Wood Craft

By Ben Wood

Brownings hold a
musical housewarming

JOHN and Tammy Browning invited about 100 guests to the housewarming of their $10 million Hawaii Loa home last Saturday. John's great-great- grandfather, John Browning, founded the Browning firearms company, best known for its sporting arms. The view home has 12,000 square feet under roof. There is a two-bedroom guest home, an entertainment complex and a 12-car garage for John's many sporty and exotic vehicles. John wore a Wild West cowboy costume with holster and gun, a Browning of course. Tammy was decked out as a sexy Old West saloon hostess. International foods were offered at stations with drinks. Entertainment was by the J Michaels Band and singer Lia, and guitarists Makana and Quintinn Holi. David Choy on sax and pianist Robert Preston jammed in the living room. A Hawaiian blessing was given by Kahu Kawika Kahiapo. Richard "Babes" Bell performed a torch-lighting ceremony. Harpist Sharene Boulos and flutist Mae Masuda-Cop greeted guests with classics. Pat Choi, who sold Browning the property, was among the guests as were Bill and Betty Fiddler. It was Bill's 85th birthday ...

Dishwasher Alan Wong

Didn't know premier restaurateur-chef Alan Wong started his career at age 15 as a $2-an-hour dishwasher at the Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel. He has come a long, long way. Leigh Ito, a key member today of Alan's team, also started there. Both praise then-Beachcomber G.M. Juan Aquinde for what he taught them ...

When attorney Jeff Hossellman asked his and wife Vicki's son, Chris, 16, what he would like to be, the teen surprised his dad and said, "A politician." Dad told him to get on with it now. Chris did and was elected Punahou junior class president for the coming year. This summer Chris is working for Linda Lingle as assistant to her office manager. Watch for this young man in the future ...

Ruth Ann Becker was surprised by friends at a Mariposa birthday dinner Thursday. Ken Bailey was host and it was Marie Hansen's job to get the birthday girl to the dinner. SuAnn Bamer, Robyn Schaefer and Marty Schiller attended. Sipping Dom Perignon champagne from Alice Lombardo, Ruth Ann said she is 52 and proud of it. Way to go, girl! Incidentally, Bailey and Colin Powell shared an office at the Pentagon when they were fairly young Army officers ... Also marking a birthday at the Mariposa that night was Mermaid manager Paulette Imose ... Heidi Peterson, Neiman alterations boss, was given a luncheon this week by store G.M. Al Tomonari. She's returning to the Washington, D.C., store ... Carla Beachcomber and husband Jess Lutz are at Colony Surf on their annual visit ...

Chafetz bags the crowd

Bob and Dee Levy report Stu Chafetz conducted the Chautauqua Symphony in New York on the Fourth of July and the program went over with a bang. Having no cannon for the 1812 Overture, Chafetz ordered 15,000 paper bags for the audience of 5,000. On cue, the crowd popped the bags. No cannon needed. Chafetz is musical director of the Maui Symphony and is principal timpanist for the Honolulu Symphony ... "The Bourne Identity" is the best thriller I've seen in a long time ...

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets
of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of
people, places and things every Saturday.
E-mail him at

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