My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Friday, April 6, 2001

Honor thy fathers

>>Cartwright Field

The man who owned the canary yellow Town Car lying on its roof halfway down the first base line was very popular. In fact, he was everyman's great hope.

So HPD Officer Quinn Ah Sun understood why such a large crowd was gathering around the car.

Knowing that Hawaii voters still tend to vote along ethnic lines, the senator had hyphenated not only his parents' names but also his grandparents' names on both sides. That would have been six names, but grandparents on both sides happened to be named Yee, so he only had five last names. This should have been good news for both print and TV journalists who covered the Capitol and had to use his full name -- he'd had it legalized -- on a regular basis. But his Filipina grandmother on his father's side had a double name, so it still worked out to six names. Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka was a man with a broad constituency indeed.

And until moments ago he seemed poised to continue the Democrats' leasehold on Washington Place.

>>Democrat Street

The black SUV with tinted windows stopped in front of the Local Boys Cafe and Democrat Market just down from the Honolulu Soap Co. parking lot and sent Kimmee's father ahead to scout on foot.

"Just keep an eye on him," said Wili, the big guy in back. "We'll find our opening. I can handle, Cuz."

Seth didn't doubt that. He and his two cousins had played football for Coach Skippah. Defensive linemen all.

But Seth did doubt himself. He doubted his decision to come to America. He doubted encouraging his family to become Americanized. That's why his daughter had an American name, Kimmee, and why he'd changed Selila to Seth.

That's why he'd put up with Kimmee's baggy pants and the streak of hair that changed color by the week. She was just fitting in. She was growing up American in the land of the free.

And that's why she had done that most American of things. She tried drugs.

And then she tried buying drugs.

Seth blamed himself more than he blamed Kimmee. But he was still going to take it out on that creep Mickey. That's why he and his cousins were on this traditional aufogo.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin.
He can be emailed at

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