Honolulu Lite

Charles Memminger

Donnelly lived isle life,
three dots at a time

IF everyone whose name ever appeared in a Dave Donnelly column in this paper showed up for his funeral service, the island would likely flip over like a rowboat ... That's because everyone from Tom Selleck to the pope to an Unknown Auntie from Kalihi Who Beat the Slots in Vegas appeared in his column at one time or another ... Pity the celebrity like Brad Pitt or Russell Crowe or the Wacky Blonde from "Friends" Whose Name Escapes Me who tried to sneak into a quiet dinner at Keo's or Nick's Fishmarket ... Couldn't do it ... Someone would alert Dave Donnelly that they were there, what they were wearing and what they ate ... Or if a little love was brewing, like the time Pee-Wee Herman and Paulie Shore were nabbed in a quiet little booth at Kelly's Drive In making cooing noises to each other ... Just kidding about that last item ... I made it up ... I don't think Dave Donnelly ever made up an item ... Didn't have to ... Had spies all over the place ... Waiters, busboys, PR types, flaks, sycophants, politicians, all kinds of people feeding him stuff to fill more than 30 years of columns ... Dave Donnelly wrote what is known in the newspaper world as a "three-dot" column ... That's because items generally were set off by three dots ... like those back there and these coming up ...

LEGENDARY San Francisco columnist Herb Caen put three-dotting on the map ... He and Dave Donnelly, who spent most of his vacations in San Fran, were buddies ... When they got together, someone was going to get drunk ... both, someones ...

Dave Donnelly held court for many years at the Columbia Inn's "Round Table," where he had his own reserved stool and God help the clueless wretch who accidentally sat in it ... Lisa Kudrow ... She never sat in Dave Donnelly's seat ... I just remembered she's the one who plays the Wacky Blonde on "Friends" ...

ALL KINDS OF famous people used to come bow down to the beer mug of Dave Donnelly at the Round Table over the decades ... People like William "Jake and the Fat Man" Conrad and Jack Lord and the pope ... Although I'm not sure about the pope, but I wouldn't be surprised ...

Eventually the Columbia Inn was torn down and Dave Donnelly gave up adult beverages and ... well ... it was the end of an era. But Dave Donnelly found a new stool to sit on and kept dishing out the dots and putting people's names in boldface ... Keeping a record of their lives, really ... An incredible archive of life in Hawaii ... I know the high points of my life are documented within those dots ... And I feel honored ...

Matt Damon, Tom Cruise, David Letterman ... Don't really have anything to say about those guys ... It's just that I was getting a little mushy in the previous item ... And wanted to get more famous names in here ... like Cher ...

All I know is that Dave Donnelly ... Who passed away last week ... made Hawaii a better place ...

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Charles Memminger, winner of National Society of Newspaper Columnists awards, appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. E-mail


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