Wood Craft

By Ben Wood

Saturday, August 4, 2001

Mahina, Kahala keep
island music flowing

Singer-guitarists Mahina Souza and Kahala Mossman, known as Kahala Moon (Mahina means moon), are packing the Willows on Wednesday nights with their hapa-haole, Hawaiian and pop songs. The young entertainers have the place jumping. Both women come from illustrious isle music families. Mahina is part of the Farden ohana and the Mossmans are well-known entertainers and composers. Mahina's mother is Mihana Souza of Puamana and her grandmother is Hawaiian music legend Irmgard Farden Aluli, who turns 90 Oct. 6. Family members and friends step up and perform with the women. Mihana, Conne Sutherland and Chuck Watson's granddaughters, Liana and Alyssa Erickson, danced hula and guitarist-singer Bobby Burke performed the night I caught the enthusiastic act. As long as young people such as Mahina and Kahala keep coming along, there is no way island music will fade away ...

Woo Woo!

John and Jennifer Woo celebrated their first wedding anniversary last week and, unlike most couples, will be celebrating another "first" wedding anniversary. About a year ago, the couple eloped to Las Vegas without telling their parents. Eight months later they had another wedding ceremony in Jackson, Calif., Jennifer's home town. John, a Mariposa bartender and owner of Ducky's Korean Restaurant in Manoa with his brother, Donny, says their parents are still unaware of the first marriage. They will be now ... Tasia Kaipualani Balding was born July 25. Parents are the former Corine Gentry and Billy Balding. Nora Meijide Gentry says she is happy to be called "grandmother" although she is too young and good-looking to be your average granny ... Star-Bulletin staffers Donica Croot and Jason Kaneshiro tied the knot at Makiki Christian Church last Saturday and held their reception in the Royal Hawaiian's Monarch Room ...

Ellie's big day

Ellie Dillingham had a full day on her 80th birthday July 24. Her stepdaughter, Debbie Vogel, tossed her a luncheon at the Outrigger Canoe Club with guests Cynthia Child, Jack and Maydelle Cione, Peter and Pam Dillingham, Jeannine Riccio and Ellie's daughters, Kathy Johnston of Aspen and Carolyn Stark. That evening it was dinner at Orchids with most of the same guests. The dinner was a birthday present from her son-in-law, Jeff Johnston, who called in birthday greetings from Aspen ...

Water sports star Sen. Fred Hemmings is back from ABC's "Wide World of Sports" reunion in New York. Fred, who is owner Pat Bowlen's rep at Nick's Fishmarket, gave a steering clinic for members of the New York Outrigger Canoe Club. Fred jogged from midtown to Chelsea Piers on 23rd Street at the Hudson for the clinic ... World travelers Carla Beachcomber Lutz and husband Jess are here for a visit ...

Jojo Watumull, owner of American T-shirt Co., has been elected president of the Young Entrepreneurs' Organization, Hawaii Chapter. Members of the international group must be under 39 and be owners or controlling shareholders of firms with annual revenues topping $1 million ... Bill Bender's family and friends will hold a celebration of his life at Murphy's tomorrow from 4 to 8 p.m. Bill, 63, died at Kaiser Hospital Wednesday ...

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets
of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of
people, places and things every Saturday.
E-mail him at

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