So I edited a document lauding my amazing father's many wonderful qualities and achievements. He's an educator, a filmmaker, a writer, an advocate for sustainability, a deep thinker, a problem solver, a great friend, father, brother, uncle.... I could go on and on.
But the Hongwanji Buddhist Mission did not select Dad to be a Living Treasure, despite the fact that he is eminently qualified. (Not that I'm biased!)
A photo of Dad from awhile back:
Who cares? Everyone in Hawaii knows and loves Dad. During his years as a teacher at Punahou, at UH, as a board member of many charities, as an op-ed writer, as a legislative witness, as a pot-stirrer and trouble-maker for lazy thinkers, Dad has met and talked to just about everyone in the state. A bunch of his students from Punahou started a fellowship in his name to teach teachers about issues of sustainability. He's that kind of guy.
So Dad's friends made their testimonial about him into a book and threw him a surprise "Living Treasure" party. About 100 folks showed up. Including Neil Abercrombie, the governor of Hawaii, who declared January 10, 2013 to be Paul "Doc" Berry Day. Here's the proclamation:
And here's video of part of the governor's speech:
Dad was given many leis, as is the custom in Hawaii. Here he is with Liz Foster, who was my creative writing teacher in high school, and a good friend to us both.
And here he is in a moment of genuine laughter and delight.
Here's video of one of his friends listing his many roles in life:
And here is part of Dad's typically humble and funny speech.
I wish I could have been there. I was in spirit, of course. And I'll be back there soon to see him and my mother - who although she may not have as wide a circle, rivals my father in the depth of her integrity and her contributions to society.
I'm a lucky daughter.