“I’m deeply moved by how our community has come together during this challenging time with the Coronavirus. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.” – Calvin K.Y. Say
In a teleconference with Speaker Emeritus Calvin K.Y. Say and Brandon Mitsuda, Speaker Say told us that he had delivered a bunch of musubis made by Tokyo Bento to healthcare workers at the front line of the Coronavirus at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii last Friday, April 3, 2020. He also delivered food to essential workers this past Wednesday, April 8, 2020, this time delivering sandwiches prepared by Mr. Thanh Lam’s Latour Cafe to the staff of the State of Hawaii’s Unemployment Insurance office and to the healthcare workers at Queen’s Medical Center once more.
There was a brief moment of silence on the teleconference phone line.
“Speaker, you went by yourself and delivered the food to the hospital?” I questioned.
“Yeah,” he answered.
There was another pause among the three of us.
“Uh, do you have pictures of yourself delivering the food to the workers?” I asked.
“No,” Speaker Say replied.
“These are things your campaign can show to the public,” I suggested.
“How about I mention this so you don’t feel uncomfortable.”
“Sure Jon Riki,” Speaker Say replied.
Upon hanging up the phone after ending our teleconference, Brandon called me back right away. “This is why we need people like Speaker Say in politics,” he told me.
I felt warm emotions building up within me. “Yeah, that’s why he’s my mentor. He’s truly a positive master.”
Yes, this is why I love Speaker Calvin K.Y. Say. He’s such a humble and kind person. My late Grandma Bessie Karamatsu told me that this is the reason why my Grandpa Maurice Karamatsu really liked him when he and his friend and attorney, Wally Fujiyama became friends with him while they were developing Duty Free Shoppers Hawaii (“DFS”) with entrepreneur Chuck Feeney. Back then, in the 1970s, when Speaker Say was not wearing his hat of a politician, he was working as a busboy for Flamingo Chuckwagon restaurant because of his loyalty to the business and its owners even though he had a Bachelor’s degree in education. Per my grandma, Grandpa Karamatsu could relate to Speaker Say’s humble roots because my grandpa started his career as a driver for businessman Walter Dillingham and then as a messenger boy for Inter-Island Steam Navigation Company that later became Hawaiian Airlines.
When I got elected into the Hawaii State House of Representatives in 2002, I supported Calvin K.Y. Say to be Speaker despite the pressure I faced from an opposing faction that included many of the younger politicians. All of the nice things I were told about Speaker Say by my family, friends, and acquaintances were true. I greatly appreciate his friendship. He’s been with me during my good times, and he’s with me now as I undergo a lingering sorrow for the deaths of people close to me, my ups and downs with the business ventures I’m involved with, and my ongoing driving under the influence case from five years ago that includes some jail time, which has been weighing on me. I have so many wonderful memories with Speaker Say, some of which I will share in the future.
There’s no doubt that Speaker Say’s humbleness and kindness played a role in making him the longest serving Speaker in the State of Hawaii with fourteen years under his belt. Now that he’s running for the Honolulu City Council in the 2020 elections, I know he will make an excellent Honolulu Councilperson. Speaker Say is the last of the great politicians who intersected the prime time of the era of my grandparents, and he has so much more aloha to give our community and Hawaii as our Honolulu City Councilperson.
Be safe and take care.
With Warmest Aloha,
Jon Riki Karamatsu
Volunteer, Friends for Say
For the 2020 elections, Speaker Emeritus Calvin K.Y. Say is running for the Honolulu City Council District 5: Kaimuki, Palolo Valley, St. Louis Heights, Manoa, Moiliili, McCully, and portions of Ala Moana, Kakaako, and Makiki.
You can contribute to Speaker Emeritus Calvin K.Y. Say’s campaign by writing a check to Friends for Say, and mailing it to 1822 10th Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96816.
Email email@example.com if you would like to help Speaker Emeritus Calvin K.Y. Say’s campaign in any way.