This one's for you, Corky, you will be missed


POSTED: Saturday, February 14, 2009

Singer Mihana Souza and I had plans to visit Star-Bulletin cartoonist Corky Trinidad in St. Francis Hospice yesterday afternoon. She was going to sing “;Dahil Sa Iyo,”; “;Puamana”; and other songs for him. But yesterday at 7:15 in the morning, pianist Kit Samson, a close Trinidad family friend, called to tell me Corky had died at about 2 a.m. yesterday.



Corky Trinidad

Kit was choked up and tearful. I shed a few tears myself. Corky was one of my best pals. I called Mihana to give her the news, and she started crying. Corky was a bright ray of sunshine no matter how dark things were. He was loved and admired by his family, co-workers, many friends and fans.

Corky was generous to a fault and would often give away cartoons. He gave several to me and my wife, Brita, who also died of cancer. She liked the ones he drew of people who discriminated against smokers. She and Corky were both smokers. He also did a large caricature of the Puamana group as a gift, picturing Mihana; her mom, Irmgard Aluli; sister Aima McManus; and cousin Luanna McKenney.

Corky loved golf. He was a member of my golfing foursome and always played in the Brita Memorial, and the Mini-Benny Birthday Tourney for Wobbly Golfers and Worthy Women that I held for several years. Corky, Frank “;Steiny”; Steinmiller, Sonny Beamer and I made up a weekly foursome.

Steiny is a golfing purist and could be grouchy at times on the course, so we had an upbeat Corky ride with him in the cart. Ken Dias, Pam Anderson, Randy Cadiente, Stan Atkins, Jimmy Borges, Bobby Swan, Allen McKeague, Alice Clay, Toshiko Wight, Jean Anderson and Tim Smythe often filled in when one of the regulars was unavailable or when we could have six players.

Ken signed as witness when Corky fired a hole-in-one at the Prince course. Tim said Corky hit the longest ball of any small golfer he knew. Tim admired Corky's power, as Tim was small in earlier years but has since expanded. Corky had two other holes-in-one at Hawaii Kai. Most of the players in my golf tourneys were Roosevelt grads, so I made Corky an “;Honorary Roosevelt Graduate,”; not that I had any such authority. He liked that.

I wrote a golfing column for the Star-Bulletin years ago and asked Corky to do a cartoon for it. The cartoons were the best thing about the column. One of my favorites was a cartoon of Steiny throwing a club from a deep sand trap on the tough Koolau course after struggling unsuccessfully to get out and taking many strokes. It was the first time I ever saw Steiny throw a club.

Steiny commissioned Corky to draw a cover for two CDs of “;Martini Music”; that he gave to friends for Christmas.

Corky could be funny on the course. Once at Ala Wai two ducks were mating near the tee. After the male was satisfied, Corky walked to the duck and offered him a cigarette.

Borges visited the hospice Wednesday and sang “;Fly Me to the Moon”; for Corky. I also visited him on Wednesday. He was unresponsive but I spoke to him anyway. I told him that when he got well we would go out and play nine holes.