CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: CR2S Has Moved Body & Soul & Computer


(First published in
The Rafu Shimpo on August 3, 2011.)



There are statistics for every imaginable occurrence:  Marriage, divorce, sex, illness, accidents. Americans are probably the most numbered population in the world; we have to know what is “average” and wallow in the glory of being above or below an imaginary line.

Our world ranking remains No. 1 with China edging past Japan for the No. 2 slot as far as GDP is concerned, Japanese have fallen to sixth place in U.S. Asian population, and I’m told the average American owns seven cars during her/his lifetime.

I’m running out of reliable examples of numerology to grab your attention so I had better get right to the point of today’s rumination:  How many times have you moved? Three? Six? Nine times? We’re restricting the survey to “semi-permanent” residences; any movement that represents establishing a mailing address.

I would imagine there is the possibility of one being an answer: born, raised, married then winding up living in the same abode where life began. Taking a guess, maybe six or seven would be your answer:  a childhood home, college, employment, initial marriage apartment, upward mobility until a final home address.

I’m sure there are a number of more important questions that could be posed — like did you miss out on the whiz-bang rise in gold? — but then I would have difficulty segueing to this week’s topic of discussion:

CR2S has moved! Yup, lock, stock, barrel and toothbrush, body and soul!

When you’re lucky enough to reach a certain stage in life — like getting old — there is a deserving sense of satisfaction and comfort. I mean, you know, by some sort of lottery good fortune you are alive and breathing. Maybe not in the best of shape, but let’s not get too finicky; think of the alternative, dude.

Then again, when counting blessings and taking so much for granted, just about the last thing in the world you’re going to think about is moving. Concerned about Social Security, Medicare and a faltering memory, okay, but sleeping and eating in new enviorns? Why for?

Some three years ago, upon the death of my eldest son, I applied for a spot on the lengthy waiting list for Keiro Retirement Home. Kind of like buying a lottery ticket. A knee-jerk reaction to a sad happening. Like buying a long-term catastrophic insurance policy you hope to never have to implement.

Well, whadyaknow, my number came up!

At first there was a feeling of ambivalence: Should I or shouldn’t I?  After more than a half century at the same abode, moving from home into an apartment didn’t make any sense. I mean it isn’t exactly a castle but every room and cranny was mine with a history: The Wife, the kids, the dogs, the downs and ups. Probably the longest tenured resident on the block.

From the freedom of one’s own habitat to a hallway? A communal dining room? (Having to shave?) But then there were the offsetting dual positives of security and elimination of familial concerns about Gramps not being what he used to be.

The final decision to make the move was a no-brainer.

Whatever you want to call it, culture shock or hermitage, a whole new lifestyle now comes into play. By the time you read this offering, I will have been a KRH resident since Monday. (This is being written early since it may take a couple of days before I’m reconnected to the Internet.)

Contrary to some misguided assumptions, CR2S is not exactly garrulous, personable nor hail-fellow-well-met. In some quarters I’m known as a grump — or worse. So suddenly having dozens of neighbors and sharing a dinner table will be a very new and unnerving experience. I haven’t eaten in a mess hall since a long-ago military stint.

But this new environment means having three squares a day, negating having to scrounge around for something to eat. (I’m told the KRH food is as good as it gets so not to worry. My own cooking won’t be missed but Tabemono’s fare will be.)

Chances are the unexpected change of address will turn out to be a fortuitous turn in my winding road of life. (Or some such nonsense.)  Without being morbid, I can now safely say the retirement home will be my penultimate move: Next in line is a reserved (and paid for) spot near the entrance to Evergreen Cemetery. I guess you might say a Boyle Heighter forever.

Even though sometimes questionable, CR2S is on the cutting edge if not under the bus. So wherein applicable, culprits of interest please to note:  My mailing address is now 325 S. Boyle Ave., #215, Los Angeles, CA 90033; email (below) remains the same for the time being as is my (323) telephone number. I do have a cell phone that I promise will be put into use ASAP but can’t remember the number, which might be hard to believe but is true.

There will be no house-warming, but a feng fooey (whatever) blessing is welcome. As a convert to Chinese wisdom, may I point out that my apartment number is 2+1+5 equals eight!


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


1 Comment

  1. ruby kiyohara on

    To a fellow-ager… I hope you will be content in your new abode.

    I’ve considered signing up too, hoping my number will come up. So it took you 3 years!

    I love the Silver Lake neighborhood, that I’ve been in for 36 years, home paid for… but my knees/back won’t be able to trek up and down stairs (tri-level), much less haul groceries up for very much longer. I’ll be very interested in your likes and dislikes of communal living.

    In the late 60’s and 70’s when the youngsters (Hippies) went nuts about communes, I couldn’t understand the attraction. Being in Tule, true as a child of 6-10 years…, much didn’t register but I have never been fond of mess halls.

    I’ve been your avid reader… (forget the other guy…) and have always looked forward to reading your column. At last, a Nisei who’s articulate.

    “They” say it keeps the ole brain alert if one writes daily and my social life is being online. What a wonderful age we live in, the ‘world’ at our fingertips.

    Thanks for your insights over the years – Ruby Kiyohara

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