I just got out of a cold shower and this is the best I’ve felt all weekend. Another successful Tomari Doshi Kai picnic is in the books and I now have one year remaining on my term as club president. It didn’t look so rosy 11 hours ago.
Matty and I got the U-Haul to Ala Moana Beach Park at 5:15 and a bunch of people had beaten us there. The park was still black save for the street lights, but a huge Salvation Army truck was parked very near our picnic site. They had just begun setting up when I went over to talk to them. They did not have a permit and consequently agreed to move toward the Kewalo end of the park. They were very nice men and I am glad they were so receptive to bad news. Their event appeared to go off without a hitch, so everybody won. But that was just the first mini-crisis of the day. I had so much help from my board and various family members and friends, but Matty in particular was my personal MVP for the second year in a row.
Matty and I began setting up the sound system 45 minutes before the official start time of the picnic. We were disheartened to find that the microphone cord was not in the box with the rest of its friends. We turned to the megaphone and opened it. No batteries. “What time does Marukai open?” Matty asked. I checked. “Eight,” I said. “I’ll just walk,” he said. He disappeared out of sight and the minutes began ticking away. It seemed like he was gone for a year, but I spotted his pony-tail walking back just as the picnic was to start. We frantically filled the megaphone with batteries. I pulled the trigger and breathed the word “Sooooo” into the speaker. It worked. I took my finger off the trigger and shouted “It’s alive!”
Matty got up at 4:30 to help me take the U-Haul to the park. He helped me unload. He helped with the batteries. He helped with the prizes. At the end of the day he rode back with me in the U-Haul to return the palates in Kalihi and the tables and chairs back at his house. You know how every mob boss, criminal mastermind, arch-villain, and Okinawan club president has a go-to guy when they need something taken care of? That was Matty. He was clutch (good in terms of timing), key (pivotal), and huge (significant). They’re not all the same thing, believe it or not, but Matty was all of those things today. Thanks, Mutts. Can’t wait until next year!