Dave Donnelly

Dave has fallen and
he can’t get up!

IT was a well-planned vacation, half a month in San Francisco and the other half-month back in Honolulu. But you know what they say about best-laid plans. My S.F. arrival was early in the morning the day after Thanksgiving. After that, I had virtually nothing to be thankful for. Climbing aboard the airport shuttle about 15 minutes after arriving, I slipped on the very high door and when I stepped onto the narrow running board I fell onto my right hip, causing intense pain. A call for an ambulance to take me to Kaiser Hospital in S.F., resulted in my incarceration in the hospital for an operation that, I'm assured, will put me on the road to recovery. Never mind leaving one's heart in the City By the Bay, I've transformed the lyrics to "I Broke My Hip, in San Francisco." ...

ALL plans by the wayside, I spent nine days at the hospital before being transferred to a Kaiser rehab center called Nob Hill. That's pretty funny considering it's in the Tenderloin. But I stayed there working on therapy until the very day of my plane reservation back to Honolulu. That was no picnic either. I sat in the Delta waiting area for six hours before being taken aboard the plane by wheelchair ...

Hawaii connection

Forget about former and current isle residents who stop by both the hospital and Nob Hill therapy clinic. I found myself in a bed separated from the next one by only a curtain. The man in that bed revealed he's 90 and mentioned Hawaii. I asked if he were from Hawaii and he said he worked in the islands for several years, most recently at the East-West Center. The man's name was Bob Hewett and I knew his wife, who came to visit. She was a former legislator in Hawaii and was the head of Citizens Against Noise. Her name is Joan Hayes and the two have taken up residence near Grace Cathedral, atop the real Nob Hill. We were talking about Hawaii when the therapist walked in. She blew both of us away when she announced she was born and raised in Kailua ...

On my arrival back in Honolulu I was met by my son and a good friend who got me home. The next day I had a doctor's appointment and was sent to Kaiser's therapy and rehab center in Kaneohe where I stayed about another eight days before being released on Christmas Eve. So far all I saw during my well laid-out San Francisco stay was Kaiser Hospital and the Nob Hill therapy clinic. Oh yes, a did get to see a bit of the city during my ride to the airport.

A bitter man

During one of our conversations, Hewett asked if I knew Mary Bitterman, longtime public broadcasting exec. I told him I certainly did. So you can imagine during my stay at the Kaiser therapy and rehab center in Kaneohe, a woman entering my room, which had four beds. "Dave?" she said. "Mary?" I replied. Sure enough, it was the same Mary Bitterman of whom Hewett had spoken, and Bitterman guessed as much as I related the story to her. She was there to be with her husband, Jeff Bitterman, who'd suffered a small stroke. So now it's 2004 and good riddance to December ... I can use all the items you can muster so let's get rolling ...

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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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