Dave Donnelly

1969: Bette Midler looking
for ‘Fiddler’ work in Hawaii

ATTENTION, Herb Rogers: Local gal Bette Midler is interested in appearing in your production of "Fiddler on the Roof" this summer. The talented singer has been playing in the Broadway version for two years and thinks the producer would happily let her off for a few weeks to do it here. (May 6, 1969) ...

THE Lahaina, Kaanapali & Pacific Railroad normally stops running at 4:30 p.m., but last week took a group of travel writers out at 8 p.m. It was the first night fun of the train's year-old life. Several Maui residents -- unaccustomed to hearing train whistles in the dark -- reacted to the run by calling police and railroad authorities with the cry, "The train's been stolen." It proved to be quite an event in sleepy Lahaina. (May 10, 1971) ...

RECUPERATING in Tripler from an auto accident is George Christiansen, who plays Chris the Clown for kiddies at the Holiday Inn's Sunday carnival. When the Inn's exec chef Gary Matsumoto and food and beverage director Joe Coyte prepared an elegant dinner for Chris, which they wheeled in on an elaborate cart, they were stopped by an officer who asked where they were going. "Oh," deadpanned the chef, "we're taking this up to some clown in Ward 44." (May 10, 1973) ...

PEOPLE who know Al Chang as a photographer of some of the bloodiest scenes of the Vietnam War were pleasantly surprised to see the former AP photog now doing award shots for the Army at UH's ROTC presentations ... Speaking of ROTC, when Luren Peters won the Star-Bulletin's award this year as the UH freshman ROTC cadet with the best grades, it was a first -- she was the first woman to win the award. Winning Star-Bulletin awards seems to run in her family, however -- back in 1940, her father, Col. David M. Peters, won the territorial oratorical championship in a competition sponsored by this paper. (May 6, 1974) ...

LT. GOV. Jean King mentioned to former campaign aide Len Weissman that she'd never tried bagels, lox and cream cheese before, so he immediately whisked her to the New York Deli where she put it away like a pro. In fact, she's offered to prepare Weissman, the former "Hawaii Five-O" publicist, a sashimi dinner in return ... Hot off the presses: The Filipino paper Pacific Courier states in a front-page story on Corregidor, "The big guns of the rock became silent on May 6, 1979, when Gen. Wainright yielded the battered island fortress." And about time, too! (May 8, 1979) ...

SINGER Jeff Apaka's poodle, Champ, is living up to his name. He won the first dog show Apaka entered him in, and now he's copped first place in the Poodle Club's Sunday show at Thomas Square. Champ was named "Best of Winners" and "Best of Variety" in the show in only his second competition. (May 7, 1985) ...

BLESS my Soul: Former Hawaii model Julia Nickson, who's gone on to celluloid triumphs in Hollywood ("Rambo," "Noble House," etc.), gave birth on Cinco de Mayo to a daughter, China Alexandra, in Tampa, Fla., where her husband, actor David Soul, is on location. (May 10, 1988) ...

WE all know about May Day being Lei Day in Hawaii, but in Central Park, too? You bet. Former Honoluluan Doris Obata Kumpel reports from the Big Apple that some 200 transplanted Hawaii folks gathered in Central Park on May 1 for a hoolaulea, many carrying copies of this column, which friends and relatives had sent them announcing the event. Yvonne King, the comedian and hula dancer who's a cousin of Sonny Chillingworth, drove from Delaware to emcee the show. U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye sent a Hawaiian flag as a rallying symbol for the group, and naturally many New Yorkers mistook it for a Union Jack. Kalani Purdy, editor of the Polynesian Registry, greeted the arriving Hawaiians, and Hilo's Kimo Gerold, house manager for Carnegie Hall, was talking the possibility of getting the Royal Hawaiian Band over for concert there. Everyone promised to keep in touch, and, who knows, maybe some of them will. Whether they do or not, it was a fine day in the park. (May 10, 1988) ...

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

Contact Dave by e-mail:


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