Extended Aoki clan gears up for a very special birthday
IN THE AOKI FAMILY, eight people have birthdays in the eighth month. That’s reason enough for a celebration every August, but this year is special, and not just because of all the 08/08/08 hoop-de-doo.
This year, Ethel Aoki Takahashi turns 88. Her birthday’s on Aug. 9, just one day off the magic mark.
The family will celebrate with a Chinese dinner for 60, with Takahashi as the primary guest of honor, but also marking birthdays for assorted August babies throughout the extended family.
Takahashi, who grew up in Kohala, has lived in Los Angeles since the 1950s, returning home frequently, says her sister, Bessie Kong.
The year started off with a bit of bad luck, as Takahashi fell and broke her right wrist, which kept her away from her monthly ritual - the slot-machine tournament at Treasure Island in Las Vegas.
“The pain in her wrist wasn’t as much as the pain that she couldn’t participate in this tournament,” Kong says.
But 2008 isn’t over. “Who knows? She might hit it big, since this is her year.”
And if family history is any indication, Takahashi has many more tournaments ahead. Her eldest sister is 95. Their mother lived to age 103.