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Musician Bill Tapia breaks his hip, days before turning 102


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POSTED: Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bill Tapia, the amazing musician who is still performing although he turns 102 on New Year's Day, fell Dec. 16 and broke a hip. He fell while packing a large bag for a trip to Honolulu Dec. 21 to attend his birthday party Jan. 3 at Mihana and Chuckie Souza's home. Hawaii-born Bill now lives in California's Orange County. Pat and Nancy Enos live with him. Right after he fell, he said to Pat, “;Don't cancel the trip. We are leaving Monday.”; Pat said this week that Bill is in rehab but they will make the trip when Bill can. Mihana performs with Bill and he sent for her to perform with him Dec. 12 in a Commerce, Calif., concert. “;I'll go anywhere for Bill,”; Mihana said. “;When someone 102 sends for me, I go.”; Bill concentrates on the ukulele now and tells priceless stories about the old days. He played guitar and steel guitar in his younger days ...

Yuki Nakata, a teenager from Japan, attracted attention in this year's Honolulu Marathon by wearing football equipment and carrying a football for the entire race. His time for the 26.2 miles was 5 hours and 6 minutes. The marathon's Pat Bigold said there was no doubt he ran the full distance because the timing system picked up his time splits at all of the electronic checkpoints ... Julia Hirata, a Punahou senior, was named Hawaii's Junior Miss for 2010 in the competition held recently at Kamehameha Schools ...

The Star-Bulletin's award-winning editorial cartoonist Francisco Flores “;Corky”; Trinidad Jr., who died Feb. 13 at age 69, was a dear friend and golfing buddy of mine. His final resting place is at the “;Serenity”; wall at Diamond Head Memorial Park. According to his lookalike son, Lorenzo Trinidad, 33, Corky's stone was without a plate for more than six months after his death. The delay was partially caused by time required for the custom work, which had to be done on the mainland. It was further delayed when it arrived with engraving errors that had to be corrected. Another delay involved time finding the best looking signature from his work for reproduction. The plaque was not decided by Corky before his death, unlike his obituary cartoon. Corky's mother, Carolina Flores Trinidad, was a renowned author in the Philippines, widely known by her pen name, ”;Lina Flor.”; She had her gravestone custom engraved with her signature. Lina Flor died Feb. 11, 1976 ...

No Wood Craft next Saturday as I will be on vacation. Happy New Year! ...

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin on Honolulu streets in World War II, writes of people, places and things Saturdays. E-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).