MAGGIE’S MEOW: A Saturday Nightmare

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By MAGGIE ISHINO

In one of Mr. Y’s past columns, he wrote about a survey indicating driving problems of Los Angeles drivers. The main problem was the continuous traffic jams and the second was the matter of getting lost. I can attest to the problem of getting lost.

On Dec. 8, 2012, I had an appointment with the doctor in Little Tokyo. Because of a need for a prescription, I went to my pharmacy. Upon leaving the parking lot of the pharmacy, I made a left turn instead of right, which led me to Figueroa Street. I figured if I stayed on Figueroa, I would hit Third Street, Wilshire Boulevard or Olympic Boulevard.

I continued on Figueroa and turned right instead of left and found myself entering into the northbound Harbor Freeway. The cars were speeding down the freeway. I realized I was going the wrong way. Driving a short distance, I stopped the car on the shoulder next to the freeway traffic. I WAS LOST.

I got out of my car and frantically waved my hand for 20 minutes hoping and praying someone would stop. Since I’m not a beautiful blonde, no car stopped for me. I saw a Highway Patrol car whiz by and I tried to get the officer’s attention but to no avail.

Then suddenly, a man who seemed to be a Sansei, wearing one of those orange and yellow vests, stopped behind my car. He asked me to get away from the traffic and into his car. He used two or three of his “technical instruments” so that he could try to locate where Third Street or Wilshire Boulevard or Olympic Boulevard would be from where we were.

About 10 minutes later, the Highway Patrol officer said he saw me, but since he was traveling in the third lane, he could not stop for me and had to make a complete circle before reaching me. He told me to get in my car and he would help me.

Before the Sansei left, I asked him for his name and he replied, “John.” I sincerely thanked him and he departed.

If family or friends of John take the Rafu Shimpo and read this article, may they share this article with him so that he may know how much I appreciated his thoughtfulness and kindness in trying to help me in my desperate need. THANK YOU, JOHN!

The officer asked me some questions and then gave me explicit instructions on how to get on Third Street going west. The officer stopped traffic for me as I got on the freeway to get to the Hill Street exit. He was a gentleman officer and I thanked him before getting on the freeway.

This is the second time I have had a harrowing experience regarding driving on the freeway. The first one was on the Santa Monica (10) Freeway about ten years ago, on my way to church when my car began to stall as I entered the freeway ramp. I was fortunate enough, however, to get on a parking place away from the oncoming traffic before the car died.

I got out of my car and waved for someone to stop. It was a while before a man going to work in a red car stopped and called the Triple A for me.

He gave Triple A my exact location and apologized for not being able to wait until assistance came because he had to go to his job. I got his name and address and was able to write him a “Thank you” letter.

Thank God I did not have to wait long for Triple A to arrive and tow the car to my garage. I was able to attend church service at 11 a.m.

One never knows what each day will bring. That is why we must be grateful for each day God gives us. Though we sometimes wonder about people, it is gratifying to know there ARE GOOD PEOPLE in this world.

Amen and Meow.

Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist. She can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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1 Comment

  1. Maggie,
    I am relieved to hear that the situation was safely resolved. I suggest you get a cellphone for your own personal safety. Never get out of your car on the freeway!

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