Getting Mugged Saves Marriage

Pamela Young
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Wednesday - September 07, 2011
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Dear Pamela,

My wife and I live in San Francisco, but my wife is originally from Manoa. Manoa Coffee, run by Kathy Maddux, used to be a daily stop. Her favorite mug was from Coffee Manoa. One day while washing dishes, I accidentally broke her prized mug! I knew I was in deep trouble, given the fact that Coffee Manoa was long gone! I went online, came across an article in the Star-Bulletin written in 1998 featuring Kathy, and with more investigation, found she was now working at Kokua Market on King Street.

When I finally contacted her, she told me there were no more mugs, but later called back after finding one last intact one in her cupboards at home. She took pity on me and sent it to me, not asking for anything in return. I tried to thank her in person last week during my first visit to Hawaii in eight years, but she’s no longer a regular employee of the market. My mother-in-law showed me your column and I decided it was just the place to formally thank Kathy, not only for saving my marriage, but for introducing me to the wonderful folks and food at Kokua Market! Not a life-and-death story as are many that appear in your column, but for me, I’d say it was a lifesaver!

Jeff Lieppman
San Francisco

Dear Jeff,

“I received Jeff’s message and passed it on to Kathy,” says Kokua Market owner services and human resources manager Keiko SakumaNeubauer. “She said she had one last one in her cupboard. I asked if she was willing to part with it and she said no problem! He sounded so sincere I would have offered mine if I still had it.”

three star

Dear Pamela,

Returning from a friend’s home in Nuuanu, my Toyota Camry stalled in front of Moanalua Gardens. I got out of the car, hobbled with my cane toward a group of people who were getting ready to leave and asked if they had a cell phone I could use.

Kim asked for my car keys to see the problem. She kindly offered me a chair and some bottled water. Niles Wallis, Tim Muestala and Sam Sauni were in the park and tried to assist me. Police officers

L. Freeman and G. Perez directed traffic around my car and called a tow company. Sonny Rivera of 24 Hour Towing and Recovery came. Thank you to all for taking care of me.

Lillian Yano

Dear Lillian,

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Niles Wallis was in the park with his wife’s two cousins, Tim and Sam. “She had a leak in her water pump, so there wasn’t much we could do,” he says. “But we got a cop to help out. I used to work in a nursing home, so I like to assist seniors when I can, plus I enjoy working on cars. We’re glad she got home safely.”


(If you know someone who deserves some Applause, send your letters to Pamela Young, MidWeek Applause, KITV, 801 S. King St., Honolulu, HI, 96813 or e-mail Include your name, phone number and, if possible, the phone number of your “applaudee” so we can contact him or her.)

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