By RICHARD LIGHTNER and CHRISTINE SATO
in the Usenet newsgroup alt.fan.hawaii-five-o
We booked 'em at the Hawaii Five-0 convention.
The Five O Luau in Honolulu was fantastic! It was held on Saturday, Nov 2, in Waikiki at the Tahitian Lanai (300 attended). The setting was postcard perfect --
- at sunset on the beach,
the sand under your feet,
the water just a few feet
from your seat.
First we went to the penthouse at the Ilikai where MacGarett stands in the opening credits. We met Helen Kuoha-Torca, best known as the Tahitian dancer in the opening credits. She now teaches Business at Windward Community College. She later performed hula and led us in the macarena.
As we walked to the Tahitian Lanai we met Chin Ho (Kam Fong). Richard said, "Book 'em, Chin" because a few days earlier Kam told the papers that no one had every told him to "book 'em" and he never got to say "book 'em." He was very friendly (as were the whole cast). He introduced us to his daughter who said going shopping with him as a teenager was difficult because people would constantly say "there's Chin Ho."
As we sat we watched for all the stars to come in. Autographs and pictures you know.
We saw Kono (Zoulou). Later, on stage, he was a riot. He took the microphone, and began "shaving" with the microphone and intentionally poking fun at the funny sounding local names. His health is not good. He will undergo dialysis soon.
Next, Che Fong (Harry Endo) the Lab man. In real life in charge of marketing for a bank.
Richard went up to Tommy Fujiwara and said, "Tommy Fujiwara, perennial bad guy." He laughed and was very appreciative. He later entertained the audience with a song (The Way We Were).
Doug Mossman hosted the evening and program, and he too sang a few songs and joked with the audience. Mossman is also manager of a local entertainment center and he gave away complementary tickets to these shows as part of the luau purchase. In addition, he gave away free tickets for answers to trivia questions. Richard answered Morton Stevens for, "who wrote the theme for Hawaii Five-0?" Doug also organized for souvenir T-shirt orders (Hawaii State Police 5-0). He really put in a lot of his time to organize this luau and local convention event.
Jimmy Borges, who had a number of parts on the series, is a well known entertainer in Waikiki and he graciously performed several songs.
Emme Tomimbang, the producer of the recent "Island Memories" video on Five-O, also entertained us with a song. She also indicated she had a bit part in the first episode of Five-O (she must have been a little girl then). She also feels a closeness to Five-O because she is married to John Burns (Honorable Judge), the son of the late Governor Burns (after whom The Governor - Richard Denning's role - was created).
MacArthur also gave a speech and he too, has really gone the extra mile to spend time with fans. He and Mossman, along with a few others, escorted the bus tour around Oahu.
Moe Keale (Truck), since the Five-O series, has become a well known entertainer in Hawaii. He sings and plays the ukulele and has several CD hits. (If you haven't heard it yet --- I very much recommend it!). He entertained us with his music.
We also met Rose Freeman, the widow of Leonard Freeman. She is very sweet, and still very touched by the appreciation of her late husband's accomplishments. Mrs. Leonard Freeman is indeed a gracious lady. It was obvious that she was so appreciative of all the overwhelming fan support for the Five O series and of her husband's works. She even took the time to chat with fans and have pictures taken with her. During the program, she read a poem given to her by Mrs. Jack Lord, to be read at this luau. It is one of Jack's favorite. She even danced the Macarena on stage (along with all of us at the end of the evening).
Finally, we met Danno (James MacArthur). He's a real fun guy. It was so dark that focusing cameras was a big problem. Surrounded by women, Danno didn't mind waiting. Richard told him, "Book 'em Danno, Murder One. 2 counts." He laughed saying, "Not enough counts." Christine told Danno that Richard "has been practicing for the whole week."
We enjoyed talking with our dinner partners and the whole affair was fantastic.