A Personal – and Kind of Quirky – Dan Inouye Story.
Hawaii’s much-revered U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye was a very low-key guy and it was often hard to know what he was really thinking. Once, back in the late ’90s, I was in his Honolulu office to shoot a TV spot in which the senator would endorse my friend and client, Neil Abercrombie, for re-election to the U.S. House.
While the crew was setting up their gear and fussing with the lighting, I was engaging Dan in conversation, hoping he wouldn’t become impatient with the delays. After chatting about some of the current issues in the news, I said I was happy that he seemed to be in good health.
“Well,” he said, “I try to stay in shape. And I feel pretty good.”
He paused, and then said, “Of course, six months ago I fell in the shower and broke my arm.”
I was surprised, but managed to say I was sorry to hear that.
He shrugged, then said, almost matter-of-factly, “The amazing thing is, it’s only eight inches long.”
I was struck dumb because I had assumed he had broken his left arm, not the stump of the right one. And so I stood staring, with no idea how to respond. Of course, nothing about his expression offered any help. Mercifully, at that very moment, the production crew took me off the hook by announcing we were ready to start shooting.
All these years later, and two weeks after his death, that’s my personal Dan Inouye story. It’s not much. But it’s unique and it’s kind of funny.
And it’s mine.
And I’m going to hold onto it.