By Dave Donnelly

Tuesday, March 9, 1999

of Joltin’ Joe

THERE was a particular touch of sadness in NBC's report of the death of the "Yankee Clipper," Joe Dimaggio. Ending his report on the "Today" show, George Lewis quoted the Simon & Garfunkel song from "The Graduate," the one that goes "So here's to you, Mrs. Robinson/Joltin' Joe has left and gone away" ... My first thought turned to the autograph Dimaggio gave me when I met him in Waikiki at a party many years ago. He had a reputation for being reluctant to sign autographs, but when I told him (truthfully) it was for a friend who collected such things, and the page of my notebook already contained another famous Joe, Joe Louis, whom I'd run into a few days earlier, he signed below Louis' name. You have to wonder what such a double autograph would be worth today, especially in San Francisco where every sports bar contains a famous photo of the very young Louis and Dimaggio huddling together. None has an autograph with it, let alone both. I say you'll have to wonder because my friend cannot find the notebook page containing the signatures, figuring it got lost when he got divorced and gave up just about everything he owned. I'm sure his ex-wife has no idea of the value of the autographs, or they'd resurface ...

Hu goes there

Mug shot ACTRESS Kelly Hu has been popping up all over of late. Having departed "Nash Bridges" to join the cast of "Martial Law," the former Miss Teen USA was on "Politically Incorrect" recently and turned up at the Grammys, too. She's got her eye on a 17-year-old competing for her former title, Miss Hawaii Teen USA. She's Vanessa Yeager, whom Kelly remembers as Little Miss Hawaii in 1993 when she was 11 and was mentioned in this column. Kelly tells her, "In my eyes, you were always a winner." The contest is March 21 ...

IT'S not easy being public television or radio. You always have to be scrabbling for the bucks. Hawaii Public Radio no sooner finished its big fund-raising wine sale than its semi-annual membership drive gets under way March 24 with periodic pledge breaks until April 1 or whenever the $235,000 goal is reached ... KHET-TV is going through its pledge break period right now. I watched part of "S'Wonderful," the London Palladium concert put on last year to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of George Gershwin. What I saw, lamentably, wasn't all that wonderful, with star Maureen McGovern tossing in every chanteuse gimmick she could think of, as if she didn't trust how Gershwin would come off "straight." And when she began a medley of his songs, only to be met with silence after the first tune, she urged the audience to "feel free to interrupt this medley with applause at any time." Pandering at its worst. To the credit of the British, they sat in silence throughout the medley, waiting to applaud at the end ...

Reaching the "Pinnacle"

LOCALITE Al Masini was in some pretty heady company on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange last week when hosts Gerry Levin and Ted Turner of Time Warner and Lou Dobbs of CNN's "Pinnacle" show took over at the close of trading to honor the "Pinnacle 400." Masini, who with wife April, has made Hawaii home since 1995, has been a top TV producer for decades, and has received 33 Emmy Awards. Among others honored along with Masini were Ross Perot, Mort Zuckerman, Donald Trump, Rocky Aoki, Eileen Ford, Spike Lee and Jane Fonda, to name but a few. With his $12 million Hawaii Loa Ridge mansion, Masini personifies one of his shows, "LifeStyles of the Rich and Famous" ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.
His columns run Monday through Friday.

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