Courage in Captivity: Three POWs’ Stories


Revisit stories from Bill Paty, Frank Padgett and Jerry Coffee and their harrowing experiences as prisoners of war.


Bill Paty, who served as Director of the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, landed in German hands in Normandy, right before the D-Day Invasion.


On the other side of the world, retired Associate Justice Judge Frank Padgett parachuted into enemy territory during World War II and was held prisoner for eight months by the Japanese military.


Navy Captain Jerry Coffee spent seven years in captivity in North Vietnam.


These three stories of fortitude and faith are a testament to the strength of the human spirit and dedication to one’s country, even in the darkest of times.


This program will be rebroadcast on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 4:00 pm and 11:30 pm.


Courage in Captivity: Three POWs’ Stories Audio


Download the Transcript




I became a POW, and that was a very humbling, frustrating experience for me. One of the worst things that could have happened, that I was taken out of combat while the great men I’d been training with all this time, and they’d go on into combat without me. And I never got over that for many, many years.


You didn’t want to be in a Japanese military prison. So, you know, you lose weight very quickly when you’ve got maybe dysentery, and malaria, and beriberi. Beriberi … the water accumulates in your lower extremities; they swell up. You can take your thumb and put it in, and see a puka. You know. You can’t walk very far. But then again, I wasn’t doing any walking. I couldn’t walk at all; I was in the damn cell.


My prayers changed from, Why me, to Show me. I quit saying, Why me, God, and I started saying, Show me, God. How can I use this positively? Help me to use it to go home as a better, stronger, smarter man in every possible way that I can. To go home as a better naval officer, go home as a better American, a better citizen, a better Navy pilot, a better Christian. Every possible way, God, help me to use this time productively so that it won’t be some kind of a void or vacuum in my life. And after that change in my prayers, every single day took a new meaning.


Former State Land Director William Paty, retired Hawai‘i Supreme Court Associate Justice Frank Padgett, and retired U.S. Navy Captain Jerry Coffee all survived ordeals as prisoners of war. On this compilation edition of Long Story Short, we look back at these previous Long Story Short guests and see how they never really stopped believing that they would come home alive. Courage in Captivity, next on Long Story Short.


Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox is Hawai‘i’s first weekly television program produced and broadcast in high definition.


Aloha mai kakou. I’m Leslie Wilcox. While prisoners of war may be valuable commodities to their captors, that does not mean they’ll be well treated or survive. Sir Winston Churchill observed that courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because it is the quality which guarantees all others. This can mostly certainly be said about three Long Story Short guests. We begin with William Woods Paty, Jr., better known as Bill. In 1945, he left college to join the Army and become a paratrooper. He soon found himself on the ground in Normandy, France on D-Day, fighting in one of the most famous battles of World War II.


We dropped six miles further inland than we were supposed to. And then, on top of that, we dropped right on top of a German parachute regiment that had been training right in that area. Yeah; it wasn’t a comfortable landing. Yeah.


What happened when you landed?


Well … I ran into a French milkmaid early on. And some of you heard that story. D-Day morning, all this firing is going on, we’ve had skirmishes all night long from midnight. And you could hear the big shells from the Navy cruisers offshore coming in. The Spitfires and all were all over the place. She’s milking a cow in the middle of the hedgerow. And I walk over. I told my sergeant. . . We didn’t know exactly where they were, where the Germans were, and I go to give them my best Punahou French. Which is supposed to mean, Where are the Germans around here? She doesn’t say anything; she milks the cow. But she moved her head like this, and I look, and there’s a German patrol coming down the road just above us. So, I jump up, and jump back over the hedgerow. But I think I told my sergeant that I’m gonna get us a date tonight. I said, Captain, you didn’t do too good, did you?


Have a date with a German regiment.


Yeah. And I became a POW, and that was a very humbling, frustrating experience for me. One of the worst things that could have happened, that I was taken out of combat while the great men I’d been training with all this time, and they’d go on into combat without me. I never got over that for many, many years.


What were conditions like for you as a POW?


Nothing’s good about being a POW. The Germans, in terms of handling their officers, POWs, were more lenient than they were with the enlisted. By and large, if they went hungry, we went hungry. But it could have been worse. I think the worst part was being transported in forty box cars. Forty box cars, all jammed in together. And then, they shipped us up across France and into Germany. And every time we were at a marshland yard, they changed engines. And then the Spitfires or the B47s would come down, and the sirens would go off, and there you are locked in this boxcar. That got to be a little wearing.


Did you worry that they’d kill you, as a POW? Or torture you?


No, we didn’t get any treatment like that. But if you tried to get away, they don’t get very happy about that.


You tried to get away.




What’d you try?


Well, first of all, coming down, actually, I was wounded. They put me in an ambulance, and the Spitfires came down and shot up the buses we were in, the wounded. And so, the Germans would jump out and get in a ditch. If you tried to get out of the bus, you’d get shot. If you stayed there, you’d get strafed. So, in the process, the bus caught fire, and I scrambled out somehow. I was ambulatory, and got away, and got to a French farmer. And they took me up and they put me way up in their little attic they had up there. But they were gonna get the French Resistance guys to come in and help take me out. But as it turned out, the German artillery unit came in there and set it up as a command post, and they searched the place, and there I was. So that wasn’t too bad; they put me back into the bus.


They didn’t discipline you?


No. No, not then. They were too busy doing that. After that, the second time was kind of a bad one.


What happened the second time you tried to get away?


Well, the second time I got out was on a discharge from the German hospital. And they had a compound there, and they had the barbed wire around the walls.


And what had you been treated for?


I had a Smizer bullet in my groin. It’s still there, by the way. And they never took it out. But be that as it may, we wanted to try to see if we could get out. And I guess there were several dozen, fifty or sixty were in the compound that had been pulled together. We had an idea that four of us would get out and make a break for it. And well, when the time came, there were only two of us, an Englishman and myself. So, we went out with blankets at night, and they had the watchtower, but the lights didn’t go on all the time. We threw the blankets over, climbed over the barbed wire, got down the and over the next one. And it gets kinda touchy there, because you’re not sure if the lights are gonna come on, they’re gonna use the machine guns. So we got over, and it was getting close to dawn by then.


Were you cut up by the barbed wire?


We had gloves we had gotten, and we also had blankets, so they were not too bad. So we hightailed it off across the field. And I guess after we’d gone a few miles, we decided we’d better try to hole up. And so, we holed up in a cowshed, and again, a French lady came by, and we gave her our best, charming Punahou French again. She said, No, wait, wait, wait. She comes back with four Germans and two police dogs.


So far, that Punahou French …


Didn’t work out too well. But we got solitary time for that, you know.


But solitary was the worst of it?


Solitary—no, they didn’t try. The Geneva Convention was observed quite well by them. But we got bread and water, and no lights. Gives you a lesson. Yeah.


Bill Paty didn’t give up trying to escape, and on his third try, he succeeded and made his way safely back home. On the other side of the world, Frank Padgett, a U.S. Air Force pilot, was captured and held prisoner for eight months by the Japanese military police. After losing an engine to enemy fire, he and his crew had to bail out. He was twenty-one years old.


When we bailed out, we weren’t sure where we were, because the navigator, when we were on the deck, he hadn’t take times and stuff because the engine was wind-milling, that propeller, he couldn’t use his instruments. So, we didn’t know where we were. Turned out, we were northwest of Hanoi.


So, did you fall into friendly hands at first, or not?


No. Well, yes and no. I was trying to walk out to China. You know, I didn’t know what the hell to do. We didn’t know that the French were alerted. The French had a thing that when they found an American plane was down, they’d go and walk up and down the roads whistling Tipperary. Nobody ever told us that.


That was a sign that there was a friendly person.


Yeah, yeah.


Come show yourself.


Okay; okay.


Did you hear Tipperary, and not respond?


No. No; no, I didn’t. About the second day, I was walking on a pathway between rice, and I looked, and there were all these Vietnamese following me. So, I stopped, and I spoke enough French, and they spoke enough, so that they asked me if I was hungry, and I went back to their village and they fed me. And the Japanese arrived, and I tried to run out of the village. I got outside, but it was surrounded. Fortunately, I’d laid down my pistol while I was resting, and I didn’t have it, so I didn’t try to shoot it. That’s why I lived.


You can laugh about it now. You not only got captured by the Japanese, but you were put in the control of the Nazi gestapo equivalent of the Japanese forces.


Yeah. That’s the Kempeitai. The Kempeitai was a combination of military police and gestapo, which is kind of a bad combination. Fortunately, the jail in Chalon was really military police, and the jail downtown was regular Kempeitai. That’s where you’ll see the name Nix and the other name in July of ’45. And in the French prison camp, B-24s from the 7th Air Force raided Saigon. A plane got hit; you could see it. You know, you’re out in a trench watching your American plane go over, and listening to the bombs whistle. You know, they whistle when they come down. Anyway, these two guys bailed out, and the Kempeitai got them, and they cut their heads off.


And I’m being treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention. They beat you, and you’re back in the cell. And you know they’re coming back, and they’re gonna do it again. And it really bothers you, you know. And then, they take you out, and they take you back, and the first time they hit you … that’s it. They’ve done it, and you know they’re gonna hit you some more. That’s it; that’s it. There’s nothing you can do about it.


I was really intrigued by this quote in your book, with your son. It’s from an unknown person. But it says: To a prisoner of war, the enemy is everywhere; he controls your fate, your future, even your bodily functions. You’re at war at every second. You’re never given leave, and you can never leave the combat zone. Is that what it felt like?


Well, in a Kempeitai jail, yes.


You’re always on alert.


Well … yeah. It was a little different. They were starving us to death; okay? We wore a breech cloth, we had a blanket. The tatami pillow on it, had a six-by-eight cell, the lights were always on. They came and stared through the thing. But, you know, human beings are human beings. One of the guards was from a dairy farm in Japan, and the only thing he was interested in was getting back to Japan. So, they would come and talk to you, and they weren’t supposed to in that jail. They were not supposed to, but they did anyway.


So, that was a nice bit of humanity you could share. I notice when you talk about being a prisoner of war, as awful as it was, you laugh. Did you have that sense of humor when you were there?


Yeah. Yeah.


Kind of a dark humor?


Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.


But I think that might be resilience, too.


Well, probably. But, you know, what are you gonna do? You can’t do anything about the circumstances, so you know, try to see if you can find anything good, okay; you know. There wasn’t in that jail. The best thing that happened was, every two or three days, you got to carry the chamber pot out and dump it in the sewer.


That was your excursion; right?




Now, you had become a Catholic when you were thirteen or fourteen. Did that faith kick in, or was that helpful to you at this time?


I said the Hail Mary; I said the Rosary on my knuckles every day, and I prayed that I’d get released. God apparently moves at His own speed; it took a while.


Frank Padgett was released from prison and sent back home when the war ended. He later served as a justice in Hawai‘i’s highest court. Just over twenty years later, the United States was involved in another overseas war, this time in Vietnam. Navy Captain Gerald Coffee, better known as Jerry Coffee, also was a pilot. He spent seven years and nine days in a North Vietnamese prison after his plane was shot down.


I had to eject at a very, very high speed, and the airplane was totally out of control, rolling rapidly. So, when I pulled the face curtain, it was about six hundred and eighty miles per hour. And you can kind of imagine the impact hitting the airstream at six-eighty. I say, you know, it was like going down H-1 in your convertible with the top down and standing up in the front seat. At six hundred miles an hour. And I was knocked unconscious immediately, but regained consciousness floating in the water. And already, some small Vietnamese boats and militia men, and army guys were there, and I was captured immediately. Right after I was captured, some airplanes from the Kitty Hawk, the carrier that I was operating from, showed up and they see the boats there, and they see my life preserver and the dye marker out here, and they think the boats are still on the way out to pick me up. And so, they figured, well, if they strafed the boats, they won’t be able to get me. But they didn’t know I was already in the boat. So, these two A-1 aircrafts strafed the boats that we were in, and I’m watching the bullets whack at the side of the boat. The Vietnamese stood up in the boats and returned their fire with their own weapons. And we got to the beach finally, and jumped out and ran across the wide sandy beach and dove behind a rice paddy dike to take cover just about the same time that an A-4 Skyhawk from the Kitty Hawk rolled in and fired a pack of rockets, which blew all those beach boats to splinters. That was my introduction to North Vietnam. Sometime in that battle, my crewman was killed. He was my navigator, and I never saw him again, and kept asking all through the prison experience, you know, about him. Have you seen him? Have you seen my crewman? And nobody ever had. And his remains were returned here through Hickam in the late 80s, as a matter of fact. And I found myself a prisoner of war, a POW. And it takes a while to, we used to say, get to know the ropes. But the ropes were how they tortured us.


Yeah. You know, I think people are very interested in the torture part, ‘cause we all think, Could we have withstood that? What would that be like? I mean, just the mental agony of never knowing when it was gonna happen, or what it was gonna entail. And early on, there’s this really vivid scene that you describe in your book, where you were with your broken arm and, I think, a shattered elbow, you were tied up with your arms in back.


That’s right; to a tree. Yeah.


And to a tree, and essentially, you became a game of tetherball to some Vietnamese on the ground.


Yes; exactly. The tree was on a hill, and the guards kept pushing me downhill, and all the weight was on my arms. I was tied to an upper branch of the tree. And I was so naïve. I mean, I was a professional naval officer, military officer, and I didn’t even realize, it didn’t really register to me that I was being brutally tortured at the time. It wasn’t until I had a chance to kinda catch my breath, and laying on a stack of hay in this stable, which was in this little village in Central North Vietnam, and I just realized, Oh, god, I’ve just been tortured.


Well, you mentioned that at one point, your broken arm was sort of encased in inflammation, swelling which acted like a sort of cast.


It was.


It was an untreated broken arm.


It was an untreated broken arm. And my hand swelled up, and I couldn’t get the red hot ring I was wearing on my finger off. So, they put me in interrogation one night, and sliced my finger open, and pulled the ring off, squeezed the blood in the lymph out. And then the next night, they took me to a military hospital and set my arm, and all the swelling went down. And they could have just taken the ring off. And they did a reasonably good job on my arm. That’s about as good as they did for their own people. But they wanted to keep us in presentable shape, at least, to be propaganda vehicles.


You had to be so strong, though. I mean, you were in this tiny little cell. It was just filthy, and unsanitary, and you never knew when you were gonna get called into the next session.


Exactly. And as you described that cell, everything that happened to you got infected because of the environment in which we were living.


An infection could have killed you.


Yeah; it could have, and did kill some men.


The toilet was a bucket without a cover.


A bucket right there; yeah.


In this very small space.


Right; right.


And you exercised in that tiny little space.




How many miles a day did you walk, at three steps at a time.


Three miles day, three steps at a time. One of the first things you do when you’re moved into a cell—and the cells did vary sometimes in size. But you’d walk it off and see how many laps it had to be for a mile. And you’d go get your exercise, and you’d do pushups on on those concrete bunks, and stay in as good a shape as possible. ‘Cause you never knew what the next day was gonna require. In some cases, guys were forced to march northward towards the Chinese border to a new prison. They weren’t hauled up there by trucks; they had to march. And images of the March of Corregidor in World War II in the Philippines comes to mind, where if you fell behind, you got killed. And so, we’d try to stay in as good a physical shape as possible.


What are some of the attributes that you think made each of those who survived, and later did well in life; what were of the common attributes that you all shared?


I think optimism. And it costs no more to be an optimist than it does a pessimist, and it’s a lot happier way to live your life, I think. But those who were the most optimistic and could translate that optimism to faith, or through faith, I think that they were the ones that were able to make the most of the experience, and learn the most, and be able to make the biggest contribution because of the experience after we returned. I think that guys who were mechanically-minded also, that could be inventive, and guys can do some of the most remarkable things, not the least of which was learning how to put our sandals, to balance them on the edge of the top of the bucket, to sit down on the sandals instead of the edge of the bucket and made a toilet seat. How come I didn’t figure this out earlier? You know.


Veritable luxury.


Oh, what a breakthrough. You know. And also because most of us were aviators. I have to say this; there’s something about military aviation that is kind of a winnowing process. And we were all college graduates, because you had to graduate from college to get your wings, whether it be Air Force or Navy. So, we were all better educated and had an appreciation for the things that you could learn by yourself, by just going inward and thinking about yourself, and thinking about the world, and thinking about what the future might hold.


You couldn’t be afraid to face yourself, and a lot of people have trouble with that.


Exactly; exactly.


Jerry Coffee wasn’t released from prison until the end of the war in 1973. He stayed in the Navy until he retired a dozen years later. He became a national commentator on political and military issues, a motivational speaker, and a columnist. Despite lingering health problems for their captivity, Bill Paty, Frank Padgett, and Jerry Coffee went on to have full lives. Mahalo to these men for their heroic service to our country, and for the inspiration and life lessons we gain from your courage in captivity. For PBS Hawai‘i and Long Story Short, I’m Leslie Wilcox. Aloha, a hui hou.


For audio and written transcripts of all episodes of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, visit PBSHawaii.org. To download free podcasts of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, go to the Apple iTunes Store or visit PBSHawaii.org.


They call our name, you walk across in front of this guy, and he said, You know, you do not need to accept repatriation, you may stay in our country if you like. What? Get out of here, you know. Walk away and salute Colonel Abel, and shake his hand, and then this big Air Force major put his arm around my shoulder and said, Come on, Commander, I’ll take you out to the airplane. And we walk up. And we’re going up the ramp of the C-141, and at the top of the ramp there’s four, I’m sure, hand-selected gorgeous Air Force nurses. Go up there and hug them, and you know, they smelled so good. Got magazines and newspapers, and hot coffee, and donuts, and so on. And we’re all chattering away there, and finally we get the last guys aboard. And the pilot comes up on the intercom and he says, Come on, guys, let’s strap in; we’re ready to go. And it got quiet. And we’re all thinking, Wow, is this gonna be it? So, we strap in, and he cranks up those engines on the airplane. Cr-r-r. We’re taxiing out toward the runway. He gets on the and revs up the engines to full throttle, and pulling the brakes back, and he finally releases the brakes, and we’re rolling down this kind of rough runway. And we’re all straining against our straps saying, Come on, you beast, get airborne. Get airborne; come on, let’s go. And then they pick up speed and the nose comes up, and then we hear that hydraulic whine of the wheels going up into the wheel wells and clunk up in there. And we’re climbing on out, and the pilot comes up and says, Congratulations, gentlemen, we’re just leaving North Vietnam. And then, we believed it. And then, we cheered.




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William “Yama” Chillingworth


William “Yama” Chillingworth served as a state judge on Hawai‘i Island for 25 years. After retiring from the bench, he traced his Native Hawaiian heritage, discovering a familial connection to the rare Hawaiian hawk and an urgent calling to photograph it.


This program will be rebroadcast on Wednesday, March 16 at 11:00 pm and Sunday, March 20 at 4:00 pm.


William “Yama” Chillingworth Audio


Download the Transcript




I had a retirement luncheon on the day I retired from the courtroom in Hilo, and the clerk who was kind of in charge introduced me that afternoon as, the judge who said I hear you. And so, I left the Big Island court job taking with me the understanding that if the staff had heard me that clearly, that the people who were in court had heard me as well. And so, that was the best I could do.


William “Yama” Chillingworth racked up a lot of mileage in his twenty-five-year career as a State judge on Hawai‘i Island. He traveled widely throughout the Big Island to hear cases, and he retired content that he gave voice to every defendant who came through his courtroom. William “Yama” Chillingworth, next, on Long Story Short.


Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox is Hawai‘i’s first weekly television program produced and broadcast in high definition.


Aloha mai kakou. I’m Leslie Wilcox. He was known in courtrooms throughout Hawai‘i Island as Judge William Chillingworth; but to family and friends, he is “Yama”. While that may sound like a Japanese nickname, it’s based on the Hawaiianized version of William, Wiliama; Yama. He is very proud of his Native Hawaiian heritage. Chillingworth’s family line includes Princess Victoria Kailulani, who was next in line to the throne when the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown in 1893. Kaiulani was sister to Chillingworth’s great-grandmother. It was while researching part of his Native Hawaiian ancestry that Chillingworth discovered he comes from a family of Native Hawaiian bird collectors on Hawai‘i Island, and that’s where he spent most of youth and most of his career.


I was born in Honolulu in 1943. My dad was in the Army in New Guinea when I was born, and he was with General MacArthur. And my mother was from Hilo, and having no family in Honolulu after I was born, she returned to Hilo and stayed with my maternal grandparents. And then, after the war, my father came back, and we lived in Hilo, and I grew up there. My grandfather was the proprietor of the Hilo Drug Company, and it was this wonderful 50s fountain and drugstore on what they described as the busiest corner in Hilo. And it was.


Back when pharmacies had fountains.


Absolutely. It was a 50s fountain.


So, there were the stools.


The stools.


And the milkshakes.


The straw containers that you lifted up and pulled. It had everything. And my grandfather was a pharmacist. He came to the Island of Hawai‘i after he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, and settled in Hilo and met my grandmother, who was half German, half Hawaiian. My grandfather was Harry Arthur Wessel.


How many pharmacists were there?


There was one, and that was my grandfather. He was it. And so, growing up in Hilo at the Wessel’s Drugstore and having my grandmother, who was a public school teacher, and my mother, who followed in her footsteps as a public school teacher, it was a mixed blessing. They were both rather strict about using proper English. You were not able to mess around with Pidgin.


In Hilo, you couldn’t speak Pidgin?


Absolutely not.


How did that go over with the boys and and the girls?


Completely forbidden it was easy. But when were in school, especially junior high, it wasn’t so easy, because most of the kids we were in with were not speaking English; they were speaking whatever it was they were speaking. And my brother was better at socializing that way than I was. I was kind of stuck. And until I got to Punahou, I was having a very hard time in school, because I had to hide that I was interested in doing well.


You went to schools in Hilo.




Public middle.


Public schools.


You went to elementary school and then intermediate school as well in Hilo?




And did you really not speak Pidgin during that time?


Well, when my mother and my grandmother were around, I wasn’t speaking Pidgin. But quite frankly, in in a classroom where you were having to deal socially with kids who were not on your scholastic level, it was difficult; it was difficult. There was liable to be recrimination and, anger.


Because you were showing them up with grades?


Exactly. I was doing better than they were. And so, I had to hide that.


How’d you hide it?


Just pretend that I didn’t care about what I was doing, and you know, not answer questions in class, et cetera, et cetera.


So, what was it about Hilo; was the social norm to pretend you didn’t hear? Or did you people really didn’t care?


It was tough; it was tough. My friend, Stanley Roehrig refers to the aama crab syndrome, where the crab that is climbing out of the bucket gets pulled down by the crabs that are underneath. Stanley is that way, and he talks about that. There was an element of that in what was going on.


Mm. So, what do you think would have happened if you stayed in the public school system in the area?


Good question; good question. I’m not sure. I’m glad I didn’t have to make that decision myself. I’m awfully glad I ended up where I did.


Where William “Yama” Chillingworth ended up was Honolulu, in a top private school, Punahou. His family moved to the city at the start of his tenth graded year. For the first time, he says, he felt at home in the classroom.


Getting into Punahou was like going to Heaven. I mean, because I was in a classroom environment with equals, and everybody was in there.


People who wanted to do well in school.


Doing the same thing that I wanted to do. And it was heavenly. I mean, I had the best time.


So, you had to make a social transition to Punahou. And was it hard in class?


Only in math and science I was terrible in math and science. I sucked. I was fabulous for the rest of the way out, so you know, that made it fairly easy. I wasn’t going into science, and I wasn’t going into any field that required mathematics.

William “Yama” Chillingworth received that political science degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Next, he earned a law degree at the University of Denver Law School.


And of course, I’m sure it was expected that you would go to college. Had your parents been to college? Your mom was a teacher.


My mom was accepted to Stanford, and then they couldn’t send her because they didn’t have the money at the time, and she went to University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. And my dad had been headed in that direction, and then he got into the National Guard after he graduated from high school. My grandfather was the CEO of the Territorial National Guard in the 30s; he was the head man. And my father was the best soldier in Punahou ROTC program his sophomore year. So, my father was being groomed for the Army, and got into the Territorial National Guard with my grandfather, and was actually in charge of a detachment that was tasked with going down the Koolaus and refurbishing the pillboxes that were on the top of ridges just before the war started. And so then, he was in the war.


New Guinea; that was rough fighting, wasn’t it?


Oh, it was one of the worst theaters in the war. They talk about that theater as being a knife fight from the Stone Age.


But then, you became a lawyer, which you know, you don’t have to know a lot about great English literature.


The best part about law school was, I learned how to be specific in the use of language. I hadn’t intended to be a lawyer in private practice. I graduated from law school in June of 1968 and within a week, I’d gotten an induction notice, and I reported, so I was off to Vietnam. And I’d broken my arm in an accident the year before, and the doctor in the induction center looked at it and said, I’m sorry, son, we can’t take you. And I was completely stunned. Completely stunned.


You wanted to serve?


There was no Plan B. You know, my grandfather was an infantry captain, my father an infantry captain. I was going. And all of a sudden, I wasn’t going. And then, it was, what now? You know. What now? And I’d just graduated from law school, so obviously, it was, decide where to take a bar exam and at least have a license. So, I went …


Back home.


Came back to Honolulu, got in a bar exam review course, and took the bar exam. And then, things started to happen in a hurry.


William “Yama” Chillingworth became a law clerk for the late Federal Judge Martin Pence. He credits Judge Pence for showing him how to command respect in a courtroom.


I passed the bar exam, I got a call from Judge Pence’s office. We want you here next week Monday and it was a dream job. It was my perfect job out of law school, going to work for Judge Pence as a clerk, and a bailiff, because he was so good at what he did, and so willing to teach the clerks who came to work for him. He was in control; he told you where you stood. He was extremely good at controlling the courtroom and inspiring confidence in the people who were coming to hear him and coming to the court. Even, you know, as I did as the lowly clerk who was opening up the court sessions, he taught me so much about the courtroom process.


How did he gain the respect of people who came before him?


It was by demonstrating respect. Demonstrating confidence, demonstrating respect, and you instill it, you inspire it in the people you’re with.


So, that was your first job out of law school. And then, what?


Well, then I went to work for a law firm in Honolulu, a guy who’s turned out to be a really good friend of mine, Allen Wooddell. And I worked for Allen’s firm in Honolulu for about a year, and they had talked about opening an office on the Big Island. It didn’t quite come together, and I had an opportunity to talk to Judge Pence about it. And he said, you know, my law partner in Hilo would be really happy to join forces if you’re interested in going back to work in the in the Hilo courtroom setting. I did; I did. I went to work with Ron Nakamoto, who was Judge Pence’s former law partner, and spent twelve years there, and was a trial lawyer, and got to go to court every day. So then, one day, I was in the office and got a call from Judge Kubota in Hilo. He says, Come on in, I want to talk to you. I figured I’d done something wrong. Judge Kubota was kind of a curmudgeon that way. And he called me in, and he was with someone I didn’t know, and they had called me in because Judge Mark had retired from the District Court bench in Hilo and they were looking for a replacement, and they wondered if I was interested. Of course, I was. After I was sworn in as a family and district court judge by Chief Justice Richardson, the Chief Justice said, I gave you the job because you were the only one who got a unanimous vote from the commission.


And so, for twenty years, you rode circuit on the Big Island.


I did.


You went to all the courts.


I did.


And heard cases which took you … I mean, high level legal argents to you know, probably assault and battery stuff.


High level, low level; I heard everything that came in the door.




I put three hundred thousand miles on my cars at the rate of a hundred and twenty miles a day. It was a bit arduous, but there were moments. There were moments. I heard so many stories. So many stories. And all I had to do was, be able to distinguish fact from fiction. And sometimes it was easy, and other times it wasn’t. And there were moments, there were moments. And those moments, for a long time, they kept me going back. One day in the traffic court, I guess it was in Honokaa, and a sixteen-year-old boy had been charged with a seatbelt offense, and I was hearing the sergeant who had issued the citation. And the sergeant was talking about how he had seen the event occur. And then I heard from the boy, and the boy told me he was wearing the seatbelt. And what you do in that kind of a circumstance? And so, I asked about the configuration. Well, it was a convertible, and most cars have the seatbelt coming down a post which is above the shoulder of the operator. This one didn’t; it came off the back of the seat and came around like that. So, this officer probably had a difficult time seeing whether it was being used or not. I found the young man not guilty. And about that moment, I see a hand going up in the gallery, and I’m going, Uh-oh. And turns out that the boy’s father is back in the gallery and is wanting to talk to me. And I’m going … he came up and he said, you know, after my son got the citation, he came home and said, Dad, I was wearing my seatbelt. And I looked at Dad and I said, I’m really glad I got it right. And he looked at me and he said, I’m really glad you got it right too, because it taught my son a lesson about how justice is administered here.


That you can trust the system.


And I said, Thank you, Dad. Those were the kind of moments that kept me going back. You know.


You probably saw the worst common denominator in people’s character, as well.


There were difficult days. There were enormously difficult days, and they were hard to leave behind at the end of the day. I found myself getting into canoe paddling, I found myself getting into yoga, I found myself getting into distance running; anything to get rid of the acculation of courtroom emotions. And most of the time, they were negative; extremely negative. The grief, the desperation, the hurt, especially in the family court setting.


‘Cause you’re not in a position to do rehab with them. This is, yes or no, here’s the ruling, and off you go.


Right. And half the time—well, I wouldn’t say half the time, but a lot of the time, the ruling would be significant enough and emotional enough so that I’d reserve it. You know, otherwise, if I issued it, there would be a fistfight going on in the courtroom on the way out the door. So, I would withhold the ruling. I’d say, Okay, I’m gonna look at this a little bit more and I’ll have my clerk call the attorneys. And then, as soon as we were finished, I’d tell the clerk, call the lawyers. Tell them this, tell them that.


Because you really you really did think violence would erupt?


I didn’t want any more emotion than was already piled into that courtroom to come out of the decisions.


And of course, in courts, you know that a lot of times, whatever you rule, one side’s gonna be angry or distraught. What was that like to live with?


That was one of the difficulties of the job. I knew that no matter how I ruled, somebody was gonna come out of the courtroom unhappy with the ruling.


Did that make it hard to go to shopping centers and parties?


No; and for this reason. I made sure that if I couldn’t do anything else, I let everybody know that I heard them. And I made sure that when they were finished presenting whatever they wanted to present, I looked them in the eye and I said, I hear you, what you’re saying is this, so that even I couldn’t always rule in their favor, they came out of the courtroom with the understanding that they had been heard.


Did you get that from Judge Pence?


I got that from Judge Pence.


After William “Yama” Chillingworth saw the last of his three children off to college and retired from the bench on Hawai‘i Island, he tackled something his mother always wanted him to do; and that is, to trace his Native Hawaiian ancestry on her side of the family. This research led Chillingworth to an unexpected family connection, and a new passion: capturing images of the Hawaiian Hawk.


We had two names, and the ahupuaa where the old family home was located, the family home that was the the grass hale’s. I started with the location of the ahupuaa, the translation of the ahupuaa name, and the fact that it was located between Hakalau and Ninole. Hakalau is well-known bird center. One of the translations is, many perches, so it was a bird center in old Hawai‘i. My great-great-great-great-grandfather and his brother, his name was Kanehoalani, and it was the most auspicious name; it was the name that had me sitting down where I was living in Kohala and saying … Great-great-great-great-grandfather, how in the world did you come by this auspicious name?


Which means?


It’s the Hawaiian Zeus; it’s the ruler of the heavens, the grandfather of Pele. I had a feeling that an answer was coming, and in fact, it was. I’d always had a love of landscape photography, and I’d invested in some rather good equipment. Began taking it out, and one morning, I’m out in the eastern Kohala valleys, and this great bird comes over and screams at me. I mean, literally screams at me, you knowAnd it’s this enormous Hawaiian Hawk, and he’s looking right at me. And his wings are spread, and he is the most incredible thing I had ever seen. And there was this immediate connection.


Did you know what it meant?


Not at that moment. All I knew was, I had made a connection, and I wasn’t going to be doing any other photography than that bird up there. And I started coming back every day after that, and waiting for the arrival of my royal friend. You know, there was no understanding the connection that was happening with the need to get myself out of bed in morning, get the camera, and go to where the hawks were and begin collecting the images. It just went on, and on, and on. And then, there was just that one final piece which had to do with my mother giving all of her children a copy of the book that Isabella Bird wrote.


Oh, Bird.




Somebody you never met; somebody from England.


Miss Bird, who was here in 1873 on the Island of Hawai‘i. Oh, she loved Hilo. So she describes, Miss Bird describes how she went off to Waipio with my great-great-grandmother as her eighteen-year-old guide. My great-great-grandmother spoke Hawaiian, spoke English, rode, and had been on the Hamakua Coast for her entire life, and guided her up to Waipio, and then came back. And on the way back, they went off the trail and went mauka a mile to where my great-great-grandmother had a family ancestral home. They went up there because my great-great-grandmother was receiving a wedding gift; she had just been married to Ben Macy from Nantucket. And the wedding gift turned out to be a feather lei. And not just any feather lei; lei hulu mamo melemele, a yellow feather lei of mamo feathers. And then, when I finally read that, everything came together. It was as if I finally understood that Miss Bird had met my ancestors, Kanehoalani and his brother Manohoa. And from what she said, I was able to clearly identify that we were from a family of bird collectors and feather workers, and that Kanehoalani is one of the most auspicious names you can give to a male Hawaiian son of a family of bird collectors, the ruler of the heavens. And his brother got the name Manohoa, the friend of the birds. Of course; it all fit together.


A friend urged William “Yama” Chillingworth to have his collection of Hawaiian Hawk photographs published. The result is a book titled Io Lani, the Hawaiian Hawk. It won a 2015 Ka Palapala Pookela Award from the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association. Post-retirement, Chillingworth, a divorcee, married again. His wife is a former Punahou School mate who is a New York Times bestselling author, Susanna Moore. Mahalo to William “Yama” Chillingworth of North Kohala on Hawai‘i Island for sharing your story with us. And thank you, for joining us. For PBS Hawai‘i and Long Story Short, I’m Leslie Wilcox. Aloha, hui hou.


For audio and written transcripts of all episodes of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, visit PBSHawaii.org. To download free podcasts of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, go to the Apple iTunes store, or visit PBSHawaii.org.


So, next, feather making?


Feather lei making?


No more mamo’s, I’m afraid.




The mamo are gone.




Aole, unfortunately.


And how are the Hawaiian Hawks doing?


The Hawaiian Hawks are doing pretty well. They’re estimated at twenty-five hundred or thereabouts, and I’m seeing more of them, which is very, very rewarding. I so enjoy seeing them.




Alternative Ingredients


Follow amateur bakers as they don aprons and head for the tent in the British countryside, hoping to be named Britain’s best. Judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood have created new challenges to test their baking prowess, creativity and skill.


See how the remaining contestants bake without sugar, gluten or dairy. In the Signature challenge, they create a variety of sugar-free cakes. Gluten-free pitas are in store for the Technical, and the Showstopper features dairy-free ice cream rolls.




Follow amateur bakers as they don aprons and head for the tent in the British countryside, hoping to be named Britain’s best. Judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood have created new challenges to test their baking prowess, creativity and skill.


Enter the competition tent to see the bakers prove their pastry skills, first with frangipane tarts in the Signature. The Technical throws them into uncharted territory with a mystery pastry: flaouna. The Showstopper demands bite-sized vol-au-vents.


The Return


In 2012, California amended its “Three Strikes” law, shortening the sentences of thousands of “lifers.” See this unprecedented reform through the eyes of freed prisoners, disrupted families and attorneys and judges wrestling with an untested law.


Karen Radius


Growing up in Chicago, Karen Radius learned values from her working class parents, neither of whom attended high school. After passing the bar exam in Hawaii, Radius’ first job was with Legal Aid, serving some of the poorest people in Hawaii. As a Family Court judge, Karen Radius learned that juvenile girls who haven’t succeeded on regular probation needed a different type of juvenile justice system. So she created Girls Court. “Girls Court is all about…working on the relationships…within the family,” Radius explains. “(it’s) not just, ‘Did you comply with the court’s order and what the court told you to do’ … but let’s figure out your life and let’s come up with a life’s plan for you.”


This program will be rebroadcast on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 11:00 pm and Sunday, Nov. 1 at 4:00 pm.


Karen Radius Audio


Download the Transcript




You know how bad things can be.


And I also know how good they can be. If we only focus on the things that have gone wrong, life gets to be pretty heavy and unhappy. And if you don’t see the potential in things, it’s just not right. I still get, when I’m out in the shopping center, I’ll get a girl who will come and say, Judge Radius! And I’ll say, Oh, how are you doing? What are you doing? And she’ll say, Oh, I’m graduating from Windward Community College next week. And so, we show up and give her a lei. Because those kinds of stories keep you going.


Judge Karen Radius, a resident of Windward Oahu, has spent her career seeking the potential in people facing troubled situations. Family Court Judge and the founding judge of Girls Court, Karen Radius, next on Long Story Short.


Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox is Hawaii’s first weekly television program produced and broadcast in high definition.


Aloha mai kakou. I’m Leslie Wilcox. Family Court is often regarded as a place of pain and anger, filled with divorces, child custody battles, families in crisis. Judge Karen Radius has spent decades there. She retired, but returned to serve on a part-time basis. The judge is no softy; she’s regarded as tough, but fair. In her juvenile cases, she tries to look past the pain, toward the potential good within the youth offenders who come before her. To help Hawaii’s troubled young people, Judge Radius in 2004 was the driving force behind Girls Court, an innovative program designed specifically for at-risk girls on Oahu. The judge and others in the field say that juvenile court is framed around boys, who tend to commit different offenses than girls, for different reasons. Judge Karen Radius knows firsthand about life struggles, having grown up on the south side of Chicago.


My mom is the oldest of ten. By the time she graduated from eighth grade in 1932, there were seven kids; the seventh child had just been born a couple of months before. So, her mom said to her, We just don’t have the money for you to go to high school, you need to find a job. My grandpa was a janitor, and finding a job, for him, depended on what manufacturing plants or what buildings were open, and what businesses could hire him. So, he was getting piecemeal work at about a dollar a day. So, my mother found a job being a maid and mother’s helper for a lawyer’s wife who had one son. So, after being the oldest girl of seven kids, that was a walk in the park, quite frankly.


But she had to be away from her family.


Absolutely. So, she earned a dollar a week, and she had Sundays off, so she’d come home on Sundays, bring her dollar, and her mother would give her a dime.


Tough times.


Yeah, yeah; absolutely.


People had to really pull together and sacrifice themselves.


Right; right. And so, the theory was that her younger sisters would all take a year off of high school, but it didn’t turn out that way. She stayed working at that job.


Never graduated from high school?


Nope; nope. She took a typing and a bookkeeping class at night school, but other than that, she didn’t go to high school.


Did she talk about that, her regrets at that?


Not so much her regrets. That’s the generation that doesn’t focus on themselves. But my sister and myself, there was no question; we were gonna get every ounce of education we could.


She was gonna do for you what she couldn’t do for herself.


That’s right; that’s right. My dad had been in the military, actually, here in Hawaii, and had gone back to Chicago and was a bus driver. And he saw her walk on his bus, and he said, That’s the most lovely pair of hands I’ve ever seen somebody putting fare in my farebox.


He said that to her?


To her. And she fell for it.


And the rest is history. Yeah; yeah.


Wow. And he stopped being a bus driver after that?


Right. When I was about three, he became a life insurance salesman, and did that ‘til he died.


So, he was a good salesman, charming?


Oh; yeah. He could tell a joke and a story. He was a schmoozer; yeah.


Judge Karen Radius became the first person in her family to graduate from high school. Her mother believed that Karen should receive the best education possible, even though money was scarce. She was accepted into George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and left the Midwest for the first time in her life.


I found George Washington. My mom said, Okay, we’ve got enough money for one semester. Go, see if you like it. We’ll do what we can; you gotta work. I went to GW ‘cause I thought I was interested in international affairs. I had read some books about Russia, and that was when the Cold War was big. And Russia seemed such a fascinating place. So, I went to study international affairs. But in my sophomore year, when you begin to think about what major you’re gonna declare, and the counselors are talking to you, I told them that that’s what I was interested in, and maybe the State Department or some kind of foreign job. And he says, Do you know what women do in the foreign service? I said, No, that’s what I’m here to learn. And he said, They stamp passports. And I was silly enough to believe him. So, I switched to political science.


So, that wasn’t true; he was just trying to … what was the point of that, of dissuading you?


I think that was probably true back then, so that would have been 1968; ’67, ’68.


So, he was trying to let you know that it may not be—


In reality, if I wasn’t willing to stamp passports for the rest of my life, which is probably what women mostly did back then, but things, as in all fields, has moved quite a bit.


So, you could have done it and broken those barriers.


Maybe. But I didn’t listen. I mean, I listened, but should have not listened. I kind of wonder what would have been, had it taken different turns. So, I went into political science. My junior and senior years, the Vietnam War booming, literally and figuratively. The protests were beginning. You know, being in campus only five blocks from the White House, there were tanks rolling down the street sometimes, and tear gas being thrown on the campus, which wasn’t fun. So, I decided, okay, I’m gonna work on The Hill, because that’s where change could come from, through senators and congressmen.


Who did you work for?


Senator Charles Mathias from Maryland; he was a progressive Republican at the time. People wrote to their senators and congressmen, and we’d get bags, and bags, and bags full of mail. And we had to respond to each piece. So, my job was, when there were over ten letters about a single topic, you’d write a form letter that sounded like you were talking directly to that person. And then, there was a machine that would … way pre-computers, but there was a machine that would match the address of the writer and the body of the letter. And then, it’d be signed, and you thought you got your own personal letter from the senator. Which he read the generalized …




So, he knew, and he knew how many. We kept count of X-number are in favor of this, and Y-number are against that. But it didn’t feel like democracy like I had studied it as political science, and I didn’t feel like we were making the kind of change that as a Baby Boomer, I thought we needed.


Oahu judge Karen Radius did not want to get channeled into a typing job, as were many women of the time. She wanted to be part of bringing change. So, she set her sights on a new career path.


One of the young male staffers who was an attorney said to me, Karen, just take the LSAT. Which is the law school admissions test. Don’t tell anybody you’re gonna take it, don’t send the scores any place. If you totally bomb out, you’ve wasted a day, fifty dollars to sign up for it, and two Number 2 pencils. So what? If you do well, send the scores some place. And so, I followed his advice, and here I am.


You hadn’t considered law school?


No. No.


That’s really open. So, you went and took the test, and did well. It’s a tough test.




And what proportion of students in law schools were females then?


About three or four percent.


Is that right?




So, you were an oddity.




Did you feel like you had to prove yourself?


There were still professors who would do things like say, Can you please stand up as you give your answer, because I like to see the proportions of my opponent. And you walked in the library, and people closed the door as you entered. So, it wasn’t blatant. You didn’t get worse grades ‘cause you were a woman. You didn’t get worse classes.


It was a social atmosphere.


I had one young man say to me, You know, my friend didn’t get in; you’ve got his seat. But generally, people were nice, and I just stayed, and as more women came in, life went on.


After her second year at George Washington University Law School, Judge Karen Radius joined her college roommate Judy Sobin on a trip to Hawaii for the summer. She didn’t know it at the time, but Hawaii would become her permanent home.


I had come here to Hawaii between my second and third years of law school for a summer job, ‘cause there was no UH Law School at the time, and my college roommate had come here with her husband, and he was going to UH master’s in urban planning program. There was something about Hawaii. I just felt at home when I got off the plane.


What made you feel at home when you got off the plane? I mean, you hadn’t seen it yet.


I don’t know; I just did. I worked for Brook Hart’s firm the summer between second and third years of law school. They were doing a lot of law reform cases, they were doing a lot of criminal cases, but doing them very well, and lots of interesting cases. So, the work seemed exciting. I was meeting a lot of younger lawyers. The racial and ethnic makeup and background of so many different kinds of people. And the mountains and the ocean. You know, it just felt good.


A year later, after graduating from law school, Judge Karen Radius returned to the islands to take the Bar Exam.


I came here to take the Bar, ‘cause I had a federal job offer in North Carolina, and you could be licensed any place. So, I came here to take the Bar, hedging my bets that while I’m here studying for the Bar, I could still be looking for work here.


Because you didn’t want to go to the safe federal job?


I might own that horse farm in North Carolina now if I’d done that safe job. I don’t know. Oh; as opposed to my little plot.


But this was where you preferred to be.


Oh, yeah. I got offered a job two weeks before the Bar. Legal Aid called two weeks before.


How’d you feel about working for Legal Aid?


It was fine with me.






So, that means you served many of the poorest people in the area.




Lots of family law.


No; actually, at that point, we were divided into divisions, and I was doing welfare law. So, I was doing your benefits were stopped, or the State wasn’t complying with the Federal laws about welfare benefits, food stamp benefits, Medicaid. So, I was doing more the keep your life and soul together …


So, that means you met people and saw individual stories of things that had happened which required government assistance.


Absolutely; yeah.


So, in two jobs, then, with the defense law firm, Brook Hart’s firm and with Legal Aid, you’re basically on the other side of the State; right?


I’m meeting the real people; yeah.


Yeah; yes.




Underdogs, is what I would call it. How’d you feel about that? And it’s not big money jobs, either, necessarily.


Correct; right.


So, is that what you were looking for? You didn’t care about the money, and you wanted to help people who needed the help, who didn’t have much? Was that a goal, or just how that unfolded?


I didn’t become a lawyer to make money. I became a lawyer because … I didn’t want to type. And because I believe that some of the most resilient people I’ve met are people who have been, quote, underdogs. And they had potential, and good things to add to the state. So, doing that kind of law was perfectly fine with me.


You saw a lot of misery.


Yes; yeah. But the people who are in the midst of their problems don’t come in with, I’m in the midst of a lot of misery. They come in with, I’ve got this problem, and I gotta solve it because I’m getting evicted, because I can’t feed my kids, ‘cause … they weren’t drama queens. Let’s put it that way. So, they had resiliency, despite the fact that they lived in situations that were really challenging. When I left Legal Aid, you knew when it was time to leave. Because I used to keep graham crackers in my desk, because the people would come and they’d always bring their kids, and their kids were always hungry. So, I gave the kids coloring stuff and graham crackers while we talked about the case. And you knew it was time to leave when you just got a little bit tired shopping for graham crackers.


After five years, Judge Karen Radius left Legal Aid for private law practice. Along the way, she married future court administrator, Russell Tellio.


So, I worked for about nine months for Harriet Bouslog, who was a legend in her own right. And then, Norman Lau and Susan Arnett and I, all three of us at Legal Aid, decided we were gonna open our own firm. So, we did that January 2, 1980. And the three of us worked together for a while, and then Susan decided she wanted to do criminal stuff, and Norman and I didn’t. So, we became Radius and Lau, and stayed that way for thirteen years, until I got to be a judge.


Why did you become a judge?


This is gonna sound really silly. When my kids were born in 1985, I had twins. And Norman and I were doing a real varied civil law practice. So, you’d have to always be one step ahead of the clients, and learn a lot of different things all the time. So, having children, I knew that I needed to specialize in something, because trying to be such a generalist was … I needed time at home with the kids.


And you had two at once.


Yes. Yeah; yeah, yeah. Yeah. You know, you have to sleep once in a while.


In 1993, Karen Radius was appointed as a judge to the First Circuit Family Court on Oahu. She presided over cases involving divorce, child custody, domestic abuse, and juvenile law. Much like her time at Legal Aid, she matter-of-factly looked for the up-side in people facing tough situations.


It’s a place you could be a peacemaker. You may not be able to stop the divorce, but if you can focus the parents on the children and on preserving the assets they have for the children’s best interest, and coming up with a visitation and custody plan that’s in the kids’ best interest, you can bring peace. Or if not total peace, at least ratchet things down. If you’re doing an adoption, that’s the fun part of family law. So, you leave the stress and the sweat in the waiting room and come into the courtroom, where there’s balloons and happy people, and pictures and congratulations. The other thing about being a Family Court judge is, if the judge can portray some kind of calm and can manage the courtroom in a way that it’s not just total havoc, the people can focus a little bit better about what they need to do, and what’s next, and how to bring some kind of resolution to the problems that are there. And sometimes, you can’t bring peaceful resolutions; you just make a decision when it happens, and they’re unhappy with you, and they’re unhappy with their life.


While working as a Family Court judge, Karen Radius began to notice an alarming trend within the juvenile cases. The number of girls who were arrested and brought to court was dramatically increasing. In 2004, she confronted the problem head-on by creating a new program called Girls Court.


In the days that I was a Legal Aid lawyer in Waianae in the 70s, there was hardly ever a girl brought to juvenile court. Girls weren’t arrested. It was all boys. And over time, the programs and the method of dealing with things were built for boys, ‘cause that’s who the system was. But as time went on, more and more girls started to be arrested. And the programs weren’t built for them, and juvenile court really wasn’t helping the girls at all. So, in about 2003, I was sitting at detention home, where you go every morning for a week in a row, every four weeks. And all of a sudden, there’s just so many girls appearing in front of me. And I’m thinking, Maybe it’s just the luck of the draw, ‘cause that’s based on who got arrested. You gotta see a judge within forty-eight hours of getting arrested. And so, I went back to the courthouse and I’m saying, you know, Boy, out of thirteen kids, ten were girls. Is it just me? Am I somehow a girl magnet? What is this? And they said, No, no, no, we still have to do some research. And at that point, forty-two percent of the arrests in Honolulu were girls. Nationally, it was about between twenty and twenty-five percent, but Honolulu was forty-two percent.


I wonder why?


We arrest a lot for runaway, and we have a lot of runaway girls. And girls tend to act out not so much against other people, although there are some assaults on unrelated people, et cetera. But there’s a lot of act out against the boyfriend, act out against the mother. And then, drugs are a problem. Act out against themselves, by taking or possessing, or dealing drugs. So, I talked to Judge Wong, who was then the lead judge of Family Court, the senior judge, and she was doing some rearrangement of people’s caseloads, and so, she wanted to move some of my cases. She says, I know you’re gonna be mad. I said, No, I’m not gonna be mad if you let me do Girls Court. She said, What’s that? And I said, I don’t know, but we gotta do something. And she said, Okay.


So, you were convinced you couldn’t fix it by transforming juvenile court.


Well, it’s still a part of juvenile court. It’s a transformation of—not every girl who gets arrested in Honolulu goes to Girls Court. Girls Court is the girls who aren’t succeeding on regular probation. So anyway, we looked at what’s going on in the girls’ life, not just what she did. ‘Cause often, a sentence or a disposition is based on, You did X-crime, X-thing, and therefore, you must do the following community service, you must do the following anger management, et cetera. But what else is there going on in her life that gets her in the situation that make it that she’s acting out like this?


And she’s a revolving door.


And she’s a revolving door. You know, she’s not going to school for long periods of time. The old days, you would put her in detention home for two weeks and say, Okay, write an essay on why education is important to you. She didn’t know. And she’d write the essay, and she’d be scared for a while, and she’d go to school for maybe two, three weeks, and then the whole thing would start again. And the next run would happen or the next truancy would happen; back and forth. So, we weren’t looking at the underlying causes. So, Girls Court is all about getting, you know, the whole family working on the relationships within the family. And the probation officers are still probation officers, but they’re also not just, Did you comply with the court’s order and what the court told you to do, but let’s figure out your life and let’s come up with a life’s plan for you.


In 2010, Judge Karen Radius retired as a fulltime judge to help take care of her aging mother and her mother-in-law. At the time of our conversation in 2015, she’d returned to work as a per diem or part-time Family Court judge.


Let’s say the top three things you’ve done in your life that you really feel proud of.


My kids, number one. And watching them grow and develop, and lead their lives, and make the choices they make, one way or the other. Girls Court … jeez.


Well, top two is good.


We narrowed it down to two.


I don’t know.


I’m just thinking from a balance of power situation. You know, this is not the old model of husband and wife, where the wife is the judge. Was that hard to handle sometimes?


Not for me. No. We didn’t bring our work home. And those times that I would say something that I wasn’t happy about something, Russ would say, Slavery ended in the 1860s, if you don’t like the job, find another one. So, okay, I’m not gonna complain at home.


And you have twins.




Tell us a little bit about them, about how they were influenced by two parents working in the law.


My son’s a lawyer, although he has a sticker on his bike and it said, Born to fish, forced to work. So, in a perfect world, he might want to fish. But no; he’s a lawyer, he’s a good lawyer. My daughter, when she was probably about five or six, I said to her, You know, are you going to work when you get married and have children? Because being old school, I still felt a little bit of guilt about, I’m working. And she says, Of course, I’m gonna work. But I’m not gonna be a lawyer; that’s boring. So, at six, she already decided it’s boring. So, she’s a scientist; she’s a biomedical engineer, and smarter than me.


Did you think of your kids as you were in court, you know, passing judgments?


Yeah; I thought about my kids. Because of confidentiality of the cases, I couldn’t talk about the cases to the kids. But I’ve said things sometimes to the kids, and my son when he was little, used to say, Mom, you always know that all, and you’re all so worried about evil stuff. You know, you just don’t know the real world.


And I said, Oh, Andrew, your father and I have worked so hard so that you don’t know about the real world.


Founding Judge Karen Radius’ concept of Girls Court has now spread to several states on the continent. At the time of our conversation in the summer of 2015, she continues to be an advocate for at-risk youth inside and outside the courtroom. Judge Radius volunteers for several nonprofits, and is the president of Surfrider Spirit Sessions, a nonprofit that uses the lessons of surfing to help transform the lives of at-risk youth. Mahalo to Judge Karen Radius of Kailua, Windward Oahu for sharing your story with us. And thank you, for joining us. For PBS Hawaii and Long Story Short, I’m Leslie Wilcox. Aloha, hui hou.


For audio and written transcripts of all episodes of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, visit PBSHawaii.org. To download free podcasts of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, go to the Apple iTunes Store or visit PBSHawaii.org.


What did your mother say to you after she saw you become a judge?


She wished I’d been a beautician, ‘cause I’d be home more.




Yes; yeah, seriously.  When I first went off to college, she said, Do this for you and for me. And I was, quite frankly, a little bit … It’s for me; what you do mean for you? But having a daughter now myself, I understand.




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This program chronicles the competition onstage and behind-the-scenes of 10 extraordinary young organists from the United States and Europe vying for first place in the first International Longwood Gardens Organ Competition. None of Longwood’s 10 finalists has a chance to practice on the Aeolian Organ before arriving at the competition. Each has only five hours to prepare to play on one of the world’s most complex instruments, with its 10,010 pipes, 237 stops, five 32-foot pedal stops and four keyboards.


Michael Broderick


At the age of four, Michael Broderick lost his father in an auto accident. A family man who grew up without a father figure in his life, he has made a difference in the lives of families in Hawaii, first as a Family Court judge, and as President of the YMCA of Honolulu.


This program will be rebroadcast on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 11:00 pm and Sunday, Sept. 20 at 4:00 pm.


Michael Broderick Audio


Download the Transcript




And then, when I left being a judge, here’s what people say to me: Michael, you look pretty good. And I say, Well, gee, what did I look like before? They say, You looked like you were carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. I wasn’t even aware of that.


Michael Broderick has altered his career path several times over the years, but he’s always been guided by his strong sense of family and community. YMCA of Honolulu President and CEO, Michael Broderick, next on Long Story Short.


Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox is Hawaii’s first weekly television program produced and broadcast in high definition.


Aloha mai kakou. I’m Leslie Wilcox. In 2010, Hawaii Family Court Judge Michael Broderick stepped down from the bench at a time when he appeared to be at the height of his career. His concerns about Hawaii’s youth and the community led him to a new calling as President and CEO of the YMCA of Honolulu. Broderick has spent a large portion of his career looking out for people and families. His own life started with a devastating loss.


Where did life begin for you? What was it like?


Well, I was born in Dallas, Texas, and lived there for four months. And then, my father was killed in a car accident when I was four months old.


Four months!


Yeah. And so, we moved back to Philadelphia, where my aunt lived, my mother’s sister, and my aunt’s husband, my uncle, and their four boys. So, my brother, who at the time was two years old, and myself and my mom, moved into that house. And there was also our grandmother, who was there as well.


Oh, multigenerational family.




Extended family.


Extended; and Italian. Okay; that’s key.


So, everything was big family table of meals.


Absolutely. We all sat down together for dinner every night, the ten of us, and we had a beautiful Italian meal that my grandmother had cooked. So, I was raised by my grandmother, a hundred percent Italian; my uncle, hundred percent Italian; my aunt, one hundred percent Italian; and my mother, one hundred percent Italian.


And so, what does that mean to you when you explain that you’re fully Italian, through and through?


I think there’s a certain passion that comes with being Italian. I have great pride in the culture. Obviously, I love Italian food. But I think most of the Italians are about family; family is really important to them. And so, I was raised to really cherish and value my family.


And yet, here you were at such a young age, missing a key part of a family.




Can you talk a little bit about what you lost?


Yeah. That’s a great question, and probably five or ten years ago, I would have cried in response to it. I won’t cry tonight, ‘cause I’m kinda past that phase. But the thing that losing a father has done for me is, there’s kind of a hole inside you. And what I’ve found over the years is that hole gets less and less, and less, as you meet people that care about you, as you get married, have your own children. But I don’t think you can ever replace losing a father.


Is it a feeling of insecurity?


Well, I think that it’s a feeling of not having had a completely healthy, normal childhood. I think all the studies show that the best childhood is one where there’s a husband and there’s a wife. And I didn’t have that. I didn’t have a father and a mother. I had a mother and wonderful uncle, and a wonderful aunt, and a wonderful grandmother, but none of them were my father. And so, I felt that loss throughout my life.


I know you’ve read the studies more than I have, probably, that boys who grow up without a father, for whatever reason, whether it’s divorce or just absenteeism, or death, are more likely to have emotional or behavioral difficulties. They may get more into crime, they tend to be more on the poverty level.




And they tend more to suicide.


Yeah. The good news is, I haven’t had any poverty or crime, or those things. I have felt that there’s a good side to it, as well. I think losing your father makes you more sensitive. I think it makes you more empathetic. And I think as a Family Court judge — and we can talk about that later, but as a Family Court judge, I think I was able to bring a certain sensitivity and compassion, and empathy to that job, because I had lost my father. Many of the young men or women who appeared before me had lost a parent, or had something traumatic happen to them in childhood. And I felt a connection, and also, I felt I had a certain credibility because I had been where they had been. So, you ask, are there good things that come of it? I think there are. Would I have preferred to have had my dad? Absolutely. Is it something that I still long for? Absolutely. But is it all bad? No; I don’t think so. I think there are some very positive things. And the other positive thing is, my four cousins, I view as my brothers. So, instead of having one brother, I have five brothers. And that can only be a good thing.


From his teenage years, Michael Broderick began to eye a career in political office. He attended Stanford University, UCLA Law School, and then was hired for his dream job with Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley. It seemed that the path to politics lay before him.


So, you’re growing up in Philadelphia.




And, what were your aspirations?


I would say at about fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, I wanted to go into elected office. I wanted to be a politician.


Were you the guy at school who ran for student council, and …


I’ll tell you a fun story, and I hope it doesn’t sound arrogant. I went to a new school when I was in ninth grade, and at the end of ninth grade, the headmaster called the ninth grade together and asked them to elect a president. And they elected me; which I felt very good about. Tenth grade, the same thing happened. Eleventh grade, the same thing happened. You didn’t run for president of our school. A day was announced in the spring when they voted for the president, and I was blessed to be voted president.


You didn’t have to run for office.


I didn’t run for office.


That doesn’t happen in the real world, of course. [CHUCKLE]


No, it doesn’t. And I didn’t have to raise any money. But what happened down the road in my career is, I worked for a politician. I worked for Tom Bradley, who was the Mayor of Los Angeles.


What did you do for him?


I was a speechwriter for him, I was his policy person on certain subjects, and I was his liaison with the Los Angeles Police Department, with Daryl Gates. And I saw the mayor’s life. I saw his lack of privacy, I saw the interruptions, I saw the criticism, and I realized that I had thin skin. Okay; I do not have thick skin. So, if I wake up in the morning and there’s something in the newspaper criticizing Michael Broderick, that does not roll off of me. That cuts deep to me. And maybe that’s not having a father, in terms of the insecurity. I don’t know.


Also, if family is the most important thing, that doesn’t allow —


It doesn’t.


— you to put family first all the time.

It doesn’t. And I’ll tell you a fun story. It’s not fun, but it’s a compelling story. Tom Bradley told me that he went home on a Friday night to watch a DVD movie with his family. Couldn’t get through it. Why couldn’t he get through it? ‘Cause he got a call from the police chief, he got a call from the fire chief, he got a call from his chief of staff about an emergency. He tried to watch that DVD four Fridays in a row, and never got through it with his family. So, I saw the life of a politician, and I realized that I had to be honest with myself. And I said, You know what, Michael, it’s really not you.


But you like the idea of being a leader and being around people, and mobilizing —




— things.


That, I love.


Michael Broderick married his college sweetheart, Maile Meyer, an entrepreneurial Hawaiian – Chinese woman and force of nature from Kailua, in Windward Oahu. Maile is best known today as the founder of Native Books, a Hawaiian bookstore. But back when they lived on the West Coast and were visiting Hawaii, Michael experienced the Aloha Spirit, and made a life – changing decision.


I had my dream job with Tom Bradley. I loved the job; it was fascinating. And we decided to visit Maile’s family in Hawaii over Christmas.


Because you and Maile had met at Stanford University.


Maile and I had met at Stanford. We were nineteen when we met. We’re fifty – six now, so we’ve grown up together. Maile’s family was still living in Kailua. We came back — this was 1985, and I went to a football game at Aloha Stadium. It must have been the Aloha Bowl; it was in December. It started to rain. And on the screen they flashed: Now that the weather has become inclement — that’s the word they used. Now that the weather has become inclement, please use your poncho instead of your umbrella so the person behind you can see; mahalo. Now, remember, I’m living in Los Angeles. And I looked at that, and I said, That is very cool.


What would they have said in Los Angeles?




[CHUCKLE] Like, do whatever it takes to see that game.


They wouldn’t have done anything like that in Los Angeles. The game ends; an hour later, the game ends and they flash on the screen: Now that the game is over, look and see if your neighbor has left anything of value; and if they have, gently tap them on the shoulder. Mahalo. I drove home to Kailua from Aloha Stadium and I told Maile, We’re moving to Hawaii.


Which you knew she wanted to do; right?


Which I did know she wanted to do. But she had been very, very understanding about my desire to work for Tom Bradley. So, there was no pressure. That’s how I got here.


Because you love those values.


Exactly. What I saw in those two signs was community and value, integrity, warmth. Aloha, basically. And I didn’t feel that in Los Angeles. So, nine months later, we were in Hawaii.


And then, you had to start from scratch as far as a job?


Well, what I did was, when I was working with Tom Bradley, I sent resumes and cover letters to some prominent law firms in Hawaii and was fortunate enough to get some offers. So, when I moved back, I had a job with the Carlsmith firm. Yeah.


But you didn’t stay long?


The private practice of law is extremely important work. It is of great significance to the client, and it’s very intellectually stimulating. But it had no personal meaning to me.


What kind of law were you doing with them?


I was doing labor law, employment law, representing management. So, you don’t pick and choose the cases you work on. You’re told what cases —


You’d rather be the guy on the other side of some issues.


Yeah; that’s right. And the other thing I found out as I worked in labor law as an advocate was that I was much more comfortable as the neutral. I was much more comfortable as the person in the middle. So, what I found myself doing was trying to solve these cases, instead of advocating for my client. And that’s when I realized I really should be in mediation. I see an advertisement in the paper; it’s for the director of the Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution. I apply for the job, and I’m interviewed by a three-person panel, one of the people being, at the time, Associate Justice Ronald Moon, who I had never met, knew nothing about. As the interview is unfolding, one of the three panelists asks me kind of an inappropriate question. [CHUCKLE] And the CJ at the time, Associate Justice Moon, looks at me and goes … he winks.




As if to say, Michael, I know that was an inappropriate question, just hang in there with us. I loved it. You know. So, at the end of the interview, I went home and Maile said, How’d the interview go?   And I said, You know, I don’t know how the interview went, but I met this incredibly cool guy. And that was Ron Moon. And they hired me for the job. But I’ll tell you a funny story. I get a call from his executive assistant, and she says, Come in, you’ve made the final list. So, it’s now down to three. But Associate Justice Moon has asked you to relax. Okay.


Because you were a Type A, L.A. guy?


I said to myself, What does that mean, relax? I think he’s trying to tell me that I was a little too … aggressive. So, I went into the final interview, much less aggressive, much more Hawaii style. Got the job. He hires me, and as he brings me in to tell me I got the job, he said, Michael, do you know how many times you pulled up your socks during the original interview? And I said, No.




He said, I counted; twenty – three times.


You just reached down —


I reached down —


— and you were tugging.


— and pulled up my sock. Obviously, unbeknownst to me, a nervous habit. He said, Do you know how many times you pulled up your socks in the final interview, the one that I had you relax? I said, No. He said, Once.




So, I said, CJ, thank you. And that was the beginning of a twenty, now twenty – three – year relationship with a guy that I would consider my mentor. That’s how it started.


So, you get the job.


I got the job.


Was that a good fit?


It was a perfect fit. Because I was interested in being a mediator, I was interested in being a third party neutral. And as the director of the Center for ADR, what’s what you do. You set up mediation programs, you help set up arbitration programs, and you also mediate and facilitate cases yourself. So, it was a perfect fit.


Years later, Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Moon, now retired, would hire Michael Broderick again; this time, to serve as the Administrative Director of the Courts, a position that required him to manage all of the Hawaii State judges and other eighteen hundred employees in Hawaii’s judicial system. Broderick admits it was a tough assignment, and it also led him to another career change.


As the director of the courts, I had had a chance to observe all the different courts; Circuit Court, the Appellate Courts, District Court, and Family Court. And I felt that there was a contribution I could make in Family Court. So, I applied to be a judge, was fortunate to get on the list of six, the Judicial Selection Commission put me on the list of six. And then, guess who’s the appointing authority? Chief Justice Ronald Moon, who appointed me. And I’ll always be grateful for that. And so, for seven and a half years, I was a Family Court judge. Had more than ten thousand cases in Family Court.


Did you think that was the job at which you would retire?


I wasn’t sure. What I did know was that as long as I was gonna be a judge, I was gonna be a Family Court judge. I had no interest in being a Circuit Court judge, I had no interest in being an Appellate Court judge, I had no interest in being a Supreme Court justice. I wanted to be a Family Court judge. Whether it was gonna be the job I would retire from, I didn’t know. I saw themes in Family Court. I saw drug addiction, particularly ice, mental illness, homelessness, domestic violence. Those are four things that kind of rose to the top. And kids who were totally disengaged from their families and from their communities, and from their schools. So, the Child Protective Services calendar are young girls and young boys who have been sexually abused or physically abused. And the judge is deciding whether to terminate the parental rights of the parents. I can’t think of more important work than that. Temporary restraining order cases; women coming in — primarily women, sometimes men, but primarily women coming in and alleging that they’ve been physically or sexually abused by their spouse, or by a boyfriend. I can’t think of a more important case than that. Juvenile criminal cases; young men and young women, sixteen and seventeen, coming before you who have been charged with a crime, and you decide whether to send them to drug treatment, or whether to send them to prison. To me, these cases matter. Okay. They’re not about money. I’m not about money. So, I wasn’t interested in being a judge and presiding over cases that were about money. I was interested in being a judge and presiding over cases that were about people.


Michael Broderick recalls presiding over more than ten thousand cases in Family Court. As time went on, he began to wonder if he was in the right place to make a positive difference with the youth and families in Hawaii. He admits being frustrated that he could not truly help many of the young people who appeared before him in court.


I’ll tell you a story that was one of the saddest cases I ever had. I had sent one kid to prison. They call it Hawaii Correctional Facility, but let’s be honest; it’s like a prison. I had sent one kid there, and then another judge had sent another kid there, and they both ran away at the same time. They were able to escape. Well, one of them had a serious medical condition that if he was not found within, I believe at the time it was forty-eight hours, he was gonna die. So, we found the other kid, and we brought him into my courtroom. I can’t remember his name. Let’s say his name is John. I said, John, do you know where Billy is? Do you know where he is? He said, Yeah, I know where he is. I said, Okay; if we don’t find Billy in now twenty-four hours, he’s gonna die. Do you understand that? I understand that. Where is Billy? I’m not telling you where Billy is. Billy died. Okay? Now, for that kid who was in front of me, that wasn’t prepared to tell me where Billy was, knowing that he would die if we didn’t find him, for me that was too late. I’m not gonna be able to help that young man. He was seventeen at the time. On my domestic violence calendar, it was not unusual for me to have guys come before me who had thirty to thirty-five criminal convictions over the course of twenty, twenty-five years, also to have a crystal meth addiction, to be schizophrenic. I felt, with those folks, there was really very little that I could do. I often found myself wanting to go visit the young kids that I sent to the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility. As a judge, I can’t do that, for so many reasons. So, there were some restrictions around being a judge. All those restrictions make sense, they’re there for food reasons; but they were starting to become impediments to me. Now, I need to be fair. I saw miracles happen in Family Court. Okay? I saw a woman who was a drug addict; she said, Judge, take my child. I said, What do you mean, take your child? Take him. I love him, but I love ice more. I returned that child to her two years later, because she went through treatment and got it together. That’s a miracle. So, I don’t want to paint a picture of Family Court that good things don’t happen, because miracles happen in Family Court. Unfortunately, the numbers are not as high as you would want. When I talk about being a Family Court judge, I talk about it as a privilege. It was an honor. But after seven and a half years, and ten thousand cases, the suffering and the misery kinda got to me. And for many of the cases, I felt I couldn’t help them. I felt it was too late. So, most of the folks that appeared before me had been traumatized as children, many of them had been sexually abused and physically abused. They had been ice addicts for many, many years, or alcoholics for many, many years, had long, long, long lists of criminal convictions. So, for a lot of the people that appeared before me, I felt it was too late; I couldn’t help them. The YMCA, I had been on the board of the YMCA and I saw the prevention work they do, the frontend work around drug treatment, around gang prevention. And I said, You know what? I think maybe I’d rather spend the last ten years of my career, the final ten years of my career on the frontend of the continuum, on the prevention end.


Michael Broderick says that decision to step down as a judge to work in the private nonprofit sector may have puzzled some people. But like every other career decision he had made before, his family supported his decision.


People who don’t know me would say, How could you leave that prestigious, prominent position that was so hard to get? People that knew me, people that know me completely got it. When I was sworn in as a judge, which is a pretty big deal, there are a lot of people there. And I said, Maile, I have taken three jobs in a row, and each job I’ve earned less money. And every time, my wife was thrilled for me. After I said that, the induction was over, and we had food for people to share. This is a true story. I had three different women come up to me, independent of each other, and say, Is that true about your wife, she actually supported you taking jobs that paid less? And I said, It is absolutely true. And each of them said, I would never support that for my husband.




That was really … I don’t want to say an eye-opener, because I already knew how cool Maile was. But it was a reaffirmation that I’m living with a special lady.


Michael Broderick made the transition from Family Court judge to CEO of the YMCA of Honolulu, one of Hawaii’s largest private nonprofit organizations. He directed his passion for children and the community to the Y. Many YMCA programs focus on the early intervention of social issues at the core of Family Court, such as substance abuse and child welfare. He loved his new career; however, just a couple of years into the job, he received some troubling personal news.


I was diagnosed with cancer prostate cancer, and I had surgery. And then I had some complications from the surgery around some chronic pain. And what’s changed as a result of that is, for the first two year on the job, I worked every weekend, every single weekend, usually both days. So, if not six and a half days a week, seven days a week. The cancer diagnosis, speaking to you honestly, was a shock. I was fifty – six at the time, I was in great shape, weight – wise, I wasn’t heavy, and all of a sudden I have prostate cancer. And I had a tumor on my prostate, which meant that perhaps it had gone fairly far. So, I then had surgery, and then I had the complications and the pain, some of which I’m still dealing with now. And as a result of that experience, I don’t work nearly as many weekends now. Because I’m about to turn fifty – seven, and I’ve got a little bit of perspective on life, and I think that the work will still be there on Monday. Monday through Friday, I’m working really hard. And some Saturdays, I’m working at the Y if it’s a Y function. I’ve worked the last two Saturdays, and I’ll work the next two Saturdays because of the Y functions, but I’m not going into the office nearly as much. And that is as a result of having cancer, and kind of reevaluating some things.


At the time of this conversation in 2014, Michael Broderick is still experiencing the pain left by those complications. But he remains fully committed to working for the community.


Now, having moved from Family Court and you’re in this frontend line of work with kids, has that brought you the kind of results or feeling that results are — you’re on the verge of?


Yes. It’s been very gratifying for me.   The other thing is, and this sounds a little trite; it’s been more fun. Maile reminds me, I need more fun in my life. I mentioned that I went to an event on Saturday at Aloha Stadium, where we had some former NFL players. We had about three hundred young kids who come from difficult backgrounds. They met the NFL players. It’s called NFL Play60. Then they went through drills over the course of an hour. I got to see the smiles on those kids’ faces. And next week, I go the Youth In Government opening ceremonies. I’m gonna get to see the high school governor sworn in, for example, and the sergeant at arms sworn in. Those things are really joyful for me. And I find that I need that.


YMCA of Honolulu President and CEO Michael Broderick says he’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime to help children and families by helping to prevent the kind of traumas and tragedies he witnessed as a Family Court judge. He say’s he’s excited about running the Y until it’s time for him to retire. Mahalo to Michael Broderick for sharing his story with us. And mahalo to you for joining us. For PBS Hawaii and Long Story Short, I’m Leslie Wilcox. A hui hou.


For audio and written transcripts of all episodes of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, visit PBSHawaii.org. To download free podcasts of Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox, go to the Apple iTunes Store, or visit PBSHawaii.org.


The greatest surprise for me is, I have not met a jerk yet. The people that work at the Y are really kind people. Now, people say to me, Well, yeah, that’s because you were around lawyers for, twenty – five years.


[CHUCKLE] Well, that’s ‘cause you’re the boss. Yes, Mr. Broderick. [CHUCKLE]


You know, I watch people, how they relate to each other, when they don’t know I’m watching. So, the greatest surprise for me and the greatest positive surprise has been how neat the people are who work at the Y.


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