Wood Craft

By Ben Wood

Saturday, April 5, 1997

Wayne Hirabayashi, Judy Morita

Pun grad teaches
Japanese in ghetto

MY students can't speak grammatically correct English but they can speak grammatically correct Japanese," says Kimby Jaffe, who teaches Japanese to ghetto sixth-grade kids in Baltimore. Kimby learned Japanese at Punahou, Class of '91, and at U. of Pennsylvania, Class of '95, where she graduated magna cum laude. Kimby and her parents, attorney Ed and Marlene Jaffe, introduced Kimby's fiance, Lawrence Berger, and his parents, Gordon and Edna Berger of Toronto, to friends at the Oahu Country Club Wednesday. Club catering director Estelle Kaya laid out an excellent spread. Kimby and Lawrence, director of corporate development for the Washington Post, will marry Dec. 27 at the Kahala Mandarin ... Incidentally, there's a fashion show at the Mandarin's Plumeria Thursday ...

ORCHIDS' CHEF Wayne Hirabayashi makes no bones about why he became a chef. "I like to eat," said the former McKinley grad. Wayne is a Halekulani success story. He started as an assistant pantry worker when the hotel reopened in 1983 and rose to sous chef before departing in '89. Now, after gaining more culinary skills at places such as Raffles in Singapore, Wayne has returned home and is presenting IndoPacific cuisine in Orchids at the Halekulani. He's come a long way from when, as a youth, he dived for coins that tourists tossed from the Hilton Hawaiian Village catamarans ...

HAVING SEEN Cris Groenendaal in "Phantom of the Opera," I knew he would put on a fine program of show tunes at the Hawaii Theatre last Saturday. A bonus: His wife and pianist, Sue Anderson. Besides her piano work, her comedy and zingers hit the spot -- as well as her husband. Before leaving, the duo dined at Nick's and then took in the Society of Seven. SOS leader Tony Ruivivar's brother, Francis, was on Broadway with Cris in "Passion" ...

COOKIE ISAACS, widow of steel guitar great Barney Isaacs, and Barney's proteges Scott Furushima and Ed Punua are going to Japan to take part in a memorial program for Barney April 19. Sponsor is Canopas steel guitar maker Yasu Kamia ... Condolences to the family of David "Pop" Eldredge, 89. Pop died Thursday ...

A second opinion

BEING a jazz aficionado, I must comment on my colleague Elisabeth A. Crean's review in the Star-Bulletin of Peter Nero's pops concert with the Honolulu Symphony. Both nights last weekend at Blaisdell drew large audiences that roared for pianist-conductor Nero, his trio and our Symphony. The reviewer called the final medley "an unfulfilling ending to an otherwise charming evening." But that 20-minute medley, with Nero's fingers flying up and down the keyboard as he improvised in every direction, tore the place apart and brought wild applause. It was a show-stopper, one of the best parts of the concert. And may I pick another bone with that review? It rapped the fact that the first show was on Good Friday, but hey, some of us are religious about good music and ace entertainers. Hallelujah! ...

VUE gets flushed out

LAST week, when Iris Ching and Naomi Arincorayan opened the door for work at VUE Hawaii, they found water pouring from the ceiling. Over 100 gallons of water flooded the store from an overflowing toilet upstairs. Much inventory was destroyed. VUE co-owner Judy Morita said it was a nightmare moving everything out of the store to the parking lot, keeping watch over it in the rain until 5 a.m. and working nonstop through Easter to get the shop reopened. Then Judy's partner, Betsy Tsushima, goes home and finds her toilet leaking. Judy goes home and her condo hallway is flooded. Judy said psychic Lon Vo told her she would have problems with water ...It's vacation time so please don't try to reach me at work until April 16 ...

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets
of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of people,
places and things every Saturday.

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