What the Heck?
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Robert Cazimero flashes a smile offstage to Haumea Ho as he and brother Roland performed during a memorial concert for Don Ho at Sunset on the Beach in Waikiki. CLICK FOR LARGE
Robert Cazimero makes plane with HPD help
Robert Cazimero found himself surrounded by police cars leaving the memorial concert for Don Ho -- but it's not what you think.
Cazimero had to be in Los Angeles last Sunday for a screening of "Na Kamalei: The Men of Hula" at the Directors Guild. But no way was he going to miss singing at the memorial for Ho the evening before. The solution: Get off stage and dash to the airport for a red-eye.
He got on stage later than expected. While Robert and brother Roland sang a deeply felt version of "Nightlife," Mountain Apple staffers backstage were busy on cell phones re-booking him on the last flight out.
When Robert left the stage, HPD, which had let him park his Jaguar on Kalakaua, escorted him out of Waikiki so he wouldn't get stuck in traffic. "When I got to the freeway, they peeled off like the fighters in 'Star Wars,' " says Robert, who made the plane.
Mile-High Maui: I was walking down 16th Street Mall in Denver last weekend when I spotted a place with plastic lei hanging on the door handles. It was Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffee & Smoothies -- a Colorado-based franchise operation, with no real Maui ties, though it does sell Hawaii products.
I talked to the two 20-somethings who worked there, Sarah Good and Andrew Redebach. Ever been to Hawaii, I asked. "Oh no," they said. "Is it nice?"
Scribes: Among the "major authors" booked for next weekend's Hawaii Book and Music Festival are James Bradley, Maxine Hong Kingston, James D. Houston -- and former Gov. Ben Cayetano. Yes, Cayetano's writing these days. He still hasn't finished his long-promised memoirs, originally scheduled to be published before the last election.
Wally "Famous" Amos, who's managed four books, will also be there, though not as a major author. He'll be cruising the grounds on a Segway, alerting people to special events.
Losing a Piece of Hawaii Culinary History: Hans-Peter Hager, who came from Switzerland in 1965 to help open the Mauna Kea, then opened the Mauna Lani, is shutting down his Edelweiss Restaurant in Waimea. On Nov. 17, its 25th anniversary.
Hager's retiring, but staying on the Big Island. "Everyone expects me to go back to the old country," he says. "But forget it, I'm not going to freeze my ass off."
Play By Play: Last Wednesday, Les Keiter was the first guest on attorney Jeff Portnoy's new KUMU sports talk show. Portnoy mentioned that Keiter, in his early Honolulu career, used to "re-create" baseball games, reading the news off the wire and faking the play-by-play as if he were at the game, complete with sound effects.
Keiter responded by "calling" a fictional half-inning between the 1954 Dodgers and Giants. "He made it actually exciting," says Portnoy.
Then Portnoy asked about what's still called "the greatest NFL game ever played," the 1958 championship between Giants and Colts. Keiter re-created his broadcast of the last play in sudden-death overtime.
"The man's 88, and he's still got it," says the amazed Portnoy.
"Maybe he'll have me back," says Keiter.
Ti for Two: Promoter Ron Gibson is cautiously optimistic. After all, it hasn't been raining for 40 days straight before next weekend's Crater Festival. You'll remember it did so last year, stopping only 24 hours before the festival began, right after singer Yvonne Elliman gave him a ti leaf from her Manoa garden.
"I'm cautious," says Gibson. "You never know what the weather's going to do." He's still got Elliman's ti leaf. But it's tattered and brown, so she brought him another. Maybe it will hold off the rain.
Boom! Getting good reviews on Amazon from places as diverse as Baltimore and Waimanalo is Waikiki street minister Cloudia Charter's totally unheralded Hawaii novel, "Aloha, Where You Like Go?"
Mainlanders like Charter's explanations of island culture, but residents are more likely to enjoy her tales of driving a cab at night or working in a hostess bar.
Charter could have probably used a professional editor, but she writes off some great sentences. My favorite, about the interior of a stripper's car: "I noticed that Kat was dusted randomly with sparkles, in fact the whole car interior had sparkles everywhere, like a drag queen had exploded back there."
If you've got $2,500 burning a hole in your pocket, you can spend it to have dinner with John Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston, at the Honolulu Design Center a week from Thursday.
The money goes to Narconon -- the controversial drug detox program, often criticized both on the mainland and in Europe for its unscientific treatment methods, its inflated success claims and its ties to the Church of Scientology.
Outside of Tom Cruise, Travolta is Scientology's best-known adherent. Travolta jumped into the Anna Nicole Smith media circus by pointing out that Smith would still be alive if he'd persuaded her to join Narconon.
Looks like Larry Price is going to survive the Gary Hooser flap. I like both Price and Perry, and I am no fan of Sen. Hooser's politics or the last Senate session.
Still, Price was flat-out wrong. It's cheesy to refute someone's politics by attacking their race. Price did so with deliberate malice.
After Price's obligatory PR-driven apology, Perry leapt to his defense, complaining that "a 15-second sound bite" had overwhelmed "a devastating, revealing 15-minute interview about our dysfunctional state Senate." That's true, Mike, but you two did it to yourselves, by stooping to the cheap shot.