Burger King on Beretania when a bevy of waitresses trekked across the street Friday to McDonald's, all decked out in their uniforms. Don't stop the presses, however. The girls were merely taking a break in their training classes and had to eat at McDonald's because Burger King wasn't serving yet. It finally opened its doors on Saturday, and the Beretania Burger Battle is on. (April 11, 1977) ...

THIS one is almost too good to be true, but it is: Recent isle visitor Kenneth Reno, VP of the Michigan National Bank in Saginaw, Mich., was very impressed by the system of lamps that light up and gongs that sound when a teller is ready to serve another customer in the Bank of Hawaii. He wrote a letter to Bankoh's L. Phillip Buese explaining that he'd checked with numerous bank equipment suppliers, and no one knew where to buy the lamps and gongs, and could Buese help? The local banker dropped Reno a note informing him where the lamp and gong gadgets could be purchased: They're manufactured in (where else?) Saginaw, Mich. (April 9, 1978) ...

SOMETHING of a shock in the hotel and restaurant industry: Hans Strasser has turned in his resignation to Colony Surf owner John Barkhorn after 10 years, during which he took over a restaurant (Michel's) and hotel that was on the verge of bankruptcy and turned it into a multimillion-dollar business. Strasser says he'll "definitely" stay in Hawaii and keep the Austrian Consulate, which he heads, open here wherever he relocates. (April 8, 1980) ...

EVERYONE goes gaga when they run into Rudolph Nureyev on the street or in a restaurant or nightclub, even a guy like Nick Fusco of Matteo's, who probably wouldn't be seen dead at a ballet performance. Still, he was impressed (and flattered) when Nureyev dined at his restaurant the other night ... After Rudi's opening-night party, he journeyed off into the night with songwriter Bob Magoon, visiting the latter's two nightspots, Hula's Bar & Lei Stand and Wave Waikiki. After all that leaping around Saturday night, Nureyev still showed remarkable staying power. (April 7, 1981) ...

IT was a tearful Linda Coble having a pau hana drink with old KGMB boss Bob Sevey at Nicholas Nickolas following her final Channel 9 telecast. She's now joining Sevey in a VP position with Heftel Broadcasting. The drink evolved into dinner, and one spy tells me Sevey was equally teary-eyed when he paid the $400 tab. (April 12, 1988) ...



Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.
The Week That Was recalls items from Dave's 30 years of columns.

Contact Dave by e-mail: ddonnelly@starbulletin.com



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