By Dave Donnelly

Tuesday, September 28, 1999

Hapai Preston craves poi

LOCAL girl Kelly Preston, appearing on both the Jay Leno and Dave Letterman shows to promote her movie, "For Love of the Game," shared the news with both that she's three months pregnant. She had the more interesting exchange with Letterman, telling how as a Hawaii girl she would occasionally get a craving for poi. "Ever get a craving for Don Ho?" Letterman asked, following quickly with, "What the hell is poi, anyway?" To her credit, Kelly gave a good response and was a fine ambassador for the islands ... So, too, was Darlene McDonald, in Las Mug shotVegas. She gave up a showbiz career in Hawaii, where she appeared as Masako, to marry Vegas hotelman Herb McDonald, a happy union that lasted until Darlene was killed when hit by a car while aiding a stopped motorist on the side of a road. Now the "Darlene M. McDonald Memorial Garden" is having its grand opening tomorrow at the Meadows School in Las Vegas, a lasting memorial from her husband, a great guy ...

THE title of Peter Kay's keynote speech for the Retail Merchants of Hawaii's annual conference Thursday at the Hilton Hawaiian Village caught the eye of many Star-Bulletin employees: "Beginning the Future -- Now!" The founder and owner of Cybercom, Kay can be heard on radio giving his "computer minute" reports, only this time he's expanding his talk by a half hour ...

Willows no koi, oy

THE first thing you discover at the Willows, newly reopened on Hausten Street, is that the place is a lot larger than you remember it, and that you're likely to see people you know there. That was my initial response to the rebuilt restaurant -- much more than a renovation, really. There are waterfalls and fish ponds, though no koi in residence yet. It features a buffet, which I'm rarely excited about, but there are many choices including one table for kids with pizza and hot dogs. The ample parking lot across the street is another plus. Look for the Willows to again become the place to take visiting firemen. And yes, the staff comes out to sing "Happy Birthday" to patrons, and they must have the only hula-dancing chef in town ...

SPEAKING of huge, I visited the new Home Depot in Iwilei and it was like the world's largest garage sale. Wall to wall people, merchandise for every imaginable household use and a parking lot that has spaces wide enough that you can open the door to get in without squeezing, something you don't see often ... I got a surprise piece of mail from Screen Actors Guild. It was a check for the cassette release of a "Hawaii Five-O" episode in which I appeared about 30 years ago. SAG determined my role was worth $20, but withheld $8.83, which my accountant may be surprised puts me in a really high tax bracket where I don't belong ...

Moments to remember

YOU can see some behind-the-scenes bloopers when KHON-TV airs the fifth anniversary celebration of Emme Tomimbang's "Emme's Island Moments" on Friday. Aside from the bloopers, you can see Emme chatting with the likes of Jason Scott Lee, Tia Carrere, Kevin Costner and Jim Nabors, as well as such musicians as Aunty Genoa Keawe, Irmgard Aluli, Amy Gilliom and Willy K, Keali'i Reichel and Hapa. There'll also be scenes from Emmy's various road visits to Seattle, Las Vegas, San Francisco, N.Y. and the Philippines. The show will be aired at 9 p.m. on KHON, and be rebroadcast Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. ...

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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