What the Heck?
After his last show, Don Ho posed with his wife, Haumea, George Engebretson, left, Jerry Hopkins and Tom Moffatt. Hopkins had just wrapped up a month of interviewing for Don Ho's authorized autobiography, to be published in December. CLICK FOR LARGE
Don Ho's 'autobiography' still being written
Hopkins Does Ho:
After Don Ho died, I talked to a clearly shaken Jerry Hopkins in Bangkok. Among his 33 books, Hopkins wrote the first bio of Elvis, the book that became the movie "The Doors," and Tom Moffatt's "The Showman of the Pacific." The success of Moffatt's book led to a call from Don Ho.
Just the day before Ho's death, Hopkins flew back to his home in Thailand, having completed 50 interviews with everyone from Ho's eighth-grade roommate at Kamehameha to his cardiologist. He logged countless hours with Ho, including a couple after Ho's last show, when Hopkins, publisher George Engebretson, Moffatt and Ho's wife Haumea sat in the deserted showroom, listening to Ho reminisce about his early days. The quintet took the last of thousands of Don Ho show photos.
The book will still be Ho's authorized autobiography, insists Hopkins, and he's writing it as planned, for a December release. "I wanted to finish while Don was still alive," says the author. "It's no less timely now, just more poignant."
First Taste: I had the first bites of food from Cassis, Mavro's new restaurant in the old Palomino location -- a tzatziki chicken "no greens" salad and a smoked-duck salad with poached egg and pancetta.
Painters are still at work in the dining room, subduing the color scheme. The front kitchen is draped in plastic. In the back kitchen, Mavro cooked sample dishes with his former sous chef, Ben Takahashi, back from a seven-year stint on the Big Island. "Don't look at ze presentation," said Mavro. "Just taste."
Despite working all day at Cassis and all night at his signature restaurant, Mavro has never looked happier. "I promised I would never open a second restaurant. Nevair," he said. "I lied." The menu is French bistro with island touches such as kau yuk and oxtail dumpling soup. The 300-seat eatery gets blessed on Friday and opens a week from Monday.
Teddy Bear Parade: I seldom get the pleasure of buying a teddy bear these days, my children having progressed to wanting TiVos and automobiles.
So I showed up, new bear in bag, at the 10th Annual Teddy Bear Round-Up, held last weekend by Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii.
In the middle of the Ward Warehouse amphitheater was a mound of stuffed toys -- bears, dogs, horses, dolphins, cows, monkeys -- about 20 feet long, 12 feet wide, and 4 to 5 feet high.
The goal was 4,000 teddy bears, one for each confirmed case of child neglect and abuse in the state. Last year, in the middle of the 40-day rain, the roundup was canceled. This year, there must have been pent-up demand.
In the first half hour, people dropped off 2,900 bears. An hour later, newly named KHON weather anchor Justin ("I love working with this group") Cruz announced that the tally had reached 6,000. The mound kept growing. Small kids kept staggering in with huge plastic bags full of soft toys from their closets.
The final count: 8,228 teddy bears, which were then distributed by the bagful to agencies that dealt with troubled children and families.
Fashion designer Betsey Johnson is known for turning a cartwheel on the catwalk at each of her fashion shows.
Johnson is sending runway outfits for Aveda Salon's "Fashion Show For the Earth" next week. It's her thank you to the half-dozen Ala Moana Aveda stylists who flew to New York last fall to do hair and makeup during Fashion Week. But she's not attending in person, so the show was going to lack her signature acrobatics.
KITV's Mahealani Richardson, who'd already signed on as one of the models, volunteered to cartwheel in her place. "I've never done a cartwheel in full hair, makeup and a nice dress, so I'm practicing," said Richardson. "Hope I don't fall, but if I do, I'm sure it'll be funny." It'll be Tuesday, 7 p.m., Pearl Ultralounge.
Preschool Art: Think of it as the intersection of preschool and power. The chairman of last weekend's Dazzle fundraiser for Central Union Church Preschool was parent Alan Pfleuger. His vice chairs were Hawaiian Hotels & Resorts' Gary Hogan, Milici Valenti Ng Pack's Nick Ng Pack and Hawaiian Telcom's Mike Ruley.
"I'm a businessman," said Pfleuger. "The first thing I asked was how much money they raised last year, so I could beat it." Even before the silent and live auctions were tallied, he announced the event was $50,000 ahead of the previous year's total, $120,000.
Food was provided by 20 major restaurants, thanks to parent D.K. Kodama, who also donated a live auction item. He'd close one of his restaurants and serve a dinner for 10, featuring food from all his eateries, plus Roy's and Alan Wong's. That dinner went for $5,000 in spirited live bidding.
Damon Estate's J.P. Damon came up with an unusual auction item. "Art doesn't really do well at these things, but I had a plan," he said. He commissioned a painting of the preschool by local artist Nancy Vilhauer.
As Damon paraded the painting through the audience, bidding reached $5,000. The winning bidder, parent Jeff Oyster, immediately donated the painting back to the school, as long as parents from each of the nine classes came up with $500 a class. After some public coaxing, the money was raised and the painting will now reside in preschool's admin building.
Principal Marie Hooks sighed with delight. "That painting's been in my office for three days," she said. "I was getting attached to it."