Oldie But Goodie

"I remember “Manoa” from Diamond Cue days almost thirty years ago and I thought he was old then”, joked one of his many pool player friends who attended Masato "Manoa" Taira's 90th birthday party held at Hawaiian Brian's. As a former "regular" at Diamond Cue way back then, I can attest to that statement. “Manoa” Taira played pool and billiards and was a fiery competitor back then, as he still is today at Hawaiian Brian's.

Ninety years young today, he is still very active. His regimen since the three week old city bus strike would dissuade many an able-bodied person from regularly doing the same. He walks the two mile distance to the Ala Moana Mall Food Court from his home above the H-1 freeway on Ward Avenue almost daily. For a few hours in the morning, he socializes and enjoys his coffee with some of the "younger" crowd that meet regularly at the Food Court, then he continues his journey down Kapiolani Boulevard to Hawaiian Brian's a half mile down the road.

On most days you can find him at Hawaiian Brian's, either competing, practicing or just waiting for an opponent to compete with. He usually stays until the early evening hours and then makes the long trek home, completing the five mile round trip. "Pool has kept me feeling young", he says. "It keeps my mind sharp. And if I play for a few hours a day, walking around the pool table is good exercise". And then he reveals the one caveat: “My wife complains I spend too much time in the poolroom”. Some things never change.

Jay Zablan, Hawaiian Brian's Promotions www.hawaiianbrians.com