Fireworks, Tiger, Painful Pineapple

Don Chapman
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January 13, 2010
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Ah, tradition - or, do you hear what I hear?: A friend in Tokyo was shocked when I described in an e-mail about Honolulu fireworks on New Year’s Eve - bombs rattling windows, the sky filled with colorful explosions, smoke so thick it was tough to see houses a block away. Things could not be more different there: “Tokyo is very quiet, almost silent, a time for reflection, and we strain to hear the temple bell ringing.”

To do so is considered a blessing ... And to the schmuck who blew off a bone-rattling bomb a block or so away as I was about to hit a shot at Bayview golf course at about 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 1: Dude, if I knew where you lived, I just might have been teeing off at your house ...


Speaking of golf: I certainly was not thinking about Tiger Woods and his alleged dependence on the sleeping drug Ambien as I watched the DVD Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man, about one of my generation’s great songwriters. But then came this lyric: “If you take sleeping pills / you will end up in the company of unhappy women.” ...

So, one more year we won’t be seeing Tiger at the Sony Open, eh ...

Here’s one of my favorite Sony Open stories, although this one goes back to when it was called the United Airlines Hawaiian Open. It was told to me a few years ago at Kapalua by golfer-broadcaster Gary McCord, and happened in the early 1970s.

Like many pros playing in their first Hawaiian Open in those days, Kermit Zarley was astounded by the pineapples used as tee markers on each hole, the young Texan never having before seen one. “It’s a pineapple,” a veteran pro explained. “It’s a fruit, you eat it.”

The next day, Zarley showed up for his round at Waialae CC with cuts and scratches all over his lips and chin. As McCord tells it, “Kermit went out and bought a pineapple at a grocery store, took it back to his hotel room and tried to eat it - like an apple - without cutting it open! And he didn’t give up right away, either.” ...

Otherwise: Voting by mail-in ballot worked well in choosing a replacement for the late Windward City Councilwoman Barbara Marshall. And Oregon uses mail-ins exclusively. While I personally like stepping into a voting booth, and seeing other citizens coming out to exercise their most basic American right, why not use mail-in ballots to choose a replacement in Congress for Neil Abercrombie after he resigns Feb. 28? Shouldn’t be that tough, as the 1st Congressional District is mostly urban Oahu, although as our political guru Dan Boylan says, “It’s creeped out in recent years to include some of Leeward Oahu.” ...

The new decade got off to a good start in my world with news that MidWeek read-ership is up another 2 percent. May not seem like much, but that’s 2 percent of 500,000. (Nice to see that readership of our sister publication the Star-Bulletin is also up.)

I believe one of the reasons more people are turning to MidWeek is they appreciate our dedication to presenting multiple voices and multiple points of view. A great example this week is the very different takes Bob Jones and Jerry Coffee give to their Vietnam experiences (pages 8 and 10). Bob tends to be liberal, Jerry conservative. Different as they and their experiences are, there is obvious respect between the two men. I’m proud as heck to be their editor.

Thank you to one and all who reach for our paper each week, and to all those on our team who work so diligently to produce and deliver Hawaii’s best-read publication. In MidWeek, it will be a very good year ...

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