CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: CR2S and ‘O’ Are on Display at JANM

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By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO

Let’s see what we have at the negotiating table today. [Headline clarification later.]

Last Monday’s Los Angeles Times had 38 pages, probably a record low. I say “probably” because no one makes note of such banality. Except moi and Tribune stockholders. Everyone else is concerned about a record Dow Jones, Tommy Lee Jones’ portrayal of Gen. Douglas MacArthur and let’s not forget, “saita, saita, sakura ga saita.” [For the language-challenged: cherry blossoms.] Which means I haven’t been engaging in meaningful conversation these days. Who in their right mind would be concerned that The Times’ lineage for the week was a paltry 494 pages? That’s about what an average Sunday edition totaled in the good old days of Otis Chandler.

Yup, this corner of our little week is having a hard time being upbeat these days; not totally depressed or discouraged, mind you, just kinda you know, downtrodden. Like if you were once a butcher, baker or candlestick maker. Or Indian chief. Humpty Dumpty. You get the drift?

I am the target of jibes, zingers and oft times chided for constantly bemoaning the demise of Niseidom. I suffer the plight of gardeners, fishermen, TV repairman,  fishmonger. The need for their services has gone from decline to disappearance. What about Rafu columnist? Manage to make a little headway with Sansei readers and then reality sets in: CR2S has no chance with Yon/Gosei. Amen and so be it. A Tweeter I’ll never be.

Guess what? The other day I forgot to zip up my pants fly; the classic Old Codger embarrassment. But on the other hand, I somehow managed to complete Saturday’s diabolical sudoku and crossword puzzle, a daily double seldom hit. Go figure.

Alzheimer’s disease is no stranger to CR2S, as longtime readers are aware. But I’ve never fretted or feared. I figured if it was to be a chapter in my life like The Mrs., it would have made its presence known. So how do you differentiate between AD and good old-fashioned forgetfulness? Looking for keys or where the remote disappeared to?

I’ve always been what is termed “a night person.” So breakfast was as foreign as noshing or brunch. Moving to Keiro some 18 months ago, lo and behold I became an early riser [not totally by choice; a loud blast over the intercom would always remind if late for breakfast]. Until this morning (Sunday), I had never missed an early morn cup of java. Which means, yup, daylight savings jumped up and bit me where it hurts when I forgot to spring forward.

As I stood before the mirror lathered for shaving, a blaring voice inquired about my dining room absence. Too embarrassed to admit forgetting the time change, I announced a decision to pass on the scrambled eggs.

If we add this incident to the unzipped fly and forgetting to renew my driver’s license, what does it all add up to: AD?  Senility? Absentmindedness? Simply signs of growing old?

With only memorial services and celebrations of life constituting my social agenda, it’s difficult to disregard the slow-down. I get two copies of AARP magazine, as if one isn’t enough. How did I get on Neptune’s mailing list? And then there was that Super Bowl commercial: An aging bunch of resident seniors carousing, boozing and making out. Disgusting.

Without getting too distressed, I view every obituary notice as another lost CR2S reader, gone and irreplaceable. Is it an option to lose faith, face, hair or libido? How do you handle the matter of mortality? Of, you know, waving goodbye to it all? I don’t lose a whole lot of sleep over anything these days except my faithful “O,” but do find myself musing: Will I be lucky, go to sleep and never wake up?

But let’s not wind up 03-13-13 pushing Levitation up Fujiyama’s slope.

A 16 percent voter turnout to elect a new Los Angeles mayor. Wow! Antonio V. was another bummer; why can’t we get lucky like New York?

Beleaguered Undersheriff Paul Tanaka departs the department but is re-elected mayor of Gardena. That’s what you call a downer.

LACMA and MOCA joining forces? Can there be such a Broad event?

An old friend reminded CR2S: “There is no fool like an old fool.” I agree. But ’tis better than being a young one.

I’d rather see “Emperor” than “Oz.” But why the brouhaha over no MIS inclusion? It was ATIS (Allied Translators and Interpreters School) in Japan during the occupation.

Clement Hanami of JANM has put together 20 Crossroads to Somewhere columns devoted to the mystery of “O-bah-keh-san.” I’m told the dossier is now available (to read) upon request. No charge. And no pushing.

Apologies if this effort falls short of CR2S’s usual lofty standards. Don’t forget, Ted Williams made out six times every ten at-bats.

W.T. Wimpy Hiroto 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. Takasumi A Kojima on

    I agree with Wimpy regarding the condition of old age.One of the more ominous stresses in life is the impending death that stalks each of us, when you are past seventies.. For some it is sudden and quite unexpected. For others it may be gradually wearing us down.

    We try to endure and weather the storms as best we can.

    In the face of death, our pretence and superficialities evaporates, and our sameness is all that is left.

    More Nikkei residing in the suburban neighhood are living alone than they were a decade ago. One of the ironies of Nikkei population composition is that the women out-live their husband by ten or more years so that as years go by, we are seeing a trend of Nikkei women living alone in California.

    Our ethnic group that seemed so distinct in1941 has almost completely faded away.

    And now, as we come to the end of our lives, we should thank all the Nikkei participants because we were all a part of favorite and a wonderful era, in whih we, our Nikkei community, society have accomplished so much and will continue to do so through the years. Farewell and Godspeed to each Nisei whose signs denotes us. As final salutation with no regrets for the life gone by, sayonara.