Wood Craft

Ben Wood

Augie Rey soars with
airmen, new CD, Andrea

Augie Rey praised famed Tuskegee Airmen Ret. Maj. Gen. Lucius Theus and Ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson, who were in his Surf Room Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian last Saturday night. The World War II black pilots had to face both prejudice and the enemy while fighting heroically for America. Jefferson spent nine months in a German POW camp after being shot down. Retired Col. Donald Marsh, 69, said the Tuskegee Airmen opened the door for him and other black pilots. The crowd enjoyed Rey's '50s and '60s hits and sounds from his new CD, "This Is My Paradise." Audience participation is part of Augie's act. Andrea Kia, a broker and V.P. for Home Quest Realtors, was his victim last Saturday. He sat her in a chair, kneeled down before her and sang, "Put your Head on My Shoulder." But he changed the words to, "Put Your Leg on My Shoulder." Good sport Andrea, a former pro figure skater, complied and put a well-formed leg on Augie's shoulder as backup musicians Carlos Barboza and Bobby King hooted and Augie's wife, Bobbe Joy, took photos. The guys are lots of fun. Carlos' jokes are so corny they're funny ...

Amanda celebrates

Amanda Abe had a birthday party last Saturday at the Kahala Mandarin with 30 guests. Amanda's daughters Natasha, 14, and Dani, 12, got the green light to attend. Jany Cataldo and Keiko Miyanaga brought Amanda a two-tiered cake, topped with a Barbie doll that many said looked like Amanda. Jany has two striking ocean-view apartments at Colony Surf that she had remodeled into one, with an art-gallery-like entryway. She designed modern Italian interiors for both, using custom furniture from Italy. Jany christened the apartment with a party for her fellow Brit, Amanda, a few days before her birthday. Pizza-eating guests piled on a leather couch to watch a video of "Under the Tuscan Sun." Guests included Keiko, Jany's daughter Elizabeth, Kristin Zambucka, Debbie Cheeseman, Allison Aiaffa and just one man, a very lucky columnist ...

ex-pro wrestler Red Bastine and Carol McCutchin arrived this month to mark Red's 73rd birthday. Red wrestled here during stops en route to matches in Japan. The couple visited the Halekulani's House Without a Key and took in the music of Pookela -- Greg Sardina, Dennis Keohokalole and Rick Rickard -- and the hula of Kanoe Miller. During the evening, Red recalled isle wrestling figures such as Al Karasik, Lord Blears, Curtis Iaukea, Tosh Togo, Neff Maiava, Ed Francis and others ...

Oscar party at Meritage

The Hawai'i International Film Festival is holding a dressy Oscar party tomorrow, 2:30 p.m., at Meritage, with a live TV broadcast starting at 3 p.m. Champagne and a dinner buffet are included in the $100 ticket ... KGMB's Kim Gennaula walked into Hoku's Sunday with her 2-month-old bundle of joy, Alia, and a friend, Karen Birkett. Kim's husband, KGMB's Guy Hagi, was home baby-sitting their son, Luke, 20 months. Kim said it was her first brunch at the Kahala Mandarin spot since having the baby. Alia is the name of a Sicilian village, the home of Kim's ancestors ...

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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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