By Dave Donnelly

Ex-isle singer catches up
with her past piano players

IT'S been a whirlwind of reminiscences for ex-isle singer Anna Lea, in town from her home in Las Vegas. On the way to Aaron's in the Ala Moana Hotel, I took her into the Mahina Lounge where old friend Paul Conrad mans the keyboard. It was a double surprise since he didn't know she was coming and she didn't know he was there. Conrad, who can no longer claim to be in his sixties, having just celebrated his 70th birthday, was just relinquishing the piano to another old Lea accompanist, Kit Samson. A couple of days later there was a gathering in the Lewer's Lounge of the Halekulani where Anna and her niece, Cynthia Fujieki, showed up to hear yet another old keyboard accompanist, Rich Crandall. Also in the party was Steve Lent, editor of the Waikiki News -- Anna had introduced him to his wife more than 30 years ago -- and singer Jimmy Borges, who goes back further with the singer than anyone, performing with her at San Francisco's Forbidden City. Mai Tai Sing ran the place and one of the dancers was the mother of Channel 8 newscaster Diane Ako ...

SPEAKING of Ako, the news anchor is a sucker for animals. When she was at the Humane Society covering the dog-at-sea Hogket, the vet there touted her on mice as pets and said there were some nice ones there needing a home. So "Chairman Mao" (Mouse?) now lives on her desk at work. "Really cute," says Ako. "My desk is like a menagerie. Besides the Chairman, I have two fish plus I bring Kona (her dog) to the office to visit and I just inherited a friend's cat." Said she of her new husband, Claus Hansen, "Poor Claus. He had no idea he married Dr. Dolittle." ... Incidentally, Hansen, a partner in Affordable Casket, put up a big banner in his office overlooking the H-1 Freeway Eastbound, which reads, "Congratulations, Graduates. Don't drink and drive. We can wait." ...

New Page in glamour

MODEL Susan Page is a regular client of Malama, An Aveda Lifestyle Salon, so it was natural for her to ask Malama owner Mary Suiter for a donation to "Fundango," the fund-raiser she chaired for Children's Miracle Network. The idea suited Suiter and she offered up her organic chef, Sharon Kobayashi. Kobayashi, who's been chef at an organic restaurant in San Francisco, agreed to cook and serve a delicious organic meal for four, with the prize going to the highest bidder. And who was that? Why, Gloria Williams-Ah Sam, GM of the Ala Moana Malama, who figured it was a great way to make her own contribution and share a healthy meal with friends ...

NEIMAN MARCUS GM Alan Tomonari again presented the perfect setting for the Contemporary Museum's annual fund-raising gala, ConTempo 2002. Chair Claire Johnson reports raising a record-breaking $600,000 in net proceeds ...

Symbol of friendship

AS a token of appreciation of Hawaii's cooperation with last year's Ehime Maru tragedy, the city of Uwajima is sending their Ushioni Float to participate in the Pan-Pacific Festival. The Ehime Maru was the training vessel from Uwajima Fisheries High School, and this marks the first time the 12-foot high float has ever been a part of an American Festival. It can be seen at tonight's Ho'olaule'a and in Sunday's parade ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.
The Week That Was recalls items from Dave's 30 years of columns.

Contact Dave by e-mail:

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