Mom, Dad and Don Ho

Well, this has nothing to do with writing, unless you count the fact that my parents were always bragging about me (as well as about my other siblings), but I can’t let Don Ho’s passing go without a little tribute to him and the joy he brought into my parents’ lives.
After retiring, Mom and Dad rented a condo in Oahu for two months every winter, until they were well into their eighties. They went to see Don Ho’s show one evening, and when he asked who in the audience had been married the longest, they were the clear winners. He invited them up on stage, quickly discovering that they were born hams. Dad told his goofy jokes and Mom did the hula. They were invited back several times, practicing their routine in their condo in between “performances.” They had a blast.
When Mom broke her hip one year after returning to New Jersey, Don Ho called her at the hospital, which let the nurses know just how special their patient was. It was very kind of him.
If there’s a heaven, I know John and Nan Lopresti are greeting Don Ho with open wings right now. What a lovely reunion that will be.
don ho mom.jpgdon ho and dad.jpg 


  1. Joann Scanlon on April 15, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    Hi Di,
    It’s Jo. Couldn’t resist adding how do you like Dad’s lavendar leisure suit!! Also I don’t recall that Don called but he did send a beautiful bouquet of flowers filled with Birds of Paradise. I’m hearing “Tiny Bubbles” all day.

  2. Diane Chamberlain on April 15, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    Hi Jo. Well, here’s yet another example of how we siblings don’t remember things the same way! (yeah, that lavender suit is pure Dad, isn’t it?)

  3. Rob Lopresti on April 15, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    This is Rob, like Jo I am one of Diane’s siblings, and I can’t resist either. Yes, that leisure suit is something. I’m glad Dad isn’t wearing his Groucho Marx outfit. Not your standard school principal, huh?
    I definitely remember hearing about the phone call from Don Ho. Very classy, I thought.

  4. Kathy Holmes on April 16, 2007 at 11:23 am

    Oh how fun for your parents! I remember seeing Don Ho years ago on my first trip to Hawaii. We were the youngsters back then and I remember those longest married couples standing up. It was a fun concert even for us.

  5. Diane Chamberlain on April 16, 2007 at 3:12 pm

    Hey, Kathy, maybe you saw my parents then!

  6. Ann on April 16, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    Diane, that is beautiful – leisure suit and all!! Your parents sound like they were fun people. They certainly look like they were enjoying life in Hawaii! Pictures are some of my favorite things!!!!

  7. Diane Chamberlain on April 16, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    they loved to dress up, ann, and had some crazy costumes they wore on cruise ships and to parties. they were a good match.

  8. Joyce on April 17, 2007 at 8:51 am

    I enjoyed seeing the photos of your parents…..they look just the way I remembered them……its great that they stayed so vital and active in their 80’s !
    Joyce (Janni)

  9. Margo on April 17, 2007 at 10:10 am

    Diane, what a precious memory. Your parents remind me of mine. Mom and dad love to travel, dress up, dance, you name it…even more so now that they are in their golden years. Thx for sharing such sweet pics.

  10. Diane Chamberlain on April 17, 2007 at 11:53 am

    Joyce, yes they were lucky to stay healthy and happy together for so long. Dad made it to 90 and Mom to 88.
    Margo, I think your parents would have gotten along great with mine.

  11. Margo on April 17, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    I do too, Diane. My parents are off for an Alaskan cruise in 2 weeks and mom just turned 87. They had a little bad luck 2 yrs ago when mom had a stroke on the 1st day of their Alaskan journey…but, she’s ready to try again so off they go on the 29th.

  12. Diane Chamberlain on April 17, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    sounds like you can’t keep her down!

  13. Margo on April 18, 2007 at 10:07 am

    Your so right. A very determined woman!

Leave a Comment