Wednesday - June 02, 2005
HONOLULU NEWSSTAND: Sad to report that one of Hawaii’s greatest entertainers (and now a minister) Dick Jensen has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. There is no cure for this neuro-degenerative disorder. In his prime, Jensen played the major leagues of show biz. All the top nite clubs, TV shows, etc. On stage, he was like a tornado. His singing and impressions were show stoppers. And Jensen’s incredible unique dancing, sliding and gliding style stunned audiences. Dick made Michael Jackson’s moon walk look like he was standing still. Super stardom, many agreed, eluded Jenson only because he never quite got that elusive hit record …
Vignette: Once upon a time, in Selerno, Italy, two young brothers grew up mesmerized by the movies of Elvis. When adults, the brothers decided to move cold turkey to Kauai because Elvis made a movie there. Eventually, Tony and Rosario Laskolk (and Tony’s wife, Gerry) built a restaurant in Lihue. Things were great — until hurricane Iniki wip’d them out in 1992. They lost everything. The family struggled back with a new eatery — Pomodoro, in Kalaheo. Today, locals, visitors and celebs pack the Kauai establishment. Sez world traveler and foodie Nick Susner, “I’ve had the legendary fettucine in Rome’s Alfredo’s, but Pomodoro’s is just as good — and you don’t have to fly to Italy to enjoy it … A bit of history came tumbling down when Gussie L’Amour’s nite spot on Nimitz was recently torn down. The club was originally called The Dunes. Owned then by Mr. Nite Club of those long gone days — Jack Cione. He presented the biggest show biz stars of a long ago era — Wayne Newton, (when he was young and blond) Sammy Davis Jr., Judy Garland, Della Reese and a special legend named Sophie Tucker (to name a few). Cione (retired) and missus Maydell nowreadying a cruise thru the South Pacific. Plan to check out the action on Saipan and Guam, now hot as a pistol with Japanese tourists. The attraction? Gambling, and big-time Vegas style shows … How about this: The influential Zagat hotel and restaurants guide book named the Big Isle’s Four Seasons the No. 1 resort in the entire country. It gushed about the site as “paradise found.” Raved about the attentive staff, greeting guests by name “everytime.” Also getting orchids from the prestigious Zagat spotlite was the Lodge at Koele on Lanai … And after all these years, untold Pearl Harbor stories about Dec. 7, 1941 continue to seep out. Like this believe-it-or-not one. Just before the bombs fell that tragic day, two sailors, Peter Gallagher and Earl Drumitch, were playing poker in the after section of the USS Utah battleship. Needless to say, they didn’t complete the game. After the attack they never saw each other again — until meeting accidentally again years later at the Moana Hotel. (A friend witnessed the dramatic scene). After hugs and kisses, they quickly found a deck of cards and completed the game they started more than 60 years ago … The world’s richest, Bill Gates, and wife Belinda obviously have a soft spot for Hawaii. (After all, they did get married on Lanai and have an elegant estate on the Big Isle).
The Gates Foundation has supplied many of our libraries with computers, printers and technical support … Recently caught up with Mike Vasconcellos at a social function. He’s the former longtime athletic director at Chaminade and ex-GM of the extinct Hawaii Hammerheads indoor pro football team. Mike has been battling Parkinsons disease for years. After his second deep brain stimulation surgery, it has completely stopped his shaking (like Muhammad Ali does today)
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