Blonde Highlights

Rick Hamada
By Roz Makaula
Friday - March 24, 2006
| Del.icio.us

THE ONLY THING better than singing in the Kamehameha Schools song contest as a senior is watching the current high school songbirds perform live via TV with 10 of your classmates 15 years later. What we saw during our impromptu screening seemed to be a far cry from what we experienced (or remember) all those years earlier. A couple of our guys disapprovingly pointed out the long, collar-touching hair length on several male Ho’ike dancers. Others couldn’t get over all the balloons, the poster signs- one screaming HI, MOM and DAD! - the Hawaiian flag and a red-gold and green Jawaiian flag flailing in the sea of dress whites. Hmm ... why didn’t we think of those things? And of course, who could miss the shirts that read “port hard” in bold letters clearly displayed by the senior class? Probably just the folks who didn’t have their cable boxes programmed to 03.


The entertainment lineup included many of Hawaii’s notables like Aunty Genoa Keawe, Raiatea Helm, Kuuipo Kumukahi, Na Palapalai, Holunape, Na Hoa, Hoku Zuttermeister and Ale’a. Let’s not forget all the talented students and staff who put on Ho’ike. The outstanding performance lasted at least 30 minutes! The luck of the Irish definitely fell upon the freshman: Congrats class of 2009! ... Speaking of Kamehameha, Miss Hawaii Radasha Leialoha Ho’ohuli (KS class of ‘97) will represent our island state at the 55th annual Miss USA competition in Baltimore. The contest will be broadcast on NBC on Friday,April 21. ... Another beauty queen, Mrs. Hawaii Arlene Newman-Van Asperen, keeps busy as an advocate for the care of children and children’s programs. I ran into the beauty queen twice in the last month. A few days after our first chance meeting, I received a surprise in the mail from Mrs. Hawaii’s sister, Gayle Torla,who lives in Somersworth, N.H. Torla, a musical artist and songwriter, has successfully released two albums with dad John Newman, titled Sounds of the Isles. Both feature soothing instrumental pieces, the second CD is solely dedicated to Christmas tunes. The first, already a part of my personal music archive, now has its companion. ... It had been a while since Arlene and I last chatted. We met about three years ago when I worked at KHVH radio with morning host Rick Hamada. Her husband, Bill Van Asperen, made frequent stops to the studio to give listeners a little “taste” of vino during the Wine-at-9 show segment. ... Remember Heather Hays? She’s a former Miss Hawaii and Chaminade University graduate. Hays keeps busy these days in front of the camera as a news anchor at KDFW in Dallas. ... One last note from the pageant world, this one is from the 54th Annual Cherry Blossom contestant reception. Yours truly had the op to co-host the event at Ocean’s with Island 98.5’s Makani.


The big guy on the mike had hundreds in stitches when he commented on how only in Hawaii would you get a couple of Hawaiians hosting a major Japanese cultural event. Event co-chairs, Catherine Toth (49th Cherry Blossom Queen) and Sonya Kimura, kept us on our toes with a busy schedule. Festival ball committee member Darren Ota sported a pair of red (the color of the night) boxers over his black slacks. Others there to support the cause included fellow committee member Brenda Nomura and Hawaii Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce VPs Wedge Lee and Glen Nomura. Golf pro Casey Nakama was there - part of the Whitney Asao fan club. Good luck to all of the ladies competing this year. The main event is planned for Sunday (March 26). KHNL news reporter Joann Shin will play host on pageant night. ... Another big night happens this weekend. The chefs behind some of Honolulu’s finest restaurants are coming together to fight hunger. They’re partnering with AIG Hawaii for a benefit for the Hawaii Foodbank. The food will be plated Friday (March 24) on the lawn fronting Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Hiroshi’s Eurasian Tapa at Restaurant Row. ... With food comes dessert.

The Brothers Caz
The Brothers Caz

And in the music arena, there’s no better after-dinner treat than a performance by the Brothers Cazimero. I recently took in the calorie-free delight of Robert and Roland at the spectacular Hawaii Theatre with one of my favorite people. That night, I was surprisingly seated next to my mom’s close friend Jean Look and her husband, Peter! Jean and I giggled as we both chimed, “what are the chances?” Among the great songs heard that evening was the warm, hit-you-in-the-heart Angels Bear Gifts. The beautiful piece gave me chicken skin as the Brothers dedicated that song to a close friend who recently made the ascent. If you weren’t there, you can hear it when they release a new Christmas album at the end of the year. ... I shared a personal Blonde Highlight with Robert last summer while backstage at the Birthday Bash concert in Waikiki. He tapped me on the shoulder and as I turned to see who stood behind me, he whispered, “I love your scarf.“At the time, chemo had taken my hair. His kind words meant the world to me (still do) and I will always remember that moment. BTW, Robert, KHNL now has Starbucks coffee! News anchor Angela Keen made good on her promise. We have two cups waiting - one for you and one for Roland - for the next time you stop by in the morning!

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