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Little St. Mary's Big Star
Ron Fimrite
October 28, 1996
The author waited 50 years to meet his boyhood idol, Herman Wedemeyer
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October 28, 1996

Little St. Mary's Big Star

The author waited 50 years to meet his boyhood idol, Herman Wedemeyer

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A few days later as my wife and I were waiting for a cab to take us to the Honolulu airport for the trip home, we chanced to meet another Hawaiian celebrity, the popular entertainer Ed Kenney. After some casual conversation, a question suddenly occurred to me: Is Wedey still famous in his home state? After all, the only evidence I had seen of his popularity was in his own country club, where, it stands to reason, he would be a popular fellow. I also knew that, save for fans of my particular vintage, he was all but forgotten on the mainland. In fact, his youngest brother, Charlie—a high school coach who was the subject of a television movie because of his courageous struggle against Lou Gehrig's disease—is probably better known there. The public address announcer at Wedey's own school had called him, of all things, an end. So, I asked Kenney, is the name Wedemeyer still big on the islands?

Kenney, a tall man who speaks with a cultivated Ivy League accent, didn't answer at first. Instead he leaned back and gazed out at the vast expanse of the blue Pacific for a long time. Then he turned to me with a look of amazement on his tanned face.

"Oh, dear man, my dear man," he said. "Herman Wedemeyer well known here? Why, I suppose you could say he is still something of a god, that's all."

That, I can honestly say, made my day.

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