By Dave Donnelly

Sunday, May 6, 2001

1974: Podium thieves
can’t touch this group’s


HAWAII has what may be the most expensive magazine in the world -- next month the yearly subscription rate for the weekly Builder's Report goes up to $274. (May 10, 1971) ... Deputy Police Chief Eugene Fletcher addressed the Optimist Club at lunch this week and was introduced by program chairman James Milnor. After the introduction, Milnor allowed as how the chief might want to use the club's tabletop podium, which is kept in a nearby closet. He went to fetch it and came back empty-handed. "It's not there," said Milnor. "Somebody must have stolen it." This pessimistic viewpoint didn't keep the Optimists from laughing it up, and Chief Fletcher carried on all the same. (May 9, 1974) ...

TWO Aiea High grads, Martha Neilson and Charles Memminger Jr., live and work on Guam (he's an investigative reporter for the Pacific Daily News), but they decided to return to Hawaii to get married, which is just what they did over the weekend. (May 8, 1979) ...

AIKAHI fourth-grader Ryan Sweeney was figuring out ways of earning some money, and suggested to papa Ray Sweeney of KHVH that she could do so by ironing his shirts. Sweeney, who's a hard-nosed negotiator where money is concerned, told the 10-year-old that she wanted too much money. She told him it would be worth it. They left the matter unresolved, but when Sweeney went to his closet one recent morning, he found two neatly pressed shirts with a hand-printed note in the pocket of each: "Free example of my quality work." Now how can he say no? (May 12, 1989) ...

THIS is like "La Ronde," only with a wheelchair. Some 10 years ago, former Honolulu magazine editor David Eyre got a wheelchair from Kaiser for his wife, Cynthia, who was battling Parkinson's disease. When she finally lost her battle, Eyre called Kaiser and asked if they'd like the chair back. They don't take return chairs, he was told, and the inherently cynical editor figured what a sweet deal for the wheelchair manufacturers. Then author Ed Sheehan had need of a wheelchair in his declining time, and Eyre loaned it to him. After Ed died, Eyre passed the chair along to the brother-in-law of the Star-Bulletin's Bud Smyser, who returned it when he left town. It was then passed along to Greg Hackler, and soon after he died it went to Kingie Kimball of the Halekulani Kimballs. (Follow this closely, now.) When Kimball died, Eyre presented the chair to Babe Woollett, who was then in his 90s and unable to move about as well as he did all his life. After Babe died and Ed Sheehan's widow, Sally, needed a chair, it returned to her and she's now using it. Sally is now about to get a larger wheelchair and is returning Eyre's to him. Eyre notes that thus far, the Sheehans have been the only husband-and-wife duo to use the chair, but he's getting up there in years and plans to keep it handy, just in case. And, he notes dourly, those wheelchair manufacturers lost a lot of business thanks to him. (May 6, 1999) ...

"The Week That Was" recalls events culled from
Dave Donnelly's three-dot columns over the past 30 years.
Donnelly continues to write his Hawaii column
Tuesdays to Fridays in the Star-Bulletin.

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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