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Lifestyle // Old Friends
Nicole Kato

Kirk Matthews

Photo from Kirk Matthews

For nearly 14 years, Kirk Matthews graced the morning news on KHON 2, but recently he has made his way to daytime newscasts, which is good news for him and his family.

“For the first time in many, many years, Mrs. Matthews (Linda Coble) and I get to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time,” he says. “That’s a positive.

“It’s bizarre to wake up later in the morning and there’s all my friends (on the morning news cast), and I know they got up at 2:30 in the morning and I’m thinking, ‘How did I do that?’”

Aside from the change in Matthews’ newscast time slot, he also is learning new programs that will nudge KHON 2 into high-definition.

“You have to remember that I started out on a manual typewrite. I’ve gone through all the changes, and this is a brand-new one for me,” he says of the new editing system. “It’s like going from English 101, a comfort zone, to quantum physics.”

Matthews, who was featured on MidWeek‘s cover Nov. 10, 1993, still is very involved in volunteering at schools, as he cares very much about public education. He also is taking on more of a role with issues that impact kupuna.

“Whether it’s health care or monetary issues or caregiving, that’s more of a passion for me lately,” he explains.

When he’s not busy learning new technology at work, Matthews and Coble (who celebrate 30 years of happily married life) still do work as emcees.

“We have the Blue Ribbon Schools coming up in November again,” he says, “and we just did a thing for the YWCA at Kokokahi on the Windward side.”

Matthews and Coble recently have moved downtown, where “all the action is.” The couple enjoys walking up to Hawaii Theatre and all the restaurants around Chinatown.

Previously, they lived in Manoa Valley, “where the mushrooms grow in rugs.”

“We also love to travel,” Matthews says. “We just got back from Europe. We were in Portugal and Germany. Every time we travel, it usually has to do with Rotary, because Linda is still very much involved in Rotary.”

When back on island, Matthews and Coble enjoy a good game of golf, a new hobby for Matthews.

“For four or five hours, we don’t have to think of anything else except for that silly white ball,” he says. “And she always beats me. I’ll keep playing until I can finally beat her.”

And although their daughters are grown and out of the house, the couple doesn’t suffer from empty-nest syndrome with their busy schedules. Instead, they are extremely proud of what their daughters (Erin and Jenna) are doing.

“They’re both successful on the Mainland,” Matthews says. “Erin is an actress (who played the flight attendant in the film Valentine’s Day) and Jenna is a banker.”

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