Today is the first Anniversary of the co naming of West 17th and Surf Avenue as Rena "Rusty" Kanokogi Way. On this day a year ago, is when the reality truly hit me of how big of an influence Rusty Kanokogi had on all of us.
It was a torrential downpour and still people filled the room. Women and men from different countries, family, friends so many people traveled to pay honor to Rusty's efforts. My young nephew proudly holding the door as guys carried in the tatamis and then he respectively took the time to wipe the mats.
I will never forget the table full of reporters interviewing Kanokogi Sensei and Jean pitching in to help. I remember when the conversation begun about Rusty should be recognized by a street naming in Coney Island only six months prior. Still feeling stunned that Devin Cohen was able to get approval through so quickly with the many layers of an approval process that exists within the five Boroughs of New York.
The two overwhelming feelings I feel today is one the love of family surrounding us. Two the words that stick with me "I will never allow another person to suffer the same indignity" in Jean's speech. We look forward to our celebration of this monumental event on November 7th beginning at 1:00 pm EST at Rena Rusty Kanokogi Way, please wear masks and join us in celebration.