By Dave Donnelly

Tuesday, September 14, 1999

Hats off to Yamaguchi

WINNER of this year's Big Isle Paniolo Hat Lei Contest "Paniolo of the Year" award is Jiro Yamaguchi. As winner of the contest, sponsored by Bill and Patti Cook's made-in-Hawaii shop, Cook's Discoveries, Jiro will ride in Saturday's Aloha Festivals Paniolo Parade on the Big Island.Mug shot Yamaguchi is retired from Parker Ranch (mandatory 10 years ago) but still rides and ropes with the best of them. He celebrates his 75th birthday Thursday, fresh from winning some bucks in team roping at Parker Ranch's Scholarship Rodeo. Parade organizers arranged for him to ride in the rumble seat of a cherry '35 Dodge owned by Ken Hufford of Waimea's Honopua Farms. No way, said Jiro, who'll ride his favorite palomino, Pilimau. Grand marshals are two of the Big Isle's most famous folks -- Doris and Earl Bakken. He's the inventor of the implantable heart pacemaker, and the two recently have pledged $3 million toward the purchase of a state-of-the-art MRI for North Hawaii Community Hospital ...

BIG Island comings and goings: No sooner did Sylvester Stallone check out of the Four Seasons Hualalai than Jim Carrey checked in. Interesting to note that "Sly" checked in under his real name, while Carrey registered as "Fatuchini Alfredo." Who's the sly one here? ...

Stout trouper

THOUGH his primary concern while back in the islands is to direct "Baywatch Hawaii," Lewis Stout has also managed to make the rounds of various theater groups, sampling their offerings. He worked with the Hawaii Performing Arts Company (now Manoa Valley Theatre) back in the '70s, and one member of the group there was Jerry Tracy. The latter now directs the Aloha Performing Arts Center in Kealakekua, and managed to lure Stout to the Big Isle without the TV entourage. Stout's original script, "The Pink Palace," set on Oahu on the eve of JFK's nomination for the presidency, was one of the plays in the sixth annual Original Play Festival, which Tracy's company included in a series of staged readings. Stout had canceled plans to attend because of his wife's illness on the mainland, but called later to report she was better and he flew over in time for discussion of the play by the audience ...

SPEAKING of theater, Cathy Foy will appear in this year's Gridiron Shows Friday and Saturday and then fly of to New York to reprise her role of Lady Thiang in "The King and I." Also called to be in the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical on Broadway is Kevin Yamada, who plans to continue this week in "The 1940s Radio Play" at Manoa Valley Theatre before a replacement can step in ...

WHEN comic Rip Taylor was in town for one of his frequent visits, he made "Rip's Roll-ups" at the Good Life Expo. After leaving for Vegas to see his ailing 87-year-old mother, he experienced "Rip's Rip-off." A two-man team relieved him of over $5,000 in cash and jewelry plus credit cards at his hotel. Little wonder Taylor wants to live in the land of aloha ...

Eating well in the islands

BASEBALL Hall of Famer Don Newcome made many a great pitch, but recognized a hit when he saw one also. So he was pitching praises for Carelli's on the Beach in Maui Saturday night, the hit restaurant run by Carlos Garcia ... Singer Kenny Rogers went out of his way to lunch at the Crouching Lion during his stay on Oahu ... And Nancy Oakes, owner/chef of the hot Boulevard restaurant in S.F., hosted a party of six at Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar ...

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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