My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Fallen hero

>> Queen's Medical Center

Feet of clay.

Knocked off his pedestal.

Brought back to earth.

How many ways can you say "fallen hero"?

Quinn Ah Sun had come up with plenty for his father since his mother told him about that night at the Pearl City Tavern 21 years ago.

HPD Sgt. Mits Ah Sun wasn't just his dad, he was Quinn's hero. Growing up, other kids in the neighborhood, their dads went off to fix toasters, sell shoes, fill prescriptions, file vehicle registrations. Quinn's dad went off to fight crime and arrest criminals, putting his life on the line every day. How many kids read about their dads in the newspaper for chasing down a murderer in a cane field and cuffing him? Or being attacked with a bolo knife when he had to break up a domestic dispute? Or getting shot at when he interrupted a drug deal? Quinn did. Who needed Superman, the Hulk, the A-Team or even Joe Montana? His dad beat them all.

And when his mother left when Quinn was 11 and went off to become a professional gambler in Las Vegas, his dad became his everything.

Was there any wonder he'd followed his dad into the police department? And once Quinn had his own badge, his own name stitched in gold across that blue uniform, his appreciation for his father only grew. Veteran cops, guys Quinn respected, talked quietly about how much they admired his dad. Turned out the stuff in the papers was just the tip of the iceberg. And younger officers told him how much they'd learned from Sgt. Ah Sun, how he'd helped them learn the ropes. Guys called his dad tough, intelligent, fair, courageous. In short, a good cop.

All Quinn wanted was to be as good as his dad.

Now it turned out it was all an illusion.

The doubts began as he and his cousin Lily -- well, former cousin and now fiancee -- read through photocopies of old newspaper stories about the Ah Sun clan. But he'd been able to fight back those doubts because it was all shadows and smoke and conjecture.

But now that he knew about the night his dad surprised his mom by showing up at the PCT when he was supposed be playing poker with his brother Sheets and their hanai brother Bobo, then proceeded to get hammered, and later seemed relieved to find his trunk had been broken into and his HPD .45 stolen ... And now that Lily visited Tony Martinez and brought back three postcards from Bobo, the last one written in his uncle's hand, the one saying Bobo was alive and well in Miami ...

Quinn wondered what he'd say to his father.

He heard a knock on the door, said "Hey, Dad."

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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