Wood Craft

By Ben Wood

Kit Samson’s strong,
a year after his bypass

It was a year ago March 21 that Kit Samson, who was born to play the piano, had triple bypass surgery that saved his life. To mark the occasion, "I went to church to thank the Lord," said Kit, who is looking good and playing piano as well as ever. Kit, who plays strictly by ear, had a Ship's Tavern dinner crowd in the palm of his talented hands last Saturday night. I dig his swinging pops tunes best but he can also handle classical music and is happy to take requests. Bassman Miles Jackson backs Kit in his Saturday night Tavern gigs and I was surprised to find that Miles also sings. Guest Kathy Mitchell also sang last Saturday night. Tavern manager David Lau has Kit booked almost every Saturday. The Friday action is split this month between Sonya Mendez and Rich Crandall, Loretta Ables Sayre, and George Street ...

Honors for King, Hulihee

Judge Sam King and Ed Hulihee will be honored with the O'o Award for outstanding Hawaiian business professionals by the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce April 8 at the Hyatt Waikiki ... Brans-combe Richmond sends word he gets to work with Tom Selleck again in "Touch 'Em All McCall," a pilot for NBC about minor league baseball. Bran worked with Tom in the "Magnum" pilot ... Star-Bulletin editorial cartoonist Corky Trini- dad's cartoons about the war with Iraq have been getting play on CNN for their excellence ...

Nick's Fishmarket G.M. Ben Dowling is a golf nut so he was more than a little interested when he heard a woman talking about how she was one under par for her round at Ko Olina, a challenging course. In speaking with her, Ben found she was Davis Love III's sister, Cathleen Love Regal. Davis is a top pro golfer ... PBS Hawaii will premiere "Art Stories," a program featuring art organizations in the isles, on April 10 at 7:30 p.m. Elizabeth Lindsey Buyers is host for the show which runs an hour and a half. The Acad-emy of Arts, Iolani Palace and the State Art Museum will be documented in the first show ...

Jean Dickinson sends a copy of "Beverly Hills 213" from L.A. in which longtime show-biz scribe James Bacon writes about the annual Frank Sinatra Celebrity Golf Tournament in Palm Desert. "The entertainment at the gala was terrific," writes Bacon, "opening with Jimmy Borges, a singer from Hawaii -- I thought Don Ho was the only singer over there." Jean attended the Academy Awards with close pal Reggie Sully again this year ...

Puna Titcomb dies

Puna Titcomb, who brought a ton of laughs and loads of joy to thousands of people, died of colon cancer Sunday morning at his daughter Elrae Anne Ouchi's home in Las Vegas. Puna and I were boyhood friends. He was shining shoes at the Black Cat Cafe on Hotel during World War II and I was across the street at the Army-Navy YMCA selling Star-Bulletins. I called Puna on Tuesday, the day before his birth- day, and told him I was going to wish him happy 74th birthday in my Saturday column. "Write about my boxing" he said. I did. On his birthday he called me to say that his friend and former employer, ex-pro football coach Chuck Knox called him with birthday cheer. Puna was happy about that ...

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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