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Shoe repair business rolling in pirate booty

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  • Joe Pacific Shoe Repair owner Bob LoPresti, right, and his assistant, George Paridda, get boots shipshape for “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

ARRGH! The Jolly Roger could be hanging outside Joe Pacific Shoe Repair downtown because Capt. Jack Sparrow and his motley band of pirates are doing business there. Joe Pacific owner Bob LoPresti and his assistant George Paridda are working on more than a dozen pairs of men’s boots, including those worn by star Johnny Depp, and nine pairs of women’s ankle boots for the filming of "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." Bob and George put on rubber rippled sole guards to keep the wearer from slipping, as well as new heels. The boots were in bad shape, said Bob, who is happy about the loot he will bag for the job. …

Michael Tom was the top bidder at the Opera Ball for a donation made by Chef George Mavrothalassitis. Tom was up bright and early at 6:15 a.m. July 16 for a fish auction tour, then it was on to the restaurant for a private cooking lesson with Chef Mavro, who prepared one of his famous fish recipes, onaga baked in Hawaiian salt. The fish tasting with wine pairing for Tom and his five guests was at 8 a.m., followed by lots of storytelling, hilarity and serious cooking tips. In Tom’s party were his wife Marlene, Al and Joyce Tomonari, Jenny Gonzales and Naomi Loewe.

Two sculptures created to bring the public’s attention to the importance of sustainable energy will be displayed at the Conservation Fair from 1 to 5 p.m. tomorrow at ING Direct Cafe, 1958 Kalakaua Ave. The installation and sculptures were created by Rodrigo Villaroelo and Sande Robert. Rodrigo’s work shows two figures exchanging old, nonsustainable energy bulbs for new, clean, green ones. Sande, whose oils are at Fish Cake in Honolulu, said her sculpture represents human energy in the form of the energy centers of the body, the chakras, to inspire people to remember they have the power and the energy to transform themselves and the world. The large display will be removed after the fair by Hawaii Pacific University’s Green Club, which will take it on the road to schools and other venues. Villaroelo is in the process of producing a children’s book to be distributed free of charge to Hawaii’s keiki concerning health education. …

Dr. Francis T.C. Au, 86, and wife and fellow physician Dr. Coralee Au, 87, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last weekend at Pacific Beach Hotel with about 130 friends and family members. The retirees live in Arcadia and for many years practiced medicine in the A.Y. Wong Building at King and Kalakaua. He was a general surgeon and she an OB-GYN. … Happy birthday to John Simonds, who celebrated his 75th at the Elks Club on July 9 and to Al Souza, who marked his 70th on July 18 at Sarento’s. … Todd Nakayama, a teacher at Waipahu High School, has been awarded the 2010 Lamp of Knowledge Award for Outstanding High School Educator and a Teachers of Excellence Award by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. He was honored last month at the American Hotel & Lodging Association Summer Summit in Phoenix. …

tomorrow is my last day as a member of this newspaper’s staff after 43 1/2 years. Although I am retiring as a copy editor and headline writer, I will continue to write my Friday "Wood Craft" column. It’s not easy leaving the paper where I first began my career as a preteen selling papers on the streets of Honolulu during WorId War II, but you can continue to e-mail me items for this column. … —— Ben Wood writes of people, places and things Fridays. E-mail him at


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