Pamplona bull runBy Rod Ohira
a kick for isle pair
DOUG Semones loves challenges, especially those on the wild side. Semones, 38, has skydived and jumped off cliffs, but he had his greatest thrill last month.
The former Kahuku High head football coach and University of Hawaii assistant did this year's "Running of the Bulls" in Pamplona, Spain.
And he did it not once, but twice with his wife, Linda, and former UH assistant Tom Williams.
"It was a kick," Semones said of his two runs in as many days down Santo Domingo Street from the pen to the bullring during the Fiesta of San Fermin.
"It's like running down a kickoff on a crowded, narrow street with a 2,000-pound bull running up your back," he said.
Special to the Star-Bulletin
Doug Semones was joined in Pamplona by former
UH assistant Tom Williams, left, and Linda Semones.
Semones says he was able to touch the bulls while he ran, using a newspaper.
"It's bad luck to touch the bulls with your hands, so everyone carries a (rolled-up) newspaper," he said.
The run takes about three or four minutes, Semones says.
"The adrenaline flows. It's definitely a rush," added Semones, currently the Hawaii Hammerheads' professional indoor football team's defensive coordinator.
"Once you start running, it's chaos. It's every man for himself."
Although the run is not officially open to women, it isn't a strictly enforced rule, said Linda Semones.
"I was determined to do it," she said. "I was not going to come back from this vacation and listen to my husband tell stories of his run for the next 25 years.
"It was a great thrill, something I'll always remember. The scary part is, there are so many people that if someone falls there's a snowballing effect. The cobblestone streets are narrow, with a couple of hairpin turns, and slippery. There are six bulls, and it's safe if they stay in a pack and run together.
"But if a bulls gets separated from the pack, it becomes confused and disoriented. That's when it gets dangerous."
Ouida Hill: "Thirteen has always been lucky for me,"
says the new centenarian.
Ouida Hill, widow of former Big Island state Sen. William "Doc" Hill, celebrated her 100th birthday on Thursday.
"I feel no different at 100 than I did at 99," she said. "I try to think young. The secret really is, don't think old."
"She's a feisty woman for 100 years old," said Heather Haley of Kokua Nurses, who has been caring for Mrs. Hill while her regular nurse is on vacation. "She has so much energy."
Mrs. Hill and her husband were described by the late Pierre Bowman as "the social lions of the Big Island, entertaining the greats and near-greats and a hefty slice of the general populace, too."
Mrs. Hill lives in a 13th-floor apartment in Makiki with a panoramic view of Diamond Head and Waikiki.
"Thirteen has always been lucky for me," she said. "I've certainly had good luck, a good husband, a good mother and so many good people to take care of me."
Before coming to Hawaii in 1926, Mrs. Hill was a registered nurse who worked with William James and Charles Horace Mayo, the brothers who founded the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
"It was a wonderful experience," Mrs. Hill said of working with the Mayo brothers.
She said there's not much left that she'd like to do.
"I've had so much and done so much," she said. "Hawaii is a wonderful place, and the people are gentle and awfully nice."
Lori Tamashiro: Popularity is spreading for her
volcanic and "X-rated" cakes.
Cake designer Lori Tamashiro was looking for something special to do a few years ago for a State Farm Fair demonstration.
"I didn't want to do something boring, so I decided to create a waterfall," Tamashiro said. "I think it showed people we can do things that are just not icing and cake."
Tamashiro, 29, works for Saint-Germain/DeeLite Bakery in Kalihi, but her hobby is creating unique specialty cakes with action parts, such as the waterfall.
"I think it's something no one else is doing," said Tamashiro, a Castle High graduate who studied commercial baking at Honolulu Community College.
"It's pretty open as far what can be done," she added. "I come up with some ideas and do the cakes mostly for friends."
Tamashiro has created a "volcanic eruption" cake with flowing lava, and "X-rated" cakes for bridal showers and bachelor parties that are becoming popular through word of mouth.
"I build a sculpture and use devices, like a pump, to add live action to the cake," said Tamashiro. "I like doing it, but it's not for profit right now."
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Interesting people. People with a story to tell. Call
Rod Ohira at 525-8640.