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By Dave Donnelly

Wednesday, August 2, 2000

Theater in
the blood

IT was great sitting down for dinner with Kevin McCollum, fresh off an airplane from New York Monday night. He's here for the grand opening of "Rent," the show he co-produced in New YorkMug shot and which promises to remove any worries he may have about paying his rent for a long, long time. I knew Kevin as a youngster growing up in Hawaii, since his late mother was a good friend and cohort of mine in old Gridiron Shows. He's not a one-show wonder, either, having produced "The Wild Party" off-Broadway and he will be putting out a CD of the music in it. He's married to an actress and we know so many of the same people in theater it's amazing. The last time I actually saw Kevin was 24 years ago at the memorial service held for his mom, Sue McCollum, who died of cancer in Paris. Almost prophetically, her service took place at what is now Diamond Head Theatre and he was 14 at the time. She'd have been so proud ...

ALL men are created equal -- at least at Zippy's. Standing in line at the Zippy's on South King Street, waiting to get extra rice to go with the chili he was taking out, presumably back to Washington Place, was Gov. Ben Cayetano. At least he didn't try to wield his position to move up in line ...

Stop horsing around

WRESTLERS are a tough and hardy bunch -- look at James "Tally Ho" Blears. He survived capture by the Japanese in World War II, had a colorful wrestling career around the world and ended up surfing (and raising surfers) in Makaha. He looks like he could still handle himself should someone be foolhardy enough to attempt to mug him. And there's "Gentleman" Ed Francis, who was also a pretty tough wrestler in his day but became famous for his interviews with other grapplers on KGMB's weekly wrestling shows. But even Francis met his match recently. While mounting a steed on his horse ranch in Missouri, a neighbor's dog spooked the mount when Francis had one foot in the stirrup. He ended up with three broken ribs and a punctured lung, but is back on his feet and promising son Russ Francis that he'll be back to campaign for him as the former NFL star runs for Congress. You can see both Francis and Blears tomorrow night when KGMB rebroadcasts its hourlong special on wrestling in Hawaii at 9 p.m., preceded at 8 by the hour special on the "Checkers & Pogo" kiddies' show, my finest hour ...

DID you get the feeling that TV weather reporters were a bit disappointed that Hurricane (later Tropical Storm) Daniel passed us by? After all, they were the top news story on every newscast for days, though I for one never believed this dissipating storm was going to wreak a lot of havoc here. And as for the advice to stock up with a gallon of drinking water per day in your fridge, my response was, "I don't drink a gallon of water per month." Anyway, sorry boys and girls, but Daniel was a bust. Now it's wait for the next one ...

Bush lei

MOST people would prefer a flower lei, but one became known as the Bush lei. The GOP contingent from Hawaii was thrilled when former First Lady Barbara Bush accepted the gift of a lei and wore it on national television during the Republican convention. I found it amusing that the Secret Service wouldn't allow the lei to be draped over Bush's head in the traditional manner, but when she draped it over her own head, all was OK and Hawaii got some national attention for its hospitality ...

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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