EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Inouye's son shares his memories of his father

By Mahealani Richardson
Published On: Jul 03 2013 10:22:36 PM HST
Updated On: Jul 04 2013 02:44:18 AM HST

Ken Inouye, son of Senator Daniel Inouye, gives a rare and exclusive look into the personal life of the late senator.

HONOLULU -

A touching moment between a grandfather and his only grandchild. While most people called him Sen. Inouye, 3-year-old Maggie called him “pa” or “Grandpa Dan.”

The two bonded over the piano, which the senator learned how to play again with only one arm as part of his post-war rehab.

“Got up, started to play the piano and she lights up and she goes over there and then there was this bond,” said Daniel K. Inouye’s son Ken.

Ken says his father was an involved family man, even with his busy political life.

“He took me to my first concert, which was KISS in 1976. Destroyer full makeup,” said Ken. His father was not a KISS fan, but took him as a chaperone.

“He I knew I wanted to go and none of my friends wanted to go so he said pick up a couple tickets and we’ll go,” said Ken.

While Sen. Inouye put Oliver North on the hot seat during the Iran-Contra hearings, imagine the grilling teenage Ken got when he came home late.

“He would start out, ‘ Are you aware of the rules of the house coming home late?’” said Ken. “Then you would explain yourself. He said, ‘That’s not the question I’m asking. Please answer the question I’m asking.’”

Those early lessons taught him to succeed later on. Ken Inouye says just before his father passed away, he made a promise that he would teach little Maggie about who her grandfather was and one day he hopes to bring her to the University of Hawaii to see first-hand how the senator worked tirelessly for Hawaii.

Ken Inouye says there are a few storage rooms of political and military effects which he hopes can be a part of the Inouye Project. He says it was cathartic for him to go through everything.

Since politics did not dominate the conversation at home, Ken has learned many new things about how hard his father worked.

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