Columbia Inn regulars live on in fictional pub


POSTED: Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bob Dye's “;Humble Honest Men”; consists of Irish men with nicknames derived from his fellow regular patrons of the former Columbia Inn on Kapiolani Boulevard.

“;Although there's no Roundtable, it reminds me a lot of the Columbia Inn,”; principle character Kapala Dolan tells his wife, Lani, about a pub in Kinsale, Ireland, meeting place of members of the Humble Honest Men nongovernmental organization.

The fictional pub's name and owner are Edgar the Unsteady, the nickname for the most regular occupant of the Roundtable. A judge is nicknamed “;Habeas Corpulence”; and “;Ipso Fatso,”; the same as those of a Honolulu lawyer who imbibed at the Roundtable.

Dye writes that one of the pub's regulars is Shadow, “;but no one remembers why Shadow is called dat.”; The author said Shadow was a “;made up”; nickname, although a patron of the Columbia Inn was called that because he was depicted as being in his friend Ipso Fatso's shade.





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The moniker of a teacher and playwright in the pub is Donn O'Donovan, a derivation of the late Star-Bulletin columnist and Roundtable regular Dave Donnelly.

Dye did not confine his pseudonyms to Roundtablers' names or nicknames. His novel's Honolulu mayor is F.F. Fosse; Dye was a longtime aide to former Mayor Frank F. Fasi.

The White House aide who vets Kapala Dolan as a potential ambassador to Ireland is Halulani Schneider, a handsome Polynesian and former Harvard basketball player, a match with Mayor Mufi Hannemann, one-time aide to President George H.W. Bush.