QUEEN ELIZABETH

Phillipe's sister, a jazz and R&B singer who lives in London's Belsize Park, is planning on heading for the hills during the upcoming Olympics, as security and traffic problems promise to overwhelm the locals.

But for Vo Dilunduhs who are supporting Elizabeth Beisel, the Olympic swimmer who is a favorite to win a medal in the 400-meter individual medley, a trip to Old Blighty to watch her race would be a thrill.

Team Beisel T-shirts are selling out in a day at locations around the state (recommended buying spot: Twin Willows in Narragansett), and given the number of street signs supporting young Liz in North Kingstown, they might have to use the Olympic rings as the new town seal.

P&J will be rooting her on, if only from the Boom Boom Room at Casa Diablo, as she attempts to become the second fair young Rhody lass to win an Olympic gold in recent years, along with women's hockey team goalie Sara DeCosta of Warwick, who won the gold in 1998 and silver in 2002.


STEVE AND ELAINE

Two great people passed away recently. Both were young and should have had more years.

Steve Kulas was 56 years old when he died July 6. A veteran bus driver with RIPTA, Steve was, perhaps, the greatest all-around entertainer ever to take the wheel. The microphone in front of the driver's seat seemed made for Steve. (Too bad he couldn't drive and play the piano at the same time, as he was also a talented musician.)

Jorge, an inveterate RIPTA passenger, was frequently entertained by Steve's running commentary. But sometimes this chatter would get Steve in trouble, as his friend Alan Petteruto recalls.

Steve once took an overtime assignment, Petteruto remembers, that involved taking a group of women from Providence on a tour of the Newport mansions. At lunch time, the women could not agree on where to go, so three stops were made. And near the end of the trip (now pushing 11 hours), everyone insisted that they stop at Newport Creamery for ice cream.

Finally, when everyone got back on the bus, Steve grabbed the microphone and announced, "Next stop . . . cemetery!" He was suspended, not the first or last time this would happen. Steve was a legend at RIPTA, a jovial, happy, hilarious person who will be greatly missed.

Elaine Hanlon passed away July 12, at the age of 54. She was a brilliant woman, committed to equality and social justice. A magna cum laude graduate of Wheaton College who for many years was the deputy chief investigator for the Rhode Island Public Defender's Office, Elaine came from a large family (five sisters, two brothers and many nieces and nephews) that adored her. Recently, she had been named the state director of Unite Women, a political action group.

Elaine and her closest friends, Libby Rock and Thomas LaFauci, were Casa Diablo regulars and "Comediacolytes," regular attendees of the old Comediac Bad Film Festival. This meant that Elaine had a near-encyclopedic knowledge of most of the worst films ever made and her ability to describe in great detail a scene from The Creeping Terror (1964) was nothing short of stunning.

We will miss Elaine and her great humor, passion, and joy in life.

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