The Fred Sasaki Ultimate Fund

By Fred Sasaki

The following correspondence is from a manuscript of emails titled "Letters of Interest," by Fred Sasaki. Subjects arise from spam and angst, anger and absurdity, frustration and fuckall—Eros and Thanatos from inbox to inbox. Enter to witness non-consensual collaborative narrative.

[We have left the following emails unedited in the interest of full disclosure and larfs—Ed.]

Boston University Alumni Update
24 Messages

________________________

From: Kean, Steve <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
To: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>, "Allenby, Daniel E" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Cc: "Sacks, Benjamin E" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>, "Rodriguez, Stephen M" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Date: Thu, Dec 22, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Fred,

Thank you much for your inquiry and your interest in making BU a part of your estate planning! Before we get to that step, I would affirm your desire to meet and discuss this with your family. Identifying the items and the recipients in the will is a wise first step.

Once you’ve detailed the items and recipients, the next logical step is to think about an appraisal. In terms of tax/estate implications, the IRS generally requires an appraisal for all material gifts in excess of $5,000. This is of clear benefit to your family and to any institution that you would make gifts to now, or with your estate.

With an understanding of your collection and its value, it would then be worthwhile to begin a conversation with you about ways in which your collection might benefit BU. I’m not aware of any faculty doing research or teaching on numismatics, nor can we predict the future likelihood of such a faculty endeavor. So my advice would be to begin thinking about how your artifacts might potentially translate into a “Fred Sasaki Fund” (or some other designation that properly captures your connection and passion for BU). It would be a joy to dialogue with you about what a “Sasaki Fund” might look like and what you might like it to achieve.

Thanks again for taking the first step in reaching out to us. I look forward to continuing this discussion.

Happy holidays and best wishes for the new year.
Steve

Steve Kean
Chief Advancement Officer
College of Arts and Sciences, Boston University
595 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 700
Boston, MA 02215

Support BU today – https://www.bu.edu/giving

________________________

From: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
To: "Kean, Steve" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Cc: "Allenby, Daniel E" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>, "Sacks, Benjamin E" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>, "Rodriguez, Stephen M" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Date: Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Hi Daniel, Benjamin, Stephen, Everyone,

It has been a long holiday, and my legacy conversations were met with high emotions, low expectations, and tears as usual. Apparently my family does not appreciate me in certain ways. For example, the only thing they gave me was a bottle of Johnny Walker Black, which is good whiskey, but also depressing. Speaking of which, I first heard of Johnny Walker at Boston University, between you, me, and the birds!

Seriously, everything I have I will leave to Boston University, I guess. (Actually, I did receive for Christmas my grandfather's old tailor scissors that he also used to clips his nose hairs and my grandmother's old knife, that she used to cut things with. Those I'm keeping.) I will write out an itemized list of things for you all. Divide them as you like. Will you need photo documentation, too? I will accompany the list with an appraisal, of course.

Also, I like the idea of establishing a "Fred Sasaki Fund." Very much. Let's do that.

I'll send the list tonight unless I fall asleep early, which has been a problem lately. So let me know about the photos, etc.

Thanks for being there in this time of decision.

Gratefully,
Fred

________________________

From: Kean, Steve <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
To: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>, "Holland, Lindsay C" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Cc: "Allenby, Daniel E" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>, "Sacks, Benjamin E" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>, "Rodriguez, Stephen M" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Date: Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Happy New Year Fred and thanks again for your desire to support BU with your ultimate estate gift.

At this point, please allow me to introduce Lindsay Holland. Lindsay works in our Planned Giving division (and she visits the Chicago area from time to time as well) and she will be able to walk you through the next steps of the planned giving process.

In terms of the “Fred Sasaki Fund,” that is a conversation that Lindsay can start with you after we have a better impression of the magnitude of your ultimate gift. For your information, we currently have two different gift minimum levels: an endowment requires a $100,000 gift, and it then produces annual revenue (currently 4%) for use according to the donor’s intent; and an expendable fund requires a $10,000 gift, again, spent according to the donor’s intent, but typically used in a short period of time.

Thanks again for your interest. And I hope to be able to visit with you in the future.

With regards,
Steve

________________________

 

From: Holland, Lindsay C <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
To: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Hi Fred,

It is a pleasure to meet you, at least via email. I also travel fairly frequently to the Chicago area on behalf of the University, so I hope we’ll have a chance to meet in person at some point.

I look forward to seeing your list of items as well as an appraisal and we can continue the conversation from there.

Wishing you a very happy new year,

Lindsay


Lindsay C. Holland, GSM’12
Associate Director, Planned Giving
BOSTON UNIVERSITY Development & Alumni Relations
595 Commonwealth Avenue Suite 700, West Entrance
Boston, MA 02215

START BUILDING YOUR LEGACY. VISIT www.mybulegacy.com TO LEARN MORE.

________________________

From: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
To: "Kean, Steve" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Cc: "Holland, Lindsay C" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>, "Allenby, Daniel E" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>, "Sacks, Benjamin E" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>, "Rodriguez, Stephen M" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Date: Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Hello Lindsay, Daniel, Benjamin, Stephen, Everyone,

Thank you for writing about the "Fred Sasaki Fund." Thank you also for your helpful comments and suggestions; it is definitely ultimate. I would like to officially establish it as the "Fred Sasaki Ultimate Fund," which I think is more appropriate. I like both the endowment $100,000 gift plus 4% and the expendable fund of $10,000 gift. Both sound wonderful.

I wonder does my tuition paid count toward the endowment and fund or is this all a clean slate, so to speak? If the former, we can start with that and add more as we go. I would also like to name something, even if it is a plaque by some lockers or a water foundation. A stone somewhere would be nice, too. Just not the painted one! You know what I mean. A brick or a bench or even a tree. Let me know the options for these things.

A personal visit would be very nice. I welcome this. Someone will have to speak for me but I can show you many collections including a collection of masks from around the world, the stamps, some swords, gold and jewels, and more prized possessions. I will follow up with Lindsay with my list tonight. This is a difficult list for me to make as you might imagine. Writing it is like giving it away a little bit. But perhaps that is the easiest way.

Thank you all for your continued guidance in this matter.

Sincerely,
Fred

________________________

From: Holland, Lindsay C <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
To: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Hello Fred,

I wanted to write back to you in advance of receiving your inventory to respond to your question about whether your tuition will count towards the gift threshold required to establish an endowed fund. Unfortunately, it will not, and we will be starting here with a clean slate, as you say. But I am greatly looking forward to reviewing your inventory, and certainly understand that this is a difficult and sentimental process to undertake.

I also look forward to finding a time for us to visit the next time I am in Chicago.

Kindly,
Lindsay

________________________

From: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
To: "Holland, Lindsay C" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Date: Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Hi Lindsay,

Too bad about the back pay. I think a lot of money was spent so far but that's OK, I guess. Too bad it didn't work. You know what I mean. Here is a preliminary list of items that are of interest.

• Masks from around the word. 8-12 or 20. A few of these are spooky, Japanese, and African. I think they are all Ethnic. At least one is a genuine authentic Gamorrean Guard mask. Some are Chinese. They are pretty much not for wearing.

• Coin collections in binders by country. NOT like in the movies.

• Paper money collections. NOT what you think.

• Mega celebrity jewelry that looks like Elizabeth Taylor and Liberace when you take a picture in them.

• A complete collection of stamps from around the world. The auctioneer will be in touch, who is also interested in all this.

• Comic Books. Three dozen long boxes at least. They are in numerical order already. The best ones are the Hulk, XMen, Justice League, and Spiderman. Then a whole bunch more. The first ones I mentioned are all number ones, no pun intended.

• Swords and helmets. There is an army helmet, a Roman soldier helmet, a Roman soldier sword, a Samurai sword, two wooden Samurai swords, and a few pocket knives which you can count or not. There is also a full Ninja outfit with shoes and Ninja stars and other Ninja items. Also a miniature Japanese rock garden (for the desk).

• A miniature collection of small brass bells.

• 90s-era basketball cards and baseball cards plus three full sets of Desert Storm cards with the box.

* BONUS: Are you also interested in my signature clothing, shoes, or signature items that I have used variously? Some of these things are of a highly sensitive matter and could make a good gallery exhibition.

** EXTRA: I would also like to set up a collection in the library or some other archives for my collected letters and e-mails, as record of my life and part of the "Fred Sasaki Ultimate Fund."

I think this is a great start. Please let me know what you think these things are worth and also tell me about the rock/stone, bench, brick, water fountain, tree, etc. for Ultimate Commemoration.

Thanks, again, for your continued support. Please let me know when you are next in Chicago.
Fred

________________________


From: Holland, Lindsay C <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
To: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Hi Fred,

Thank you for taking the time to compile this list! It certainly sounds as though you have collected some wonderful items over time. Have you picked many of these pieces up in the course of travels?

You mentioned in one of your previous emails that you were going to include appraisal information as well, and I wonder if you have contacted someone about your inventory? I, unfortunately, am not qualified to estimate the value of your items, although I would certainly like to see them!

I am in contact with my colleagues here about next steps and will circle back with you next week. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Lindsay

________________________


From: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
To: "Holland, Lindsay C" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Date: Mon, Jan 9, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Hi Lindsay,

You are so welcome for the list. I have many collections from around the world. A lot of it comes from China. Some I got while traveling, but it is like what George Harrison of the Beatles said about going on vacations without paying for a ticket. That is like college, too, with all the mind expansion. I also have a copious collection of Beatles memorabilia. Records, trading cards, dolls, watches. I am right now looking at a The Beatles thermometer—79º!

I was going to get everything professionally appraised but then you mentioned coming over for appetizers or dinner and coffee. We can look at all the items leisurely and jot down little notes about their value. The value increases with the stories I will tell you. For now, we can say that my itemized collection is valued at $1,110,000.

We can set up the two funds we initially discussed and then have $1,000,000 to work with. Some of that I want for the Fred Sasaki Ultimate Brick/Stone/Bench/Water Fountain/Etc.

I also have an original authentic replica Michael Jordan jersey and some other basketball signatures like Scott Williams and Stacey King. I'm starting to remember treasures I forgot about. Like my scrimshaw pocket knife like in the movie the Black Stallion. That is an important movie about loss and valuable items in your life like your father, your pocket knife, and your horse if it is real or imaginary or just a little figurine. It is also about surviving, especially a shipwreck, and learning to talk through kindness and to race! Basically my Ultimate gift will be like the Black Stallion.

Please tell me what your colleagues think. Thank you again so kindly for continued help.

Namaste,
Fred

________________________
 

From: Holland, Lindsay C <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
To: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Hi Fred,

Thank you again for your email–I have to say that I am looking forward to meeting you and to continuing our conversation about your estate planning. I am looking at a trip to Chicago in mid-February (I am confirming an event there for the School of Education so once that date is finalized I will be more able to find a time to meet with you). My colleague Anthony Barbuto (who is the Regional Director for the Midwest) will be with me as well–would you be open to meeting with both of us while we are out there?

Lindsay

________________________
 

From: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
To: "Holland, Lindsay C" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Date: Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Hi Lindsay,

Another week and here we are. Sorry for the delay in responding. Let us plan for a little party with you, me, and Barbuto. What shall we have? Japanese food plus sushi? That will help set the mood for my Fred Sasaki Ultimate Fund. We will also drink saki, beer, or whiskey or beer and whiskey. After that we can watch a movie or play a little card game. No betting!

I haven't heard anything about my memorial marker. Is that from another department? Also, will our meeting be filmed?

Thank you,
Fred

P.S. I have also found my original set of Garbage Pail Kids cards with the box. Is that also of interest? I have saved "Leaky Lindsay" for you no problem.

________________________
 

From: Holland, Lindsay C <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
To: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Hi Fred,

Anthony and I would be happy to join you for dinner. Would you be free on the evening of February 15th? That is a Wednesday. Given the constraints of our schedule, and a very busy day following on the 16th, we are hopeful you would be free around 5 or 6PM. We would be happy to meet you at home, if that is the most convenient for you. And, to clarify, no, our meeting will not be filmed. I am hopeful we can talk in more detail about your gift and the areas at CAS which you might be interested in ultimately supporting through your named fund at this time. We can also speak too about the ways in which we can recognize your gift – and to be clear on that point, I wanted to share our policy regarding plaques & other recognition. Per our guidelines, plaques may be displayed to recognize the named facility or space once 50% of the funding has been received and the naming request has been approved by the Executive Committee. So, there would be some logistical hurdles we would need to clear before the marker was put in place, and a significant portion of your gift would have to be made in order for this kind of physical recognition to take place. Again, we can discuss this in more detail next month.

Please do let me know if the 15th will work for you, and what your preferred location is. Looking forward to meeting with you.

All my best,
Lindsay

________________________


From: Holland, Lindsay C <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
To: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Fred–

Sorry for the multiple emails in one day! Anthony has a conflict on the evening of February 15th– would you be available for an early morning meeting on Friday, February 17th?

Again–sorry to clog your inbox!

Lindsay

________________________
 

From: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
To: "Holland, Lindsay C" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Date: Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Hi Lindsay,

So we are having a belated Valentine's Day dinner? That's OK but I will have to check with my wife that she is OK about that. I think she gets jealous when it comes to things like this especially with the money being involved.

I am sorry to be questioning, but I do not understand why you want to film the meeting. I have been in movies before but this seems a little unusual. But if you insist I suppose that I can make an exception.

I am thinking now that I want a statue of myself looking very strong and young. I want the statue to be a little larger than life. Not too much larger than life, but slightly larger than life. Do you know what I mean? I want people to look at the statue and think, "Wow, Fred Sasaki was larger than life!" Not: "Wow, that statue is larger than life—he wasn't really that large in real life." It is important that when people look at the statue that they see me and not the statue. Kind of like when the walls of a museum disappear. Is this why you want to film the meeting? Because instead I can sit for a portrait for the sculptor anyways.

I definitely want ultimate input on all the decisions like haircut, outfit, and especially the shoes and things like shoes. I always want the best foot forward so to speak. Can we cover these things when we meet? Also are you able to bring examples of sculptures like mine?

Thanks,
Fred

________________________
 

From: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
To: "Holland, Lindsay C" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Date: Sun, Jan 29, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Hi Lindsay,

I was talking with other college graduates tonight about my future legacy plans and they were very enthusiastic about my ideas. They think the statue is a great idea.

Also my wife wants to be there for the meeting is that OK?

Thanks,
Fred

________________________


From: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
To: "Holland, Lindsay C" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Date: Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Hi Lindsay,

Are you on vacation? I am making my plans in stone for February and would like to put our plans to bed no pun intended re: the statue/ultimate "big sleep." You might be interested to know that my wife read that book at Boston University.

I have alerted my entire family to our meeting and they may have some objections or helpful suggestions. We can sort it all out when you get here. One thing I forget is if you both are coming to my home or if we will be eating some place thanks to Boston University.

Either way please tell me. Thank you for your continued good faith and understanding. This is a very long and tedious process!

Best regards,
Fred

________________________
 

From: Holland, Lindsay C <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
To: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Hi Fred,

Please excuse my tardy response to your email! It has been very difficult trying to nail down my Chicago schedule due to Dean travel that is happening during my trip and an event I am planning.

Regardless of that, yes, we have much to iron out in our meeting. I am happy that you have made your family aware of your intentions, and hope that you have also had a chance to speak with a financial advisor or estate planning attorney about your plans as well. It is critical that you consult your advisor as you consider your ultimate estate planning.

Are you available to meet on the morning of Friday, February 17th? You had implied in earlier communication it would be easiest to meet at your home, so we can plan to do that if it is easiest for you.

Lindsay

________________________
 

From: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
To: "Holland, Lindsay C" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Date: Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Hi Lindsay,

You are excused of course. Let's not be silly. I am always late all the time. Then at some point we will all be "late." Our conversation reminds me about that all the time. No pun intended. I will go from being Fred Sasaki who is always late to the late Fred Sasaki. In some way it may be more appropriate for my milestone marker to be a sundial. But people always knock those over or think they are stupid. Then there is the cloudy bad weather issue. So let's stick with the statue. Thanks for the suggestion anyways.

As for the statue, will you be administering the fitting? I am open to you measurements and interpretation. Please remember that I want the statue slightly larger than life. You remember what I said about the statue being "invisible"?

Let me check with my situationist about February 17. So I can alert everyone, will our meeting be more meditative or jolly? My wife likes to put out teas and treats that correspond to the mood we want to pursue.

Thanks again,
Fred

________________________


From: Holland, Lindsay C <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
To: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Hi Fred,

What time will work for you on Friday morning? I have a midday flight back to Boston that day so I would prefer to meet at 8 or 9A if that would work for you and your wife.

We can talk further at the meeting about recognition options and I can enlighten you on our gift acceptance and recognition policies.

Lindsay

________________________


From: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
To: "Holland, Lindsay C" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Date: Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Hi Lindsay,

I need to know if you are going to take my measurements or if you will be taking candid photographs when we meet together. If yes, I will start my pre-statue fast and exercise routine. I would like the statue to be slightly slimmer than I am but also slightly more muscular and fit and toned. Butt not naked. Like the invisible part, I want people to look at the statue and say, "Wow Fred Sasaki was really fit and toned and muscular," not, "Wow that statue is way more fit and toned and muscular than Fred Sasaki." When people look at the statue they should think or say, "That statue is the ultimate," like we've been saying.

How does it work anyways? Am I dipped in a mold?

8 or 9 am is a little early for all this and I wonder if we can appreciate my tour and collections demonstrations at that time. I have consulted my situationist and they say night time is ideal for the kind of conversation we are happening. Also alcohol would be good for the crying (my wife).

That's life I guess. Thanks and do let me know.

Yours forever,
Fred

________________________


From: Holland, Lindsay C <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
To: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Hi Fred,

Thanks for your email. I hope you had a nice weekend.

Unfortunately, I have had to postpone next week’s trip to Chicago, so it appears that we will not be able to meet as we had discussed.

In the meantime, I’d like to review what we have talked about so far with regard to your potential gift to Boston University and touch again on our gift recognition policies:

1. As Steve mentioned early in our talks, the University is unable to accept the gifts of personal property you would like to donate. As an alternative, you could name the University’s College of Arts & Sciences as a beneficiary of your estate, but your will would need to stipulate that BU would receive a percentage of proceeds received from the sale of personal property, NOT the property in kind.

2. The University has strict gift recognition policies, and under no circumstances would we recognize your gift via a statue.

I hope that we can continue this conversation when I am next in Chicago, and I will contact you as soon as I have the dates for that trip scheduled.

Thanks for your continued interest in supporting Boston University,
Lindsay

________________________


From: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
To: "Holland, Lindsay C" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Date: Date: Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Hi Lindsay,

O no. Is it something I said again?

1) How can you say you don't like my masks from around the world and comic books and other interesting things before you have even seen them? Should we copy Steve back to this e-mail? He must not mean the masks at least.

2) If there is no statue, there is no me. It is very clear and important to me that a statue must be erected in my honor for Boston University personal ultimate legacy. When I say the statue should be invisible this is not what I mean. I have seen other statues at Boston University and know this is a pulling of the rug. There is one in front of the church for Martin Luther King Jr. I know. Mine does not have to be so big or with so many birds but maybe behind that area by the trees and water.

Are you amenable to this?

Thanks,
Fred

________________________
 

From: Holland, Lindsay C <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
To: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 3:04 PM

Hi Fred,

Unfortunately, there is no wiggle room in terms of recognition. You are correct in noting that there are statues here on campus, but the University is not offering statues as a method of gift recognition at this time or in the foreseeable future.

I apologize for any confusion from my end, but we are not amenable to erecting a statue should you decide to make a gift.

Best,
Lindsay

________________________


From: Fred Sasaki <xxxxxxxx@gmail.com>
To: "Holland, Lindsay C" <xxxxxxxx@bu.edu>
Date: Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Lindsay—

You have led me on terribly. I am devastated. My wife and children have already celebrated my statue. What do I tell them now? What on earth will they remember me by now? Where can they go to see me again? This will only cause them more pain. What do you suggest, that they stare at my diploma?! I do not think that will satisfy their longing and sadness. Just like me they long to be close to me. I imagined the birds and everything.

Suddenly this changes everything. And I had planned appetizers, fruit drinks, CDs. Will you send me a written apology for the statue fiasco? I can show this to my family as an appeasement. I would also like it signed in real ink. A PDF I can print on my printer is fine, too.

I see why you cancelled our appointment.

Fred

Previously - E-mail Correspondence with Komen for the Cure

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