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By Dave Donnelly

Thursday, December 7, 2000

Purnell hosts
ghostly party

NOTHING like starting off today with a grave tale. Some people are Rotarians; Nanette Napoleon Purnell is a Cemeterian.Mug shot She's the author of "Oahu Cemeteries," and conducts cemetery tours for locals and tourists alike who share her fascination with the subject. Ah, but the plot thickens, so to speak. Purnell just celebrated her 50th birthday and chose as the locale a cemetery. People were dying to attend to partake of the entertainment alone. It included obake or ghost stories as told by Glenn Grant and KHON cameraman Bruce Barham, who told the true story of a Civil War vet, Gerhard Deitz, who is buried on Oahu. Margo Morgan (all these double-lettered names!) told about growing up next door to a cemetery and shared the tale of a playmate who'd climbed a tree to watch a funeral service. The limb broke, and the kid was dangling there by an overall strap, hollering and screaming until they stopped the service and rescued him. Grant payed tribute to Nanette: "If you take care of the dead, the dead will take care of you and no one in the islands has taken better care of our dead than Nanette Purnell." I wonder if she'll have that carved on her tombstone ...

THOUGH he won't be at the media Old Timer's Party tonight at Murphy's, John Farrington emails that he's not ready for organizer Ted Sturdivant's "Gone but Not Forgotten" list. Farrington reports he's alive "although not exactly kicking" in Las Vegas where he moved from California last year. He's building a house, facing knee surgery and is amazed at the number of former Hawaii residents now living in Vegas. That comes as no surprise here, judging from email received from there ...

Aloha for Hawaii Public TV

THIS is one record you don't mind seeing broken. A couple of years ago I co-hosted with Don Robbs the TV debut of the concert version of "Les Miserables," and the public responded with the largest amount of pledges in KHET history. I'd seen the show live at Prince Albert Hall in London and during pledge breaks shared the experience of being there. Now along comes various isle performers appearing in, "Hawaii -- Songs of Aloha," and it beat out the Les Miz totals as well as the big takes from "Riverdance" and the Rolling Stones' "Bridges to Babylon." The night Carole Kai co-emceed with Robbs, HPTV brought in more money than any other pledge evening in history: $65,925. Not only was "Songs of Aloha" screened, with Elizabeth Lindsey hosting, but Emme Tomimbang's "John A. Burns: The Man and His Time" was also seen. Others helping in the pledge shows were Dave Lancaster, Laurie Ann Soloman, Tom Moffatt and a crew from Manoa Valley Theatre led by Dwight Martin, who manned phones. A total of $91,485 was pledged during the weekend ...

It's not easy being green

WHEN back in his native Pittsburgh, local publisher Carlino Giampolo ran across a new type of ketchup put out by Heinz. Good native son that he is, Giampolo tried the new stuff, despite its unappetizing appearance. Did I mention it's green! Anyway, the day he tried it, his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers scored the most points they'd scored in five years. He brought home a generous supply and now Giampolo and his fellow Steeler fans can be found eating green-topped sandwiches each Sunday when they gather for the game at All Star Hawaii. Next they'll need a "terrible towel" to wipe the terrible green from their chins ...

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

Contact Dave by e-mail:

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