By Dave Donnelly

Monday, August 16, 1999

HMO offered right medicine

AUG. 16 may not be an important date in your life, but it is in mine. It was exactly five years ago today that Kaiser saved my life. I've heard lots of snide jokes about HMOs since then, but I have nothing but the greatest admiration for Kaiser's nurses and doctors, particularly Dr. John Falzarano and Dr. Peter Abcarian, whoMug shot conducted separate operations on my liver 10 days apart, and also Dr. Raymond Tam, who became on this day five years ago my primary care physician. From the original "48 hours to live" prognosis, I spent two weeks in the critical care unit, where 60 units of blood were pumped into me, another week in the hospital and a week at home before the doctors, reluctantly, let me return to work. I missed only four weeks of columns, and it gives me great satisfaction to note than I haven't taken a sick day off since. Thanks, Kaiser, and thanks to all the many friends who stood by me ...

WE'VE all seen some pretty dramatic golf tournaments, but the conclusion to the PGA Championship yesterday was a fitting topper. Watching a gutsy, 19-year-old daredevil named Sergio Garcia throw the fear of the Almighty into Tiger Woods, usually his own specialty, was great drama. I've never seen Woods look so relieved and exhausted as when he parred the final hole to claim victory over Garcia by a single stroke, knowing full well that this was just the first of many confrontations they're likely to have in the coming millennium ...

Talented Schick

ANOTHER Bright protegee: We mentioned that Kathleen Stuart, who honed her talent in musical theater through Castle High's enormously talented Ron Bright, is home for summer before returning for her second year at Mountview Academy in London. Now, another Bright spot in island theater, Aiko Schick, who starred in Castle's "Sweet Charity," is off to yet another prestigious theater school, the New World School of the Arts in Miami. She plans to earn a BFA in musical theater and, like her Castle predecessor, will seek out a career on the stage ...

"WHY?" you might ask, but don't ask me. Kmart celebrated a name change yesterday at the Nimitz store with BB Shawn and his group entertaining. It's now called "Big Kmart." A lot of high-priced brain power probably dreamed that up, but they must know that everyone will simply continue to call it "Kmart" ... Nothing like getting chewed out via e-mail, but a friend of the Nakamatsu family wrote to ask, "How can you talk about Jon Nakamatsu's 'strong Hawaii ties' without mentioning his father, David Nakamatsu, who was a football and baseball star at Leilehua?" I'm sure Jon's dad will also be on hand with the rest of his family cheering him on when the piano soloist performs here Aug. 27 and 28 along with the Asian Youth Orchestra ...

Tears of joy

DFS Hawaii president Bob Coe was watching fashion icon Anna Sui autographing merchandise for buyers at the DFS Galleria the other day when a young visitor from Japan caught his eye. Ai Arakawa was thrilled at seeing Sui, but appeared unable to pay for the goods she was autographing. Coe showed that aloha spirit, paying for the purchase himself, and creating a photo opportunity for the young visitor posing with Sui for Japan's top fashion magazine. That's something she'll never forget. Coe's reward? A teary bear hug from the grateful Arakawa ...

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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