Becoming Part Of The MW Family

Ron Mizutani
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Wednesday - July 22, 2009
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My cellular phone rang in late January 2008. It was a call I was not expecting to receive. It was Don Chapman on the line, an old friend and former colleague.

Don had written a MidWeek piece on me and my family several years back. I was co-anchoring the morning news with Leslie Wilcox back then at KHON2, fresh off the sports desk. Never thought I was cover material, but somebody at MidWeek did.

I’ve always been a huge fan of MidWeek, but now I was a part of its incredible history of cover story subjects. My wife and children were tickled. We laughed when we saw the cover. My oldest son was 6 and my baby girl was 1. Dane is now 17, Haven nearly 13 and Tai-John, who wasn’t even born yet, is nearly 10.

Fast-forward to January 2008. Never thought I’d be asked to join the MidWeek family. Don was quick to the point when he called: “We were talking and we want a column on ocean-related activities and we thought of you. Interested?”


 

Are you kidding me? Write a column about my playground? When do I start? He said let’s see what you can do, and a decision would be made. An audition, if you will.

I was game and hungry to get back into journalism. I had just resigned from Hawaiian Telcom and was unemployed. I was hoping to receive a call from someone, and Don was one of the first. Thankfully, KHON2 also called in late February and I returned to my home of more than two decades.

But this MidWeek opportunity was huge, and I wanted it bad. Ironically, my first “assignment” was covering the high school state canoe championships. Instead of focusing on the race results, I saw an amazing story developing. Samantha Moikeha, daughter of the late Sammy “Steamboat” Mokuahi Jr., was scrambling to get crews in place - a race official at an event her father helped start many years before. He was one of the good guys in this town, and it was great to see his daughter fulfilling his legacy.

I filed the story and waited. And waited. The anxiety was killing me, and took me back nearly 30 years to my first job interview when I was 15, waiting for a call back from Robert’s Hawaii to be a lei greeter at the airport. I got the call back then.


The phone rang. It was Don. They liked the piece and they were printing it in the next issue. Then he asked, “What should we call your column?”

I was absolutely blown away. I was jumping up and down like a kid on Christmas morning in my kitchen.

It was Don who made the suggestion: “How about Currents?” I loved it and was excited about my new title, MidWeek columnist.

I’m still excited every week. I get to write about the ocean. I’m sharing stories of my ocean playground. How cool is that?

Thank you, MidWeek. I’m happy and grateful to be a part of the family.

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