Keeping Score

By Cindy Luis

Monday, October 25, 1999

Star-Bulletin closing after 117 years

Time to say mahalo,
before it’s too late

THIS was supposed to be one of the worst days of my life. This was supposed to be my final column in the Star-Bulletin sports section.

Until the courts gave us new life last week, it had been rather like attending one's own funeral. It's nice to hear the kind words, but not when you're not ready to die.

The most difficult night came on Sept. 16, the day after it had been announced that we would be closing later this week. It was the night of one of the biggest volleyball matches of the season, against Long Beach State.

The most amazing thing happened after the Wahine stopped the defending NCAA champs' winning streak at 42. The 49ers coach Brian Gimmillaro didn't want to talk about his loss. His opening remarks in the press room were about Hawaii losing its afternoon newspaper and why it was such a terrible thing.

The guy doesn't even live here, yet he realized the devastating impact. Then Gimmillaro gave me a hug.

I've been carrying around my eulogy in my mind since then, thinking about writing today's column. Even though it looks as though we'll be around at least a little while longer, sometimes you just never know when you'll get the chance to say thank you.

So instead of good-bye, I'd like to say mahalo.

I have spent over 18 years, the majority of my adult life, sharing game stories and people stories with you, our loyal readers. There has been no other place I'd rather be than in your hands and, hopefully, your hearts.

We have had some great rides. National volleyball championships for the Wahine, Hawaii-Hilo, BYU-Hawaii and Hawaii Pacific.

Tes Whitlock's shot beating BYU. Jarinn Akana after winning the WAC basketball title. AC and Alika Smith after the victory over Kansas.

There's not enough room to share the events I've been privileged to chronicle in Hawaii sports. Nor could I begin to name the great athletes I've had the honor to interview.

It would be easy to name the Rafer Johnsons, the Billie Jean Kings, the FloJos of the world that I have interviewed. But they were no more important to me than the George Puous, the Tita Ahunas or the Nappy Napoleons of the islands.

From the Molokai Hoe to Molokai High's first state championship last spring, from the Hawaii Islanders to Little League, it's been a joy to be part of the game.

Your compliments and criticisms have made me a better journalist and a better person. I can only hope I've touched your lives; you've certainly touched mine

I'VE longed complained about not having a desk all these years. Now, all I want is to keep my by-line as a Star-Bulletin writer. That and to keep watching your children go from park league to preps to college and back to park league as coaches.

The other day, I was walking down Punchbowl Street, on the way to the News Building for what was supposed to be the staff's aloha photo in this Saturday's edition. It was the same route I used when I first moved here in 1981 and walked to work.

I cut across the lawn in front of the Kalaimoku Building. I used to leave footprints in the early morning dew. Now there's a sidewalk there.

What I'm hoping is that there will be no concrete tombstone put down to cover the path of the Star-Bulletin. That we will continue to leave footprints in your homes and in your hearts for a long time.

Star-Bulletin closing Oct. 30, 1999
Kay issues preliminary injunction
Text of preliminary injunction
Text of refusal to lift injunction

Cindy Luis is a Star-Bulletin sportswriter.
Her column appears weekly.

E-mail to Sports Editor

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