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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, June 6, 2010

These fond memories will last forever

By Clyde Mizumoto
Advertiser Assistant Sports Editor

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Clyde Mizumoto

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Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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Editor's Note: Clyde Mizumoto started with The Advertiser in 1974 as a part-time reporter. He was first named Assistant Sports Editor in 1978, and has served under seven different Sports Editors in that capacity, including Curtis Murayama. Clyde also was Sports Editor, a page designer and copy editor. He is a graduate of Roosevelt High School and the University of Hawai'i.

What will I remember most after more than 36 years at The Advertiser? Quite a lot, actually.

I'll remember starting out as a stringer in 1973, working for $5 a story and feeling blessed to have that opportunity.

I'll remember my first big assignment as a part-time reporter the ILH/Neighbor Island vs. OIA all-star football game in 1974 when I first learned to dictate a story on deadline from a darkened phone booth, a scene that would be repeated over the years.

I'll remember the 19-inning, 5-hour, 1-0 baseball marathon between Radford and Pearl City in 1976, the most fascinating game I've ever covered high school, college or pros. And the kicker to the story? It was the first game of a doubleheader, with 'Aiea and Waipahu playing until 1:30 in the morning at Aloha Stadium.

I'll remember when Punahou won three straight state boys basketball titles 1979, '80 and '81 under three different coaches. One of the teams included a reserve named Barry Obama. I don't remember him.

I'll remember covering the first Pro Bowl in Hawai'i, and the subsequent ones when I had a chance to interview some of the greats of the game, including Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Walter Payton and even a then-retired O.J. Simpson.

I'll remember writing about the prep exploits of Mosi Tatupu, Derek Tatsuno, Blane Gaison and Leroy Lutu, the best all-around athlete I ever saw.

I'll remember some of the coaching legends I came to know Eddie Hamada, Larry Ginoza, Hugh Yoshida and Jim Alegre, to name just a few.

And I'll remember the odd happenings:

Crawling on my hands and knees along a narrow ledge high above Aloha Stadium so I could jump through the window of a locked press box to file my story. Such dedication.

Watching a football game at Nanakuli High School from an improvised press box the back of a flat-bed truck that moved to follow the action. Now that was cool.

Renting a tuxedo to attend a banquet honoring the world's top surfers. Yes, they wore tuxes, and not with baggy shorts.

Kneeling ring side in Blaisdell Arena covering a sumo basho while ducking 300-pound men as they were sent hurtling past us. We had HMSA, thank goodness.

Driving 10 mph on a dark and slick freeway from the Air Force Academy to our Denver hotel in a blinding snowstorm after a UH basketball game, all the while thinking, "I'm gonna miss my deadline and die in Colorado."

Having to defend our department's honor as Sports Editor in our inaugural Pigskin Picks contest that called for publishing the names of every reader who beat me. And, boy, did they. Some weeks, we printed thousands of names.

But what I'll remember most during my years at The Advertiser are the friends I made and the many talented journalists I came to respect. We had something special, a unique bond forged by working together under a nightly deadline for 10, 20 and 30 or more years.

It was in this invigorating and challenging environment where we honed our craft helping each other become better reporters, editors and designers. It was also where we grew up because it wasn't always just about the job.

We played golf, tennis, basketball, football, softball and somehow avoided getting seriously injured, though there was the time Curtis got run over by a golf cart. We partied hard when we were single (who can forget doing the bunny hop through the startled patrons at the Columbia Inn, or breakfast on my lanai after an all-nighter), then partied harder at each other's weddings. We became parents, watched our children grow, and last year went to one of their weddings.

Along the way, we were introduced to new technology and welcomed new colleagues, and sadly said good-bye to two of the best Monte Ito and Ferd Borsch. And today, we say good-bye to our readers and one another.

I will miss this job. How could I not? I spent more than half of my life working here. But, most of all, I will miss you, my co-workers, and all the experiences we shared.

Someone once said that a moment lasts a second, but a memory lives on forever.

Thanks for the memories.