Wood Craft

By Ben Wood

Saturday, February 2, 2002

Puna Titcomb recovers
from cancer surgery

Puna Titcomb, 72, was released from St. Francis Hospital Tuesday after surgery for colon cancer. Puna, who was a personal assistant to respected NFL coach Chuck Knox when Knox was at Buffalo and Seattle, advises everyone to quit smoking and drinking and to check for colon cancer. Besides his immediate family -- wife Elrae Holt, sons Herbie, Wendell and West, and daughter Elrae Anne Ouzhi, who flew in from Las Vegas -- Puna wishes to thank his many friends who were there for him when the going was rough. He singled out close friends Eric Maehara, Ann Kobayashi, Rockne Freitas and Pat Richardson. Knox was among those who called him. Puna, tall and slender with great reach, boxed as an amateur and pro some 50 years ago. He was involved in many "thrillas" at the Civic Auditorium. Blessed with a keen sense of humor and gift of gab, Puna was often called "Senator" and could have been a stand-up comic. His cousin was the late Sammy Amalu, one of the brightest and most interesting Hawaiian characters of the 20th century. Get well Puna, you bring happy laughs to many people, and we need that ...

SI discovers Rainbows

Sports Illustrated has discovered Riley Wallace's UH basketball team. A headline in the Jan. 28 issue reads: "Rainbow Coalition, a mix of players from seven nations has given Hawaii an international flavor and a winner." The story reports that eight of the hot 'Bow players come from foreign lands. A beautiful color photo of eight of the players, draped in the flags or wearing the colors of their native countries, is included. The story gives good play to team star Predrag Savovic. It calls Honolulu's 5-foot-4-inch walk-on Lance Takaki a crowd favorite ...

Merchant Street jumps

Merchant Street Diamond Head was jumping last night with a party for the closing of the Native Books and Beautiful Things store and a bash for Mihana Souza's "Rust on the Moon" CD. Mihana sang, backed by Van Diamond, Sam Henderson, Chuck Souza and Greg Kekipi. Kahala Moon -- Mihana's daughter Mahina and Kahala Mossman -- also sang. Retired Kailua High teacher Shigeru Hotoke, with wife Grace, recalled that Mihana was one of his Kailua Madrigals years ago. Roy Benham said that he and wife, Jackie, marked their 50th wedding anniversary Dec. 19. Mapuana Schneider signed her artwork. Maile Meyer, who runs Native Books store on School Street, kept bringing in food and drink that clothing designer Nakeu Awai helped dish out. Mayoral candidate Mufi Hannemann greeted friends ...

Christie Ann Weaver and Warren Scoville will tie the knot on Valentine's Day. Christie is the widow of restaurateur Spence Weaver. North Shore neighborhood board member Warren owns and operates apartment buildings ... Sam Choy is joining the BIA Home Building and Remodeling Show at Blaisdell Exhibition Hall and shows his BBQ expertise at 3 p.m. today. Other cooking demonstrations are by Star-Bulletin columnist Charley Memminger who crafts his "haole pupus" at 1:30 p.m. Ryan's chef Bill Bruhl cooks at 6:30 p.m. Tomorrow, Tokkuri-tei chef Hideaki Miyoshi is on at 1:30 p.m. ... A reception was held at the Shore Bird in the Outrigger Reef yesterday to display the $1.3 million renovation ...

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets
of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of
people, places and things every Saturday.
E-mail him at

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