Kupuna Life: Albert Matsumoto reminds Liliha to drive safely

Kupuna Life

HONOLULU (KHON2) — If Albert Matsumoto ever needs to be found, chances are the 94-year-old will be on Bachelot Street in Liliha. He holds a homemade sign there every morning to remind drivers of the speed limit.

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“Every morning, rain or shine, except when lightning is close by, I don’t want to get burned down,” Matsumoto said, as he laughed.

“Really speeding is when they going home,” he said. “Some of them drive over 40 (mph) over here going home.”

Matsumoto started spreading his message of safety 25 years ago after he retired as an auditor for the State.

“So must be about in ’95, I started holding the sign after seeing all the blind people walking on the street and all the adult handicapped,” Matsumoto said.

Honopono Services for the Blind and Lanakila Pacific are located nearby. Matsumoto has not seen any accidents, thankfully, but he has witnessed a few close calls.

“Oh there’s a big difference, people stop by and thank me,” Matsumoto said.

He has gotten to know the neighbors well. “She passes every morning,” Matsumoto said, as he saw a familiar face. He even receives tokens of gratitude — like a calendar from a driver.

He has had a few signs after doing this for 25 years. “This is one of them,” he said, while holding up a sign. He may need to make more because he plans to be on Bachelot Street every day to share his message while throwing up shakas and making more friends.

“Oh, many of them are very nice,” Matsumoto said, “there’s a few that do not wave at all, but eventually they do, you know?”

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