By Dave Donnelly

Bartender’s spirit
serves up doubles

ONE of Honolulu's best-known barkeeps, Tommy Velasco, was so happy when his two daughters, Rumelia and Adelaida got married, because he wanted grandkids so badly. Tommy, in his 80s, died last year and was buried on his 42nd anniversary to his wife, also named Rumelia, but not before each daughter had delivered him a grandchild. Then in November, Rumelia Jr. had twins, and now this month Adelaida followed suit with another set of twins. "Dad must be playing tricks on from above," says Adelaida, who's married to national newscaster Barry Severson. The way I see it, whether at the Palm Tree Inn, Zebra Room or Sparkies, every second delivery from Tommy was a double ...

MILILANI Rainbow Open golf winner Regan Lee was presented a $5,000 check by Patrick Kobayashi of the Kobayashi Group. Lee felt right at home on the Mililani course -- his late grandfather, Guinea Kop, used to teach at the club. The tournament's Pro-Am raised more than $14,000 to benefit 11 non-profit organizations ...

Coach Tagawa?

ACTOR Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa has been acting like a football coach of late. He's been training two Japanese players for the Hawaiian Islanders, Rikiya Ishida and Satomi Kohei, to keep them in top playing shape. Coach Chad Carlson was so happy with Tagawa's results that he's invited him to be on the sidelines at the Islanders' two remaining home games Saturday and on July 20 ...

IT LOOKED to be a fierce race when Aaron Placourakis and four water-loving pals, headed off in one-man outrigger canoes in a trek to Molokini from Aaron's Sarento's on the Beach restaurant in Kihei. Once they were gone, Sarento's bustled with activity and chef George Gomes whipped up a Greek buffet crowned by a lamb on a spit, and some 50 guests were there to greet Aaron on his return, all dressed in togas ...

Day the music died

IT was on the summer solstice, longest day of the year, that death claimed renowned cornet player John Norris last Friday. Norris had been in failing health for some time, so his death came as no surprise. But senior residents at One Kalakaua will miss his regular music sessions. Many don't know that Norris was also a fine cellist, and at one time played with the Honolulu Symphony. His daughter, Kathleen, a published writer of whom Norris was very proud, flew in from her South Dakota home and saw to it that Mozart was playing when they brought her dad home from the hospital. "Ah, Mozart," he said. It was the same piece he'd played with a string quartet at Mabel Smythe Auditorium many decades ago. She kept music flowing freely during his final days, playing everything from Bix to Bach. Though Norris was best known for his New Orleans jazz band, he had a catholicity of musical taste. Kathleen saw to it that his new favorite album, the soundtrack to "Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou," was playing when he died ...

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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