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Tapia, 102, is back in action after recovery from broken hip


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POSTED: Saturday, May 29, 2010

PLUCKY BILL: Believe it or not, Hawaii-born 102-year-old wonder man Bill Tapia, who suffered a broken hip Dec. 16, played ukulele and sang in the New York Uke Fest May 14 and 15 at Baruch College Performance Center. He also performed in the closing luau May 16 and the night before the festival at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, a jazz club named for Dizzy Gillespie, at Lincoln Center. Bill had singer Mihana Souza with him to sing and strum ukulele for the festival. She was also one of the emcees. Mihana, who plays guitar and string bass, said she had to learn to play ukulele for the New York gig. She says Bill has three wishes: to play for the president, to be on a national talk show and to win a Grammy. Bill now lives in California. He and Mihana wound up the trip by completing a CD in Irvine, Calif., that they had started in earlier days ...

SKATING ON: Alaska Airlines, Winter Olympian Apolo Ohno and the winners of the airline's “;Follow Apolo to Hawaii”; sweepstakes will be welcomed on Maui Thursday by Lt. Gov. James “;Duke”; Aiona and members of Maui Surf Groms, a youth group hoping to make surfing an Olympic sport. The sweepstakes winners will spend five days at the Grand Wailea. A luau with Ohno, the eight-time Olympic medalist, is on their agenda. The arriving Alaska airliner features a picture of Ohno, wearing a lei, skating across its fuselage. Ohno is a darn good skater ...

; DANCING ON: Let's hear it for Hawaii's “;Dancing with the Stars”; champ Nicole Scherzinger. Even Gov. Linda Lingle gives Nicole praise, calling hers a “;well-deserved victory.”; She added, “;Nicole exhibited a work ethic and genuine good nature throughout the intense competition during season 10 — an example of the aloha spirit which we know she and her family hold dear.”; Right on, gov ...

WRAPPED: The wrap party for “;The Descendants”; was held last Saturday night at Waikiki Yacht Club. Star George Clooney, the rest of the cast, as well as the crew and friends of the production attended. Some of the filming was done across the street from Restaurant Row and Clooney was somewhat of a regular at Ruth's Chris Steak House, located in the Row complex. He was there March 21, Monday and Tuesday ... This year marks the Ruth's Chris chain's 45th anniversary and it will be celebrated at all five of the Hawaii locations with a $45 anniversary menu. It runs through July 31 ...

Hawaii's lantern floating in remembrance on Memorial Day Monday at Ala Moana's Magic Island has developed wide exposure. A friend who recently returned from L.A. said she saw it mentioned in the Los Angeles Times ...

Embassy Suites at Waikiki Beach Walk will show “;The Blind Side”; tonight at 8, in its poolside theater. It's free and open to the public, but it's best to get there early as the area fills up fast. For those who desire, beverages and pupus will be sold at the Pakini Bar ...

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