Wood Craft
Ben Wood

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Pain killers float
flamingos around
hospitalized reporter

When the Star-Bulletin's Maui man, Gary Kubota, was hospitalized for an inflamed parotid gland a few months ago, he was treated with powerful pain killers and "saw" pink flamingos hovering 'round his bed. The reporter picked up a pen and scribbled his observations. The account turned into song lyrics that Maui jazz singer Gene Argel put to music and sings at Cafe Marc Aurel in Wailuku. Gene and son, Makana, sang "Pink Flamingo" at a recording session on Father's Day at Mana'o radio station. Kubota, recovered and back reporting, says he is not embarking on a musical career. But he admits to occasionally playing harmonica with a garage band in Kula ...

Ka Himeni Ana, the annual program by Hawaiian singing groups that do not use electronic or amplified equipment, has been canceled this year because there were not enough groups entered. Also, Keola (the elder) Beamer, a highlight of the event as emcee, is sidelined because of illness ... Bob and Dee Levy's Robanna Fund, to assist the medical education of doctors, nurses and pharmacists, has made a grant to its 75th student. Bob says the student grants are awarded for scholastic ability, character and financial need and are handled by the Hawaii Community Foundation ... Walter Dods, Patience Namaka Bacon and Yosihiko Sinoto will receive awards Saturday at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Awards Dinner at the museum. Dods is a two-time awards winner ...

Chany, a Mariposa original, says aloha

Chany Soukhavong Kumalae was wearing leis in the Mariposa Thursday because it was her last day a hostess at the Neiman Marcus restaurant. She has been taking care of Mariposa guests since Neiman opened in September 1998. Chany is saying aloha, at least for now, because of business reasons. "I love this place," Chany said. "The people are great. I wouldn't mind coming back." Chany is a 1996 Castle High grad and a 2001 UH Manoa grad in textile clothing and marketing. She worked her way through UH at four different jobs. In addition to Neiman Marcus, she was also employed by Foot Action, Don Ho's and K.S. Jewelry Design. Chany's husband, Sgt. Brandon Kumalae, is a Big Island native with Hawaii's Army National Guard in Iraq ...

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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

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