My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

The Honolulu Soap Co.:
Sunday digest


Here, HPD investigators quickly determined, was how it all came down:

Someone had alerted friends of Isaac Kunia that he was being transported from HPD to OCCC. But somehow, at the last minute, a switch was made and Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka took Kunia's place in the police van.

When the van, traveling ewa on Beretania, pulled into the intersection with Punchbowl, an older-model blue Bronco traveling mauka intentionally ran a red light and crashed into the van. The van toppled over; five prisoners escaped. A sixth lay incapacitated in the van until two men in an SUV swooped in and dragged him out. The driver of the blue Bronco also jumped into the SUV.

The SUV then headed mauka on Punchbowl toward the freeway. But which direction? Which exit? And what would they do with the senator?

>> H-1, ewa-bound

The dark blue Tahoe took the Halawa exit and parked near the rec. Five armed men and the guy who was not Isaac Kunia, exited and piled into two waiting vehicles -- recently stolen. One was a late-model Honda. Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka, still handcuffed, ended up in the back of a gold Nissan van.

"Do you know who I am?" the senator asked the guy who'd been riding shotgun in the SUV and appeared to be the leader.

"Why? You somebody?"

"You really don't recognize me?"

"Only that you could pass for Isaac's twin."

That's when the senator figured it out. Isaac Kunia had also been arrested on drug charges, but for "promoting."

"So you guys're into drugs, huh? Cool. That's one thing we have in common. Whadda you got with you?"

By the time they took the H-2 exit, the senator had a fine buzz going.

>> Punchbowl Street

Laird Ah Sun was pale enough after two years in the Bay area, but when his sister Lily saw him walking back toward the Capitol from City Hall, his face was white.

"What happened to you?"

Laird told her of following the two escaped prisoners, their unsuccessful attempt to get a pardon from the mayor, and then their attempt to hijack a wedding limo.

"Lily, I was 20 yards behind them when they were both shot! And one of them was killed."

"By who?"

"Nobody was saying. Tell you the truth, it looked like a yakuza wedding."

"You could have been shot too!"

"I had that same thought."

Lily glanced at her watch. "Visiting hours at Queen's don't start for an hour. We still have time to do some research."

At first he made a face. During the past two years at Stanford Business, Laird had done all the library research he wanted to do for a long time. But after what he'd just seen, there was something comforting about the thought of a quiet library.

She led him to the State Library periodicals section, pulled down a golden-brown volume of daily newspaper references from the year 1974. "We're looking up anything to do with the Ah Suns."

"Lily, I don't care about ancient history. I can't even remember what our uncle looks like!" But she gave him a big sister look and he went to work.

>> State Capitol

It took a while for Grace Ah Sun to get from the fourth-floor office of Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka down to the basement parking garage. She'd worked at the Capitol for years and everyone she saw wanted to ask how she was doing -- and ask what she'd be doing now that the senator was behind bars.

When Grace at last reached the Volvo and placed the bag in the trunk, she decided to leave the car there and walk across the street to Queen's to visit her son Lance. The circular parking structure at Queen's made her dizzy. And she was already half-dizzy from the dinner invitation she'd just received from the former president who was in town to stump for the Democrats.

Catching a break in traffic on Punchbowl, Grace was hurrying through the crosswalk when her cell phone chirped the opening chords of "Hanalei Moon."

She waited to reach the sidewalk safely before answering. And it was HIM. "Oh, Mr. President!"

She listened as the man from Arkansas explained that there had been a change in plans, and might it be possible for her to drop by the Presidential Suite at the Hilton for lunch. Just the two of them. He had some things he wanted to discuss.

"Oh, my, well ..." Grace said, flustered, thrown off by the change in plans.

But how do you say no to the president? "Well, of course, that would be lovely."

"Looking forward to it, Grace," the ex-president drawled softly. She wasn't the first person who'd dropped everything for the president. The question was what else she'd be dropping after lunch.

>> Waialae Avenue

As TheBus 322 smoked up the hill, Kate looked back and saw the guy who'd been following her waiting at TheStop on the other side of the street. He looked at his watch impatiently. And walked away. He was leaving!

Kate lovingly patted the expedition-size desert camouflage backpack on the seat beside her. Her new family was about to go home -- at last!

Kate got off at Sixth, walked up to Harding, then back to her studio on Fourth. And it was so exciting, so wonderful, for her and for her family there in their frames on the bookshelf as she opened the backpack and introduced their newest family members, one by one.

But no sooner had they settled down than they started asking her for more family.

Kate loved them and wanted them all to be happy. Fortunately she knew a place where she could adopt more family. First, though, they all needed naps.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
He can be e-mailed at

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