CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: A Faux Reunion Conversation

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By W.T. Wimpy Hiroto
(First published in
The Rafu Shimpo on October 20, 2010.)

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(A telephone conversation between Masako and Hideko, friends dating back to camp days:)

Masako: “Hi. Guess what. They’re talking about having another Poston Camp reunion.

Hideko: “You gotta be kidding. I thought last year’s was the last of the Mohicans.

M: Me too. I guess it was such a success there was enough interest to  seriously consider holding another Last Hurrah. I’m told this one will be geared for extended families as well as Poston II and III, not just a bunch of nostalgic old timers like last year. And, oh yeah, it’s to be held in Laughlin instead of Vegas. I’m pretty sure so it’ll be easier to schedule a trip to make one final visit to the old Arizona stomping grounds and an opportunity for the young ones to see . . .

H: See what? Remember the last time we drove down to visit, all you could see were endless acres of alfalfa and a bunch of beat-up trailers on the old school grounds and auditorium, which I hear burned down since. Aki couldn’t imagine how an adobe building could burn to the ground when I told him. And I still can’t forget that lonely memorial kiosk at what used to be the camp entrance. So depressing. Absolutely no reminders of Camp One, not a single barrack or anything . . .

M: You won’t let that go, will you? The rest of us a long time ago accepted the reality that Poston would never be mentioned in the same breath as Manzanar. Your old man and Ichiro still argue about it, right? Too bad we had to be in Arizona instead of California and not have a movie made about Poston.

H: Whatever. So what do you think? Shall we join the old and the creaky one more time? Laughlin in October doesn’t sound bad. And, hey, maybe we’ll run into what’s-her-name again, was it Wakako or Nanako, Ichiro’s junior prom date? I’ve never ever seen your husband’s face so flush red when he finally introduced us to her after the dinner. Do you think it would be mean if I ever asked him who he took to the senior prom? . . .

M: Okay, okay. Enuf’ already. Your ole man wasn’t exactly BMOC either, if memory serves. So let’s plan on going to Laughlin then, okay? And if the grandkids want to see how the old folks survived The War, we can make a family affair out of it. Assuming it’s on a weekend, of course. I’m sure we’ll be hearing from the Committee as soon as the details are ironed out so let’s see what happens . . .

H: Sounds good. Even if Aki’s back flares up again we could go by bus.   Come to think of it, her name was Takako . . . I think. Whatever. See you at Church.

(Next is a conversation between Ichiro and Akira, two longtime buddies.)

Ichiro: My old lady tells me she just talked to Hideko, something about another Poston camp reunion . . .

Akira: And they’ve already decided we’re going, right? Want me to loan you a pair of pants? Ah, shoot, that’s okay.  And if my grandkids want to take a look-see at the camp site, fine with me, as long as it’s a bus ride.

I: Okay, let’s let ’em think we’re just a couple of “don-kos” who don’t have a say so in anything. I’m pretty sure I ain’t got a helluva lot on my 2011 calendar.

A: Yeah, you said it. Laughlin ain’t Las Vegas but who cares nowadays.  As you know I’m not much on gambling these days. Never thought I’d see the day when I would say something like that.

I: Yeah. I think I’ll swallow my pride and find out how those “teaser” cards work and just bet on football games. Or maybe the horses. For whatever reason shooting craps is like shooting my foot, just can’t stand it. Number then crap out. No fun at all. Too bad they don’t play shi-go-ro in casinos like in camp.

A: So what else did Masa tell you, as if it matters? All Hide said to me was there was gonna be another Poston reunion next year in October at Laughlin and that we all might as well make plans to go. As if my vote, or yours, mattered. But hey, come to think about it, maybe what’s-her-name, Tamiko,  your ole flame will be there . . .

I: Damnit, man, her name was Takako and she was a nice gal!  Once she relocated back east to go to school, that was that . . .

A:  Okay, okay. It’s not for me to stir the ashes of a long lost love.  (Pause)  Did you ever tell your ole lady she didn’t recognize you at first and that you had to remind her who you were? . . .

I:  (Flustered) Dude, if you ever so much as bring up the subject, I swear I’ll spend the few years I have left . . . in prison . . . for murder . . .  yours!

A: Cool it, Pal. I promise to keep my mouth shut. And remember, you can buy me a bottle of my favorite champagne, Mumm’s,  like in mum’s the word forever. Wherefore art thou dear, dear Takako . . . See you at Church Sunday.

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W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached by e-mail. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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