What the Heck?
PBS to bring antique show to isle Convention Center
How Much Is That Old Calabash Worth?
After years of asking, the "Antique Road Show" is finally coming to Hawaii. The No. 1 PBS show nationwide will tape three episodes at the Hawaii Convention Center on Aug. 26. Hawaii residents can find out if that family treasure in the closet is worth thousands of dollars, or nothing. "Road Show" fans can thank PBS Hawaii, HVCB, Matson and the Convention Center, who worked hard to make it happen.
Dinner with Andre: That classic 1981 film "My Dinner with Andre" stars Andre Gregory. Actor and director Andre and his wife, filmmaker Cindy Kleine, spent the holidays on Maui, where they were married seven years earlier.
Joining them for a New Year's Eve dinner at Olinda Country Cottages were W.S. Merwin and wife Paula, Maui artists Tom and Michelle Sewell, and Honolulu photographer and author David Ulrich, who flew over for the occasion.
Andre, no fan of the Bush administration, ordered a cake that said, "Happy New Year. Impeach Bush." The young girl behind the counter of the Upcountry bakery blinked once. "Can you spell that?" she said.
Damn Resolutions: A woman I know who runs Diamond Head every morning has decided to take January off. "All those damn New Year's resolutions," she says. "It's shoulder to shoulder out there this month. I hope most of New Year's runners will give up soon."
Kailua psychiatrist Mark Stitham says, yes, everyone breaks their New Year's resolutions. "Ninety-five percent of exercise machines are clothes racks by March." Still, he insists it's psychologically important to make resolutions, to give yourself something to shoot for. But be realistic. For the last five years, Stitham says, his resolution has been to lose 20 pounds. This year, he's settling for five.
The Sweet Taste of Success: Grammy season is in full swing, even for bartenders. At an Outrigger Waikiki reception for the Hawaii Grammy nominees, bartenders competed to create the best "Grammy-inspired" drink.
Duke's Waikiki bartender Amie Fujiwara won the grand prize, a trip to Los Angeles to serve the drink she created at an official Grammy reception.
Fujiwara's drink, "Pau Pilikia," was inspired by a Ledward Kaapana tune. It included a banana, soft ice cream, chocolate syrup and several sweet liqueurs. Asked if he'd ever consume such a concoction, Ledward Kaapana just laughed and shook his head. "There'd have to be something plenty strong in there to get Led to drink it," said fellow nominee Sonny Lim.
By the end, Lim and Kaapana had turned the reception into a backyard jam, with a pickup band that also included guests Brother Noland, Mike Kaawa and Haumea Warrington. Challenged by emcee Kimo Kahoano to come up with one great final tune, Ledward and the band romped through an up-tempo number that had people cheering. "But what is that song?" asked one puzzled audience member. A decidedly un-Hawaiian "Sweet Georgia Brown," made famous by Louis Armstrong.
Malos and Kimonos: He's not up for a Grammy this year, but look for an announcement soon that Kealii Reichel has been approached by the Tokyo Philharmonic to sing with them in Japan this spring, the first Hawaii musician to be so honored.
Art From Ashes: Artist Vince Hazen, now on exhibit at Arts at Marks Garage, creates works out of slug tracks, mildew, even fruit flies. It's remarkably skillful stuff, though the portraits Hazen creates of the dear departed may raise a few eyebrows. He fashions them out of the cremains. Commissions accepted, in case you want to do something for great-grandma.
Raising the Bar: When was the last time anyone threw a fundraiser for a bar? Hale Noa is a kava bar. It was the first in the nation when it opened on Kapahulu six years ago. The candle-lit retreat has hit a financial wall and was set to close at the end of this month. Says proprietor Keoni Verity, "We were operating pretty much as a nonprofit anyway, since our first mission was to perpetuate the culture."
Verity has strict rules, no food, no alcohol, no loud talking. Nonetheless, he's slowly built a following. Still he says, "Going broke might have been the most successful thing we've ever done."
Customers and supporters, including slam poet Kealoha, musicians Barry Flanagan and Ernie Cruz Jr., refused to let Hale Noa die. They're putting on a fundraiser at Bishop Museum, complete with food, a silent auction and concert, next Sunday .
Thursday night, over a few bowls of kava (doesn't taste as bad as everyone says), I remarked to Verity that Hale Noa was packed with patrons. "Word is out," he said. "It's use it or lose it."
John Heckathorn's radio show, Heckathorn's Hot Plate, simulcasts weekday evenings from 6 to 7 p.m. on SportsRadio1420 and sister station 1080 AM. Reach him at email@example.com