Monday, January 17, 2011

Hawaii Five-0

I admit it. I am an original "Hawaii Five-0" groupie. I like everything about the old series - the writing, the scenery, the music, the acting, and the atmosphere. Everything. Skepticism raised its ugly head when the new Hawaii Five-0 premiered. I overcame my doubts and I am a fan of the new series too. But, my allegiance is to the original.
And we have personal connections to the old series. James MacArthur, he played Danny Williams (Danno), came to Reading to star at Hawaii Five-0 night at the Reading Phillies baseball game. What a charming man! He spent as much time as we wanted, answering questions about his experiences on the TV show, about his parents (Helen Hayes and Charles MacArthur), about his surfing experiences at Tavarua in Fiji, and about his attending school in Stotesbury near New Hope, PA. He helped to judge the hula contest that the baseball team sponsored and had a good laugh at the Pennsylvania interpretation of the hula. A perpetual motion 4-year-old little girl won a trip to Hawaii and a week's stay at one of the hotels.
James MacArthur invited us to be his guests at the Diamond Head Theater in Honolulu to see "The Twentieth Century," a play that he directed and that was written by his father. What a treat!
Jerome Coopersmith, one of our favorite writers for "Hawaii Five-0" attended Penn with Edgar. In perhaps our favorite episode, the one that starred Helen Hayes, Coopersmith named a character "Miller, Edgar P." In other Coopersmith episodes, the Andy Griffith character referred to Bryn Mawr college, and Coopersmith had a Dr. Ventnor as the bad guy.
Several years ago, we met Zulu, the actor that played Kono, at the funeral for the beachboy, Turkey Love. Another charming, entertaining, and talkative person. "My given name is Gilbert, but don't tell anyone. I will keep hearing Gibby, Gibby, Gibby." Although thinner, he looked wonderful. "My doctor told me I had only six months to live." I paled. "When was that?" "A while ago." I asked him to share his secret, how he overcame the six month death sentence. "It's simple," he said. "I changed doctors."
Zulu had a career after the TV show as an entertainer in the many show rooms around Honolulu. Before his career as Kono, he said that he was a beach boy and discovered on the beach by the casting director.
The arch villain in "Hawaii Five-0" was named Wo Fat. The writers played a joke on the public. One of the oldest and original restaurants on Hotel Street was named Wo Fat. In fact, whenever we walk through Chinatown in Honolulu, even in 2011, we turn nostalgic for the old "Hawaii Five-0" and its characters that became real to us.

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