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Bada bing, bada boom birthday at Chart House

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RUTH LIN’S daughter Deborah and son-in-law James Gandolfini surprised her at her birthday party at the Chart House on the Fourth of July. Ruth returned from Europe Saturday and called her daughter Sunday, thinking she was in New York, but she and her actor husband were here. “I was speechless,” when they walked in Monday evening, Ruth said. The party itself was a surprise. Ruth’s son, Andrew Lin, suggested they go to dinner on the Fourth. When they arrived at the Chart House Monday and were greeted by 24 friends, that alone was a big surprise for Ruth. Then she was bowled over by the arrival of Deborah and Gandolfini, who starred as Tony Soprano in “The Sopranos” hit TV show. Ruth said Chart House owner Joey Cabell was also in the restaurant …

JIMMY BORGES will undergo surgery July 18 for liver cancer. He said, “A large tumor, measuring 13 centimeters, about the size of a large grapefruit” will be removed. Jimmy added, “My surgeon, Dr. Ryan Takamori, told me, ‘I just want you to realize this is the Super Bowl of operations.’ I said, as an ex-football player, I plan to win, 76-zip.” Jimmy, 76, said Takamori is considered to be one of Hawaii’s top liver surgeons. Jimmy is a tough competitor. He has gained back five of the 23 pounds he lost after May 17 chemotherapy, and is looking forward to continuing his 57-year singing career after winning the biggest fight of his life …

SOME YEARS back when Sonny Beamer and I were heading out to the golf course in my car, I played a CD featuring Robert Cazimero and Sonny said, “That’s one of the great voices of Hawaii.” How true. Most every Hawaii music lover knows of Robert’s vocal prowess, but Robert is also a respected kumu hula. His CD, “Hula,” was released in stores and online by Mountain Apple Tuesday. Robert at the piano sings a collection of his favorite music for hula on the album, 11 beautiful songs by some of Hawaii’s famous composers. Two of them, “Keawaiki” and “Kimo Hula,” are by Sonny’s grandmother, Helen Desha Beamer. Other songs on the CD are: “Pua Lililehua” by Kahauanu Lake and Mary Puku‘i; “Lovely Hula Hands” and “Haole Hula” by R. Alex Anderson; “Kealoha” by Lei Collins and Maddy Lam; “Hualalai” by Matilda Kauwe; “I Aloha Ia No ‘O Kanaio” by Nina Maxwell, Kenneth Makuakane and Roddy Lopez, and Robert’s composition of “Na‘u Ho‘okahi” …

WOODY ALLEN’S “Midnight in Paris” is the best picture I’ve seen since “The King’s Speech.” I went to “Larry Crowne” on Saturday and throughly enjoyed the Tom Hanks-Julia Roberts romantic comedy …

Ben Wood, who sold newspapers on Honolulu streets in World War II, writes of people, places and things. Email him at bwood@
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