From Cover Boy To ‘MW’ Columnist

The Mizutani ohana — which today counts five people — appeared on the June 18, 1997, cover

The Mizutani ohana — which today counts five people — appeared on the June 18, 1997, cover

Dear MidWeek ohana: In June of 1997, I received an unexpected phone call from editor Don Chapman. It was a call I’ll never forget.

“Ron, it’s Don Chapman. We’d like to do a cover story on you and your new position at KHON2,” he said in his calm voice.

Why me, I asked myself. Before I could give it more thought, he followed up, “Are you interested?”

At the time, I had just made the move from sports to news, and was settling into my new role as co-anchor of KHON2’s morning news with Leslie Wilcox. It was an incredible opportunity to learn from one of Hawaii’s finest journalists and marked a major transition for me professionally.

My young family was starting to grow as well. My son Dane had just turned 5 and daughter Haven was still two months shy of her first birthday. I was flattered beyond belief that I was even considered a worthy candidate to be a MidWeek cover story. Don did the interview during a canoe regatta at Keehi Lagoon. Then, when the issue arrived at our doorstep, I was blown away and frankly almost embarrassed. It truly was an honor.

But it wouldn’t be the last time MidWeek would be there during a transition in my life.

Fast-forward to February 2008, when I received another unexpected phone call from a familiar voice. The gentleman on the other end asked if I’d be interested in writing a column for MidWeek that focused on the ocean.

It was Don Chapman again, and he had the perfect column title in mind, “Currents.”

At the time, I was going through another professional transition. After a brief stint at Hawaiian Telcom, where I served as vice president of corporate communications, I was in the process of returning to broadcast journalism with KHON2. I had missed telling stories about Hawaii and being passionate about the ocean, this was the perfect fit.

This time, I didn’t hesitate. On March 12, 2008, I proudly made my MidWeek debut as a columnist with a story about one of my childhood heroes, Sammy “Steamboat” Mokuahi. I was humbled to be a part of the MidWeek ohana, and I was looking forward to sharing weekly stories about Hawaii with its thousands of loyal readers.

Several months ago, I celebrated my sixth anniversary with MidWeek, and I can genuinely say I’ve loved every minute of it. I have literally written hundreds of stories about Hawaii’s beautiful ocean and the people who enjoy our precious playground.

Along the way, I’ve also shared many personal stories about my life, often exposing a very vulnerable and raw side of my heart. And time and time again, many of you responded with kindness, love and understanding.

Together, we sent my oldest son off to college in Minnesota and celebrated when he earned a journalism degree, just like his proud dad.

We watched with excitement as my daughter competed in horse competitions here at home and in California, and we shared tears of happiness when she graduated from Kamehameha Schools.

We embraced the day my youngest son Tai-John saved my life from an allergic reaction, and we cried together when my wife Michelle and I said goodbye to our dogs Zeus and Nui.

Today, Dane is 22, Haven is just shy of her 18th birthday and Tai-John, who wasn’t even born when we were on the cover in 1997, will soon turn 15.

Yes, MidWeek and its readers have been there for many of our transitions. It is a relationship that started with one simple phone call in 1997 and continues strong today.

Happy 30th anniversary MidWeek! We are so grateful to be a part of this wonderful family.

With much appreciation and aloha,
The Mizutani ohana