On the Scene
‘Our comfort place’
Ambassador Se Won Kim and his wife, In Soo, celebrated their wedding anniversary Thursday but thought Saturday would be a better day to host a party at the Gentry Pacific Design Center for their old-time friends in Hawaii. Kim was a central figure in the Korean community when he was consul general in the '60s; subsequent postings included the Republic of Vietnam, the Republic of Cambodia and Denmark, but he and his family have many fond memories of their years here. Sunny Lee, left, one of the first to befriend the Kims when they arrived, and her daughter, Monica Lee, kneeling with Kim's grandson, Max Wales, talked about old times and new with Tom Wales, second from left, Chong Ho Kim, Hyon By Kim Wales, Cherie Kim, Ambassador Kim, Mi By Kim, In Soo Kim and Susan Kim.
Hyon By Kim Wales confessed that she'd had a big crush on Ozzie Kotani when they were in the eighth grade but had been too shy to say anything. Kotani replied that he was so shy back then he wouldn't have known what to say or do if she had told him. They reconnected several years ago when Kotani -- still soft-spoken but now one of the acknowledged young masters of slack key -- played a concert in New York City.
ESCAPING THE COLD:
Flavia Vehbiu, left, and her mother, Delina Dhamo, third from left, willingly swapped New York in February for a week in Hawaii with Cherie Kim and her family. Kim lives in New York City and doesn't get out here often -- on a previous visit here she caught Grace Jones in concert at Pink's Garage. Jesse Kline made the big move from NYC to Honolulu several years ago.
HIGH SCHOOL MEMORIES:
Ambassador Kim sent all three of his children to Roosevelt High School, and RHS alumnae Jason Fujihara (RHS '68), left, Elton Kagimoto (RHS '67) and Roy Yonaoshi (RHS '70) were among former classmates with stories to share. Kagimoto recalled when a quick turn into the Korean consulate driveway on Pali Highway saved him from a speeding ticket.
MEET THE PARTY PLANNER:
Mi By Kim talked with Robin Kimura while his band was on break. Kim, Miss K-POI in the '60s and now a successful businesswoman in New York City, planned her parents' party. Welcoming the guests on behalf of the family, Kim said that they think of Hawaii as "our comfort place."