People with birthdays near Christmas often lose out
, Tim Smythe
and surgeon Frank Oda
sometimes receive Christmas gifts with the card reading "Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday," one gift for both events. Their birthdays are Christmas Day for Diehl, Dec. 28 for Smythe and Dec. 24 for Oda. Oda celebrated his 75th birthday on Christmas Eve at On Jin's Cafe with his wife, Anna
, On Jin
and her husband, acupuncturist Kwang Chai
, and Dr. Frank Fukunaga
. Both Franks earned their med degrees at U. of Michigan. Ex-Gov. George Ariyoshi
was studying law there at the same time. Oda was a gutsy 135-pound football guard at Iolani, Class of '48, playing for coach Father Kenneth Bray
. The retired surgeon knows wine and attended the celebration of life for Allen Kam
, Vintage Wine Cellar founder and one of Hawaii's early wine experts, who died Sept. 30 at age 77. Oda said great wines were poured and cheese from Paris was served at a celebration of Kam's life Oct. 11 at Waialae Country Club. Kam's son, Jay
, said his dad had told him he wanted a party for friends, nothing somber. Wines such as Chateau Margaux and Chateau Latour came from Allen's private cellar. His favorite foods were served. Allen must have been looking down, smiling at his celebration ...
Grande dames Mary Louise Blackburn and Cecelia Blackfield, bejeweled and looking smashing in evening attire, enjoyed classics and golden oldies by the Honolulu Symphony New Year's Eve at the Halekulani. Associate conductor Joan Landry and pops maestro Matt Catingub shared the baton. Mary Louise and Cecelia were guests of Carolyn Berry, a strong financial supporter of the symphony. Matt dedicated "Since I Fell for You" to Carolyn. The evening started with a string quartet, followed by the symphony, then the jazz duo of bassist-vocalist Bruce Hamada and pianist Jim Howard. To wind things up, the duo joined Matt on alto sax and drummer Sonny Froman to groove on jazz and pop standards. Jimmy Borges, another Berry guest, joined in and shared vocals with Matt and Bruce to swing in the New Year ... The Halekulani brass -- Peter Shaindlin, Janis Clapoff and Pat Tam -- were in harmony with praise for Bunny Look at her retirement party Dec. 27. Bunny spent 21 years with the resort, 20 in public relations. She wore a baseball cap reading PAU at the party ...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org