Senator Dan Inouye would have been 89 years old yesterday. He passed away about a year ago in December, and I was fortunate enough a few months prior to have been one of the last few to ever interview the great man.
I interviewed him while I was in my last year of college — and if you watch the interview, my nerves are front and center.
It was the second major interview I conducted during my time in the journalism program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa — the first was with Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
I remember waiting for the senator and his security detail outside of the PBS Studio in Manoa. With lei in hand, I was ready to greet him, when all of a sudden he stopped me — explaining quickly that he was allergic to pollen.
An awkward start to say the least.
It soon got better though — he lightened the mood a little while the crew were checking his mic and he said, 1, 2, 3… I love Rachel.
A flirt who was quick and ready to love deeply, as I found from the ensuing interview, he was a man that made the most and the best of his time in the world. He wanted to finish his life in government, and he did just that.
I have no regrets.
It was the most powerful and standalone quote of the whole interview.
You can also see my appearance on Hawaii News Now’s Sunrise morning program here, where I did a quick debrief on my interview with the senator.