By Monica Miller
The media lost a good friend today.
Senate Counsel Henry Kappel, died this morning at the Intensive Care Unit of the LBJ Hospital. He was 66.
From the time he was an assistant attorney general in the AG’s Office to when he was the Chief Counsel to Governor Tauese, then Governor Togiola, to his last job as Senate Counsel, Kap was one person the media could count on to answer our questions., at any time.
He would simplify complex legal issues in plain language that we could understand and pass on to the public.
And he was like a walking almanac and encyclopedia…he would remember dates, names, the genesis and chronology of events.
It was perhaps the fact that he was once one of us, a journalist, that made him understand our needs, our deadlines and our shortcomings.
I hadn’t seen Kap for much of the last session of the Fono…heard he was not well.
But before Christmas, I was in the Fono neighborhood and saw his silver pick up there.
The light to his office was turned off but there he was at his desk.
It was like his body had shriveled.
A tiny fraction of the man I once knew as Kap…the probing journalist, the brilliant attorney, the proud Marine, the guy with a great sense of humor.
Kap could hardly talk and I was almost too embarrassed to ethere seeing him in that state.
I asked how he was and he said I’m alive.
He asked what’s new and I said wish I could say same old same old but it’s the holidays and no one is doing anything worth reporting.
In his frail state, Kap had his computer on, a pile of papers on his desk and you guessed it, his can of tobacco, not far from his reach.
I prayed that God would take care of my friend Kap.
I was at the Senate this morning when word was received that Kap had passed away.
It was indeed sad news. And I am sure all those who knew this gentle and unassuming man will share the grief that his wife Netta and his two children are feeling.
Thank you for your counsel counselor, your friendship and the good memories you leave us with.
Here’s to you Kap….until we meet again!